Preparation For The Bamboo Border Planting – RB Project #8.9

bamboo.border_prep1Why Use Bamboo?

You’ve probably heard me say it before, “Use the right plant in the right place”.  You want to make choices that ensure long-term success both in beauty and function.

There are numerous considerations when selecting plants, including cost.  This was a key factor in selecting Yellow Groove Bamboo (Phyllostachys aureosulcata).

We wanted screening that would reach 15 – 20′ to give much needed privacy for the new outdoor living space.  The backyard border was 270′ long.  There were some existing large, deciduous trees that were to remain – this meant light shade and root competition.

This bamboo would give us the height relatively quickly, thrive in the varying light conditions, deal with root competition and do this at a reasonable cost.

To deal with the “invasive” character of this bamboo, a barrier would be installed on all sides of the planting area.  I’ll cover that in my next post on this project.

bamboo.border_prep2Methods To Prevent Madness

Systems and methods are key to tackling any landscape project, even when doing a basic border planting using one variety of plant.  A disorganized, non-methodical approach adds additional time to the job, and the final outcome usually suffers too.

Dave Kennedy, one of our contributors on, is installing this bamboo screen.  Dave’s first phase is site prep.  This includes removing all the undesirable plant growth, digging-out the few good plants for transplant,  and rough grading the area.

Dave has a schedule for the “phases” of this job.  He also knows the materials, equipment and labor requirements for each phase.

bamboo.border_prep3The first picture shows the compact excavator ripping out the old vegetation.  One approach would be to first cut the tops of the plants and then remove the stumps afterwards.  Dave decides to remove the entire plant in one shot because of the recycling systems he has in place.  Your approach may differ depending on your circumstance and recycling method.

Tactics Depend On Capability

How you approach a job depends a great deal on your capability, certainly in terms of knowledge, but here I’m talking about available resources such as equipment, manpower (and their skill level) and then network connections for materials & services.  The resources available to you should determine the tactics you use to do the job.

Mechanical tree spades make transplanting very efficient.  Without this equipment you might decide that the time and manpower to move these trees is just not worth it.  Capability = Tactic.

bamboo.border_prep4This particular tree spade digs a 42″ diameter ball.  For these two evergreens that’s large enough to ensure transplanting success.

The wire baskets are sized to match the particular tree spade’s root ball.  Once the root ball is set into the burlap lined basket, Dave’s guys shave the excess soil off the top with a spade.

The final step before moving the plants into their new locations is to fold the burlap over and “star-tie” the wire baskets closed.bamboo.border_prep5

Here’s the previous post for this project. And here’s the next.

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    One Response to “Preparation For The Bamboo Border Planting – RB Project #8.9”

    1. Andrea Says:

      I use bamboo quite a bit. There are clumping forms that pretty much stay in there place.

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