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Timber grade bamboo for PNW or Costal B.C.?

 
Dale Hodgins
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   My property is a couple hundred feet above sea level on Vancouver Island, 9 miles inland. My winters are not quite as mild as those in Seattle or Victoria as I often receive winter snows which last for up to three weeks.    I have perfect southern exposure and unlimited water with an enormous variety of drainage conditions. During the summer I get much more heat than they do along the coast. So my only limiting factor is winter temperature which sometimes drops to 22°F or about -8 Celsius. Not cold by Siberian standards but quite cold for Vancouver Island.

    There are plenty of ornamental varieties of bamboo which I've seen grown on this island but I have no use for useless plants. I want to grow something that will be at least 2 1/2 inches in diameter so that the poles will have a useful function beyond garden stakes. I don't mind growing a running variety.I want to plant both sides of the road in one spot so as to create a closed tunnel look upon entry to that zone of the property.

   Has anyone in British Columbia or Washington state had success growing timber grade bamboo. I prefer something with thick walls and nice straight poles. Golden bamboo grows well here but it's low grade poles are not what I have in mind.

    Any help with this would be appreciated.
 
                                        
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http://www.bamboogarden.com/Timber%20Bamboos.htm

They probably will sack under snow load, so planting them along a driveway might be quite a pita
 
Dave Miller
Posts: 408
Location: Zone 8b: SW Washington
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There is an 80 year old grove of some kind of large bamboo in our area: http://maps.google.com/?ll=45.57332,-122.31543&spn=0.000753,0.001192&t=h&z=20&vpsrc=6

The light colored plants are bamboo.  If you scroll through the photos here you can see a photo of some of it, forming a tunnel over the creek: http://vt.realbiz360.com/MLS-292790.html#

I'm not sure of the variety but I am sure it has been exposed to temps down to 5 deg F or less over the years.  I can probably get a photo of the leaves when I am there in a couple of weeks, if you are dying to know what it is.

 
Leif Kravis
Posts: 78
Location: Toronto Canada
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hi Dale, here's a nursery on the west coast with cold hardy bamboo, hope it helps.

http://www.bambooworld.com/bamboo%20catalogue.htm
 
Jason Matthew
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I am a bit of a bamboo nut. I am growing Vivax, Bambusoides (Madake), Moso, Makinoi, Rubromarginata, Viridis var. Robert Young, Henon (Gray),and Golden.

Moso, Bambusoides, Makinoi, Henon, and Rubro should produce good poles for you, as long as they get plenty of water and 80+ degree summer temperatures. These are all zone 7 or 6 reliable species. 
 
Charles Kelm
Posts: 170
Location: Western Washington (Zone 7B - temperate maritime)
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Hi Da_wanderer (that's what I will call you until we all use our real names as soon as the new website is up and running).  I live about 100 miles north of Seattle, and our summer never got up to 80 this year.  I am looking for bamboo varieties which can grow here - especially ones which don't mind being wet a lot (but not always).  I am different varieties, but would like one to be edible, one to be large and tall like a timber, and one to be suitable for garden poles (maybe 1/2" in diameter).  Any suggestions?
 
Jason Matthew
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With lower temperatures, none of the bamboo I grow here will reach full size in your area, or if they do, it will take considerably longer.

For food, Vivax or Glauca will work best for your area. These are fast growing bamboo and will attain good size in your area. For timber, I believe Henon will grow well for you. Moso loves water, but I don't know how well it will do with lower temperatures, and it takes a long time to mature under the best conditions.

A small bamboo for garden poles...Arrow bamboo is probably a good bet. Maybe something in the Fargasia genus. These are clumpers that are shade tolerant, but should appreciate lower summer temperatures.

It will take at least 5 years to get good growth out of your bamboo and up to 10 years for a full sized grove. Mulch them well and give them some nitrogen and they should flourish. http://www.amazon.com/Farming-Bamboo-Carol-Miles/dp/1435701313/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1320428535&sr=1-1 "Farming Bamboo" by Daphne Lewis is a book you might want to pick up. Most of her research was done in Washington.

 
Dale Hodgins
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Jeff Hodgins
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Me and Conrad have some give me $25.00 for a chunk
 
Charles Kelm
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Location: Western Washington (Zone 7B - temperate maritime)
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You and Conrad have what exactly?
 
Dale Hodgins
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BDAFJeff wrote:
Me and Conrad have some give me $25.00 for a chunk
                           I'm calling Donald Trump. You and Conrad are obviously superior salespeople and I'm sure that he would hire both of you immediately.
 
Jeff Hodgins
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Whats wrong with new crops if controled.
 
Jeff Hodgins
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You asked where to get bamboo I said I have some who is the problem me or you. I guess I'll have to wait and see if the bamboo actually gets as big as they say it will in an even colder place than here.
 
Charles Kelm
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Location: Western Washington (Zone 7B - temperate maritime)
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Thank you for your response Jeff.  I just wondered which one of the nearly 1500 species of bamboo you have for sale.  Thanks.
 
Dave Boehnlein
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Location: Orcas Island, WA
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da_wanderer wrote:
Moso, Bambusoides, Makinoi, Henon, and Rubro should produce good poles for you, as long as they get plenty of water and 80+ degree summer temperatures. These are all zone 7 or 6 reliable species. 


These all look good. I chatted with some Bamboo Society guys a few years ago and asked them about their favorite crossover species between poles & shoots. They recommended Rubromarginata. That being said, Henon seems to grow really well at our place as a good timber species.

da_wanderer mentioned water & heat. I've also heard that applying liquid fertilizers (fish emulsion & soluble seaweed) during the months of July - September will help them to size up and reach their full potential.

I also want to recommend the book Bamboo Farming by Daphne Lewis (http://amzn.to/uKw82y). She is from Kirkland, Washington and the book is largely focused around growing in the Pacific Northwest. She includes good stand establishment and management info.

Good luck!

Dave
 
Dale Hodgins
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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Jeffrey Hodgins
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Location: Yucatan Puebla Ontario BC
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Phyllostachys rubromarginata Max height 55’ (Estimated West Coast Maximum Height 40 feet) * Maxculm diameter 2.75" * Min. temp -32C * Sun/Shade * Running Bamboo * One of the best bamboo’s for wood quality and quantity. The culms arestraight, long and with little taper. It has the longest internodes of any Phyllostachys and the nodes are not very pronounced which allows for easy splitting. In a test in Alabama of dozens of bamboo’s this one was judged most productive in wood production. Rubromarginata refers to inconspicuous red bristles. This vigorous Bamboo is noted for its resistance to wind. A good bamboo for exposed sights and greatfor eating.

 
chad duncan
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Back from the dead!

Hi Dale,
did you have any success choosing and growing large diameter bamboo here on Vancouver island?
 
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