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rhizome of clumping bamboo

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Hypothetical:  Let's suppose that a large clumping bamboo (bambusa oldhamii, bambusa malingensis, bambusa ventricosa, etc) eventually  meets up against a surface area where it cannot grow new shoots due to that surface area's coverage.  Take, for example, a sidewalk or a surface area of soil covered by bricks or pavers.  Even though the bambusa's new shoots cannot reach the surface in those covered areas of soil, does the rhizome keep growing and expanding beneath?  Will the rhizome stop expanding in that area simply because its new canes cannot reach the surface?  If the rhizome does continue to expand underground, will shoots eventually begin to appear on the far side of the covered surface area?

For this hypothetical, let's not take the example of a concrete driveway because those are dug deeply enough to stop a bambusa, presumably. I am really talking about an area covered in bricks or pavers alone.

A bamboo vendor once told me that if new canes are not allowed to grow on one side of a clumping bamboo, then no new shoots will try to grow further in that direction (purportedly, she said, because new canes can only grow out from existing ones).  Is that correct information?  Based on this hypothesis, she suggested that I simply knock down new shoots as soon as they begin to emerge.  She said that this would prevent further expansion of the underground rhizome in that direction.   That doesn't sound right, but I am no expert and am therefore looking for outside advice. 

PLEASE post your experience-based wisdom.  Thank you.

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I observed last week a bamboo in Guadalajara, Mexico. Maybe a Dendrocalamus. In this case it grows over the concrete. It looks like it had beed cut back sometimes.

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It is hard to tell from the photo, but isn't the sidewalk containing it nicely? 

Thanks for posting. 

I invite others to post on this topic because I am in the middle of this situation now. (Please!)

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I'd be curious for an answer too. I just spent some time hacking out some huge rhizomes and canes that were growing against a sidewalk/fence and block wall. Not fun.

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I find this topic interesting as I have never heard of knocking down the new canes would stop it from spreading. There may be some truth to it though as 3 years ago I declared war against my B. oldhamii and was determined it was not spreading any further. I cut down all canes that had escaped under my wooden privacy fence and came up in my neighbors yard. For 2 years now I have also broken down any new canes that come up on my side.  No new canes have come up in my neighbors in the 3 years and I only get about 3 new stalks a year within the bounds of the existing clump.    

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Tampa Scott, how did you do that? Did you have to dig up and saw away at the underground rhizome which ended up on your neighbour's property?  How did you reduce the clump's overall size?  Was it extremely difficult --  Did you have to keep going back to the neighbour's lot to do more whacking?

I have two clumps of big cane bamboo (one is bambusa oldhamii, like yours) that could soon escape into two different neighbours' yards.  I love these plants, but help!

(Please post your thoughts and experiences, everyone.  We learn from each other)

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I've read somewhere that if you keep trimming back the culms in a certain area, the plant will "learn" not to send any more up in that direction. Could be nonsense scientifically, but I've put it in to practice and it seems to be effective.

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On ‎10‎/‎11‎/‎2017‎ ‎3‎:‎01‎:‎42‎, Sandy Loam said:

Tampa Scott, how did you do that? Did you have to dig up and saw away at the underground rhizome which ended up on your neighbour's property?  How did you reduce the clump's overall size?  Was it extremely difficult --  Did you have to keep going back to the neighbour's lot to do more whacking?

I have two clumps of big cane bamboo (one is bambusa oldhamii, like yours) that could soon escape into two different neighbours' yards.  I love these plants, but help!

(Please post your thoughts and experiences, everyone.  We learn from each other)

No digging of the rhizome, I just cut them off with a chainsaw at soil level.   

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So, if I keep knocking down the new culms or cutting them down with a chainsaw around the periphery of the bamboo, that should stop the onward expansion of the bamboo rhizome?

This, of course, leads to another question:  Isn't it impossible to chainsaw bamboo at surface level?  I don't think I can get mine down that close to the ground.

Please keep posting your experiences, everyone.  T

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