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As a rule, bamboo with larger diameter canes will not have foliage lower down on the cane, so if you need dense screening all the way to the ground, choose a smaller species. A mature grove of tall bamboo, such as Phyllostachys nigra Henon, will not have foliage at the lower level, but there are usually enough canes to create a visual block from the ground up to where the foliage begins. Bamboo will naturally grow denser every year. Shorter bamboos such as Pseudosasa and Sasa , and Fargesia usually grow very dense.

Usually not but it can if the foundation is old and already failing. In general, we recommend not planting a bamboo too close to the side of the house; leave a couple of feet for maintenance. We have seen bamboo squished up against a house coming up through the siding. There was even one memorable occasion when a foundation without underground footing had been installed, and the bamboo came up inside the house through the heating ducts!

These are extreme cases that can be easily prevented by proper annual maintenance, and not allowing the bamboo to grow tightly along the side of a house. Phyllostachys aurea , for example, is on a year flowering cycle, and Fargesia all seem to be on to year flowering cycles. For these reasons bamboo seed from specific species is usually not available. We have grown over 20, seedlings from Fargesia murielae and F.

Young seedlings are very sensitive for years before they finally stabilize; until then they do best in a controlled environment, such as a heated greenhouse, in order to flourish and grow on to a size that can be planted out in the elements.

2. Is Bamboo a Tree or a Grass?

You can also contact the American Bamboo Society, as members could have some seed available for purchase. Growing form seeds will certainly not save time and effort to produce a bamboo grove or screen, but it can be a fun, educational process. Bamboo is dormant in the winter, so the best time to fertilize is in the spring and summer. We usually fertilize our groves in February, about months before the bamboos shooting period, and again in the July or August, as the rhizomes are expanding. If the bamboo is in a container, it may need to be fed more often to maintain good appearance.

The application rate depends on the type of fertilizer used. For bamboo in the ground, organic fertilizer, such as mushroom compost, aged horse manure, fish meal, feather meal, or blood meal are all good options. Composts will break down into a layer of rich topsoil which provides the bamboo a premium growing area and a source of food. For a commercial fertilizer that can be broadcast on top, and for bamboo in pots, we use a slow-release turf fertilizer. The formulation is not critical, but bamboo will respond well to high nitrogen.

Follow the application rate specified on the fertilizer package. Over fertilizing bamboo is difficult to do, but excessive amounts of nitrogen can lead to aphid problems or weakened canes. Clumpers are more drought tolerant than runners because they root fairly deep, but runners have higher tolerance of dry, hot air.

In particular, Semiarundinaria fastuosa , Phyllostachys decora, P. See Landscape Uses. Bamboo planted in dry climates needs to be watered regularly for the first years until it becomes well rooted. Ideally, about an inch a week, the same as a law in applications per week. In many climates, after the bamboo has been in the ground for years, water is no longer necessary for survival.

How does bamboo grow?

Not usually, however in the Southeastern US, bamboo is native, so sometimes the deer will recognize it as a food source. Sometimes they will discover the new shoots and eat a few, but it has never been a serious problem for us. Bamboo is usually pest-free; however some species are prone to aphids. There is also a bamboo mite, an import from Asia, that can damage the leaves. Both of these issues are usually more cosmetic than a real threat to the plant. In the South, in a coastal climate, Phyllostachys can develop brown spots on the canes due to a harmless fungus.

There have also been reports in the Southeast of a disease that top kills bamboo, but nothing has been discovered as to the cause. They also prefer to keep their rhizomes very shallow, which makes them easier to locate. Try to follow every rhizome and get it out of the ground. If not possible, you can leave fragmented rhizomes in the ground which will produce small, wispy new shoots if they are no longer attached to a mature plant. Cut off the new shoots after they start to produce new leaves. This will deplete the rhizomes' energy if they cannot photosynthesize. They will gradually rot out of the ground.

