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 Post subject: Bamboo and Herbicides.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:51 am 
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Location: SW Missouri USA
I am aware that Glyphosate is a herbicide used to control or kill bamboo groves and it may or may not be fully effective. But that is about the limit of what I have read on the subject from what I regard as reliable sources. However there is a great deal more that might be asked and might be said. Given the wide spread use of herbicide it would be valuable to know some more.

For Instance:
1. I am aware that 2-4-D herbicides re used for brush and broadleaf control and are touted as not killing grass thereby leaving pastures intact and allowing brush to be controlled under fences without destroying grasses and exposing the soil to serious erosion problems. And I am also aware that bamboo is essentially a grass. Does this then mean that If for instance poision ivy invaded my grove I could apply 2-4-D to kill the ivy without harming my bamboo?

2. I am aware that Glyphosate applied to some of the sprouts in a large patch of poison ivy will not only kill the plant it is sprayed on but it will transfer back through the root system and kill many more sprouts but often it stops before it kills the whole patch and repeated applications are required. So if a running bamboo has put out a long rhizome which has a sprout at its end, will spraying that sprout have a practical limit in how far back it will kill the bamboo?
2a. e.g. If 35 feet from my grove of 25 foot tall bamboo a sprout pops up in my neighbor yard and he sprays it with Glyphosate, what are the chances it will damage my grove?

3. I am aware that some plants will naturally "root graft" in which separate plants fuse their roots together and essentially become one plant, sharing nutrients and water trough their now common root system.. Does bamboo in groves have this characteristic?
3a. So If I establish a grove with 10 separate plants and it develops into a single grove, do I still have 10 plants or do I now have only one such that a systemic herbicide applied at one end might wipe out the entire grove?

I am certain that there are a lot more bamboo versus herbicide questions that might be asked not to mention a whole lot of comments that might be offered even before a question is asked. So I encourage all who have some experience knowledge or even reliable hearsay to jump in and comment or answer questions such as I have asked.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:52 am 
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To answer some of your questions:

1) 2,4-D is a dicot specific plant herbicide, and will not kill monocots, including cord, lawn and pasture grass and bamboo. 2,4-D alone is not very effective for killing poison oak/ivy in my experience. For poison oak we had the best results from using Crossbow (which is a mix of 2,4-D and Triclopyr), or Garlon (Triclopyr). Triclopyr will not kill grasses or coniferous plants either, and so either Garlon or Crossbow would be better for killing PI/PO in bamboo than 2,4-D.

2) Roundup (Glyphosate) is ineffective against poison oak and poison ivy (both have rhizomes), and generally ineffective against blackberries and scotch broom in my experience. It is also generally ineffective at killing bamboo, as the rhizomes and often times the culms will survive. Noah Bell (manager of Bamboo Garden nursery in Oregon) mentioned last week that he and Ned had once visited a bamboo grove that had been inadvertently sprayed with Roundup, and the spraying had resulted in tourtoise shell growth in some culms (vivax I think it was?).
2a) Spraying Roundup will affect the culm and leaves of the bamboos that come in contact with the spray, but generally not the rest of the plant connected by rhizomes. Also a good washing of water will remove any overspray of most types of herbicides, and rain within 12-24 hours will usually negate the effects of most herbicide sprays.

3) I have never seen bamboo root graft in my years of growing it and digging the stuff up and dividing it. Even when they are in pots together, if the rhizomes become severed, they become separate plants and can be split without cutting. It is known that most plants in proximity to each other do graft through the fungal mass though, meaning that nutrients can and do pass from one bamboo to another through the fungus in the soil in contact with both. That is fairly common in most forests.
3a) Your 10 bamboo plants will basically remain as 10 separate plants, interweaving rhizomes if they are leptomorph -running- bamboos, and if they are or are not the same species. The rhizomes will keep the 10 plants connected unless they are severed (ie., if cut with a shovel, a section rots, or they are eaten by gophers or voles). Pachymorph -clumping- boos also remain separate, but they will get larger and bump up against each other if given enough time.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:39 pm 
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Location: SW Missouri USA
ShmuBamboo wrote:
To answer some of your questions:
I appreciate your prompt and clearly written response an I am looking forward to more discussion and intput from those with such broad experience. From the way you right you appear to have considerable botanical background especially with respect to bamboo.

