Bellevue Bamboo Issues

Bamboo grows well in the climate we enjoy in the greater Bellevue area.

This growing well presents a number of issues for home gardeners and commercial property owners. The relative inexpensive nature of bamboo for privacy, noise abatement, oxygen replenishing, soil control, height, beauty, screening effect, attraction of beneficial insects and beautiful birds, makes it an attractive option for planting.

The issues that Bellevue Bamboo perceives are listed as follows:

1. Containment

Bamboo does not want to be contained and frankly, if you want healthy bamboo, you will consider maintenance rather than attempting to barrier the bamboo stand. Barrier placement around an existing, unruly stand of bamboo is an even worse idea.

The only containment method that Bellevue Bamboo suggests for new and existing plantings is the berm method discussed under Bellevue Bamboo Services

2. Mite control

Bamboo mites are inevitable if they are in the neighborhood or on the bodies of birds and other animals that will visit your bamboo. From our experience here in our nursery, if we bring bamboo with mites here, they are gone within a year. The salt air, a heavy population of tiny birds that eat the mites, and again keeping the bamboo happy makes for healthy mite resistant bamboo. We have noticed far more mite colonies on overgrown, overcrowded, un watered, unfertilized bamboo stands.

The following species that do well here in the N. W. that are considered mite resistant are:

Phyllostachys edulis

Phyllostachys dulcis

Semiarundinaria okuboi

Bamboo mites do not other plants in your garden or you. Bamboo mites only eat bamboo, something to keep your chin up about if you have some.

We are not going to tell you to use a systemic to kill the little critters, something that may even hurt the bird populations that eat them. Why would you want to make the very thing that eats the mites ill?

3. Thinning

Essential for healthy bamboo. Why? Because the spaces created by thinning allows the new little baby bamboos to be created by the pl;ant every spring.

4. Expansion of the grove

Regardless of whether you keep your grove happy and healthy, the bamboo will naturally expand its boundaries over the years if you do not encourage it through effective maintenance.

5. Natural and constructed barriers

6. Other ornamental plants

7. Neighboring properties

8. Covering up the problem

9. Strategies to control growth

The strategies that the home gardener or commercial property owner or yard service employs are usually ineffective. As stated elsewhere, the best way to control the spread of the bamboo is to keep it happy where it is. It makes sense, the plant is not going to expend energy to look for new territory to inhabit if it is happy. It will expend energy to renew culms, gather more light for photosynthesis, and present a beautiful grove (which it loves to do), This all means vertical growth, the kind you want, not horizontal growth, the kind you want to control.

The strategies that we have heard about are listed as follows:

1. Poison

2. Cutting the culms off where you do not want them

3. Placement of barrier to prevent horizontal growth

4. More poison

Someone once wrote us, "...nothing a couple gallons of diesel fuel wouldn't fix." Now, besides that diesel fuel now being in your water supply or where you get your fish by now, the rhizomes do not mind diesel fuel. They just make a concentrated effort to grow beyond the borders of the spill before the send up baby shoots through the soil, even 20 yards from ground zero.

5. Cutting down and burying

6. Tractor assisted removal

If you want to deal with the issue for years and years to come, please consider having a tractor

7. Non professional removal

There is a certain pride that we gather from knowing that every scrap of rhizome is removed from your property when we are finished. Even then we occasionally find a small piece of rhizome left when a client calls us to honor our ironclad guarantee, which we always do.

Obviously this page is under construction and will be updated often with more information. Bellevue Bamboo offers a paid fee consultation to decide the best way for you to plant, maintain, or remove your bamboo. This fee, usually $250 is waived if we sign a contract and credited back to the job for plants, planting, or removal. Please call 206.724.1977 to set up an appointment.