Be sure to use a heavy-duty, all-steel shovel the King of Spades shovels we carry, for example as shovels with wooden or fiberglass handles will most likely break. Stump grinders, if you can get one into the area, are a good method for removing a dense mat of rhizomes quickly and effectively. Another method is to cut the bamboo to the ground, and continue to remove all new growth as soon as it comes up. This eventually starves the bamboo out, but can take as long as three years to complete.

ABS - Introduction to Hardy Bamboos

Unfortunately, this also leaves the rhizomes in the soil, which makes replanting the area difficult. Not really. It will often cause the new shoots to abort, but the rhizomes can continue to spread underground. You need heavy applications of seriously toxic chemicals to spray bamboo out and have it be effective. We do not recommend this, with regard to protect. Most likely not; the amount of salt needed to seriously harm or kill a bamboo is massive. What types of clumping bamboo do you carry? We grow many different kinds of clumping bamboo.

For cold hardy clumpers see this link: Hardy Clumping Bamboo For subtropical clumping bamboo for the south, see cold -sensitive clumping bamboo. One plant has multiple canes connected by a root system. It is not necessary to pull the roots apart to promote faster growth, usually manipulating bamboo roots is counterproductive. It is possible to make divisions of your bamboo for future plantings elsewhere, but we recommend waiting at least 3 years before digging starts from your original plant.

Removing pieces of the plant when it is still young will drastically slow down the growth rate. How large are bamboos you supply and ship? Our Standard shipping sizes for UPS Boxes are 1 through 5 gallon bamboos, with 10 gallons shipped on a pallet. The height of the individual plant varies depending on the species. In general a 1 gallon size plant is feet tall, canes, sometimes feet. A 2 gallon is feet on average, canes, but can be as tall as 5 feet. A 5 gallon is usually feet tall, canes, but can be as big as 7 feet, but plants of this size are difficult to ship by standard UPS methods.

Fargesia tend to be shorter and bushier than Phyllostachys ; a 5 gallon F. You are always welcome to call to inquire about the specific height of the bamboo you wish to purchase. We guarantee our bamboo to arrive in healthy condition, ready to plant in the landscape. Call to inquire about details. We supply many commercial landscaping projects and even some larger residential jobs, or large retail garden centers. The main concern is that the unloading area can accommodate a truck of that size. If you want truly large bamboo delivered to your door, usually we can find a way to make it happen for a reasonable cost.

Imagine an instant 30 foot tall screen, by 30 feet in length, to completely screen out your neighbors new 3 story monstrosity. Many species have edible new shoots. All the Phyllostachys, for example, are edible, although some of them have a bitter or stringent after taste when eaten raw.

Many Chusquea shoots are also very tasty. Usually the canned bamboo shoots you buy in stores are Phyllostachys edulis from China or, if imported from Thailand, Dendrocalamus asper. The best tasting shoots from bamboo that can be grown in the US come from Phyllostachys edulis , P. The young leaves of bamboo in the Sasa genus can be cooked while still rolled up and eaten, as well.

They are also used to wrap and cook rice. Bamboo canes will not grow any taller once they are topped, so it is a once-a-year process of cutting the younger canes after they leaf out. Cut the cane just above the node. Because bamboo cannot regain the lost height, it will get bushier in response to the pruning. Just be sure to leave some branches on the cane, otherwise the individual cane will die back to ground level.

You can find a guide to pruning bamboo here: Bamboo care. Is there a clumping bamboo that has large diameter canes and is cold hardy? At best, an inch diameter is the largest cane you can achieve from cold hardy clumpers. Borinda macclureana , Chusquea culeou , C. If you want fat canes in a cold climates Zone 5 through 8 , you need to plant a Phyllostachys. Phyllostachys edulis is usually used for flooring and scaffolding; P. See this section of our website for information about bamboo canes.

Animals will often chew on it, but the leaves are actually rather nutritious and totally non-toxic which is why, if you have horses, goats, cows, or sheep, you can use bamboo for a nutritious winter forage crop. Some species, especially those with weaker canes, like Phyllostachys vivax , can break in the snow, but it is rare for the canes to actually break on account of the wind. Most bamboo just bend in bad weather and then pop back upright.

