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Bamboo removal

I have been asked by a customer if I can remove some bamboo which has started to spread under ground and emerge on the neighbours side of the fence.

I know bamboo is very hard to remove and needs digging out completely but the problem I have is that I have very limited access to it as there is a water feature in front of it (no power as it has been disconnected) and a power cable that runs along the fence line underground  to the garage behind it. 

The only way I can think of doing this is with a digging bar and finding the power cable first and exposing it so I don't smash through the cable (customer is happy to turn all the power off in the house whilst this is done). Would this be safe?

As you can see by the pictures (hopefully) that I have no room to swing a cat and any advice would be much appreciated. Can It be done?

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  • PRO

    Is the orginal plant positioned behind the water feature - ie on your clients property?

    If so chemical means may well be your best bet - it takes time but does work...

    • PRO

      Hi Adam, yes it's on the clients property. The client did say that they want to avoid using chemicals and would rather it be dug out but if that is going to be too difficult it may be the only option 

      • With that limited access, you'll never get it all out. Cut each stem down to ground level  and then put a few drops of trclopyr (Garlon/Blaster pro) on each cut surface............. I've done this with success and the amount of chemical used is pretty minimal. 

        • PRO

          It looks a tight space to work in .

          You could try a spiral corkscrew type weedpuller and pry bar once you have exposed the cable , could be armoured cable . wolf garten do a spiral weedpuller but seen other types 

          Bamboo can be shallow rooted although invasive but usually resists a solid barrier , i would try getting the bulk out and then devise a way of blocking the area off to supress it if chemicals are not an option .

          • PRO

            Thanks John. Some useful info 

  • PRO

    If the issue is the bamboo shooting in next doors garden I guess you have got to do some work in their garden too? 

    Why not slide the fence panel and gravel board out and then work from theirs, at least that would give you some room to work. 

    Then as you say expose the cable if it isnt too deep and then the bamboo. 

    Personaly I find a good pick-axe or mattock is one of the best tools for removing the bulk of the bamboo, them fork the soil to find any roots left behind.

    • PRO

      Thanks Kieran. I hadn't thought of removing the fence panel and gravel board. I will ask the client if this is doable. I know there was a drop of about 3ft the other side of the fence and a wall with a small border up against the fence but it would give me more room to work

  • Definitely take the fence panel out and job will be fairly straight forward 

  • PRO

    Agreed, fence panel out....and cost in replacements of all tools you plan to use.... Most times I've removed bamboo some favourite tool has got broken.

    I think the poison will only really work when the plant is actively growing....so it may be a bit late for that now

    • PRO

      Thanks for the help guys. Some good points made here. 

      Also struggling to come up with a price for the task. Thinking of an hourly rate as I have no idea how long it's going to take

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