This bamboo has been in the same pot for 10+ years. It was well and truly time for it to be split up and potted on. The roots were creeping over the top and there was no room to hold any water. The bamboo was suffering from the overcrowding and the dry.
We didn't want to sacrifice the pot, which is terracotta and a good size, so after soaking the whole thing over night we tried blasting the soil out with the pressure washer, in the hopes that the roots would then loosen their grip on the pot.
No chance! So then Simon drilled a larger drainage hole in the bottom and tried thwacking the root ball from underneath. A few pebbles fell out, but otherwise no movement, so we retreated for a think.
The next day, it was time to get serious. Out came the 'Alligator', a reciprocating saw, which will chew through anything. It duly chewed through the bamboo roots...
...but they still weren't going to come out without a fight!
Once Simon got that first little bit out though, the whole thing lifted out and he was able to saw it up.
Crude, radical, but ultimately effective, saving both pot and the 'bush'. The pieces have now been planted in three pots in the hope that they will form a light screen between us and the street on our front courtyard.
The original pot now holds a promoted Osmanthus x burkwoodii, visible over the corner of the green bench seat in the foreground.