Overall the most upright bamboo during severe storms have been P. If the soil is too loose at the surface, or the bamboo roots have been compromised by voles and gophers, strong wind and snow may uproot individual canes. Small diameter canes will lean more, pulled down by the weight of the foliage. Bamboo in shade leans quite a bit looking for light.

Snow, ice, and to a lesser extent, rain, can weigh down canes. Sometimes younger canes will have trouble coming back upright after a heavy snow load is dumped on them. Newly planted bamboo, during the first three years of life in a new location, will often produce smaller, weepier canes as it is getting established. Sometimes during the summer, rhizome tips emerge from the ground and try to become canes. These we call "whips" and usually remove from mature bamboos. Removing them is usually of little consequence other than cosmetics. They can also be tied or staked up, if it seems important to you.

Most hardy clumpers are shade loving plants, but there are a few that can tolerate more sun than others. Thamnocalamus tesselatus actually flourishes in full in in the PNW, but may require some shade if grown in an area that commonly has high humidity in the summer. Fargesia robusta , Fargesia sp. The above cold hardy bamboos will not grow in the south.

Cold hardy clumping bamboo. For sun loving clumpers in hot southern climates where there is minimal frost in the winter, use bamboo belonging to the Bambusa genus. If you want large diameter, black canes in a cooler climate, the only option is Phyllostachys nigra which is a runner.. I want a very large diameter bamboo that is short'. Does that exist? Cane diameter directly related to height, so for truly massive canes you need a taller bamboo. You can, however, grow a tall bamboo and keep it topped to a certain height. And what growth it is! The Chinese Bamboo Tree grows 80 feet in just six weeks!

Did the Chinese Bamboo Tree lie dormant for four years only to grow exponentially in the fifth? Or, was the little tree growing underground, developing a root system strong enough to support its potential for outward growth in the fifth year and beyond? The answer is, of course, obvious. Had the tree not developed a strong unseen foundation it could not have sustained its life as it grew.

The same principle is true for people. People, who patiently toil towards worthwhile dreams and goals, building strong character while overcoming adversity and challenge, grow the strong internal foundation to handle success, while get-rich- quickers and lottery winners usually are unable to sustain unearned sudden wealth. The struggle in the cocoon is what gives the future butterfly the wing power to fly, just as tension against muscles as we exercise strengthen our muscles, while muscles left alone will soon atrophy.

The Chinese Bamboo Tree is a perfect parable to our own experience with personal growth and change whether we are working on ourselves or coaching others. It is never easy. But it is sooooo worth it…. This is the critical variable in attaining new skills — in developing ourselves and others. It is our ability to stay persistent even when we are unable to see any growth on the surface….

In a culture driven by instant gratification — this is our biggest challenge. We live in a quick-fix society. We get frustrated if we have to wait more than 2 minutes for service or a stop light to change. We want instant solutions to every complex problem and every fractured relationship. In short — we want it all now! In addition, rhizomes pile up against the barrier and often escape over the top or under the bottom.

Strong rhizomes and tools can penetrate plastic easily, so care must be taken. In small areas, regular root pruning maintenance may be the best method for controlling the running bamboos. Barriers and edging are unnecessary for clump-forming bamboos, although these may eventually need to have portions removed if they become too large. The ornamental plant marketed as "lucky bamboo" is an entirely unrelated plant, Dracaena sanderiana. It is a resilient member of the lily family that grows in the dark, tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia and Africa. Images of the plant widely available on the Web are often used to depict bamboo.

Phyllostachys species of bamboo are also considered invasive and illegal to sell or propagate in some areas of the US. Although the shoots new culms that come out of the ground of bamboo contain a toxin taxiphyllin a cyanogenic glycoside that produces cyanide in the gut, proper processing renders them edible.

They are used in numerous Asian dishes and broths, and are available in supermarkets in various sliced forms, in both fresh and canned versions.