However there is one place where my experience does not match with your information.

ShmuBamboo wrote:
....... 2) Roundup (Glyphosate) is ineffective against poison oak and poison ivy (both have rhizomes), and generally ineffective against blackberries and scotch broom in my experience.........
I have found glyphosate to be devistating to poison ivy here in missouri and back in Texas. And it did show the characteristic of being able to attack sprouts that were not sprayed by acting through the rhizome network. In my woods I have encountered numerous infestations of that "devil weed" and being fairly sensitive to it myself I did not want to approach it but sprayed it with a stream from a distance of a couple of feet to as much as 15 feet, applying it to specific plants which were in range. It would kill in a matter of a few days and rarely did I encounter a plant that required more than one application to kill it in that time frame. Then later I could go back and move into the previously infested area and get the stragglers and make incursion into the more remote areas of the infestation. Since poison ivy likes to grow in amongst other plants, collateral damage to them did help in clearing the area so that the ivy was more exposed and identifiable. In areas of heavy infestation that I attacked I might end up with patches that were devoid of any plant growth but within about a year these would be repopulated by innocuous native flora but devoid of any of the ivy that was the target of my vengeful wrath.

My example of poison ivy in a bamboo grove comes not from actually having that problem but rather the grove where I got my plants several years ago did have the problem and I had to dig carefully.

Your comments on root grafting have given me considerable insight. My own previous experience with that phenomenon comes from dutch elm disease because the elms do root graft and in many towns where I was elms had been planted up and down the streets to provide shaded residential streets. In Minnesota and North Dakota the cold winters tended to prevent the disease spread by winter kill of the bugs that spread it. but once a few bugs hit the elms in a town, immediate action was required to remove any infected tree because it would otherwise spread to the whole street through actual root grafts between the trees. But as I understand what you are saying, in the case of bamboo, spreading via the root system is possible but not by actual root grafts. It sounds from your descriptions that you have dug up quite a few rhizomes in the past. I am an avid observer when doing such work but I do not have all that much depth of experience.

As to your comments about the effectiveness of Glyphosate:

ShmuBamboo wrote:
.... It is also generally ineffective at killing bamboo, as the rhizomes and often times the culms will survive. ...... Spraying Roundup will affect the culm and leaves of the bamboos that come in contact with the spray, but generally not the rest of the plant connected by rhizomes. ......
This would be consistent with what I have heard that glyphosate is only effective with heavy direct application. So I am wondering if this might prove to be useful for killing off stray sprouts popping up where it is hard to mow and inconvenient to dig and yet not damage the desired grove. If the bamboo is resistant to systemic poisoning via the rhizome net, it would seem to be a viable control mechanism. If it is, then it would seem to be useful to combat attempts to ban bamboo as an invasive plant if there is in fact a reasonably easy countermeasure against errant rhizomes.

ShmuBamboo wrote:
.... a bamboo grove that had been inadvertently sprayed with Roundup, and the spraying had resulted in tourtoise shell growth in some culms ....
What is "Tourtise Shell Growth" ???


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:05 am 
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Location: Midwest, USDA Z5 / AHS Heat Z5
A bamboo with the tortoise shell growth pattern:
Image
(Phyllostachys edulis 'Heterocycla')


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:42 pm 
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Location: HALIFAX, NS
"This would be consistent with what I have heard that glyphosate is only effective with heavy direct application. So I am wondering if this might prove to be useful for killing off stray sprouts popping up where it is hard to mow and inconvenient to dig and yet not damage the desired grove. If the bamboo is resistant to systemic poisoning via the rhizome net, it would seem to be a viable control mechanism. If it is, then it would seem to be useful to combat attempts to ban bamboo as an invasive plant if there is in fact a reasonably easy countermeasure against errant rhizomes."

dgoddard - Since you ask.........On this site I recently posted shots of an almost completely dead grove of P. aureosulcata Alata at a friend's in the Annapolis Valley. It seemed to me strange that not one new shoot arose within the former grove (has survived everything since 1986) which was completely dead. The owner blamed -7.6F on its demise. There is no question it froze to the snowline but why no shoots within the grove and why are there new shoots outside the grove. No one here offered an explanation. Now I will tell you that the owner over many years has been spraying stray shoots outside the grove with Roundup; aside from the collapse of those sprayed shoots the only effect on the grove itself was a few congested branches with dense foliage. I was very suspicious that disaster would ensue and now blame these repeated sprayings over the years as the cause of the Alata's fiailure to re-shoot. Could it be the exterior new shoots would collapse eventually as well? You can see in the photo he has sprayed again - note the dead grass at the base of each culm - and I'll bet there will be nothing left by next year.

