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 Post subject: Drooping Culms
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:44 pm
Posts: 40
Location: michigan
Hi, everyone.

I had total top kill on my grove of yellow and green groove. Amazingly enough, I've regained close to 2/3 of last years size
and height. Problem is I'm getting quite a few drooping culms, tall ones and small ones. Not that it's half of the culms, but just
more than I remember in previous years. They also seem to break fairly easy.

Question is, is this because of the top kill, or maybe lacking nutrients, I have a fully enclosed barrier, which is only 3 years old
so I don't suspect that to be the problem.


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 Post subject: Re: Drooping Culms
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:14 am 
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Joined: Sat May 11, 2013 2:27 am
Posts: 192
Location: E. TN, USA
I'm getting a more than usual amount of drooping culms due to the massive amount of foliage that was produced this year. Not many new culms, but LOTS of new leaves; and the old leaves haven't dropped off. It's especially bad after a rain when some of them droop to the ground. I expect it to get worse because many, many leaves are still unfurled and haven't reached their full size yet.

How's the foliage density on your end?


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 Post subject: Re: Drooping Culms
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:47 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:44 pm
Posts: 40
Location: michigan
The foliage seems to be about normal.

It doesn't take any rain for them to touch the ground, they just do, and some have broke.
I have to go out and tuck them behind the dead culms everyday, good thing I didn't remove them all.


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 Post subject: Re: Drooping Culms
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:04 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 9:14 pm
Posts: 4446
Location: Esparto, CA
Bamboo Society Membership: ABS - America
Same problem on some species here, henon in particular and I am once again thinking of killing it off save for a meguro form that rebounded with vigor. You won't like my solution I suspect, I went around and topped the floppers at about half height.

It is expected with top kill, especially if you cut the dead out too soon and now is still too soon.

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Brad Salmon, zone 9 Esparto, CA


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 Post subject: Re: Drooping Culms
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:58 pm
Posts: 303
Location: Central PA, Zone6b/7a
needmore wrote:
Same problem on some species here, henon in particular and I am once again thinking of killing it off save for a meguro form that rebounded with vigor. You won't like my solution I suspect, I went around and topped the floppers at about half height.

It is expected with top kill, especially if you cut the dead out too soon and now is still too soon.



Hi Brad. Will you say more about the timing aspect? Why does cutting the dead negatively impact the rest of the grove? I'd have guessed that removing dead culms wouldn't cause any problems.

On the same note, should I wait to remove the droopers?


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 Post subject: Re: Drooping Culms
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:02 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 9:14 pm
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Location: Esparto, CA
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I think that new culms are damned lazy and use the dead to hold them up while they produce leaves like mad. Generally in august they have lignified enough to hold their own. You can tell sort of that they are still not ready by feel or try to indent with a fingernail and see if it leaves a mark. I started culling mine last weekend and am loosely following shooting order but not exactly.

Too much work though for me to clean up after a harsh winter and I am planning on culling groves that don't offer enough in return. I have targeted nuda & the localis form, I have two groves of each, both ten years or so and will likely cull each to one small clump so much for that hardiness rating. Conversely Phy fimbriligula is getting rewarded with more room as it shows nice potential here.

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Brad Salmon, zone 9 Esparto, CA


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 Post subject: Re: Drooping Culms
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 6:08 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 11, 2013 2:27 am
Posts: 192
Location: E. TN, USA
jpluddite wrote:
On the same note, should I wait to remove the droopers?


I wouldn't remove the droopers. Stake them, or tie them to dead culms.


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 Post subject: Re: Drooping Culms
PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 5:27 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:15 pm
Posts: 3068
Location: upstate NY zone 6B Location Details
There can be a lot of reasons why they droop.

This prominens shoot is drooping because it was on the verge of aborting, but it's now getting support from last year's damaged culm which I'm leaving up just to support the new one. Most of the energy went towards the whip shoot 2 feet right of the main clump.
Image

The P nigra didn't really lose any height from last year with many culms over 7ft tall, but they appear to taper quickly, and even though many have a good diameter at the base, there's just not enough strength to keep them up straight. I cut out the old culms already on this one.
Image

This parvifolia whip shoot which came out at an inch in diameter was emerging at about a 45 degree angle so it only makes sense that it would droop close to the ground once it leafed out.
Image

These bicolor shoots are droopy because the rhizomes that they came off just never had that much energy to begin with. I expect these to harden off in 2-3 weeks though since their leaves can generate enough photosynthesis to make them firm, but they will never gets as bushy as the mother plant this year.
Image

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 Post subject: Re: Drooping Culms
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 5:33 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:48 pm
Posts: 71
Location: NE Illinois, zone 5, USA
I'm at the Illinois-Wisconsin border-usually zone 5b, and had total top kill of aureosulcata. I too am experiencing the floppy growth issue. Brad's explanation makes the most sense to me. When we don't get top kill, the previous growth supports the new. I only had the energy to remove the dead before shooting of half my grove, and that is where the Floppy culms are troublesome. Where the new came up through the dead, they are staying upright. In the future I won't do the clean out of dead until August, as I will have to chop off a lot of culms down to 3 or 4 feet in order to keep the driveway clear in winter when they could freeze to the cars or the ground where they touch. Right now it is not an issue, I just brush them out of the way.

Interestingly, cutting out old culms I layed down the tallest, and measured. Standing in my driveway I would have sworn they were 25 or 30 feet tall. In reality, the tallest was 19 feet, with only the thinnest wisp of a culm tipping the 19 foot mark. Still, 18 feet for P. aureosulcata is pretty good for zone 5b. Here you insert your joke about how guys measure 6 inches. I did have quite a few culms right at about 18 feet.

I got a few new culms that came right up, over 15 feet, but not many. Most were 8 to 12 feet, which is tall enough to do the screening job I intended the planting for. It is good to be able to get in there and clean out litter and dead stuff, so the occasional total top kill does have a positive side in terms of how it looks after grooming.

Also got a chance to harvest older culms that lignified enough to be able to use for "projects'. If I get some free time and energy I'm thinking of making a bamboo fence panel or two. I have a fairly good number of dead culms I set aside that were 4 or 5 years old, and actually fairly solid wood. Hopefully I'll be able to make the time for projects.


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