Bamboo transport?

iain42August 26, 2010

I was ready to dig bamboo the last time I was here around May and was told to wait until September to do this. I did wait and I'm trying to make arrangements to dig and transport the bamboo towards the end of Sept beginning of October.

The bamboo is amazingly tall. Digging the bamboo is not that big of a concern as they have tools on site. The issue is with transporting massively tall bamboo. I only have a GMC 1500 truck so I am loooking at renting a trailer or a bigger truck for the day. All of the bamboo is tall. If I had to could I cut half the length without killing the plants? Is this a bad idea? The bamboo is only 40 miles away.

I plan on runners Henon, Robert Young, a moso and a few others. They are currently 30-60ft.

Any advice on how to transport large bamboo is much appreciated.

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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

You won't kill them by topping them even by's just a shame to have to do that to a bamboo! However, you are talking long plants for highway transport.

One issue will be how tolerant the police are. In my area, you can not have anything sticking out more than 4' beyond the rear end of your vehicle, even with a flag. What I have done in the past is to use my stretch van and a long trailer. I have a big box of twine that I use to spiral wrap each set of culms with. The wrapping is very tight so that the branches are smashed in close to the culms. This is done to any part of the plant that will get exposed to being wind-whipped. I take all the seats out of the van except for mine and I stick the rootballs in the van up near the front. The culms stick out the back and lie on the trailer bed. Then I take another piece of twine and attach it to the top end of the culms and bend them around back toward the front and tie them off. How much flexibility you have depends on the species. Some are very springy and you can almost bend them in half, and others are stiff and may snap if you are not careful.

Anyway, I hope this gives you some ideas. Have fun!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 5:44PM
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If you can drive in the middle of the night on a weeknight (like tuesday or wednesday), you may have better luck and may not be 'seen' by the fuzz. Wow, you lucky dog, I wish we could get our boos to grow that big around here! :) Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 4:06PM
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There is an older lady who has let me dig some of hers before. since I only had a shovel I had to take small shoots.the plot about a 20 yard patch and 15 years old. the culms are maybe 40ft tall. If some way I could get the tall ones down and home (about 15 miles away) would they survive a transplant being that big? how big of a root ball do you take when cutting them down that large?

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 2:31PM
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I generally dig one culm per division unless the culms are small, close together and numerous.

I dig my textilis division in late February after most frost threats have passed. The culms are over 40 feet tall but obviously if you are cutting off the roots/rhizomes then you will need to also cut back some of the topgrowth so I cut the culms down to about 4 feet. I usually put them in a pot until I see growth(in about 3 months).

The rootballs are generally enough to fill a 4 gallon pot.

Do not disturb the soil around the rootball or as little as possible, and keep it moist during transport.

Just remember, cutting the division away from some of it's supply of food requires you to also cut back the topgrowth otherwise there is not enough roots to sustain the above ground growth.


    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 2:59PM
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so if I cut down say a 40ft culm and get a nice root ball, I was planning on useing a sawz all. I would cut the culm back to about 4 ft tall. that culm will not regrow but it will throw shoots that will grow much faster than getting just the small shoots themselves?

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 4:49PM
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If you dig small shoots, I'd get some that over a year old and have hardened off.

The culms that I transplant put out branches and leaves from the 4 foot culm at the nodes, then put up new shoots later in the season but they are smaller. If your underground root/rhizome system is small, the new shoots will tend to be smaller.

I would leave as much culm on the plant as you can haul since new branches on some varieties will not grow from the lowest nodes on the bamboo.

Here is a pic of a smaller culmed transplant from the beginning of this year. The culm is about 1 3/4 inches in diameter.

Here is a close-up of the branches that appeared after transplanting. The culm above the top node usually dies shortly after transplanting.

This pic shows the older shoots that first came up and newer ones newly emerging.

This last pic is of a different variety and it has been in the pot for almost 2 years. The original culm has now died and only the newer culms are green.


    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 5:42PM
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