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     Marijke & Piet.

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Bamboo runner alert


In my post Bamboo shoots in unexpected places this subject was briefly addressed. Today I will go into more detail and show you the impact of not taking, or not taking sufficient measures, to restrict bamboo in its abundant expansion.

Even when the correct measures are taken one still needs to frequently check for runners.

What you see on this photo is, or perhaps better, used to be, a lawn ! As you know we have a Japanese garden and lawn application is limited to an absolute minimum in Japanese gardens. In our Zen garden we have none.

What is shown on this photo is the lawn of our good next door neighbors. To give them more privacy two bamboo bushes, in the back, where planted in their line of sight. We can now conclude that those who did this, did a lousy unprofessional job to say the least.
On this photo the bamboo canes closest, on about 10 meters (32 feet) distance from their sources, are over 2 meters (6 feet) tall and very thick at their base, not to mention the roots. I do not think that even the best chemicals will get rid of these, but then of course it would be worth trying. The alternative is obvious.

Do never ever underestimate the growing power of even the smallest bamboo.


As a backdrop for our Jizo bodhisattva we used a solitary bamboo. A large-leaf Sasaella masamuneana. Although it stands in a container and is encircled by a stone edge (made of roof tiles) it continuously develops sneaky runners that need to be taken out once or twice annually.


On the right photo you see a first annual harvest. If you let go of this it will only get harder to fully take them out with a minimum of damage to the groundcovers.


Part of our main garden Tsukubai composition is a small-leaf bamboo, Pleioblastus pygmaeus.
Like the bamboo above this to is placed in a container and surrounded by a stone edge.

Here you see a creeper that comes out from underneath the plastic cover (see the construction of) on a spot where we do not want it to appear. This one was treated with chemicals using a pipette. Then after a week or so, when it is fully dried, you can safely pull it out.


This is the stairway on the left waterfront. The bamboo that grows along the waterside has made its way up and through into the cotoneaster (center left).


Pulling it out will not work, at least no for long. We need to get the whole root out or, alternatively have it die. For that we use a pipette, a small brush could also be used, to very selectively apply a modern herbicides that lets it die like it was dried out.

Take care not to spoil anything. It is you who needs to be selective as the herbicide is not and will kill all and every vegetation (except for most mosses !).

Related: Control of pests, weeds and diseases in Tsubo-en.