In Canada Scotts make a Roundup especially for Posion Ivy, I don't have a bottle at hand but would guess it is simply Superconcentrate Roundup.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 1:18 am 
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Location: Prince Edward Island Canada - Zone 5
Johnw,
I'm still boggled by the death of that grove in a single winter.

TC in PEI

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:08 am 
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Location: Island off Cape Cod Massacusetts
John, are those some live shoots in for ground?

We had a freezing event once where a well established Psudosasa japonica groves were killed off. New shoots came up adjacent to dead grove, but nothing out of established area.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 2:10 pm 
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Location: HALIFAX, NS
dependable wrote:
John, are those some live shoots in for ground?

We had a freezing event once where a well established Psudosasa japonica groves were killed off. New shoots came up adjacent to dead grove, but nothing out of established area.



Yes those Alata shoots in the foreground are (were) the only survivors aside from one or two in the old grove, he has sprayed them with Roundup, hence their sagging.

Now I am surprised at the total demise of Pseudosasa with you. Here and in PEI it always seems to come back within the clump. Here is Pseudosasa from last summer and the second pic from this Spring. As you can see after this past cold winter all late shoots were knocked out and the record 13ft shoots lost at least the top foot. Low here was just slightly above 0F (-17c) one night. It also appears to have lost a bit of steam - not releafing very vigorously.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 3:17 pm 
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It only happened the one time, about 10 years ago, a year after I had transplanted my first psudosasa from a customer's large grove. Both my transplants and the main grove died, buds on new rhizomes lived.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 3:40 pm 
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OK, got it, so not so surprising since it had been recently moved. The Alata on the other hand had been in the same spot since 1986 and even went through - all parts underground - the worst winter ever in 1993. Does anyone blame the Roundup?

Persistent rains here, one storm after another.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:29 pm 
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It was not just moved the plants moved, large parent grove died off also, the main grove has a little life left and did not grow well back into area that died, and never really recovered. Almost like it had gone to seed, but it hadn't.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:57 pm 
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dp - Was the main grove on that very sandy soil that's typical of the Cape? And was the preceeding summer very dry?

I just wonder if the same thing happened there as may have happened in NS withg the old Alata grove. That's to say the summer was very dry and perhaps the root system so congested they suffered badly and then winter was the coup de grâce. If so one would expect the same to happen in barrier-surrounded bamboo plantings after time.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:21 am 
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dgoddard wrote:
I appreciate your prompt and clearly written response an I am looking forward to more discussion and intput from those with such broad experience. From the way you right you appear to have considerable botanical background especially with respect to bamboo.


I do not have a botanical background, per se, but a horticultural one. I have certificates in ornamental horticulture and silviculture, as well as experience owning several landscaping and arborist businesses, and having owned several nurseries and one pinot noir vineyard. I have specialized over the years in cultivating cymbidium orchids, roses, cane berries, grape cultivars, ornamental and commercial trees, and bamboos. Out of necessity, I have also become somewhat of a specialist in invasive plant species in Oregon and California, as well as some of the indigenous weedy species like dewberries and PO.

dgoddard wrote:

However there is one place where my experience does not match with your information.

I have found glyphosate to be devistating to poison ivy here in missouri and back in Texas.


Well, my experience is with using Roundup is specifically on poison oak (PO) in the US west, and not poison ivy (PI) which is not very common in the west. PO and PI are closely related species though. I am very surprised with the effects of Roundup on PI. It may be the humidity or nighttime temperature differences, as we have a dry climate with cool nights here. I have used many types of Roundup, but they mainly vary in surfactant content, and not Glyphosate. I have found that Roundup of all types is generally far less effective on woody dicot plants, especially ones with rhizomes, than are Crossbow or Garlon. PO always came back after being sprayed with Roundup, as did blackberry, scotch broom, and hawthorn. I used Roundup mainly on broadleaf weeds and grasses, particularly scotch, star and bull thistle, and as a broad spectrum herbicide under fence lines and the like.

dgoddard wrote:

But as I understand what you are saying, in the case of bamboo, spreading via the root system is possible but not by actual root grafts. It sounds from your descriptions that you have dug up quite a few rhizomes in the past. I am an avid observer when doing such work but I do not have all that much depth of experience.


