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 Post subject: Dreamt of giant bamboo
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:33 pm 
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Location: Toronto (north)
Had a nice dream the other night. I dreamt that one of my neighbours (totally imaginary) had bamboos growing in their yard. I saw bamboo shoots that were at least 5" wide and 50' tall, possibly a Moso. I thought it was too good to be true (for my climate). Then that neighbour decided to chop down the boo, sighting that they're blocking the sky. I decided to get some seeds, and in the process, ate the fruit too. It was Jack Fruit I was eating...

After partially becoming conscious again, I thought perhaps Moso can grow large in Zone 5 even if they get top killed...but it gradually became clear that it was just wishful thinking.

I also have dreams now and then of nice tropical palms, bamboos, bananas growing in close proximity to my area, along the roads, in my own backyard that I hadn't noticed. My yard, house, was totally imaginary, a mix of the places that I've lived before, and new, but it was all so real. The sad part is when I get too excited and cause my consciousness to kick in.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:13 am 
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Location: upstate NY zone 6B Location Details
If you are hoping for anything close to 50ft, moso might actually work as long as you are committed to protecting it every single winter. You might as well get one of the variegated forms like summer snow to make it really worth the effort. I think it is possible to eliminate the cold factor if you tie the entire clump together, wrap christmas lights around the whole thing, and finally shrink wrapping around the tightly tied clump. A really tall ladder might be neccesary. Bambusoides and henon might also be good candidates.

Another option would be to build a wind machine such as the ones they use for the vineyards in cooler climates. You might need to have many more groves of bamboo to protect over a larger area since these wind machines can cover a lot of ground.

If you ever plan on building a giant greenhouse, then you might as well put in some tropicals.

In zone 6, 50ft might be feasible without major intervention if there is a string of very warm winters along with warm and wet summers. I do however prefer to stick with the slightly smaller, but hardier types which can hold green over winter.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:34 am 
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Location: Toronto (north)
It was just a dream. There's no way I'll go to that extreme work and money to get a 50' Moso here. My entire yard is not even 45' long. If I am desperate enough, I might just move to a warmer place...which I have not ruled out. Vancouver is zone 7/8. I would relocate tomorrow if someone offer me a decent paying job there. California is nice also...

Anyway, you can probably try it, Steve. You already have Mosos growing and based on the photos I've seen you posted, your Moso grove is due for a major upsize next year. If anyone can grow a large Moso in your climate, it's none other than you.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:01 am 
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Location: Warwick,R.I.
It took about 8 years before I had a dream with my wife in it, so I guess I have about 6 more years before I dream about Bamboo.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:36 am 
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Location: upstate NY zone 6B Location Details
http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-30x40-h-dut ... 5ae93b99c4

Here's the kind of tarp that might make giant bamboo in zone 5 a reality. I don't know if wind protection alone is enough to protect most bamboos up there, but it seems like a simple frost cover which reduces the wind is enough to keep a bamboo evergreen even when we get zone 6 winter lows.

One way to find out is to get a few culms on one of your more established bamboos, wrap them up with a trash bag without tarping them to the ground to find out if taking away the wind factor is enough to keep them evergreen.

Of course there are smaller plastic tarps, but whenever the bamboo is very small, it makes more sense to simply use large trash bags as tarps.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-10x20-h-dut ... 51a0cca313

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:38 pm 
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Wind shelter is not the only factor. I did this with my nigra when it was first put into the ground, and the upright culms that were wrapped for wind protection lost all of their leaves, while the culms that were tarped to the ground did not. Temperature alone can damage.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:19 pm 
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Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
As some of you might remember, this year Europe got some extremely cold air with strong cold winds. During that time I tarped my Ph. aurea with several layers of bed sheet to protect it from loosing moisture. I failed when I tried bending it to the ground, so I just tarped it tightly and sprayed it with water. Immediately the sheets got another layer of ice on top. In only a couple of hours ice disappeared completely, because of the wind. Temperature during the day remained under -10C and ice simply sublimated. The same thing happened in all the leaves except those near the soil level. Parts of the culms that did hit the soil, got covered with thicker layer of ice (~4 cm) and remained almost intact. We've had no snow protection and extremely dry and cold winds with abundance of sunlight. Bamboo killing combination.