The Bamboos - You Ain't No Good

The golden bamboo lemur ingests many times the quantity of the taxiphyllin-containing bamboo that would kill a human. The bamboo shoot in its fermented state forms an important ingredient in cuisines across the Himalayas. In Assam, India, for example, it is called khorisa. In Indonesia , they are sliced thin and then boiled with santan thick coconut milk and spices to make a dish called gulai rebung.

Other recipes using bamboo shoots are sayur lodeh mixed vegetables in coconut milk and lun pia sometimes written lumpia : fried wrapped bamboo shoots with vegetables.

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The shoots of some species contain toxins that need to be leached or boiled out before they can be eaten safely. Pickled bamboo, used as a condiment, may also be made from the pith of the young shoots. The sap of young stalks tapped during the rainy season may be fermented to make ulanzi a sweet wine or simply made into a soft drink.

Bamboo leaves are also used as wrappers for steamed dumplings which usually contains glutinous rice and other ingredients. Many Nepalese restaurants around the world serve this dish as aloo bodi tama. Fresh bamboo shoots are sliced and pickled with mustard seeds and turmeric and kept in glass jar in direct sunlight for the best taste. It is used alongside many dried beans in cooking during winters.

In Sambalpur , India, the tender shoots are grated into juliennes and fermented to prepare kardi. The name is derived from the Sanskrit word for bamboo shoot, karira. This fermented bamboo shoot is used in various culinary preparations, notably amil , a sour vegetable soup. It is also made into pancakes using rice flour as a binding agent.

The shoots that have turned a little fibrous are fermented, dried, and ground to sand-sized particles to prepare a garnish known as hendua. It is also cooked with tender pumpkin leaves to make sag green leaves. In Konkani cuisine, the tender shoots kirlu are grated and cooked with crushed jackfruit seeds to prepare kirla sukke.

The empty hollow in the stalks of larger bamboo is often used to cook food in many Asian cultures. Soups are boiled and rice is cooked in the hollows of fresh stalks of bamboo directly over a flame. Similarly, steamed tea is sometimes rammed into bamboo hollows to produce compressed forms of Pu-erh tea. Cooking food in bamboo is said to give the food a subtle but distinctive taste. In addition, bamboo is frequently used for cooking utensils within many cultures, and is used in the manufacture of chopsticks. In modern times, some see bamboo tools as an ecofriendly alternative to other manufactured utensils.

Bamboo charcoal has been traditionally used as fuel in China and Japan. Bamboo can also be utilized as a biofuel crop. The pen would then be dipped in ink for writing. Bamboo was used by humans for various purposes at a very early time. Categories of Bambooworking include:. Bamboo, like true wood , is a natural composite material with a high strength-to-weight ratio useful for structures.

In its natural form, bamboo as a construction material is traditionally associated with the cultures of South Asia, East Asia, and the South Pacific, to some extent in Central and South America, and by extension in the aesthetic of Tiki culture. In China and India, bamboo was used to hold up simple suspension bridges , either by making cables of split bamboo or twisting whole culms of sufficiently pliable bamboo together.

One such bridge in the area of Qian-Xian is referenced in writings dating back to AD and may have stood since as far back as the third century BC, due largely to continuous maintenance. Bamboo has also long been used as scaffolding; the practice has been banned in China for buildings over six stories, but is still in continuous use for skyscrapers in Hong Kong.

In Japanese architecture , bamboo is used primarily as a supplemental or decorative element in buildings such as fencing, fountains, grates, and gutters, largely due to the ready abundance of quality timber. Various structural shapes may be made by training the bamboo to assume them as it grows. Squared sections of bamboo are created by compressing the growing stalk within a square form. Arches may similarly be created by forcing the bamboo's growth into the desired form, costing much less than it would to obtain the same shape with regular wood timber.

More conventional forming methods, such as the application of heat and pressure, may also be used to curve or flatten the cut stalks. Bamboo can be cut and laminated into sheets and planks. This process involves cutting stalks into thin strips, planing them flat, and boiling and drying the strips; they are then glued, pressed, and finished. The bamboo goods industry which also includes small goods, fabric, etc.

