Many experiences have indicated that digging up clump-forming bamboo or running bamboo is a tedious task. Yet, using the best bamboo digging tools is the key to making a heavy job lighter.
The bamboo that grows among trees and new concrete structures can be even harder to dig out.
Find the 5 best tools for removing bamboo roots and rhizomes.
5 bamboo digging tools – recommended
The list of the top 5 Hand Tools (and alternatives) you should have when digging bamboo.
- Pickaxe (or mattock) – For digging and breaking into the rhizomes (of the running bamboos) and clumps (of the clump-forming bamboos).
- Wrecking bar (or crowbar) – access the rhizomes and break up the solid clumps.
- Garden Rake – clear the working area off loose soils and leaves.
- Pair of Secateurs - cut the root hairs, small culms and rhizomes.
- Pair of Garden Loppers (or hand saw)– cut the bulky clumps and rhizomes.
'Lever' is key when removing bamboo
The correct tools make the job easier. If you are planning to dig and remove bamboo plants, you will need all the 5 had tools listed above.
Running Bamboo Plants:
The rhizomes of the Running Bamboo Plants run horizontally away from the parent plant and also intertwine with other rhizomes, plant roots and anything in their way.
A long-handled tool with a pointed tip gives you access and provides the lever you need to remove the bamboo deep underground.
Clump-forming Bamboo Plants:
The clump-base of the clump-forming bamboo plants is often tightly packed together, tough and strong.
The best way to deal with it is to work your way through the clump base from one side and chip off bit by bit until you remove the bamboo.
Perhaps the most important point is to use a long-handled hand tool to give you the leverage you need to uproot the bamboo.
Although, the bamboos do NOT grow deep into the soil. It will require a lot of digging, cutting and pulling.
Dig up bamboo, slow and steady
The hardest part is removing the intertwined rhizomes of the runner bamboo or chipping away the tightly packed clump-base of the clump-forming bamboo.
It is going to be a slow and steady job. So, do not try to get them done in one go if you are working alone. In a case where you want a fast job, get help.
Where you Buy Bamboo Digging Tool: A better tool for digging tough and stubborn bamboo is one that gives you the best leverage.
Check out this page for more information about the digging tools we used in the videos and where to buy them.
Our experience digging bamboo
Our running bamboo plants are in great shape providing the evergreen cover over many years. It is always a delight to see the new delicate bamboo shoots in Spring or the old plants dancing in the wind in Summer. Never a dull moment.
But, it is hard work to maintain them. Tedious. Here are some bamboo Grow & Care tips we shared earlier.
The correct tool is the pickaxe and garden loopers. Highly recommended for anyone wanting to remove or dig up their bamboo plants.
Tools for planting bamboo
Planting a new potted bamboo or growing one from the nursery also requires a good dig. The ground hole has to be deep enough to take the whole plant.
Many bamboo plants come in heavy-duty pots of various sizes, ranging from 10 L pots (26cm diameter top and 22cm depth) to 40 L pots (50cm diameter top and 35.5cm depth.)
Generally, dig an area about twice the Top Diameter and Depth of the pot. A good digging tool makes the job lighter.
If the soil is compacted and tough, you will need a pickaxe or crowbar. Ideally, a crowbar or spade that is narrow at the tip (such as the grafter and trench digger) will do the job.
Alternative bamboo digging and planting tools
The 5 tools mentioned in this article are all you need to dig and remove the bamboo.
To recap here are the 5 tools: Pickaxe (or mattock), Wrecking bar (or crowbar), Garden Rake, Pair of Secateurs and Pair of Garden Loppers (or hand saw).
Pickaxe and Wrecking bar are must-haves.