Wind protection can be extremely important. Next time I'm using PVC based protection that doesn't "breathe" at all in case of severe weather like last year.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:28 pm 
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I think it is important to use materials that cannot let air through because the goal is to also keep the temperatures inside the tarp a bit warmer than on the outside when it happens to drop to sub-zero temperatures on an extremely cold night.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:08 am 
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The thing is, you want to keep the wrapped plants warm, but it should not be completely air tight. I think making it air tight was what killed off my small Nuda plant last year. When I unwrapped it in the Spring, it was all wet and rotten.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:15 am 
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Are you sure that it was the air tightness that got it? The temperature may have dropped down too low anyways if you are in zone 5, and leaves that seem to be submerged under water through the winter seem to be vulnerable to browning off. Nuda also doesn't seem to be any hardier than moso as a juvenile plant.

I've tested a column tarp that was completely air tight on my dulcis back in 2009/2010. I first didn't protect it because I thought it was immune to temperatures down to -5F, but had no idea it would leaf burn when it only got close to 0F. I didn't know much about winter protection back then. After I tarped in the middle of winter with air-tight plastic, no further damage occured when it was untarped in March.

Is there anything out there stating that bamboo leaves need to be exposed to fresh air through the winter?

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:51 am 
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I think a combination of being air tight, cold, wet, and almost zero light put the tiny plant into too much distress.

The wetness was caused by leaves perspiring and there was just no place for water vapour to escape. That said, I think if you enclose enough air and that the duration is not for too long, then the result would be different as in your case. Also, it maybe that you thought that you've made it air tight but perhaps a tiny little gap existed, and that is all that's needed for the plant to breath.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:52 am 
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Location: Midwest, USDA Z5 / AHS Heat Z5
pokenei wrote:
When I unwrapped it in the Spring, it was all wet and rotten.

pokenei wrote:
I think a combination of being air tight, cold, wet, and almost zero light put the tiny plant into too much distress.


I'm guessing more of the trouble was from freeze-thaw cycles perhaps exacerbated by the wrap absorbing solar energy during the day but cooling to freeze at night. Plants don't tend to rot until after they thaw.

Try burying your bamboo in snow instead. The snow will have to melt away before the plant can thaw and freeze again. 8)


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:11 am 
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Another reason that your bamboo couldn't handle being wrapped up may be that nuda has very thin, wispy leaves that are prone to burn from wind, sun, drought, moisture, or cool & wet conditions. Despite being kept under tarps or the greenhouse, my nuda has often gotten leaf burn anyways in the spring so I think the leaves on that species simply aren't tough enough. It makes it worse when you are dealing with a small plant that hasn't anchored itself with enough root mass yet. I really don't understand how Nuda can be rated at -20F hardiness, but it might not be the extreme cold that causes the damage. Here's an example of what I'm talking about.

My moso bicolor was tarped over last winter, but once the tarp was removed, and it was exposed to cool wet conditions where it didn't get any cooler than 15F, leaf burn started to occur so I had to put the tarp back on for a few more weeks. This species also happens to have very thin and delicate leaves, but luckily, its leaf buds weren't harmed. I think this leaf burn puts a dent in the shooting performance which may be why I only got 1 shoot from this plant this year.
Image


I'm not completely sure, but I believe that prominens might have the thickest leaves with the most resilience to something like this in the phyllostachys genus. It seems like Bissetii, and yellow groove also show this characteristic to an extent.

This prominens division was leaf curled for about a week before unfolding, and looking good as shown here. I believe that a species with less durable leaves would have croaked with leaves that are stressed for that much time.
Image


To sum this up, I think that leaf durability may be a factor in how well a certain bamboo performs in a given climate, and this may or may not be correlated with leaf hardiness. This may be one of the reasons that people have been reporting differences in the hardiness of the same species in different climates which are rated at the same climate zone. Vivax has very big leaves, but they appear kind of thin, making them prone to this kind of damage which appears to be the plant's inability to either hold moisture, or transpire water fast enough. Parvifolia appears to have tiny leaves, but they are also wispy and thin however it happens to be one of the hardier species. I think this may have to deal with the thickness of the cell walls, amount of silicate, or fiber in the leaves. The problem is that it may be very hard to measure the durability of a bamboo leaf, and there are other factors such as the thickness of the roots which can affect how tough a bamboo is.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:51 pm 
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Steve look into leaf tessellation and see if it fits into your theory here. BTW, I suspect Phy lithophylla has thicker leaves than prominens.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:23 pm 
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http://davisla.wordpress.com/2011/12/06 ... ithophila/

I just took a look at a picture of lithophila, and this website claims that it produces 20cm long leaves which are enormous for a phyllostachys. I don't have that species, but by looking at that picture, those leaves look very durable.

I think the leaves on lithophylla look too big in comparison to the skinny culms.

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