Friday, June 3, 2011

Notes from a bamboo dig

Today, I packed up my tools and headed out to a home in Rocklin to dig out some Phylostachys nigra 'Black Bamboo' that the homeowner no longer wanted.

The original plant was planted by a landscaper about 13 years go, but the landscaper didn't install rhizome barrier.   I always recommend installing rhizome barrier with any running bamboo put in the ground directly.  It adds some cost and if self-installed takes some work, but it is worth it.

The plant, unchecked, marched towards a fenceline and that's where I came in to help.

Tools in hand and with a little help from my Sawzall, I went to work.

The 'Black Bamboo' had been topped, but the rhizome mass can still be cut and grown out over time.  It will shoot again given some time.  Since this section is so close to the neighbor's fence, we started in this here first.

After about two and a half hours, we made some good progress.  The bamboo actually surrounded two bushes and that portion proved the hardest to remove.  I plan on returning in two weeks to help the homeowner remove more of the bamboo.

Here is the result of my labor.  Rhizome masses with some top bamboo culms ready to be placed in soil-covered holding bins.

Pulling the culms out of the bins, I thought these roots were quite beautiful sporting a pinkish-purple color.

This is a temporary home for these rhizome masses and culms.  I ran out of dirt and will be making a trip to the hardware store for some more.  Many of these will end up as 5 gallon plants that will be sold next year.  Although it has been a colder June (so far) in northern California, this weather, overcast, cooler with evening rain is the perfect conditions to do a bamboo dig.  I'm excited to see the growth of this 'Black Bamboo' in the coming months.  Truly nice to see all my hard work today pay off.


Mad Man Bamboo
(916) 300-6335
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