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    • Hi Todd, for in-person Up By Roots seminars, you should check the ISA’s website. For the webinars that we offer with Jim Urban as a speaker, we should have one in the first quarter on this year. I see that you are already on our mailing list, so you will receive an email notification as soon as one has been scheduled!

  1. I work for a major public garden and we are planning an exhibit about roots. Is there a way to contact Mr. Urban as to the potential of a public lecture?

  2. Thanks heaps for a fantastic website. A very useful resource. I would like to reproduce the article you have written called Soil Organic Matter on my site: is that possible? if I make sure to clearly reference you? All the best and thank you Mara Ripani, Melbourne, Australia.

    • Hi Mara, thanks for your interest. You are welcome to reprint the article about soil organic matter. Please make sure to note who it is by, that it was published by DeepRoot, and to provide a link that to the original blog post. Thank you!

  3. Hi Jim,

    I’m a bit confused about bamboo barriers – in a newly bought house there’s beautiful Phyllostachys aurea about 30′ tall, planted in a rectangular area, 3 feet from the concrete foundation of the house. The bamboo bed is a rectangle. 20′ x 5′ and it’s just starting to escape (it’s pushing up bluestone on the non-house side. the long part of the rectangle is along the front of the house) from an inadequate wooden perimeter rim 4″ tall that was installed when it was planted in 2003.

    Also 3 years ago the owners planted some Phyllostachys nigra which they had in a pot and it’s just started pushing up canes up to 3′ from the pot. It’s about 4′ tall max, still a baby – nice though. I am relandscaping the area with railroad ties and want to put HDPE black plastic bamboo barrier around it all.

    I’m tempted by the 40mil 36″ deep. I’m in Lexington, MA zone 5a. goes down to -20c -5F max. hot humid summers. Last frost about May, first one about October.

    Do you think this is a good choice?

    Many thanks!


    • Hi Sarah, thanks for writing. (This is DeepRoot, not Jim, responding by the way). We typically specify the 24/40 for conditions like the one you describe, but every site is specific, and we’re not super familiar with that bamboo.
      I think that one of our distributors could help; I recommend Burton’s Bamboo Garden (513-899-3446).

  4. Hi Leda,
    The ‘New Guideline Specifications for Nursery Tree Quality’ from the Urban Tree Foundation, is great info and free. How long will it stay on the web site and will it always be free?
    Gwyd (UK)

    • Hello Gwyd,

      My understanding is that the specs are to remain free in perpetuity. I’m so glad you find them helpful. Please take full advantage of using them and spread the word so that others do, too!


  5. Greetings,

    I purchased a house late last summer that has a bamboo gove that the previous owner said was about 5 years old. I did not realize that when he showed me how to nix the two shoots that were in the yard how extensive the bamboo had already escaped if there is a barrier at all.

    The nightmare that began overnight early April with about two hundred reallly thick shoots over the yard (not an exaggeration), and continues today no matter how many runners I pull up.

    It is obviously a type of running bamboo, and in less than a week, 2 culms I missed in a flower bed grew taller than the house.

    So my question is — if I go back and trench around the original grove and try to establish a barrier — will that kill off the underground part that has spread over the entire back yard?

    From what I’ve read the only other option is to dig up the entire yard, pour industrial strength vinegar over it, do the vinegar again 2 or 3 weeks later, and then try to reestablish the soil using ash and other bases that might rejuvenate the soil.

    Any advice you can give would be most appreciative. I do love the way it looks, I just hate waking up every morning to 2′ to 4′ shoots that have popped up overnight over much of the yard. It has slowed down to probably 10 a day, however it is still very annoying.

    • Barbara,

      Thanks for your question. It sounds like you have some very aggressive bamboo on your hands.

      If you do trench around the original grove and use either hand pruners or a spade to cut the roots and rhizomes and then install a barrier, this should help to stop it from spreading further through the yard and making new establishments. However, it sounds like the bamboo that has spread underground has already formed new culms, so you would need to cut these new culms and dig out the remaining rhizomes there as well (otherwise those “independent” culms would continue growing).

      Before you do anything, though, I would recommend reaching out to Bamboo Sourcery (707) 823-5866 to discuss your situation with them. They are bamboo experts and can provide you more detailed guidance about your specific situation. They also sell our bamoo barrier so can advise you on how best to use it for your situation.


  6. Hi Nikki,

    That’s what I was afraid of … but it was unclear in the online sites. Most made it sound like if you cut the runners you solve the problem, but that didn’t make sense to me since I’ve pulled so many up and still had the issue.

    New establishment sounds like the correct situation.

    Your advice will help me make a better financial plan and not dread next spring so much if I have a plan to deal with it.

    I will call the number you gave for further advice.

    I appreciate you taking the time to respond! I value your advice!

  7. Jim, I am responsible for an existing 28

    I am responsible for caring for an existing 28″ Live Oak in a restaurant patio area that is presently getting renovated. The old brick patio was removed and there will be a new brick patio installed at the same level installed and I am hoping for some help or ideas for aeration or feeding tubes thru the brick surface. The WANE system is too large at 4″ diameter and hoping to go to a 2″ diameter system that would be far more compatible with the standard brick dimensions. The soil area beneath the surface is of course a 3-6″ layer of sand on existing soil and hoping to install something thru the brick pavers that stays in place but can be surfaced to do soil injection with suspended humates 1-2x per year. Any ideas? I used to install the 2″ tubes with a square steel cap but I am afraid that is too much potential for rust. I cannot find any manufactured products that make sense. Any help at all would be appreciated. Russ

  8. Hello, thanks for the good articles. I would like to share one of your articles (Virgin Plastic, Recycled Plastic, and Everything In Between written by Rebecca Stevens 29 Sep. 2014) on my company’s facebook page. Is it okay if I do so?

    Kind Regards

  9. I am looking for research and documentation about the root structure of a tree in the following senerio:
    -Black Locusts planted 1860 (an estimate) along a rural dirt road
    -Road paved sometime before 1950 (still researching date)
    -The center of these trees is 6′ from the edge of the asphalt
    -4’5″ feet from the ground: circumfrence 120″, diameter 38″
    -2018 a water line will be run down the middle of one of the two lanes of the road

    The town contends that because there is asphalt on top, that the damage to the tree will be negligable when they trench for the new waterline. I contend that because the tree was mature long before the road was paved, that the tree roots extend beyond the other side of the street and are still critical to tree health. I am looking for research backing this up to include in a letter to the town. I want to insist that an arborist be present whenever they are working on a place on the road where one of these old trees remains. I can find research on many other facets of urban trees, but nothing on this scenario.

    Thank you for your help. Kim

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