Bamboo is a perennial plant of the grass family. While many of the bamboo species are native to tropical and subtropical portions of the world, some can tolerate cold weather. Bamboo also ranges in overall size, from small varieties that mature at 2 feet in height to others that tower over 100 feet tall. Pruning the bamboo plant may be more of a personal preference, but with some varieties that can become invasive it may also be a necessity. Pruning bamboo is also a method for harvesting tall growing varieties, and turning the bamboo canes into garden stakes or an old fashioned fishing rod.
Select canes that are either dead or creating a dense cane field.
Remove the selected canes using a pruning shear if the cane is small enough to fit inside the jaws of the shear. Cut the cane as close to the ground level as possible. This may entail making two cuts, so the final cut is as close to the soil line as possible. Make the first cut approximately 1 foot from the ground. The second cut is than made at the soil line of the bamboo plant.
Saw larger canes, using the pruning saw, if they will not fit in the jaws of the shears. Use the two cut rule as described in Step 2. The overall objective to make a clean cut to the cane at the soil level so the rooting rhizomes will not be damaged during the pruning or harvesting process.
Thin the bamboo grove if canes begin to show signs of mold growth or severe insect damage. Mold growth may occur on bamboo canes if not enough airflow can reach the interior of dense cane groves.