Bamboo is a grassy plant with thick upright stalks that can reach 8 feet tall or higher. Some bamboo varieties spread aggressively through underground rhizomes and some grow into a clump. However, all types of bamboo form a thick and heavy root base. When shipping bamboo the root divisions with viable rhizome buds are more important than top growth even if you are shipping the clumping varieties. Because the root base is so important for transplanting success the root base can create a heavy package weighing up to 5 pounds or more when shipping bamboo.
In early spring, find a clump of bamboo where the stalks are growing close together or a clump that has several new shoots coming from the ground. This will ensure that you have plenty of active rhizomes available in the smallest possible amount of root base.
Cut the stalks of the bamboo you are preparing to dig to 4-6 inches from the ground with garden loppers depending on the size of the box you are using to ship. Do not cut new shoots that are coming up around the stalks.
Dig the root base out of the ground by inserting the sharp shovel around the pruned clumps and any new shoots and prying the clump from the ground. This may take some effort. After digging, pull the clump from the ground and divide again using the sharp shovel if it is too big for the shipping box or container. Don't worry if a good amount of dirt falls off the root base during the process.
Immediately wrap the root base with thick plastic to prevent moisture from escaping. Wrap the thick plastic around the top of the root base securing around or over the remaining stalks with packing tape or string.
Put in box using thick sections of twisted newspaper to secure the root base so it cannot move around in the box. Seal the outside of the box very well with packing tape, label and ship. Instruct recipient to plant as soon as the plant is received.