Showing posts with label Stop-Bamboo-Spreading. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stop-Bamboo-Spreading. Show all posts

Tools for digging up bamboo

Removing bamboo can be a challenging task, as the plant's roots can grow deep and wide, making it difficult to extract without damaging the surrounding environment. 

In this article, we will explore some of the tools that are commonly used for digging up bamboo, including their advantages and disadvantages, and how to properly use them.

best tools for digging bamboo roots

Round-point Shovel with a curved blade

The first tool that is commonly used for digging up bamboo is a shovel. Shovels come in many different shapes and sizes, but the most common type used for digging up bamboo is a round-point shovel. 

This type of shovel has a curved blade that is designed to cut through soil and roots with minimal resistance. The advantages of using a shovel for digging up bamboo include its versatility and ease of use. However, shovels are not always the most efficient option, as they require a lot of manual labour and can be hard on the back.

Round-point Shovel with a curved blade
Round-point Shovel with a curved blade

Buy at B & Q

Flat-blade muttocks

Another popular tool for digging up bamboo is a mattock. Mattocks are similar to shovels, but have a flat blade on one side and a pointed blade on the other. 

The flat blade is used for chopping and cutting through roots, while the pointed blade is used for digging and removing soil. 

Mattocks are particularly useful for digging up bamboo that is growing in rocky or hard soil, as the pointed blade can be used to break up the soil and make it easier to remove. 

However, mattocks can be heavy and difficult to use for extended periods of time, and can be dangerous if not used properly.

Tools for digging up bamboo
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Pointed-end Pickaxe

Another tool that is commonly used for digging up bamboo is a pickaxe. A pickaxe is a hand tool with a pointed end for breaking up soil and a flat end for cutting through roots. 

Pickaxes are commonly used for digging up bamboo that is growing in rocky or hard soil, as they can be used to break up the soil and make it easier to remove. 

However, pickaxes are heavy and difficult to use for extended periods of time, and can be dangerous if not used properly.

Tools for digging up bamboo - pickaxe
Pointed-end Pickaxe
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Gas-powered auger

A power tool that is commonly used for digging up bamboo is a gas-powered auger. An auger is a drilling tool with a spiral-shaped blade that is used to dig holes in the ground. 

A gas-powered auger is an efficient tool for digging up bamboo, as it can quickly drill through soil and roots, making it easy to remove the bamboo plant. 

However, gas-powered augers are expensive, loud, and require regular maintenance.

Tools for digging up bamboo UK
Gas-powered auger

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Japanese Hori Hori knife 

Finally, for more specific and delicate tasks like removing the new bamboo roots a Hori Hori knife is a great tool. 

The Hori Hori knives are a type of Japanese gardening tool that has a sharp blade on one side and a serrated edge on the other. They are perfect for digging and removing bamboo roots because they can be used to cut through roots and soil with precision, while also being able to be used as a digging tool. 

They are also great for removing weeds.

Japanese Hori Hori Gardening knife

Japanese Hori Hori knife 

Available on Amazon UK


Here are the simple tools that we use to use to dig up bamboo in the garden - click here to find out.


Tools for digging up bamboo

In conclusion, there are many different tools that can be used for digging up bamboo, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. 

Whether you choose to use a shovel, mattock, pickaxe, gas-powered auger, or Hori Hori knife, it's important to use the tool properly and be mindful of the surrounding environment to ensure that you can harvest your bamboo without causing any damage.

Disclosure: Click on the images or the links to buy the tools. We earn an affiliate commission when you buy using our link, which comes at no additional cost to you.

Is it legal to grow bamboo plants in the UK?

The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 lists nearly 40 non-native invasive plants. They must not be planted in gardens or caused to grow in the wild.

Other laws briefly stated in this post cover tall hedges and property damages.

laws about growing bamboo in the UK

Tall hedges

The Anti-social Behaviour Act, 2003, covers tall hedges but it does not cover garden plant invasion. 

Property damages

The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act, 2014 enables local authorities and police to issue community protection notices where plants cause damage to neighbours’ gardens and properties. 

The protection notice can be issued when it is shown beyond doubt that the individual in question has persistently acted in a way that has a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those around them.

Is bamboo legal to grow in the UK?

Currently, no specific legislation covers the sale and planting of bamboo plants in the UK.

The UK Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (Updated 11 December 2014, now the Guidance to Invasive Non-native Plants) does not classify bamboo plants as an invasive species.

Not all bamboo plants are invasive

Of the two varieties, the clumping bamboo plants are non-invasive whereas some running bamboo plants are invasive. 

Black Bamboo, Scottish Bamboo and Phyllostachys aurea are running bamboo plants but behave like clumping bamboo in cooler climates. 

Running bamboo options

Choose the clump-forming bambooBlack Bamboo, Scottish Bamboo or Phyllostachys aurea.

These bamboo plants have attractive stems and evergreen foliage.

 They are good for privacy screening.

Use root barriers to grow running bamboo

Running bamboo rhizomes have the potential to damage built-up areas and cross garden boundaries.

Grow bamboo plants in barriers. This is the best way to grow bamboo screens and hedges

Here are some ideas for bamboo root/rhizome barriers when growing running bamboo.

How to remove bamboo roots from yard [Video]

The best way to remove bamboo from the yard is to dig out the entire bamboo plant or the parts to be removed. 

