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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:48 pm 
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Location: upstate NY zone 6B Location Details
Yesterday I visited perhaps one of the biggest bamboo collections, at least in the Mid-Atlantic, and of course, I took a lot of pictures. He has over 50 species of bamboos, a few ground covers, as well as some of the the ones in between. He even has unique seedlings that haven't been distributed yet. His biggest bamboos are henon, ducis, and viridis which all have quite a few 3.5 inch diameter culms. Some might be a bit bigger, but no larger than 4. These also all appear near the 40ft mark. It's really hard to measure up their exact height without cutting them down, but some of the super tall culms may be in the 45-50ft range. His average groves appear to be around 2 inches in diameter by 30ft which is expected in zone 7a/b.

Some of the things I took away from seeing mature groves is that they are:
-They are not too hard to manage as 1 man can handle shoot culling, and keeping the groves separated.
-Tall and skinny bamboos with lots of foliage can produce have a problem with leaning over at maturity due to heavy snow, and they sometimes stay bent.
-Bamboo groves will often still up-size even after 20-30 years as it takes some species that long to gain size
-Some species will simply be too tall and vigorous and shade out slower species that take a lot longer to get established
-It is possible to create dividable plants by severing rhizomes from the main plant, keeping them in many pieces, and topping their shoots
-Culms on a mature grove can live up to 15-20 years old
-Most bamboos need direct sunlight in order to get established, and thrive
-Bamboos have a way of decaying their old rhizomes, and choosing a line of rhizomes to stay in a connected rhizome system so several separate divisions will eventually result in 1 plant. All the other ones will get shaded out and fail to thrive unless they are transplanted away
-Most larger bamboos will only make a significant number of good sized shoots every other year
-Many timber bamboos will eventually invest more energy into producing bigger and taller culms as opposed to running rampantly even in warmer climates
-A 3.5 inch diameter bamboo can be climbed, but they are very slippery making them very difficult to grip. Prominens may be the easiest to climb
-Winter damage and leaf burn does not seem to be a problem for just about any temperate bamboo at least in Southern Maryland

I took over 300 pictures so I'm obviously not going to post them all, but here's a handful of them to show what I saw.

Arundinaria Gigantea
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Bambusa Multiplex Fernleaf
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Chimonobambusa tumidissinoda
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Indocalamus Tessalatus
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Phyllostachys Acuta
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Phyllosatchys Angusta
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Phyllostachys Aurea Koi
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Phyllostachys Aureosulcata spectabilis
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Phyllostachys Atrovaginata
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Phyllostachys Aurea
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Phyllostachys aurea all gold
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Phyllostachys bambusoides all gold
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Phyllostachys bambusoides castillon
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Phyllostachys bambusoides 'Leprechaun Gold'
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Phyllostachys Bissetii
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Phyllostachys Decora
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Phyllostachys Dulcis
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Phyllostachys Edulis moso
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Phyllostachys Elegens
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Phyllostachys flexuosa
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Phyllostachys Glauca
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Phyllostachys heteroclada purpurata
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Phyllostachys heteroclada solida
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Phyllostachys Makinoi
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Phyllostachys nidularia
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Phyllostachys Nigra
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Phyllostachys Nigra Bory
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Phyllostachys Nigra Henon
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Phyllostachys Nuda
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Phyllostachys Rubromarginata
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Phyllostachys Viridis
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Phyllostachys Vivax
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Phyllostachys vivax aureocaulus
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Psuedosasa japonica arrow bamboo
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Psuedosasa japonica 'Tsutsumiana' Green Onion bamboo
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Semiarundinaria fastuosa
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Shibatea Kumasaca
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:00 am 
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Location: HALIFAX, NS
Good work Steve and great pix of a wonderful collection.

A few questions, I am happy to see P. angusta and it appears to be disportionately short judging from the culm size, is this typical or was it topped?

Quite a few leaning canes to be found there, is snowload damage the culprit in all cases? If so it will be easy to tell which are not so prone unless of course you didn't shoot that part of a species clump with leaning canes. It's a bit of a surprise to see aureosulcata 'Spectabils' listing to starboard.

According to the ABS which arrived today David has quite a few champs there.

Awaiting yet another driving rainstorm here.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:33 am 
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Location: upstate NY zone 6B Location Details
Those angusta culms were definitely topped, but it doesn't looks like they would have been that much taller anyways. It looks like a decent bamboo for tight spaces or a small garden as it has very strong wood, and does not appear to have rhizomes running that far.

All the leaning culms are either due to wet springs, or heavy wet snows. For example, the rubromarginata has some root balls that were lifted out of the ground since they leaned so much. It seems like the bamboos with the long internodes, weak, or thin culms, lots of foliage, and skinny rhizomes tend to have the most problems with leaning. The ones like dulcis, elegens and acuta simply don't have leaners.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:13 am 
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Location: zone 7b Clemson, SC
Thanks for the pics, Steve! Especially interesting to me was the detail of the cream striping on dulcis. As has been said elsewhere, it seems pretty faint. Did it seem so faint in person as it does in the picture? Regardless, dulcis does seem to be one of the prettiest bamboos!

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:55 am 
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Location: upstate NY zone 6B Location Details
It is visible standing from 10 feet away, but it only happens on a few culms, and people who don't already know that dulcis has stripes might overlook it.

