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Hand Tools

Removing bamboo using hand tools, especially when it encroaches upon trees and modern structures, can be a daunting task. The resilience of bamboo rhizomes and clump bases, typically found just beneath the soil’s surface, necessitates a methodical approach involving extensive digging, cutting, and pulling. The key to a successful and less strenuous bamboo removal lies in selecting the right tools for the job.

Hand tools

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Wrecking bar: Provides leverage for removing tough rhizomes, roots or blocks.

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Pickaxe: Dismantles rhizomes and clumps.

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Garden prunning saw/Loppers: Cuts stems and rhizomes

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Sharp garden spade: Digs/cuts small rhizomes and roots, clears dirt.

A pedigree spade is ideal for narrow spaces.


Garden rake/hoe: Clears soil and dirt around the work area.

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Pair of secateurs/garden loppers: Cuts large rhizomes and culms.

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The Top 5 Hand Tools for Bamboo Removal

  1. Pickaxe (or Mattock): This tool is crucial for breaking into the rhizomes of running bamboo and clumps of clump-forming bamboo. Its design allows for effective digging and leveraging against the tough underground network.

  2. Wrecking Bar (or Crowbar): A wrecking bar provides access to rhizomes and is instrumental in breaking up solid clumps, offering the leverage needed to tackle the most challenging parts of the removal process.

  3. Garden Rake: After cutting and digging, a garden rake is used to clear the work area of loose soil and debris, preparing it for further removal steps or restoration.

  4. Pair of Secateurs: These are essential for the precise cutting of root hairs, small culms, and rhizomes, allowing for detailed work in tight spaces.

  5. Pair of Garden Loppers (or Hand Saw): For cutting through bulky clumps and rhizomes, garden loppers or a hand saw are necessary to manage larger sections of bamboo.

maintain bamboo plants - Image of working in bamboo garden

The Importance of Leverage

Leverage is paramount when removing bamboo. Long-handled tools not only offer better reach but also multiply your force, making it possible to uproot even deeply entrenched rhizomes without excessive strain.

Bamboo removal is a slow and steady endeavour. It’s advisable not to rush the process, especially if working alone. For quicker results, consider enlisting help.

Our Personal Experience with Bamboo

Maintaining running bamboo plants can be labour-intensive but rewarding. The sight of new shoots in spring or mature plants swaying in the summer breeze is delightful. However, keeping them in check requires diligence and the right tools—tools that we’ve found indispensable in our own gardening endeavours.

In summary, whether you’re removing or planting bamboo, choosing the correct tools is essential. For tough soils and compacted areas, a pickaxe or crowbar will serve you well. When planting new bamboo, ensure your hole is appropriately sized—twice the top diameter and depth of the pot—for a successful transplant.

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The articles here are about growing and caring for bamboo plants, and they provide a list of hand tools that you must have when working with bamboo plants.

Whether you are cutting, digging, planting or pruning bamboo plants, you will find the articles here useful.

Quick link to Featured Bamboo Plants