Some bamboo cleanup

I started the great bamboo cleanup last weekend. Rather than tackling the bigger plants in the back, I began with the smaller ones in the front yard. (Clean up the part that everybody else sees first, right?)

Those sad, sad front garden bamboos, like this Indocalamus tessellatus whose big, bold leaves look great even in this color -- at least I think so.


Cleaning them up is quite simple: just use the hedge shears and remove all of the brown.

Since these are both above ground in pots, I'm unsure if they will actually come back. It's possible that the rhizomes were killed during the coldest weather -- I'll know pretty soon.

The Sasaella bitchuensis (or is it Sasa tsuboiana? They're so hard to tell apart!) in front of the window was partially buried in snow which kept some green on the leaves...

...but it all has to go. Once the fresh leaves emerge, even the best-looking of these old ones will look shabby and I'll wish I would have removed them.

So I did it now, when it's easy. Now I can't wait for the green to emerge, as this is not very pretty.

Finally, the bamboos in the "hell strip" between the sidewalk and street:

There are seven bamboos here, but three are quite small and not worth showing. These remaining four (from back to front: Indocalamus longiauritus, Pleioblastus fortunei, Sasaella bitchuensis, and Pleioblastus shibuyanus 'Tsuboi').

Cleanup involves shearing them so the great majority of brown leaves are gone.

Some people say that mowing them to the ground is fine, but these are young plantings and to give them as much density and fullness as possible I want to leave as many branch nodes -- points where new leaves will emerge -- as possible. The new shoots alone won't give me the fullness I want from these, not yet.

I just did a mental count, and I have at least a dozen more of these smaller bamboos to clean up before I have to start on the big ones. Hoping for some sunny, springlike weather this weekend!


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Anonymous –   – (March 28, 2014 at 1:26 PM)  

It saves a world of complaints from the neighbors if you clean up the part that the public sees first.

Alan  – (March 28, 2014 at 5:33 PM)  

I don't think I've ever heard a complaint from the neighbors -- that doesn't mean they're not thinking it though. :)

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