Bamboo intended for use in construction should be treated to resist insects and rot. The most common solution for this purpose is a mixture of borax and boric acid. Another process involves boiling cut bamboo to remove the starches that attract insects. Bamboo has been used as reinforcement for concrete in those areas where it is plentiful, though dispute exists over its effectiveness in the various studies done on the subject.

Bamboo does have the necessary strength to fulfil this function, but untreated bamboo will swell with water absorbed from the concrete, causing it to crack. Several procedures must be followed to overcome this shortcoming. Several institutes, businesses, and universities are researching the use of bamboo as an ecological construction material. In the United States and France, it is possible to get houses made entirely of bamboo, [ citation needed ] which are earthquake- and cyclone-resistant and internationally certified. Three ISO standards are given for bamboo as a construction material.

In parts of India, bamboo is used for drying clothes indoors, both as a rod high up near the ceiling to hang clothes on, and as a stick wielded with acquired expert skill to hoist, spread, and to take down the clothes when dry. It is also commonly used to make ladders, which apart from their normal function, are also used for carrying bodies in funerals.

In Maharashtra , the bamboo groves and forests are called Veluvana , the name velu for bamboo is most likely from Sanskrit, while vana means forest. Bamboo is known as veduru in Telugu. Bamboo poles are also used for picking ripe fruits from tall trees like papaya, coconut, and mango.

Thin bamboo slats are used for weaving wattles and baskets in South India. In many rural areas, the wattles are often used as walls for homes, cattle pens, or for constructing huts. Furthermore, bamboo is also used to create flagpoles for saffron -coloured, Hindu religious flags, which can be seen fluttering across India, especially in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh , as well as in Guyana and Suriname in South America.

Bamboo was used for the structural members of the India pavilion at Expo in Shanghai. The dome is supported on m-long steel piles and a series of steel ring beams. The bamboo was treated with borax and boric acid as a fire retardant and insecticide and bent in the required shape. The bamboo sections were joined with reinforcement bars and concrete mortar to achieve the necessary lengths. The usual process by which textiles labeled as being made of bamboo are produced uses only rayon made from the fibers with heavy employment of chemicals.

To accomplish this, the fibers are broken down with chemicals and extruded through mechanical spinnerets; the chemicals include lye , carbon disulfide , and strong acids. Under the guidelines of both agencies, these products must be labeled as rayon with the optional qualifier "from bamboo". Bamboo was in widespread use in early China as a medium for written documents. The earliest surviving examples of such documents, written in ink on string-bound bundles of bamboo strips or "slips" , date from the 5th century BC during the Warring States period. However, references in earlier texts surviving on other media make it clear that some precursor of these Warring States period bamboo slips was in use as early as the late Shang period from about BC.

Bamboo or wooden strips were used as the standard writing material during the early Han dynasty , and excavated examples have been found in abundance. Bamboo fiber has been used to make paper in China since early times. A high-quality, handmade paper is still produced in small quantities. Coarse bamboo paper is still used to make spirit money in many Chinese communities. Bamboo pulps are mainly produced in China, Myanmar , Thailand, and India, and are used in printing and writing papers. Ballarpur Chandrapur, Maharstra paper mills use bamboo for paper production.

The most common bamboo species used for paper are Dendrocalamus asper and Bambusa blumeana. It is also possible to make dissolving pulp from bamboo. The average fiber length is similar to hardwoods , but the properties of bamboo pulp are closer to softwood pulps due to it having a very broad fiber length distribution. Bamboo has often been used to construct weapons and is still incorporated in several Asian martial arts. Bamboo has a long history of use in Asian furniture. Chinese bamboo furniture is a distinct style based on a millennia-long tradition, and bamboo is also used for floors due to its high hardness.

Several manufacturers offer bamboo bicycles , surfboards, snowboards, and skateboards. Due to its flexibility, bamboo is also used to make fishing rods. The split cane rod is especially prized for fly fishing.


