Mystery Bamboo transplants

triplebogey_2007November 5, 2009

Hello all,

Thanks to Kudzu, I decided that waiting for my Moso seedlings to grow to maturity may not be the best way to landscape my property in the short-term.

I found a location very near my home with bamboo that has fairly large (2-3 inch diameter culms, 30-40ft in height). The lot is a commercial lot that will soon be graded, and the developer didn't mind me taking a few of the plants. I now have 7 culms in the 2.5 inch diamter, 35 ft range planted in front of my property along with a few in the 1/4", 5 ft range for some variety. The funny thing is that the 5 ft plants look worse than the 35ft plants following transplanting. The leaves are curled despite my best efforts to keep them watered. I felt that the rootball was sizeable enough, but I guess you can never tell.

Question 1 - if the culms die on the transplants, will new shoots come up next spring anyway from the rhizomes?

Question 2 - I dug up about a 2.5 ft section of rhizome with no culm attached. I decided not to waste it and I planted it anyway. Any chance that a shoot will emerge from this or am I wasting my time?

Question 3 - Any suggestions for keeping the culms alive other than water, water, and more water (which I'm already doing)?

Thanks in advance guys. I love the bamboo forum and all the expert opinions. I'm going to try to take some photos to see if anyone can identify the species if I can manage to get home before it's pitch black (darn time change).

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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

triplebogey-
I have pretty good luck transplanting bamboo, but I sometimes get an unexpected failure on even smaller bamboo. If the culms die on the transplants, you will get new culms as long as the root system is ok, although any new culms will likely be pretty small the first couple of years. There's is no way to tell right now what will survicve. Just keep everything properly watered, and do not cut any culms, even if they lose all their leaves. As long as a culm retains its color, there is always the chance it will re-leaf. If it starts to turn tan, then it's dying and you could remove it. On the taller bamboo, it will take a while before new roots start to lock the plant into the ground, so you want to tie them upright with stakes and twine for a number of months to prevent any winds from pushing them over. One other thought: the smaller plants may have had less mature (younger) root systems, and sometimes these are more vulnerable than a much larger, established plant. Finally, you may get some shoots that come up from the piece of rhizome, but they will be pretty small and bushy the first few years. It will be an interesting experiment, though.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2009 at 6:06PM
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triplebogey_2007

Thanks for the good advice. I've uploaded some pics if anyone would like to take a stab at identifiying this one.

http://photos.gardenweb.com/garden/galleries/2009/11/mystery_bamboo_1.html

I have 4 photos, so just change the "1" to 2 through 4 to see the others...

    Bookmark   November 7, 2009 at 6:55PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

triplebogey-
I took a look at those pictures and I have to say I'm confused. Is it possible you more than one species of bamboo there? Your first photo made me think that it could be Phyllostachys edulis (popularly called Moso) because of the height, the straightness, and the overall appearance. Then I looked at photo 2, and the color and form of the culm suggested Ph. aurea, but aurea usually has slight bends in some of the culms and the nodes can occasionally be close together near the ground. The third picture looked like Ph. aureosulcata (Yellow groove), but the photo seemed to show a yellow stripe on a smooth place on the surface of the culm instead of being in the sulcus (groove).

I'd appreciate it if you would respond to my comments, but first go to the site in the link below and enter the names I have given you into the alphabetical box toward the bottom of the page. Look at the photos and tell me what you think....

Here is a link that might be useful: BambooWeb

    Bookmark   November 7, 2009 at 8:51PM
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triplebogey_2007

Kudzu,

I checked bambooweb (great site) and from what I can tell, Ph. aureosulcata looks like the best match. The confusing thing though is that the original grove was fairly large (about 1/2 acre) and there were NO zig-zag culms which seem to be characteristic of this species. Additionally, not all of the culms I transplanted have the vivid yellow stripe between nodes.

The smaller culms (less than 10 ft) all have the pronounced sulcus like you see in pic 2, but the larger ones have no discernible grooves and are smooth around the entire diameter of the culm like pic 3.

While I won't rule out the possibility of more than 1 species, it does seem highly unlikely that multiple species would be growing together in an area that was clearly untended by the landowner.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 12:13AM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

triplebogey-
Thanks for the info. While individual bamboo plants of a single species can sometimes have slightly different appearances, I can categorically say that there is no bamboo that produces culms where some have a sulcus and others don't. You do have at least two species there. I am very familiar with all the species that I named, and, while Ph. aurea and Ph. aureasulcata do put up straight culms, there is no way the majority of that grove could have been either of these without you noticing a lot of bent and kinked culms. There is definitely one species in there that is not either of those.

I am also curious about one thing I mentioned earlier in regard to picture 3: does the yellow stripe on that culm occur in a sulcus, or is it on an entirely smooth (ungrooved) culm?

