Who is Eating my Bamboo Shoots?

achang89(Z6)July 4, 2012

I get Phyllostachys sp. that have started to sprout new shoots. But I see the tips of the new growth were eaten by somebody. I'm just curious as to who did that.

At our site, we have various creatures, such as deers, short-tailed rabbits, squirrels, mice, fox (we need more of them), and even ground hogs.

I have since put hay mulch around the new shoots and this has worked well. Now the new shoots are about 2-3" tall and no new damages.

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kippyk

I don't know what is eating your shoots, but your post made curious about one thing. Is it normal for Phyllostachys to send up new shoots this late in the season? I was under the impression that new shooting was done in the very early spring.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 10:46AM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

achang89-
Squirrels are notorious for eating bamboo shoots. Bamboo shoots have sugars in them, and, once the squirrels discover this, they start treating your plants as their own personal salad bar. The worst part is that, once the shoots are eaten, you have to wait for next year to see new growth. Hopefully, your hay mulch will work. I had a terrible problem with this when I lived in a more forested area, and, after trying many things, the only approach that worked for me was to to make 18" high cylinders out of hardware cloth (wire mesh) that I could put over each shoot until it got taller and hardened off.

kippyk-
Bamboo usually shoot in spring to summer. I had some come up as early as March and I have some that are just starting now. It depends on the species, the temperatures, amount of precipitation, etc.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 12:53PM
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kippyk

Thanks for clearing that up, kudzu9! If one purchases bamboo, is there any way to know if the culms are this year's growth or if one can expect to see new shoots?

I recently purchased Phyllostachys Aureosulcata 'Spectabilis' in #2 nursery pots. The plants were much taller than I was expecting. Each pot had short, bushy first year's growth and then three to four culms that were six foot plus in height. Since planting them, the tall culms have been busy branching and leafing out. Am I correct to assume that these culms are the current year's growth, or is is possible that I'll see some new shoots before summer's end?

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 1:42PM
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achang89(Z6)

As for my Phyllostachys sp., I just received the plants from local friend and planted them 1 month ago. They are eager to come up.

At the same time, I planted 4 moso plants. Two of them look bad with dry leaves. The other two still keep the green leaves. No new shoots yet. I'm not sure if I'll see any new shoots this year?

I'll try to mulch or cover the new shoots. How long should I keep them covered? So they can get hardended?

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 3:51PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

achang89-
If you got the moso from a friend -- meaning he dug them up for you -- the ones with dry leaves are in shock; they may survive just fine, or they may die. Just keep watering them, and give them the rest of the summer to start re-leafing.

When you dig up bamboo you are unlikely to see new shoots that year, and maybe not even the next year because the plant is recovering and putting its energy into its root system.

As for hiding the new shoots with mulch, they are usually too tough to get eaten when they are in the 12-18" range. However, I have had aggressive squirrels dig down in mulch to get at new shoots, so this is not a fail-safe system. If you continue to have problems, try the mechanical barrier approach I suggested using tubes of wire mesh. After placing the tube over the new shoot, I either tie the tube to a stake or to a culm if there is one nearby.

kippyk-
The culms that are leafing out are this year's growth. New shoots typically come up within a week or so of one another, so don't expect any more shoots this year.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 10:18PM
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steve_nj(7-a)

I protect moso shoots for this reason. It got very hot after you planted them. I've moved moso in late August after the culms have hardened.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 11:42PM
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