When your decorative bamboo stand threatens to overtake your garden, it could be time to seek professional help with removing bamboo roots.
Removing bamboo roots from your property can become an unwelcome headache for homeowners. Bamboo has risen in popularity as a British garden plant, but not all gardeners are made aware of how it can become an invasive nuisance. There are two types of bamboo – clumping and running. As the name suggests, clumping bamboo tends to grow in a clump without spreading. This doesn’t cause too many problems to gardeners, but running bamboo can quickly engulf your garden.
As well as growing prolifically above ground to create natural garden screening, the root systems beneath the surface allow the plant to spread like wildfire. The robust root system can break through concrete, paving, and even masonry, causing substantial damage to your property. Bamboo removal experts may experience moderate success in controlling bamboo with herbicides, but the most effective way of eradicating the problem long term is removing bamboo roots.
How deep are bamboo roots?
Not very! Bamboo is typically a very shallow-rooted plant, with the bamboo rhizomes growing 6 inches or less from the surface. They do develop feeder roots that burrow down, but typically these only extend for 1-2 feet below ground. Rhizome growth and development tend to occur in late spring and early summer.
Using a bamboo removal company to excavate bamboo roots
While smaller rhizomes may be removed by hand, more mature stands can require excavation equipment. Using a professional company ensures the best result, and can be combined with the installation of a root barrier if you intend to keep some of the bamboo in your garden. Bamboo can also be transferred to containers and raised beds to prevent further spreading.
Common root barriers are no match for aggressive bamboo roots, they’ll just grow right through. A specialist root barrier should contain your bamboo for a specified duration, preventing the root system from spreading across your garden. The root barrier will be installed in a trench, and should be dug in at a depth of 400–600mm. The barrier should also extend above the soil line to stop the roots from escaping above, usually around 100mm. If your bamboo root ball is completely enclosed by the barrier, it’s important to make sure that it overlaps to prevent weakness at the join. FlexiRoot Barrier is a really versatile bamboo root barrier product that allows drainage to occur whilst preventing roots and rhizome from escaping.