Bamboo stems are joined to the rhizomes that grow just below the topsoil. By uprooting the rhizomes, you can contain bamboo from spreading.

Note that although the bamboo roots are not deep in the soil, the intricate network of roots and rhizomes is often difficult to deal with using hand tools.

Recommended tools

  • Pickaxe/shovel
  • Garden rake.
  • Pairs of secateurs or garden loppers.
  • Pots and containers for holding cuttings.

Buy the best tools for removing bamboo online.

best way to remove bamboo roots

How to remove bamboo roots

Step 1: Cut down the culms (stems), remove the branches and store the bamboo canes for future use.

Step 2: The rhizomes grow on the top layer of the soil, so dig down, along with or around the bamboo plant. Cut all the rhizomes and pull them out.

Step 3: You will also have to remove the whole bamboo buds and clumped base. Put a pickaxe through the base of the bamboo and remove them one by one. Use a pair of secateurs or garden loppers to cut the rhizomes into smaller pieces.

Step 4: Remove any soil around the bamboo roots and base of the parent plant. Keep the cutting in direct sun or pour boiling water on them to stop the cutting from growing again.

Related article: 4 non-chemical ways to remove bamboo plants permanently.


Tip #1: Cut bamboo stems

Select and cut the bamboo stems (culms), you want to remove, close to the ground. The tools that you choose to use for cutting the culms depend on their sizes.

For the smaller clump-forming and running bamboos, you will require a pair of secateurs or garden loppers. The big bamboo plants will require an electric saw or hand saw to remove and cut the thick culms.

Cut the bamboo stems horizontally (neatly across), close to the node as possible so that you have a nice and neat space to work. 

Do not cut the stem across the note to avoid any pointy ends sticking out.

Collect the use bamboo sticks in the garden.

Tip #2: Dig bamboo roots and rhizomes

If you want to completely kill the bamboo, you must remove all the rhizomes.

Start by digging 20 – 30cm around the bamboo plant to expose the root hairs and rhizomes. (The best tool for this job is the pickaxe). Cut any rhizomes that you see and remove the soil as you dig.

Carefully store the rhizomes cuttings in a large pot or bin for a few weeks before discarding them from your property.

Tip #3: Remove bamboo rhizomes

Bamboo roots do not grow deep into the soil. As a grass variety, the roots and horizontal stems (also called rhizomes) are often found at the top 20 – 30cm of the topsoil.

That does not mean it is easy to remove bamboo roots from your yard.

The root hairs and intertwined rhizomes network under the soil require a lot of digging, cutting, pulling and removing.

Tip #4: Prepare work area

Before starting, inspect the bamboo to understand how much work you can do in one hour and how long it will take to complete it.

Removing bamboo roots is painstaking work if you are doing it yourself, so prepare well for the job. 

The right tools and preparations are important for getting the job done.

Prepare the cuttings collection bins, tools and gloves and anything you may need.

All in all, remove the bamboo stems, branches and leaves. Then, dip up the rhizomes, cut them into smaller bits, and leave them to dry before binning them.

How to stop bamboo spreading?

Disturbing the shoots from growing can inhibit spreading, but does not stop the bamboo from growing back. 

Though it is a temporary measure, it can be effective where bamboo grows in barriers.
how to stop bamboo spreading UK US CANADA AUSTRALIA

 Here is how to stop bamboo from spreading.

Use garden spade and pickaxe

1: To kill bamboo in the garden using hot water, cut the stems as close to the ground as you can, and dig around (and through) the plant to expose the shoots.

Hot water

2: Pour hot water directly on the new shoots and exposed rhizomes, around the base of the bamboo and where there are signs of growth.

3: Repeat the steps if new shoots grow the following Spring.

If you have bamboos that are 2 – 3 years, this method will work just fine. 

Bamboos that are older than 5 years will have well-established rhizomes (in running bamboos) or build-up clumps (in clump-forming bamboos) which make them harder to treat with hot water.

In this case, build a barrier or use the method mentioned above to permanently remove the bamboo.

You will need these tools:

  • Pickaxe
  • Garden spade
  • Hot water
  • A pair of garden loppers and secateurs

4 effective ways to stop bamboo from spreading

Although bamboo plants are evergreen and adorable plants adorable, the rate at which they grow can be troublesome. 

They spread aggressively and take up any space that is available very quickly if left untouched for 2 – 3 years. 

One of these methods may be ideal for you.

  • Cut stems and dig rhizomes to kill bamboos
  • Pour boiling water on shoots
  • Cut and burn to kill bamboos
  • Apply vinegar
Get all the tips on how to remove bamboo.

Note: Get it done professionally. The work is painstakingly hard.

If you want to do it yourself, here are 4 ways to kill bamboo plants permanently.

Remove running bamboo vs clump-forming bamboo

The work required for running bamboos and clump-forming bamboos is slightly different. 

The running bamboos have horizontal stems (rhizomes) that you have to expose before applying the undiluted white vinegar. 

Whereas the clump-forming bamboo may require cutting and digging around the clump to expose the roots.

  • The Running bamboos have an extension of long-horizontal rhizomes, very invasive. 
  • The Clump-forming variety forms and expansion of clumped base and grow really thick in clusters.