Bamboo: How to make the cut

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The good news first: You are allowed to cut the bamboo. Before you start with the scissors, you should deal with the growth of the plants. This differs fundamentally from that of the trees and shrubs.
Despite the woody shoots, the bamboo botanically speaking is not a woody plant, but a decorative grass. It differs from almost all other ornamental grasses in that it forms perennial stalks and therefore can not simply be cut off at ground level in spring. The bamboo stands the winter in our latitudes in the leafy state. Depending on how much it freezes, it casts some leaves during the cold season, but they grow back in the spring.

Each straw grows only one season

While the classic trees and shrubs lengthen their shoots every year with new growth on the tops, each bamboo stick grows for only one season. It drifts out of the subterranean rhizome in the spring and reaches its final height until the end of the season, in the following years it forms depending on the type at the Halmknoten only short leafy side shoots. How high the bamboo gets depends mainly on the age of the plant and of course on the climate as well as the nutrient and water supply. The stalks of young plants, even in the very strong varieties of the flat-tube bamboo (Phyllostachys) initially no longer than about three feet. Halm lengths over eight meters can only be reached with over ten-year specimens - but this growth also takes place within one season!

Flat tube bamboo with greenish-yellow stem markings

Flat-tube bamboo (Phyllostachys aureosulcata 'Aureocaulis') with beautiful green-yellow culm

Auslichtungschnitt for flat tube bamboo

Many varieties of the flat-tube bamboo bear green, yellow, reddish or black-colored stalks, some even show decorative green longitudinal stripes on a yellow background. The coloring of the three- to four-year-old stalks is usually the most beautiful. In the black flat-bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra), for example, the younger shoots wear a dark patch pattern and take only from the third year a uniform brown-black color. On older stalks, on the other hand, the tooth of time is increasingly gnawing. They weather from the outside and often become slightly greyish. After ten years at the most, they have usually passed the zenith and are dying. However, this is a natural rejuvenation process that does not harm the plant - it replicates new stalks every year.
However, it does not hurt to rejuvenate the halibut every year so that the bamboo always presents itself from its most beautiful side. Cauliflower stalks can be easily cut off in the fall or, even better, in the spring before the new sprouting with a strong pruning shears at ground level. At the same time, more light gets into the bamboo grove, while the other younger stalks turn out better and usually form additional, leafy side shoots. The umbrella bamboo (Fargesia) can also be made according to this principle. However, this is usually not necessary because the stems are much denser and visually anyway only the outer, young stalks appear in appearance.

Shape umbrella bamboo clumps

The dense clumps of the umbrella bamboo (Fargesia) have another problem. They tend to fall apart, especially after snowy winters. Often, even a strong rain shower is enough so that a stalk sticks out of the side of the nest and can not be reintegrated. This is mainly due to the fact that the blades of the umbrella bamboo are comparatively thin and, depending on their length, carry a high mass of leaves. When that happens, you can simply trim the blades to a desired height. They then set themselves free again, freed from part of the leaves.

bamboo hedge

Bamboo is well suited for sight hedges

Cut bamboo hedges

As a bamboo hedge is usually planted Schirmbambus, rarely Flachrohrbambus, because the latter forms long foothills and therefore needs a rhizome barrier. When cutting a bamboo hedge, you must first of all pay attention that every stalk that you cut off does not continue to grow in contrast to the branches of a woody hedge. So do not prune the stalks so much that they are shorter than the hedge should be high. Gardening professionals usually make a step cut in bamboo hedges: the stalks in the middle are trimmed to the desired height with a sharp hand hedge trimmer or pruning shears to provide good privacy, and the sides cut a little shorter to allow them to stay in the lower hedge area good.
In the following years, only the new blades have to be trimmed according to the hedgerow profile. However, you do not cut bamboo hedges like normal hedges in summer, but preferably in late autumn or - in colder regions - in the spring before the new shoot.The side shoots projecting from the flanks of the bamboo hedge are trimmed to a uniform length with the hedge trimmer as with a normal hedge, after cutting the stalks. Cut stalks form a particularly dense Seitenbelaubung with all bamboos and the short branches drift again after the neck.

Ground cover area with dwarf bamboo Sasa pumila

Dwarf Bamboo (Pleiobastus pygmaeus)

Cut dwarf bamboo

Dwarf bamboo (Pleiobastus pymaeus) is often planted in Asian-designed gardens as an easy-care groundcover. But he absolutely needs a rhizome barrier, as it spreads very strong with its rhizomes and easily suppresses most other plants to higher trees. If you want to rejuvenate such a groundcover area, because the foliage has become unsightly, you can also do this in the spring. The dwarf-bamboo, like most perennials, does not have any problem with a complete ground-level pruning. The plants are so vigorous that they reliably drive out of their rhizomes again.

Video Board: How to cut a hole in bamboo for bamboo to go into.

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