It doesn't look like an aggressive runner as culms are relatively close together for being so huge so it could be the same type that I have from bamboo garden. The striping does tend to vary, but I didn't see any of them as that jump out like the one in this picture. http://www.bamboogarden.com/Phyllostachys%20dulcis.htm I think this picture must have been taken with a culm with the most striping in its grove, and with the right kind of light, or photo-shopped to look more impressive.

One thing that seems to stand out with this dulcis is that the internodes are pretty long, and don't taper as fast as I would expect dulcis to. Some 3.5 inch culms look like they must be over 40ft. I think this may have happened because new shoots will always need to get taller in order to get sunlight so in a mature grove, culms may get super tall.

If moisture and warmth are the keys to getting bigger, I think you might eventually see something like 3.75" by 45ft on dulcis given that it's a cultivator with a lot of size potential.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:53 am 
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Location: Esparto, CA
Bamboo Society Membership: ABS - America
Did he not have Beijing in the ground? I think mine came via him originally as did a number of my bamboo. Also, do you still think Moso will get big in zone 6?

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:48 am 
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Location: upstate NY zone 6B Location Details
He has it, and it appears to be in the 1.5 inch by 26ft mark with its biggest culms. Based on your pictures, what I saw looks about the same diameter except a bit taller than what you have.

Here's a picture of it.
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I still think it is possible to grow moso to a decent size, maybe 2.5 inches by 25ft or so with protection, or a long string of warm winters. I'm not sure if the lack of heat is the limiting factor for moso. Anyways it would probably be better to focus on getting something like dulcis big since it is actually hardy enough to survive a typical zone 6 winter. The Kikko moso might be better since it stays short with the tortoise shell nodes, making it easier to protect.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:06 pm 
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Location: St. Louis area Location Details
What zone is this garden in? If it's z7, I'm really surprised at the nigra.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:19 pm 
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Location: zone 7b Clemson, SC
That stand of gigantea looks wonderful! Wow!

I would bet that nigra is pretty shaded, maybe? I saw some here growing in the understory of vivax and on the shadier side of the grove it looked like that, very small and leaning all over the place. In contrast, on the sunnier edge of the spot, the nigra was way over 2 inches and very upright.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:25 pm 
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Location: HALIFAX, NS
Steve - When you say the leaning culms can be caused by very wet springs do you mean wet on developing culms or old ones wrenched out of the ground by wetted foliage?

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:46 pm 
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I'm with Matthew, for me the A gigantea is the nicest looking bamboo among the lot.

David is listed in the ABS contest as having the largest Phy flexuosa 'Beijing', I know that he feels it is not a propinqua but a flexuosa member I am surprised that the ABS mag listed it that way though. Steve is it as tight of a profile as the photo suggests, further evidence that it does not spread fast - or how did it compare to some of his other species?

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:13 pm 
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Location: Landisburg,PA USDA zone 6b
Steve after seeing these Bamboos and larger groves does it change any of the boos you are growing or want to grow?
Next time bring a yard stick with you when you look at boos so you can pretty accurately and easily calculate height. Hypsometer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypsometer
Thanks for the pics. I still have yet to post pics from when I visited the Bamboo and costal gardens in Savannah Georgia
I like their pavilion idea I want to build one someday. http://www.bamboo.caes.uga.edu/FromtheGroveNewsletter.html.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:08 pm 
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Location: upstate NY zone 6B Location Details
This is zone 7b in the DC area, but recently most winters haven't dipped below 15F so it may change to 8a if the warming trend continues. The Nigra is getting shaded out by a few groves on the south side so it may not be performing at its potential. It also appears that Dave has some groves that may be as young as mine. It doesn't show in these pictures, but there is still plenty of woodlands that have not yet been occupied by bamboo groves. As far as leaning culms, I think Dave means that the shoots are fully grown, and then lean over as they leaf out since they many of them are planted on a slope, and the loose soil allows their entire root ball to get bent over. Some of it comes from heavy snows too as some species have too weak of a base. For example the aureosulcatas tend to be very skinny at the bottom, but gain diameter higher up, and become top heavy so those tend to flop all over the place.

That propinqua beijing does seem to be a very slow runner in person, at least compared to the vivax which runs very far, producing 3 inch culms in an open grove. The only reason why I was able to get 3ft rhizomes produced on mine was likely due to all the manure/ compost and watering. The heights on these bamboos are very hard to estimate since many of the taller groves are surrounded by other groves. If he had pvc pipes that could be put together for a 50ft pole with markers every 5ft, then it might be easier to get and idea of their height.

Based on seeing his groves, it seems like I am already growing most of the right ones to get giants. His spectabilis looks kind of weedy, and it seems like in a snowy climate, I will need to have the biggest diameter, and bamboos with the strongest culms in order for them to stay upright after an icestorm.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:55 pm 
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Steve - Were mites a problem in that area of Maryland?

johnw - +6c

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:39 pm 
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Location: upstate NY zone 6B Location Details
It would have been impossible for me to closely observe many of the taller groves, but from what I could see up close, it doesn't look like there is mite damage in his bamboos. It doesn't really look like there are any natural pests to stop bamboo in his gardens. The only thing that seems to pose a problem is when the groves shade each other out as some species tend to fan out.

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