Certain varieties of bamboo can grow to be quite tall. However, bamboo isn't a tree but an ornamental grass. In fact, bamboo is the fastest growing grass in the world. The culms, or stalks, of some bamboo species grow as quickly as 3 feet per day during the growing season, and the tallest bamboo species can reach nearly 200 feet in height. If not annually trimmed, bamboo can quickly outgrow its welcome.
Wait until early winter to trim bamboo. At this time the bamboo has stopped growing and expanding. Cutting before then may kill the bamboo culm.
"Top" the culms or reduce their height by cutting them from the top. Use a sharp pair of pruning shears to cut the bamboo just above one of the nodes. The node is the joint on the bamboo culm where the segments meet. If you leave too much of a stub above the node, it will eventually die back and look unattractive.
Maintain the bamboo. Once yearly, you should trim off any dead, broken or poorly placed stalks of bamboo. Brown, dead leaves can be pulled off by hand.
Shape the bamboo according to your personal preference. If your bamboo is looking unruly, remove some of the small culms, lower or side branches to thin your bamboo or give it a more uniform shape. If your bamboo has not been topped, trimming these small culms and branches will cause the bamboo to grow faster if it has not reached its terminal height.