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Author Topic: Clumping Bamboo recommendations needed (for screening)  (Read 1220 times)

S t a r l i n g

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Clumping Bamboo recommendations needed (for screening)
« on: November 06, 2017, 02:57:14 AM »
I need to screen off a large area on my property and have decided to use bamboo. I need something that is clumping and won't go completely feral. Something very hedge-y that grows to height of around two stories. I was considering the variety 'slender weaver' but maybe there's something out there that's more suitable, I'm no expert on bamboo.

It will  be planted in rows to create a boxed off area, I would wager the total distance ( though I've not measured it out) will be something like 200M, thereabouts.

It's incredibly expensive here in Australia--has anyone successfully grown bamboo from seed?

Rannman

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Re: Clumping Bamboo recommendations needed (for screening)
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2017, 05:50:05 AM »
Have you thought about Lilly pillyís? Pretty quick growing, easy from seed and edible fruits. Thatís what Iím using to block out my neighbours.

pineislander

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Re: Clumping Bamboo recommendations needed (for screening)
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2017, 07:54:17 AM »
I think bamboo is expensive because it is a specialty item and takes a while to propagate. Seeds are hard to come by because bamboo may take decades to mature and make seed. The nurseries also usually don't grow the 'common' varieties, even across the clumping types. They grow the more unusual types with special colors or forms for collectors. On my property I have a timber type and  offered it for free to the bamboo nursery across the road. They didn't want it because it was 'too common'.

That is a lot of ground to cover. You might need 100-200 plants. Choose carefully based on viewing an established clump. Learn tp identify running vs clumping. Probably you should look for the generic 'Multiplex' bamboo if color or form isn't important. You might consider searching for someone NOT in the nursery business who has an established planting they need to thin/restrict. Offer them some money. Digging bamboo is a tough job, especially in clay/rocky soil. Some varieties you can propagate by rooting side branches. That will take some time because the first shoots will be thin juvenile reedy canes. Over several seasons (years) those will increase in size to attain the final adult diameter. From that point, the plant will begin sending up adult size shoots. That may take 2-3 or more years.

Planting established full diameter rhizomes instead of cuttings will yield larger culms faster. If you can't get enough stock at first you could plant at wide spacing and backfill a trench around the inner and outer sides of the planting with mulch. As the clump grows it will send rhizomes into the mulch which will be easier to harvest and replant between the existing clumps. Do not harvest rhizomes along your screen line so that it will begin to close up.
good luck.

I am covering 350 feet and have propagated 50 plants from branch cuttings, so one every 7 feet. My intent is a windbreak, a screen and harvesting edible shoots so I have chosen an edible shoot timber type 30' mature height. I got the cuttings free. Will use irrigation, mulch and a temporary screening plant down either side called Tithonia Diversifolia. It does not reseed, grows easily from stem cuttings to 10 feet in one rainy season. I will prune each side of the tithonia alternately to maintain a screen and the prunings will provide renewed mulch for the bamboo in a sustainable manner.
 Eventually, the tithonia can be removed or allowed to decline as bamboo takes over.
Description ( w/a little exaggeration):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYFj_7lBAPM

countryboy1981

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Re: Clumping Bamboo recommendations needed (for screening)
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2017, 10:36:14 AM »
Does anyone know any source for the lilly pilly in the U.S.?

echinopora

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Re: Clumping Bamboo recommendations needed (for screening)
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2017, 12:52:46 PM »
Whatever you go with give it some room. The neighbors planted 30m of bambusa boniopsis 5cm in from the boundary. It is a clumper but a 5 year old clump will be 1m across, so I'm contantly on spade patrol for new shoots. Give it at least 1m from the boundary. That said, it is very wind resistant and made a 4m screen in under 3 years.

If you need something quick in the meantime, pigeon peas are quick to make a 2-3 m hedge from seed, and under planted bamboo would over run them once you got it in ground. I've got heaps of them and could send a pound of seed your way should you need it.

S t a r l i n g

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Re: Clumping Bamboo recommendations needed (for screening)
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2017, 04:07:10 PM »
Have you thought about Lilly pillyís? Pretty quick growing, easy from seed and edible fruits. Thatís what Iím using to block out my neighbours.

Hi Anthony, hope things are good mate.

I did consider Lillipillies, and while they are great trees they are a bit too slow growing and another big downside is that they attract possums, being a syzgium ( possums graze the foliage as well as the fruit). Also, the better quality eating types aren't as hardy as the riberry types.

S t a r l i n g

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Re: Clumping Bamboo recommendations needed (for screening)
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2017, 04:55:37 PM »
I think bamboo is expensive because it is a specialty item and takes a while to propagate. Seeds are hard to come by because bamboo may take decades to mature and make seed. The nurseries also usually don't grow the 'common' varieties, even across the clumping types. They grow the more unusual types with special colors or forms for collectors. On my property I have a timber type and  offered it for free to the bamboo nursery across the road. They didn't want it because it was 'too common'.

