How to Cut Down Bamboo Plants


Bamboo is known for its ability to easily proliferate. For gardeners, this plant can be a nuisance, requiring regular removal and maintenance. Bamboo is a rhizome that creates an underground networks of roots and stems and can be hard to kill from above ground. Fortunately, there are some safe and easy ways to cut down bamboo plants in your garden.

Step 1

Determine the stalks you want to cut. Clumps of bamboo are usually one single plant connected underground. You will need to separate what you want to cut from what you want to let grow. Dead or dying stalks should also be removed.

Step 2

Notice the diameter of the stalks you wish to cut. Stalks less than 3 inches in diameter can be cut using a hand saw or heavy lopper. Anything larger requires a chainsaw.

Step 3

Find the lowest node on the stalk you wish to cut. This is a horizontal ring located every few inches on each bamboo stalk. The lowest node will depend on the height you want your bamboo plant to be after cutting.

Step 4

Use your saw to cut down the bamboo plant. Cut just above the lowest node with slow, repetitive movements so as not to crack or splinter the wood.

Step 5

Repeat until each stalk is cut down. If using a chainsaw, you can cut multiple stalks at once if they are located close together.

Tips and Warnings

  • If you want to fully eradicate a bamboo plant, cutting down above ground stalks will not do the trick. You will have to use herbicide or dig a ditch and place a rhizome barrier beneath the ground.

Things You'll Need

  • Fine-toothed saw


  • American Bamboo Society
  • Bamboo Garden
Keywords: cut plants, bamboo, rhizomes

About this Author

Kelsey Erin Shipman has worked as a travel writer, poet, journalist and award-winning photographer since 2004. Her work has appeared in various newspapers, magazines and journals. Shipman has also authored three collections of poetry: "Cold Days," "Bastante" and "Short Poems." She earned a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Southwestern University.