How to completely remove bamboo

Not sure how to deal with bamboo? We’re here to help with advice and to provide a complete removal package

Problems with bamboo

Although bamboo provides great architectural planting in a garden setting and acts as a cost-effective screen, selecting the wrong variety or inheriting it can soon lead to difficulties. If you start to see warning signs like bamboo emerging outside of the original planting area, acting quickly will save you huge costs in the long run. It’s not unusual to start experiencing problems with bamboo about 7-10 years after planting it.

  • Bamboo can quickly spread into unwanted areas, taking over flower beds, lawns and patios.
  • The root balls and runners of bamboo are very tough and can be extremely difficult to remove using everyday garden hand tools once they are established.
  • The tough runners can exploit gaps and weaknesses in structures and can quickly cause significant damage.
  • When bamboo spreads into adjoining property, it can lead to disputes and even legal action between neighbours, especially if it causes damage.

How to identify

Over 1,400 varieties of bamboo exist, which we can categorise into two different growth patterns – “clumping” and “running”. Both types can have large underground rhizome systems. However, the running types pose the most problems because, as the name suggests, some species send out long lateral rhizomes that can spread several meters from the parent plants. You can find all the information in our complete guide to bamboo identification.

Black bamboo canes
Bamboo Canes

Professional bamboo removal

At Environet, we’re used to tackling problematic invasive weeds – and a few decades of experience in removing and controlling them means we are well equipped to deal with this garden brute.

We specialise in situations which prove too much of a challenge for homeowners or their gardeners and where guarantees are required. Prices start from £1,200 + VAT.

Before we can identify the best solution for your property, we will need to undertake a comprehensive survey to assess the type, spread, damage that the bamboo has caused, along with other practical aspects such as access, service locations, and reinstatement work that will be needed.


Our approach is to excavate and remove all of the offending root/rhizome system. For mature stands, a lot of soil can be affected, so it’s no easy job. However, we’ve been successfully using a similar method on Japanese knotweed, a far more aggressive and invasive weed, for over 20 years, so for us bamboo removal is relatively straightforward. 


Sometimes our customers want to retain some of the bamboo to provide useful shelter or privacy from neighbours – for this reason, we offer containment and reduction solutions using vertical root barrier membranes to prevent the bamboo spreading into areas where you don’t want it to grow. The lateral runners can then be removed by physical excavation – these can be 30 ft long or more, but don’t worry, we can still remove them.

Despite all best endeavours, it’s possible some rhizome will remain in the ground, which may survive and send new shoots to the surface. These are then physically removed or herbicide treated on a follow-up visit.

Bamboo Guarantees

The nature of invasive plants, and their incredible regenerative power, means that despite all best endeavours, it’s possible some viable rhizome will remain in the ground after our works have been completed. As part of our commitment to you, our works come with a 12 month guarantee period as standard, during which we will complete monitoring visits to check for regrowth. Our team will advise whether visible growth will be physically removed or herbicide treated, depending on what we find. For ultimate peace of mind, many of our clients opt to extend their guarantee to 5 years.

Prevent costly damage to your property

Before & After

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Attempts to kill bamboo using herbicide are likely to fail, leaving only two practical approaches for those wanting their gardens bamboo free.


If you want to try to get rid of bamboo yourself then you could try the energy depletion method. This involves cutting the canes to ground level before new leaf appears, and repeating the process for many years, in the hope you deplete the energy reserves in the root/rhizome system. In theory, the rhizomes should die off and rot if they are exhausted. In practice you’ll be at it a long time, so may feel it is time to call in the professionals.

The reason that bamboo is so damaging is because, unlike other plants, individual bamboo culms emerge from the ground at their full diameter and grow to their maximum height in a single growing season of three to four months. When you combine this with the fact that some bamboos can travel over 10m from the parent plants, you can quickly find yourself in difficulty.
  • Lawns and flowerbeds can be overrun.
  • Overlying structures such as driveways and patios are easily damaged by both underground runners and emerging culms.
  • Bamboo can penetrate buildings, growing into cavity walls, through floor voids and into services like drains.

 Unfortunately, bamboo does not respect property boundaries. The rhizome system often spreads across boundaries, particularly in small urban or suburban gardens. In such circumstances it is usually best for the bamboo to be tackled as one, but this relies upon cooperation of all affected neighbours.

Cooperation and agreement are sadly often lacking resulting in legal redress in the form of private nuisance claims. Any owner of land affected by bamboo who allows their bamboo to spread into adjoining land has a potential legal liability in private nuisance for encroachment. There are also implications for the innocent party of encroachment as time and resources need to be expended to force an uncooperative neighbour into action. 

Our consultants will be able to advise you of the best course of action during a survey. We can also put you in touch with legal professionals who may be able to help.

We endeavour to leave your garden neat and tidy on completion, with the soil raked level and anything that we’ve had to remove, reinstated. It’s sometimes the case that we remove so much root mass, that you may need to import some new topsoil to make the levels up. We can generally foresee where this will be required ahead of time, and will advise you accordingly

We generally ask our client’s to wait until after the 1st monitoring visit before they replant or cover over any ground that we’ve cleared. This gives us the opportunity to pick up any small bits that we’ve missed and give you any further recommendations.

Our root barriers are made from a strong, heavy geotextile that is waterproof, resistant to bacteria and most chemicals and it’s completely recyclable. In addition, the root barrier is highly UV resistant so it can be left partially above the soil surface; this makes it easy to prune away the undesired runners that some plants produce. It also includes a 25 year warranty for preventing aggressive roots such as bamboo from growing through it!

  • Speak to your neighbour and attempt to resolve the issue amicably. They may not have realised the bamboo has spread or understand the risks posed to both properties.
  • Commission a professional to survey the property, to determine the source of the bamboo infestation, the extent of the problem and devise a plan to resolve it. It’s usually best for a bamboo infestation that has spread to multiple properties to be treated as one, but this relies on the cooperation of all the affected neighbours.
  • If the neighbour refuses to cooperate, you will need to notify them in writing and ask them to take action to prevent the ‘nuisance’.
  • If they still fail to tackle the problem satisfactorily, you may choose to seek legal advice and pursue a claim to recover removal costs, the cost of repairing any damage and your legal costs.
  • If a neighbour has bamboo in the garden which is threatening to encroach but has not yet crossed the boundary, alert them to the risks and ask them to remove it or install a root barrier to prevent its spread into your property.

What our clients say


What our clients say



Our team of experts is available between 9am and 5:30pm, Monday to Friday to answer your enquiries and advise you on the next steps

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