The large timber bamboo is often the most delicious and kg heavy shoots you can buy. If you don’t use it to build with, then why not eat it each year or supply top restaurants who seek out these delicious fresh shoots.
Bamboo is stronger than hard wood and it only takes 7 years to grow a clump. Each year you will be able to harvest 3-5 year old poles (culms) for 100 or more years, compared to hardwood being cut down and usually requiring 100 years to grow strong.
Bamboo is the Future! And it is beautiful!
Did you know India uses the large Balcooa below for most of its paper? Did you know Bali, Brazil, Costa Rica and Vietnam are leading the way with large bamboo – creating exquisite contemporary buildings and harvesting large bamboo for composite (flooring, panels) being 2.5 x stronger than hardwood composite. Bamboo is becoming increasingly popular with architects, interior designers and homeowners because it has unique textures and colours and is a breathtaking alternative to hardwood flooring. Bamboo is also proven as a sustainable and environmentally friendly option.
The below information is provided by Kirsten, Bello Bamboo and Kaye at Byron Bamboo. Buy online from Kaye at Byron Bamboo for Australia wide delivery or contact us for local delivery in the Mid North Coast area. Come learn how to BUILD with bamboo in Bello or have an eco holiday learning how to build and create products in Bali with us in 2014.
Here are our top 5 timber bamboo’s (clumping varieties) and note the shoot taste!
“Asper” – Dendrocalamus Asper “Petung” (Bali)
15 – 20 metre height
The Green School Bali’s, large building bamboo
Grows beautifully in Bello! A beautiful clumping bamboo that is used for large buildings. Strong and golden in colour when cured/dried. Able to last for 20-50 years with good treatment and oiling. Famous as the ‘Green School’ and ‘Green Village’, Bali’s’ chosen bamboo with amazingly large single culms (poles) 3 stories high.
Kaye’s description: A favourite for look with cream/ blonde velvety finish on mid green poles, has large dark green foliage, grows in a tight tidy clump over 15 metres. Used in Asia for construction and craft its large culms are also used as outriggers on fishing boats. New cream and pink shoots are amazing in size and colour, and texture. A great edible shoot bamboo.
The ‘black’ version of Asper, “Hitam” is beautiful also and used as large poles in Bali’s architecture too (see next).
Asper – Dendrocalamus Asper “Hitam”
15 – 20 metre height
This is the black version of Asper. It remains black after drying (see image in Bali above). Beautiful for ceremonial pergola or as per the photo, a large ceremonial area at a Bali resort. Great for splits to create walls and flooring as per another photo here. Eye catching for a medium to large property as a stand alone feature or amongst your landscape.
Kaye’s description: Huge soft hair beige brown fur covers brown/black culms have aerial hairy lighter cream bands circling the nodes. Highly regarded in Indonesia where it is know as “Pring Betung Hitam”. Excellent shoot bamboo. It’s soft velvety & awesome.
Some culms will reach 200mm and be skyscapers . This is also a wonderful ornamental feature plant for a large property. For timber the walls are thick and has good culm strength, durability. A reasonably cold resistant species, which can withstand frost. In colder areas ensure a good medium is used to plant – fertilise and mulch well – offer protection until this plant establishes. Our plants are grown in a traditional way – not from seed or tissue culture so they will grow to resemble their mother plant here.
Java Black – Gigantochloa Atroviolacea
Height: 10 metres plus
Gorgeous and strong. Timor Black seems similar but is not as large in diameter, is not suitable for timber bamboo and is shinier than this matt black bamboo. If you wax or put water on Java Black, it shines brilliantly. Near instant sooty black colouration to culms and a cream nodal colouration. Longer internodes than Timor Black. Leafs are also larger. Used for structure (minor), furniture and musical instruments.
Exclusive bamboo … difficult to produce. Grows well in sub-tropical or tropical areas but of the two Java will handle the cold better than Bambusa Lako (timor) and is also are better timber.
The pink shoots are small but sweet.
Image: Jim Hood, local property owner of 300 bamboo plants and 57 varieties. His favourite is Java Black!
