Board-leaved bamboo

Common Name

  • Board-leaved bamboo

Latin Name

  • Sasa palmata

What’s the problem?

  • Broad-leaved bamboo is a non-native species which is still available for purchase in many garden centres.
  • The plant spreads quickly by running rhizome and can be extremely hard to eradicate once established.
  • It forms dense colonies over large areas which can displace native species.

Legal Implications?

  • Broad-leaved bamboo is not currently listed as a Schedule 9 species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

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In Detail

  • The plant is native to East Asia and Japan. It was originally bought to the UK as an ornamental plant and has been planted in gardens and parks throughout the country and it continues to be sold by garden centres.
  • Spread into the wild has occurred via dumping of garden materials and contaminated soils.
  • Broad-leaved bamboo is a running bamboo species. It quickly spreads via running rhizome, colonising suitable new ground and has the potential to spread over large areas.
  • The plant is tolerant of most soil types but prefers moist conditions to grow.

Identification

  • A hardy, evergreen running bamboo, it quickly grows to 2-3m in height and to 5-6m ground cover.
  • Individual canes are typically 1cm in diameter and have a mottled purple appearance.
  • Leaves are large and green in colour growing to 40cm in length and 3.5-7cm in width. The underside of the leave is paler in colour.
  • Although the species is evergreen, leaves die back from the tips and edges over winter, giving a variegated appearance.

Control Methods

Mechanical:

  • The plant, root ball and rhizome can be mechanically excavated and removed although care should be taken to remove all of the plant material as broken rhizome has the potential to propagate new plants.
  • Rhizome may extend into areas where the excavation is not an option, additional chemical treatment of these areas may be required.
  • Root barriers can be installed to prevent the rhizome spreading to unaffected areas and to contain the plant

Chemical:

  • Herbicide application can be effective at controlling Broad-leaved bamboo. Applications of herbicide are best made when the plant is actively growing. Cutting the infestation back over winter and treating new growth the following next year may also be beneficial.

If you have concerns over Broad-leaved bamboo species on your land, if you are unsure of your legal responsibilities, or, if you would like a quotation for control, please contact one of our specialist surveyors. Treatment costs start at £380.00 + VAT.