Well, to reiterate, leptomorph bamboos spread through rhizomes, not through root systems. They are quite different parts of any plants. Rhizomes are specialized underground stems, and in my view are the center and the controlling aspect of bamboos. From the rhizomes you get more rhizome growth, culm growth, and root growth. Lepto. bamboo rhizomes create the lattice that allows the culms to grow tall and retain support and lateral strength. Bamboo roots are generally small in size and they do not get very large, like most types of trees and shrubs do. Many tree species have large root systems that get rather large in diameter and many types of trees root graft in time and become one network of trees, grafted through the roots. Most types of conifers in the west do that in tree stands, for example Douglas fir, Coastal redwood, and Western hemlock. Diseases can and do spread through these types of root grafts, as they are directly connected to each other and can move nutrients and water around and between trees. However, bamboos will remain separate in that regard, and they do not rhizome or root graft once they have been severed. Although you may have a large network of one species or chimeras of culms that are all connected as one plant with a single rhizome network that they grew from. I have several vivax here that express 3 different chimera variants, on one rhizome grouping. They are in effect one plant, but show different characteristics in the culms and leaves (green type, aureocaulis, and huang. inversa).

dgoddard wrote:

This would be consistent with what I have heard that glyphosate is only effective with heavy direct application. So I am wondering if this might prove to be useful for killing off stray sprouts popping up where it is hard to mow and inconvenient to dig and yet not damage the desired grove. If the bamboo is resistant to systemic poisoning via the rhizome net, it would seem to be a viable control mechanism. If it is, then it would seem to be useful to combat attempts to ban bamboo as an invasive plant if there is in fact a reasonably easy countermeasure against errant rhizomes.


I have not found this to be very effective, in many types of plants, and especially plants that spread through rhizomes. For example, if you top kill the bamboo with Roundup, the rhizome will remain in tact and likely just pop up more culms from dormant eyes, or buds at some future time. The issue that infuriates the bamboo haters of the world is that bamboos are basically impervious to herbicides and easy topical spray removal. Also in my opinion bamboos are hardly invasive, compared to the types of plants that spread through seeds. Bamboo "invasions" are localized at most in the US west. There are claims of escaped groves in Oregon and California, but I have never seen them, and I have been all over this state and California. And in most states, even our beloved Connecticut, bamboo does not meet the criteria for being invasive. There are also many native species of bamboos in North America.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:46 am 
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johnw wrote:
In Canada Scotts make a Roundup especially for Posion Ivy, I don't have a bottle at hand but would guess it is simply Superconcentrate Roundup.


"Superconcentrated" Roundup is called Roundup Ultra, and it has a higher percentage of glyphosate (41%) and more surfactant as well. I stopped using it as the added surfactant gets into the runoff water and causes sudsing and the like.

Roundup for PI and Tough Brush Killer is actually 2% triclopyr and 18% glyphosate. So in effect they are just adding a small amount of Garlon to Roundup. In my experience if you want the best tough brush killer, use Crossbow, which is a blend of 2,4-D and triclopyr. That will kill Scotch, Portugese and French broom, poison oak, blackberry and dewberry of any type and age, hawthorn, and other 'tough brush' here in the west. If you want to increase its effects, add some diesel oil to the spray. Probably not legal in Canada, but that combo will take down blackberry in a hurry.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:10 pm 
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ShmuBamboo wrote:
johnw wrote:
In Canada Scotts make a Roundup especially for Posion Ivy, I don't have a bottle at hand but would guess it is simply Superconcentrate Roundup.


"Superconcentrated" Roundup is called Roundup Ultra, and it has a higher percentage of glyphosate (41%) and more surfactant as well. I stopped using it as the added surfactant gets into the runoff water and causes sudsing and the like.

These surfactants are said to cause the demise of amphibians as well. It dissolves their slimy skin protectant. Have to wonder what that BP did or is doing to the fish & amphibians around the Gulf.......

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