Controlling Bamboo

bamboo-052Golden bamboo (phyllostachys aurea) and other nonnative bamboos are perennial grass-like plants. These are runner types of bamboo, that spread with thick, underground stems called rhizomes. Clumping bamboo species grow in large clumps and are much slower in spreading. These rhizomes can spread more than 100 feet from the mother plant.

We did not get a chance to stop by a site of bamboo at Pebble Hill for our Forestry & Wildlife meeting this year. But Dr. Moorhead did cover this topic during lunch. Here is a picture of the site we would have visited, and actually is probably 90% controlled.

bamboo-054

When controlling these runner-types of bamboo, there needs to be some efforts to break up those rhizomes. In open area patches, you can use a tractor and disk to knock down and chop up the rhizome mat. Following this, we’ll still need to use herbicides. Dr. Moorhead recommends a soil active herbicide. Velpar L or Velpar DF is a good choice. This is made in the spring of the year. Use a site prep rate which will kill any trees with roots growing in the treated area. If pine are growing in the patch, use a release rate of Velpar noted on the herbicide label based on soil texture. If you cannot risk this kind of damage to the overstory trees, cut down the bamboo (crush it, burn, etc.), then treat the new shoots with 4% glyphosate (1 pint per 3 gallon mix)..

Here is an example of the rates of velpar from the UGA Pest Control Handbook. We need to be under “Coarse” texture on the far right: 2, 3 or 4 qt per acre for a release rate.

velpar-forestry

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