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Bamboo has been traditionally used in Malaysia as a firecracker called a meriam buluh or bamboo cannon. Four-foot-long sections of bamboo are cut, and a mixture of water and calcium carbide are introduced. The resulting acetylene gas is ignited with a stick, producing a loud bang. Bamboo can be used in water desalination. A bamboo filter is used to remove the salt from seawater [ dubious — discuss ].

Many ethnic groups in remote areas that have water access in Asia use bamboo that is 3—5 years old to make rafts. Once the poles are lined up together, they cut a hole crosswise through the poles at each end and use a small bamboo pole pushed through that hole like a screw to hold all the long bamboo poles together. Floating houses use whole bamboo stalks tied together in a big bunch to support the house floating in the water. Bamboo is also used to make eating utensils such as chopsticks, trays, and tea scoops. The Song Dynasty — AD Chinese scientist and polymath Shen Kuo — used the evidence of underground petrified bamboo found in the dry northern climate of Yan'an , Shanbei region, Shaanxi province to support his geological theory of gradual climate change.

Bamboo's long life makes it a Chinese symbol of uprightness and an Indian symbol of friendship. The rarity of its blossoming has led to the flowers' being regarded as a sign of impending famine. This may be due to rats feeding upon the profusion of flowers, then multiplying and destroying a large part of the local food supply. The most recent flowering began in May see Mautam. Bamboo is said to bloom in this manner only about every 50 years see 28—60 year examples in FAO: 'gregarious' species table.


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These four plants also represent the four seasons and, in Confucian ideology, four aspects of the junzi "prince" or "noble one". The "Three Friends of Winter" is traditionally used as a system of ranking in Japan, for example in sushi sets or accommodations at a traditional ryokan. The Bozo ethnic group of West Africa take their name from the Bambara phrase bo-so , which means "bamboo house". Bamboo is also the national plant of St. Bamboo, one of the " Four Gentlemen " bamboo, orchid, plum blossom and chrysanthemum , plays such an important role in traditional Chinese culture that it is even regarded as a behavior model of the gentleman.

As bamboo has features such as uprightness, tenacity, and modesty, people endow bamboo with integrity, elegance, and plainness, though it is not physically strong. Countless poems praising bamboo written by ancient Chinese poets are actually metaphorically about people who exhibited these characteristics. An ancient poet, Bai Juyi — , thought that to be a gentleman, a man does not need to be physically strong, but he must be mentally strong, upright, and perseverant.

Just as a bamboo is hollow-hearted, he should open his heart to accept anything of benefit and never have arrogance or prejudice. Bamboo is not only a symbol of a gentleman, but also plays an important role in Buddhism, which was introduced into China in the first century. As canons of Buddhism forbids cruelty to animals, flesh and egg were not allowed in the diet.

Preparation methods developed over thousands of years have come to be incorporated into Asian cuisines, especially for monks. In ancient times, those who could afford a big house with a yard would plant bamboo in their garden. In Japan, a bamboo forest sometimes surrounds a Shinto shrine as part of a sacred barrier against evil. Many Buddhist temples also have bamboo groves. Bamboo plays an important part of the culture of Vietnam.

How does bamboo grow?

Bamboo also symbolizes the Vietnamese hometown and Vietnamese soul: the gentlemanlike, straightforwardness, hard working, optimism, unity, and adaptability. Therefore, the Vietnam nation and Vietnamese value will be maintained and developed eternally. Several Asian cultures, including that of the Andaman Islands , believe humanity emerged from a bamboo stem. In Malaysia , a similar story includes a man who dreams of a beautiful woman while sleeping under a bamboo plant; he wakes up and breaks the bamboo stem, discovering the woman inside.

The Japanese folktale " Tale of the Bamboo Cutter " Taketori Monogatari tells of a princess from the Moon emerging from a shining bamboo section. An ancient Vietnamese legend The Hundred-knot Bamboo Tree tells of a poor, young farmer who fell in love with his landlord's beautiful daughter.