Effects of thinning bamboo

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pokenei
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Effects of thinning bamboo

Post by pokenei »

This year has been a disappointment despite a mild Winter and minimal bamboo damage. The shoots of my Parvifolia are nearly all slanted and smaller in size compared to previous year. Atrovaginata shoots are much fewer, and some are also slanted. I was expecting some major upsize!

This lead me conclude that new bamboo culms (year 1) generally don't contribute to putting up new shoots, but rather older culms and rhizomes do. I did remove most of the older and smaller culms late last year so that they're more pleasing to look at. That must have trigger its survival mode and send up more smaller and slanted shoots instead.

I have already removed a couple dozen shoots that are finger size or smaller. The rest although slanted, I would still let them mature, perhaps straight them as they grow.
pokenei
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Re: Effects of thinning bamboo

Post by pokenei »

small slanted shoots
small slanted shoots
Alan_L
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Re: Effects of thinning bamboo

Post by Alan_L »

I remember Brad ("Needmore") posting years ago that he thought that culms stored a significant amount of energy for shoots, and IIRC he thinned some groves a little too much and saw the same sort of thing? (Maybe I'm misremembering...)

I think a good rule to follow is to not remove any culms (unless they really must be) until the plant has matured and getting the size you want each year.

If you think about it, what's the difference between a plant where lots of culms died from drought/cold (like my groves this year), or a plant that had culms removed by you? There's none I think -- the plant gets set back in either case.

(But at least you don't have lots of dead culms making your plants look terrible...)
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needmore
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Re: Effects of thinning bamboo

Post by needmore »

Alan_L wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2024 5:54 pm I remember Brad ("Needmore") posting years ago that he thought that culms stored a significant amount of energy for shoots, and IIRC he thinned some groves a little too much and saw the same sort of thing? (Maybe I'm misremembering...)

I think a good rule to follow is to not remove any culms (unless they really must be) until the plant has matured and getting the size you want each year.

If you think about it, what's the difference between a plant where lots of culms died from drought/cold (like my groves this year), or a plant that had culms removed by you? There's none I think -- the plant gets set back in either case.

(But at least you don't have lots of dead culms making your plants look terrible...)
Good memory Alan!
Brad Salmon, zone 12B Kea'au, HI
http://www.needmorebamboo.com
jd.
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Re: Effects of thinning bamboo

Post by jd. »

Growing Phyllostachys parvifolia in zone 5 gave me the impression that leaf area surviving into spring has a great effect on a bamboo's ability to grow larger.

It's a shame to see your parvifolia apparently reverting to growing juvenile culms this year. In a climate where winter leaf damage would otherwise occur, a mild winter is an opportunity for a bamboo to thrive for a season.

Does that bamboo receive full sun during shooting season?
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Re: Effects of thinning bamboo

Post by pokenei »

jd. wrote: Fri Jul 12, 2024 6:22 am Growing Phyllostachys parvifolia in zone 5 gave me the impression that leaf area surviving into spring has a great effect...
You are correct that Winter damage is the biggest factor in hindering bamboo growth size. My Parvifolia does get quite a bit of sun in the summer months. It is sandwiched between two roll of houses. If my theory is right in that most bamboo shoots grow from older rhizomes that have at least two seasons to charge up energy, then I would expect plenty of large bamboos next year. Rhizomes growing from new culms this year will just focus on stretching out and establishing roots.
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Re: Effects of thinning bamboo

Post by pokenei »

Here it is, my bamboo garden. In the back is Red Margin, Nigra on the right, Parvifolia on the left, and Atrovaginata is also on the left just out of the photo frame. I managed the squeeze in as much bamboo as possible inside this 20 ft by 40 ft yard.
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needmore
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Re: Effects of thinning bamboo

Post by needmore »

Looks great!
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