    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 2:26AM
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triplebogey_2007

Kudzu - the yellow stripe in pic 3 is on an entirely smooth culm.

If I get a chance, I'll take some photos of the original grove (if it hasn't been graded yet).

    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 8:17AM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

triplebogey-
Thanks, again. And I'd love to see more pictures if you can get them, especially some closeups of the culms, the branches that come off the nodes, and the stripes.

Two other things:
1) Is the yellow striping a characteristic of all or most of the smooth culms?
2) On the grooved bamboo, I'd like you to do a simple experiment: slide your fingers up the culm and then down the culm and tell me if it feels smooth in both directions or if it's rough (like fine sandpaper) in one of the directions.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 2:23PM
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kentuck_8b(__)

How thick(diameter) and how tall do the culms get on the striped bamboo?

    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 5:01PM
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triplebogey_2007

Kudzu -

(1) the yellow striping is a characteristic of most of the smooth culms, but it is not as vivid on all of them.
(2) the grooved bamboo is smooth going down and more "sandpaper" like going up the culm. The larger (non-grooved) ones are also more course going up but not as much as the smaller ones.

Kentuck - the striped bamboo is about 2.5" thick and about 30-35 feet tall.

I've uploaded some more photos. The link is:

http://photos.gardenweb.com/garden/galleries/2009/11/bamboo1.html

There are 7 photos, so just change bamboo1 to bamboo2-7 to see the others.

Note that pic 1 and 2 are the same culm, but different sides. The striping occurs at 180 degrees alternating on each side, but the bamboo2 side is fainter.

Bamboo6 is also a larger culm, but notice the the striping is not nearly as visible. Bamboo7 is just a picture of the base of the larger striped culm. Thanks guys!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 5:15PM
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triplebogey_2007

One other thing...I noticed that the 6-8 foot culms have completely round internodes from the ground up to around 5 nodes up at which point the internodes become grooved above that point. Perhaps the larger 30+ foot culms are grooved as well, but so far up the culm that I can't see it.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 8:08PM
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kentuck_8b(__)

I don't grow Yellow Groove, but have seen it before and the one pic that you have looks like it to me. One other possibility is P. vivax 'Huangwenzhu'. I could be wrong.

Pics of newly emerging shoots in the Spring would be very helpful.

Kt

    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 8:54PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

I think that the grooved bamboo with the yellow sulcus and the sandpapery feel is Ph. aureosulcata (Yellow groove). The larger culms with the stripe, and that have no sulcus, have me stumped still. I'll get back to you in a couple of days after I consult some buddies.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2009 at 2:29AM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

triplebogey-
After consulting some other bamboo gurus, the consensus seems to be that the big ones are Yellow groove, too, and they have no sulcus lower down where there are no branches. Now if you can pull over one of those tall ones to confirm that there is a sulcus further up, then we've resolved this. If you can't find a sulcus, that's another thing...

    Bookmark   November 9, 2009 at 2:48PM
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triplebogey_2007

Thanks Kudzu, I tend to agree that they look more like the Yellow groove to me as well. The only variable is that the mature grove had none of the zig-zag culms which characterize Yellow Groove (according to my research). For this reason, it seems that Kentuck's P. vivax 'Huangwenzhu'would fit.

I went out last night to check the tops of the large culms, but I'm not quite sure how I'm going to manage to inspect the upper 10 feet on a 30 ft culm. I can tell you definitely that the lower 20 ft has no sulcus, but it's possible that the upper 10 is grooved where the limbs start.

I'll attempt to get a better look this afternoon with the ladder (without breaking my neck) and I'll update you on my findings. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2009 at 1:04PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

tripleboget-
Please don't get on a ladder for my sake. That doesn't sound like a safe proposition.

If you have access to the old grove (I wouldn't want you to try this with something newly transplanted), select a tall culm that you may be able to pull over; grab it at shoulder level and pull on it and keep working your way along until you get the top pulled over. Alternatively, if this stuff is going to be removed by the landowner, just cut a culm or two and tell me what you find. My main interest here is to know what happens at the point branches start coming off the culm.

Or would binoculars work?

Lastly, I agree that the absence of any zig-zag culms in a grove of Ph. aureosulcata is unusual, though not conclusive.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2009 at 1:34PM
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triplebogey_2007

Mystery Solved!

It appears based on the evidence that I have Yellow Groove bamboo. I went back to the old grove and pulled down one of the taller culms. The sulcus is present on these culms at the top near the branches, but is not present below that point (I didn't know they grew that way). Thanks for your help Kudzu, you really know your boos...

    Bookmark   November 11, 2009 at 5:29PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

triplebogey-
Sometimes I know my stuff, but I also learn a lot from interacting with others here on the Bamboo Forum. Thanks for humoring me with my many questions!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2009 at 6:15PM
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