One of my biggest springtime garden tasks is cleaning up the bamboos. Sometimes this means thinning and tidying the big, arborescent bamboos, but it also means pruning or mowing the groundcover and shrubby bamboos.
Last Thursday while the warm weather was still here I tackled the front yard bamboos. This year it's easy to tell what foliage to trim off: pretty much all of it!
The mild winters will leave the foliage looking pretty good, and I have a hard time pruning off the green stuff. This year though all of the shorter bamboos are heavily damaged so I can prune without hesitation.
The Pleioblastus viridistriatus in the foreground was just bare stems so it got clipped to a couple of inches high. The Sasaella masamuneana 'albostriata' by the mailbox was very ragged, so I chopped almost every leaf off.
My tool of choice for these are the hedge clippers:
The new growth has started to show on the viridistriatus...
...so this is the right time to do this.
The bamboos in the hellstrip...
...also need cleanup.
The Pleioblastus shibuyanus 'Tsuboi' is starting to leaf out:
As is the very brown Sasaella bitchuensis:
They all got trimmed pretty severely:
That very hardy Indocalamus longiauritus even took a pretty good hit this winter:
So I trimmed harder than normal.
It's weird seeing it shaped like this, but soon the new foliage will give it back its natural form.
I should point out that although I did rake up most of the maple and oak leaves that were piled into these plants...
...I always leave some of them in place, along with a fair amount of bamboo leaves if I can.
Surely that's because of the benefits to the soil and returned nutrients, not just laziness, right?
Only a dozen or so more to trim in the back now...