Fast, growing, winter hardy bamboo: Renewable resource

Discussion in 'Poaceae' started by runninfarmer, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. runninfarmer

    runninfarmer Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Fort Dodge, Iowa
    I'm looking at researching bamboo as a possible renewable resource because of its ability to grow and spread so fast. I was wondering what would be the best bamboo that could produce the most biomass in 3-5 years. I'm from Iowa so it would have to be cold hardy from -10 to -15 degrees F. I'd like a large bamboo that would grow rather fast in the first 2-3 years, if possible. I'd appreciate any and all help becasue I really don't know anything about bamboo and its differnet species.


    Thanks again!
     
  2. aahhaa

    aahhaa Member

    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    South Haven Michigan USA
    Hi- I had a similar urge several decades ago (from the Whole Earth Catalog and an exciting coffee table book, I think simply called 'Bamboo'. I remember it had a discussion of tied bamboo scaffolding used all over Asia, and mentioned that some bamboo survives very cold temperatures and grows up into Kamchatka- although I think not as cold as you'd need. I'd pondered that the generally very shallow roots would be ideal for permafrosted areas.
    This place says they have 'boo that'll grow im Massachusetts...
    http://www.bamboos.com/grow.html
     
  3. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor

    Messages:
    4,769
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ecuador SA Zone 12/13
    What zone are you in? The American Bamboo Society can help you with the names of the hardier cultivars of bamboo, or bamboos suited to your region - the link takes you to their list of cold-hardy bamboos.

    What are thinking of using the bamboo for? If you want it for construction, you'll need one of the larger-caned types, but if you want it for pulping, vermiculture, or garden use the smaller canes will work better for you. Also look at where you'll be growing it to figure out if you need a clumping or running variety - if you choose a runner, you'll need to put in barriers to keep it from escaping.

    Here in Ecuador, we grow five distinct types of bamboo for use commercially, and three native species to control erosion. Bamboo gets used here in scaffolding, waterworks (since it won't rot for about a century if kept continuously wet), as support inside concrete in place of rebar (better earthquake stability), as roofing support and base roof slats, as roof tiles (halved and cut into 12" sections, then lapped like clay tiles), as living fences, as split-trunk privacy fence material, for plant supports (especially bananas), mulched for the pulp and paper industry, mulched for vermiculture, as an interior decoration finish, and as a renewable semi hard wood for flooring and furnishings. These are all well-documented uses; inventive people are also using bamboo in sustainable power generation (it forms the frames of windmills, and chaff can be burnt to produce heat). Leaves make excellent burro and llama/alpaca fodder.
     
  4. runninfarmer

    runninfarmer Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Fort Dodge, Iowa
    I'm looking at converting the biomass from the entire bamboo into chemicals and/or biofuels, via thermal processes. That's why I'd like to grow a hardy bamboo that produces the most physical mass in as short of time as possible. My temperature zone is 5-6, but mostly 5. If lets say you started with 100 acres of ground, I'd like a bamboo that was very fast running and fast maturing. Thanks for the help!
     
  5. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor

    Messages:
    4,769
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ecuador SA Zone 12/13
    OK, then you should be checking out members of the genus Phyllostachys, which are fast-growing, running bamboos. The ABS link in my previous post will point you in the right direction species-wise.
     
  6. fridgidbamboo

    fridgidbamboo Member

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Montreal, Quebec zone5
    What is your zone? If you are in zone 5b or higher, you want to grow Phyllostachys rubromarginata. It grows fast and large, and was found to be by far the most productive for wood in a study in Alabama, even exceeding the loblolly pine in wood production, wich should yeld a lot of biomass. Whatever you want to do with it, the wood is strong and splits well, the culms are very straight and tall. It is rather invasive, wich means it will spread fast to cover a large area an thus produce a lot of biomass. You can visit www.needmorebamboo.com/rubromarginatapics.html. You will see how it grows in zone 5b-6a Indiana. I hope that this will help you and that I'm not too late.
     

Share This Page