Seattle Bamboo Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Eradicate The Bamboo In My Garden?

There is only one 100% effective way to remove bamboo: complete removal of all rhizomes under the ground. Any of the other ways suggested on other web sites can cause additional problems that may end up far worse than the initial problem. Poisoning, smothering, starving, cutting the culms are methods suggested that simply do not work.

The reason for this is that bamboo is a warrior plant, it has a strong survival instinct. Bamboo also has clever ways to thwart any effort on your part to remove or destroy it. Even in the natural environment, when conditions are not favorable to the bamboo (like a hard winter or a drought), the bamboo struggles and begins to travel over and under the ground. The rhizomes of the plant store a tremendous amount of energy and grow in such a way that poisoning, cutting, or trying to bury the plants only causes them to reach out to other areas and become more robust.

If you deny it water or nutrients, the shoots, buds, and rhizomes will travel to find what they need. If you try to poison it, it may try to keep ahead of your efforts by sending up dozens of new shoots, sending rhizomes farther away and under your driveway, walkways, house, and fences.

Neighbors have sued for the lack of containment of another neighbors bamboo. This is far more costly than removal. We have seen walkways and driveways jack hammered up and replaced in order to extricate the plants that have cracked the paving and started to pop up through asphalt, cracks in concrete, and under foundations. These problems, again, are far more costly than the proper removal cost.

What If I have Already Started My Own Removal Efforts?

Stop! Call us, and we will come by to give you a free estimate or a fee based consultation, depending on your needs. If you do decide to try the removal efforts yourself we will give you plenty of information to assist you.

Do You Give Free Estimates For Your Services?

Yes, there is absolutely no cost for our online via email estimates and initial telephone consultations. We are as interested in your project as you are. We also have fee based consulting services which includes a site visit, ask us which seems best for you. Our fee based consulting enables us to advise you and help you decide your best plan, and consulting fees are waived or credited toward the contract we execute. We want you to be happy with your bamboo, that is the best business decision for us now and in the future.

Regardless of what course you decide to take, our consultation services will save you money as you will not waste time and money at trial and error.

Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?

Yes, we are licensed by the State of Washington as specialty contractors, insured up to $3,000,000 for liability so you are comfortable with us working on your property, and bonded to insure that we fulfill our contract with you.

Are you members of the American Bamboo Society (ABS)?

No, the ABS is a society of bamboo lovers. While we love bamboo it is very often the wrong plant for a small piece of property or a home garden. The ABS often advises a courses of action that we do not, such as plastic barrier which may very well cause future issues that are very expensive to mitigate. Except in situations where there is no other choice, plastic barrier is not a good idea for bamboo containment.

Our advice is based on years and years of horticultural experience dating back to the 1960s, jot a sentimental or emotional attachment to a plant.

Who does your work?

We do all our own work. We will never drop off workers on your property. Our respect for bamboo and our respect for your property are most important. Laborers may work for less, however, we guarantee our work and we know that leaving a rhizome under the ground can cause problems in the future.

Do You Guarantee Your Work?

Yes, we guarantee that wherever we dig, there will be NO future growth of bamboo in that area. If we suggest that concrete or asphalt be removed, or deeper digging is necessary, or other work that you do not choose to hire us for, we can consult with methods to curtail growth, but those methods become your responsibility.

We also require, as part of our guarantee, that no permanent concrete or landscaping be replaced over the main area until we can all see if there will be any further activity.

If growth appears we come out as soon as possible to honor our guarantee and remove the growth and rhizome activity underneath the ground, usually within 48 hours.

Are your estimates firm?

When we give an estimate for services, we rarely exceed that estimate, and then only with complete understanding between us. Much of the work with bamboo is underground and occasionally there are obstacles and issues that are not revealed at the beginning of the work. Again, this rarely happens and we have dozens of references to affirm that we keep as close to our initial estimates as  possible.

This may mean that our initial estimates may be higher than other contractors, but it is important to us that you know the final cost of the project. If the work proceeds faster and easier than we project, we charge only for the work that we complete. We often bid a square footage price for removal, for example, and the final bill is based on the final measurements of the completed work.

How Do I Transplant Bamboo from another property to my own?

Transplanting involves digging a large chunk of root and rhizome ball out of the ground. If you transplant bamboo when it is sending up new shoots, the chances are they will not survive. Dig bamboo either very early in the spring before there’s any chance of shooting or wait for the growth period to be over late in the autumn. You should look for a clump of culms that has come up in the last year or so and which includes at least three or four healthy-looking culms. A good size for the clump would be at least two feet in diameter. Bamboo roots (rhizomes) are tough but must not be allowed to dry out even for a few minutes. You may have to use a very sharp shovel, ax or saw to separate the roots from the rest of the grove. If you will be transferring the division by truck, then water the leaves and roots well, wrap the whole thing in burlap and get it into the ground as quickly as possible.

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We answer bamboo questions with honest answers, not answers that promote profit.

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