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Bamboo air layering and livesetting to make a living fence?

 
                        
Posts: 34
Location: Big Island, Hawaii
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Has anyone had luck livesetting bamboo? I would like to plant a few thousand feet of living fence. So far I've been digging root clumps from established bamboo plants and planting those at close spacing (4-8 ft depending on variety) but damn that's hard work, and the fence won't be effective for five years. I've seen very impressive living fences made this way, but it's just too much work to establish a big fence this way.

My ideas is that there must be an appropriate species that could be planted as livesets at 1 ft spacing. I would till in compost and ammendments all along the fenceline-to-be then set out bamboo. Even if it required drip irrigation, this would grow into a completely impenaterable fence in a few years, given the right species. I need to keep pigs out and livestock in, and the yield of building material and edible shoots would be very good. I can't spend $thousands on metal fencing that needs repair and replacement. 

So...anyone know of a bamboo species that can handle this treament? it must be a clumper because running bamboos are a big no-no where I am, so close to native forest. Ideally it would be an erect-growing timber/edible bamboo that doesnt get too big - say 30ft tall.

I've heard "horror stories" of farmers here (big island Hawaii) who used fresh cut bamboo to make fencing posts only to have it take root and make gigantic plants. That sounds pretty awesome to me, way better than buying expensive fencng that wears out in a decade or so. Imagine a fence that not only gets stronger each year, but provides food, timber, and mulch!

Aloha from Kaiwiki

 
 
Leif Kravis
Posts: 78
Location: Toronto Canada
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According to the wife's uncle in Jamaica all you need to do is cut segments with two nodes on them, so one complete cell, so to speak and push them down into the soil halfway, beyond that i would guess that start of rainy season would be a good time to try. This year i want to plant some bamboo as well for the living fence and also as terrace walls. i want to plant rows on contour and when height maxes out cut the stems to about 8 feet then drop the cuttings on the upslope side to mulch and rot. I want to trench on the downslope side to add to water absorption on each terrace. My thought is that as organic matter builds up the bamboo will root wherever it touches the soil along the earth contact side of the stem and should form a strong living wall. I wont actually be down to Jamaica till the new year so can't really get more info yet. good luck   
 
                        
Posts: 34
Location: Big Island, Hawaii
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here is an article about bamboo propagation methods...

http://www.inbar.int/publication/txt/tr05/a5-2.htm
 
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