Wild Weeds – Weed of the Month
Golden bamboo is native to china and is actually a member of the grass family! Golden bamboo was originally introduced to the United States to be used as a natural vegetation visual & sound barrier. Unfortunately, bamboo is fast growing and can quickly take over a large area if not maintained regularly. Bamboo has become invasive across the southeast and even as far northwest as Oregon.
This plant can reach heights of 30 to 40 feet. Golden bamboo does not flower often, in fact it can take decades to see the plant flower. This type of bamboo reproduces by sending ‘runners’ with growing nodes out from the original plant, which will set down roots and increase the size of the original clump. Running types of bamboo are hard to contain and often will grow outside of containment attempts like barriers, ditches, etc.
New plantings of bamboo should not be considered due to its invasive nature. Existing sites should be removed or contained and managed to reduce the spread into natural areas.
Cutting and mowing can be used on small infestations or where herbicides cannot be used. Cut plants as close to the ground as possible. Repeat several times throughout the growing season as plants resprout. Monitoring and re-treatment will be necessary for several growing seasons until the energy reserves in the rhizomes are exhausted.
Chemical Foliar Spray Method: This method should be considered for large areas of bamboo where risk to non-target species is minimal. Foliar applications are most effective if canes are cut and herbicides applied to newly expanded leaves. Air temperature should be above 65°F to ensure absorption of herbicides. Glyphosate can be applied at a 5% solution in enough water to thoroughly wet all leaves. Use a low pressure and coarse spray pattern to reduce spray drift damage to non-target species. Imazapyr can be applied at a 1% solution and more effective than glyphosate. Glyphosate and imazapry are non-selective systemic herbicides that may kill non-target, partially sprayed plants. Also, imazapyr should not be sprayed if desirable trees are nearby.
Wild Weeds is a monthly spotlight written by Alicia Halbritter, Baker County Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent. Wild Weeds highlights plants you may find in Florida on the roadside, while hiking, in the forest, or possibly even in your yard. Searching for more information on a particular plant? Email Alicia at email@example.com for more information/questions.