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18 Feb 2021 < Back

Invasive Bamboos; their impact and management in Great Britain & Ireland

We were pleased to see a new book appear on our desks recently (“Invasive Bamboos; their impact and management in Great Britain and Ireland”) as it covers an increasingly important and potentially complex area of invasive weed management.

Bamboos are members of a very large family of plants and straight away we must say it was a relief to know that the book covers the issue of identification and taxonomy in a very practical way. That is, rather than providing a comprehensive key to the bamboos they have identified the main Genera (13) and their broad characteristics (very useful glossary), then picked out those other plants that are most likely to be mistaken for bamboo based on either leaf or stem (or both) characteristics (various reeds, grasses and the knotweeds, particularly Himalayan).

Guiding specialists with their surveying & invasive weed management strategies

The biology and ecology of bamboo is similarly dealt with i.e. the authors are not vying for space with botanical text books – they focus on the practical features of the bamboo, those which explain its growth strategy which helps guide the invasive weed specialist when developing their surveying and management strategies.

But these are only the starters before the main course, the canapés before the feast. The authors are at pains to remind us that this is a book about ‘Managing Bamboo’ and as such it fills an important niche in the market. The fact that bamboos are not listed in Schedule 9 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 means that outside of botanical circles there hasn’t been much written before. This makes the book particularly useful and timely (see previous blog, ‘Bamboo: Why should knotweed get all the publicity?’).

Expert opinion & practical know-how – it's a must-buy!

At least half the book is given over to Case Histories and developing optimal management strategies (integrated weed management). In particular it addresses the challenge of achieving effective herbicide control (bamboo leaves are very waxy) and how to plan excavations. This latter is useful as, despite the superficial similarities with the canes of Japanese knotweed, bamboo culms are very tough indeed (‘woody’). Particularly pleasing is the use of a good blend of text and photos with the latter coming from the author’s own surveys and site work.

Written in an easy to read style the authors are to be congratulated on taking this on, especially as a lot of the work was done whilst they were all busy trying to keep businesses running during a global pandemic! The book is a small package but it packs a punch. If you are involved in any capacity in land or property management and want to tap in to expert opinion and a lot of practical know-how about bamboo control, we strongly recommend you buy a copy.

It’s a book you will definitely get your money’s-worth from, as all the signs are that bamboo encroachment or “The Great Escape’” is rapidly making this humble grass the new knotweed of the 20’s.

View the Book – Invasive Bamboos >>

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