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Local Plants Bamboozled by Bamboo

This is how bamboo looks when it sends out roots and spreads
When my family and I went down a bike track that we hadn't visited for about two months in Kellyville, we were shocked to find that the once bushy reserve had been swamped by bamboo.

Bamboo has been classified as a noxious (very bad) weed here in Sydney because it will grow in large quantities to the point where it will dominate the other plants. It is not native to Australia (it comes from Asia).

I rang Baulkham Hills Council Bushland Department and they told me that,
* Yes, the council is aware of the local bamboo problem, and
* Yes, we are taking certain steps to try and stop the bamboo from dominating our native trees.

...and this is how it looks when it takes hold just a few weeks later
The most effective method that the council use is the 'Cut and Paint'. This involes cutting the bamboo at the base and quickly painting over the roots with a special chemical such as "Round Up".

Councils cannot afford to spend the money needed to get rid of all the bamboo in their districts, which is where a bit of community weeding comes in handy.

So if you want to do your bit for the community, get out there with some strong secateurs and some weed killer and help try to keep our native bushland free from bamboo....don't forget to wear gloves to protect you from cuts and the chemicals. Always wash your skin after handling chemicals and read the instructions with an adult carefully.

Even if you only cleared a small patch each month, it may be enough to stop the bamboo from spreading. If you ring-up your local Council, they will be happy to give you advice. Some councils will also supply the weedkiller and an Australian shrub to plant in the place of the bamboo.

If you clear some bamboo, or that other noxious weed - privet, send us some before and after photos and we'll print them on the website.

By Alastair Wadlow

Information sourced from: Baulkham Hills Shire Council, Bushcare Department