Bamboo Cleanup Number One

One of the reasons that I've been posting so infrequently so far this summer (yesterday's post was my first in about two weeks!) is that there are a lot of projects left out there, and it's either do or write about it. (Time to catch up a bit!) One of those projects is bamboo maintenance. The dry fall and winter combined with a couple of extended spells of bitter cold took a heavy toll on many of the bamboos and there are many dead culms to remove.


What makes this task tricky though is some species take a while to wake up, and it's not always easy to tell what's dead until later in the spring. Case in point: this Phyllostachys virella. About a month ago I finally decided that this one was not coming back.

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Yes, the culms are still nice and green, but if you look at the branches...



...you can see that they are all dead. No chance for a leaf bud to have survived here...


...as you can even tell from a distance. Those branches just don't look right.

So I jumped in and hacked it down.


I can't lie -- this was a bit painful (emotionally).


I was really hoping for some late shoots, but the only ones that came up were from the escaped rhizomes:


That's a project for another day though. Today it's all about "topkill" -- a cold-climate bamboo grower's worst fear.


I have not yet dug out the woody rhizomes so I can plant something new here, but I already have an idea about what that will be.


This area seems strangely open now, but at least it's easier to see the bananas (not yet tall enough to be visible in that last photo).

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chavliness  – (June 26, 2018 at 9:59 AM)  

I remember your bamboo projects last fall. Have they all survived the winter? Nothing like an idea for a new plant to make our loses easier to endure.

Mark and Gaz  – (June 26, 2018 at 11:20 AM)  

Shame there's a lot to clear out but with your warmer summers hopefully recovery will be quick too.

Renee  – (June 26, 2018 at 7:46 PM)  

Poor bamboos! Here's to hoping for a quick recovery!

Hoover Boo  – (June 26, 2018 at 11:31 PM)  

And I thought rose pruning was a lot of work! Bamboo looks way beyond that.

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