Is there a timber bamboo that is not too invasive?

wertach zone 7-B SCMay 9, 2013

I want to grow some timber bamboo for my craft projects.

I am looking for one that grows big in diameter, not necessarily that tall.

I also don't want to plant something that will turn my 10 acres in to a bamboo forest! I want to keep it down to about a 20' X 20' square

Some type that I could manage with my bush-hog cutting around the perimeter.

Any suggestions for 7b in the Piedmont of SC?

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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

I don't know of any clumping timber bamboo that is hardy enough for your Zone. Your only realistic option is a running timber bamboo which you would control with either rhizome pruning or bamboo barrier. Simply cutting back aboveground growth will not stop underground rhizome spread.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 3:33PM
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stevelau1911

If you need a short fat bamboo, phyllostachys shanghai III might be the best option. You are in a pretty warm climate so bamboos will run pretty fast for you, but if you keep them rhizome pruned or trench around it, there shouldn't be a problem as rhizomes don't grow that deep.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 10:49PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

So I guess I'll need a backhoe! Another excuse to buy one! :)

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 1:53PM
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nat9butter(z8 WA/z9CA)

I believe Phyllostachys bambusoides 'Castillonis' is
worth a try. It would probably take at least ten years to
reach even 10ft by 10ft.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 2:25PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

nat9butter, That sounds interesting, do you know how long it takes to make large diameter Bamboo?

A Google search said that it would get to 2.5 inches max diameter but I couldn't find how long it takes.

Real pricey too!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 2:33PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Castillon might get to 2"-2.5" in ideal circumstances and climate, like Hawaii. In your Zone, probably 1"+ in 10 years if you are starting with a smallish plant (like 6' tall). You have to balance the popular perception of bamboo as this fast growing monster with the reality that it will take a couple of years to just get established in the ground before it pushes up significant new growth, and that you will only get bigger diameter culms after a number of additional years (and only with the right species). I am in Zone 8 and have been growing about 70 kinds of bamboo for 10 years. My maximum-sized timber bamboo -- Ph. dulcis -- is just starting to push the 2" mark.

While it is fun to grow bamboo for crafts, realistically, unless you are starting with huge, expensive plants, it will be years before you can harvest them for the kinds of projects you may have in mind. When I need large size bamboo -- like 2"-4" -- for my projects, I go to a local bamboo supplier in my large West Coast city and buy what I need from the stuff they import from Vietnam, which has been furnace dried and is ready to work with. You can also find sources online that ship large diameter bamboo.

If you want to grow bamboo for fun, and maybe eventually have some you can harvest for projects, that's great. Just don't be disappointed 5 years from now when your bamboo is still sizing up.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 2:55PM
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stevelau1911

Moso bicolor seems to get up in size pretty easily. I've had it for 2 years and it doesn't produce that many shoots each year, but when it does, they grow huge.

I think it has the perfect combination of size potential, beauty and ease of control since it makes few, but very large rhizomes.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 11:03PM
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