Balcooa Bambusa Balcooa (origin India)
Height 25 mtr. Thickness 15cm
Originally from India and still the main paper pulp bamboo, Balcooa migrated around the East Coast of Australia early this century as animal shelter and great fodder. It often stands as a very large messy thick clump, un-managed as you drive the east coast – little do the farmers realise it has the potential to earn much for the owners. The bitter shoots are highly regarded by the Vietnamese consumers yet it may not appeal to the westerner. Poles are used as a building material for houses, bridges, fishing floats. Most popular as scaffolding it is also used for baskets, woven mats and for agricultural and fishing implements. This bamboo species also serves as a raw material for the wood chip industry and paper pulp. It is high in starch, prone to decay faster if untreated, but recent treatment processes (see www.abari.org in Nepal) are bringing the best out of this strong bamboo. The Bello Bamboo Company uses a similar treatment and opens up opportunities for the world to re-think this important clumping bamboo’s value. This plant is proposed as the best pyrolysis bamboo plant for its density in an initiative in our region (biochar). Unmanaged it has gained a bad reputation as being hard to deal with and harvest and it does require skill to harvest. Our team are reviving the value of this plant and managing the clumps to make harvesting easy.
Image: Michael (Kirsten’s son, at our Bamboo Retreat and accommodation property, Bellingen, Australia)
Latiflorus “Taiwan Giant” – Dendrocalamus Latiflorus
20-25 metres height
There are 2 types of Latiflorus. We talk about the large leaf version with beautiful lime green culms and hardly any lower branches. Straight culms with large leaves. Top shoots… very delicious and main shoot industry for bamboo in Australia and many countries. When the bamboo is cut, it drys in a very beautiful way … orange, to dark brown stripes to golden.
Kaye’s comments: A giant bamboo native to China, with culm walls over an inch thick, it is majestic in appearance with large foliage often 25 cm long, vibrant green huge culms with long internode, growing in a tight clump formation. This is an excellent timber bamboo for house construction, crafts, and DIY projects. The pole (culms) internal wall can measure 2.5cm and poles 100-140mm in diameter. This bamboo dries to a lovely clean sheen.
Also a principal commercial variety for shoot production in Asia, the shoots are incredible in colour orange with purple tops that shoot up at a rapid speed growing this year 1 metre in a week.
20-25 metres height
Oldhamii is a perfect very tall bamboo for pathways, timber and delicious shoots. It is one of the most straight growing bamboo’s with no lower branches and a gorgeous green culm (pole). It has been used in flood areas to rebuild soil from over used agricultural practices. See Geoff Lawton’s Permaculture video about ‘Power of Bamboo’ and the usefulness of this bamboo.
Kaye’s description: Native to Southern China, this is one of the straightest growing bamboo species – widely used for timber – has strength and durability. Widely cultivated in Taiwan for edible shoots. Economical fast growing attractive large screening species. Grown in shade is a darker green with silver powder on new culms. In sunny conditions will take on a more orange hue. Large straight poles, dark foliage with powdery new culms. Will handle wet feet – and also dry spells. A frost tolerant plant – performs well in temperate climates. Oldhamii makes a good acoustic and/or wind barrier.
Not recommended for smaller suburban properties – a great attractive larger hedge for acreages. Sweet shoots are highly regarded.
Ideal for large TeePee – specially cut and treated poles can be ordered in advance and measured to your size needs.
So… is it time to get some bamboo on your property ready to build with in a few years for your next shed or extension? Will you use it to restore land or create more high protein animal fodder? Will it act as a wind break or beautiful lane way along your driveway? Will you think long term and help ensure Australia has enough timber for the future or pulp or biomass necessary for the various products and energy needs we will need? If so, there are many nurseries near you. In Australia, you can check the Bamboo Society website:
or check out our package deals for local delivery and pick up in the Mid North Coast, NSW, Australia:
or check out Byron Bamboo and have Kaye and her awesome team give you delivery throughout Australia through her online shop and expert service:
Bamboo Plantation is a necessary new industry in Australia. Check out our PDF Brochure about Bamboo Investment and Plantation in Australia. Ideas, Vision and we would love your input.
What about running bamboo?
We will cover the amazing benefits of running bamboo as a timber, furniture item and especially as a source of shoots. Most clumping bamboo require shoots to be boiled 2 x whereas most running bamboo shoots can be eaten raw or with no preparation besides slicing into the next meal or stirfry. See future NEWS or join BOO NEWS to be kept informed.
What’s the difference between running and clumping?
Clumping is non invasive and reaches a set diameter. Running bamboo has roots (rhisomes that continue outward… forever! or at least until it seeds and dies which can be 100 plus years!). The key is to use the bamboo. It likes to be cut after years and many Asian countries will never leave old poles (culms) in the groves – always eating or using the bamboo for some purpose. If we were to use it regularly, running bamboo would never be an issue. It is a better shoot, it is less susceptible to bora beetles and decay, it is often lighter to harvest and work with yet just as strong… We looooove running bamboo and are deeply grateful for the people who planted it (not realising its expansion rate) in our region. Luckily we don’t have to plant any more as it is an abundant resource… but as more people get practical with bamboo, we recommend it is one of the top bamboo’s for timber, products and shoots. More on this later!