That is a lot of ground to cover. You might need 100-200 plants. Choose carefully based on viewing an established clump. Learn tp identify running vs clumping. Probably you should look for the generic 'Multiplex' bamboo if color or form isn't important. You might consider searching for someone NOT in the nursery business who has an established planting they need to thin/restrict. Offer them some money. Digging bamboo is a tough job, especially in clay/rocky soil. Some varieties you can propagate by rooting side branches. That will take some time because the first shoots will be thin juvenile reedy canes. Over several seasons (years) those will increase in size to attain the final adult diameter. From that point, the plant will begin sending up adult size shoots. That may take 2-3 or more years.


Planting established full diameter rhizomes instead of cuttings will yield larger culms faster. If you can't get enough stock at first you could plant at wide spacing and backfill a trench around the inner and outer sides of the planting with mulch. As the clump grows it will send rhizomes into the mulch which will be easier to harvest and replant between the existing clumps. Do not harvest rhizomes along your screen line so that it will begin to close up.
good luck.


I am covering 350 feet and have propagated 50 plants from branch cuttings, so one every 7 feet. My intent is a windbreak, a screen and harvesting edible shoots so I have chosen an edible shoot timber type 30' mature height. I got the cuttings free. Will use irrigation, mulch and a temporary screening plant down either side called Tithonia Diversifolia. It does not reseed, grows easily from stem cuttings to 10 feet in one rainy season. I will prune each side of the tithonia alternately to maintain a screen and the prunings will provide renewed mulch for the bamboo in a sustainable manner.
 Eventually, the tithonia can be removed or allowed to decline as bamboo takes over.
Description ( w/a little exaggeration):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYFj_7lBAPM


Thanks for the info pine, the mexican sunflower sounds like an amazing plant. If it is as bio-nutrient rich as chicken manure that's phenomenal. In the video it is stated that it is mostly just chopped and dropped, but have you ever tried mulching it? Given its growth rate it might be a total mulch solution and I wonder how easily it mulches. How thirsty is it, and is itan annual/perennial or does it kinda just keep perpetuating throughout the year and have a growth explosion in the warmer months?

There is a guy not too far away from me that has tonnes of bamboo and I believe it may be the slender weaver type, so at this point I'm thinking of knocking on his door and throwing some cash at him. He might be willing to let me turn up with a pick, who knows.Failing that there is a an AU ebayer who sells bamboo seed, I could try giving that a go too.

S t a r l i n g

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Re: Clumping Bamboo recommendations needed (for screening)
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2017, 04:59:33 PM »
Whatever you go with give it some room. The neighbors planted 30m of bambusa boniopsis 5cm in from the boundary. It is a clumper but a 5 year old clump will be 1m across, so I'm contantly on spade patrol for new shoots. Give it at least 1m from the boundary. That said, it is very wind resistant and made a 4m screen in under 3 years.

If you need something quick in the meantime, pigeon peas are quick to make a 2-3 m hedge from seed, and under planted bamboo would over run them once you got it in ground. I've got heaps of them and could send a pound of seed your way should you need it.

I really need something that grows to a height of about two stories and is 'set and forget' so to speak, but I wouldn't mind some pigeon pea due to its sheer utility. Do you eat the peas themselves or just use the plant for green manure crops/mulch?

pineislander

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Re: Clumping Bamboo recommendations needed (for screening)
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2017, 08:04:20 PM »
In the video it is stated that it is mostly just chopped and dropped, but have you ever tried mulching it? Given its growth rate it might be a total mulch solution and I wonder how easily it mulches. How thirsty is it, and is itan annual/perennial or does it kinda just keep perpetuating throughout the year and have a growth explosion in the warmer months?
"Chop and drop" means using the Tithonia as a ground covering mulch with minimal cutting. It enjoys plenty of water but survives dry conditions. In our Florida conditions it can regrow 2-3 times during the 6 month rainy season, as day length decreases during our northern hemisphere autumn, if the regrowth is tall enough it flowers profusely, but the variety found here must be sterile, it never reseeds. I believe there is a non-sterile variety in south & central america which sets seed and looks exactly the same, Boton de Oro. Once established it seems to be perennial. It is also a nutritious forage for cows, etc.

S t a r l i n g

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Re: Clumping Bamboo recommendations needed (for screening)
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2017, 10:07:29 PM »
In the video it is stated that it is mostly just chopped and dropped, but have you ever tried mulching it? Given its growth rate it might be a total mulch solution and I wonder how easily it mulches. How thirsty is it, and is itan annual/perennial or does it kinda just keep perpetuating throughout the year and have a growth explosion in the warmer months?
"Chop and drop" means using the Tithonia as a ground covering mulch with minimal cutting. It enjoys plenty of water but survives dry conditions. In our Florida conditions it can regrow 2-3 times during the 6 month rainy season, as day length decreases during our northern hemisphere autumn, if the regrowth is tall enough it flowers profusely, but the variety found here must be sterile, it never reseeds. I believe there is a non-sterile variety in south & central america which sets seed and looks exactly the same, Boton de Oro. Once established it seems to be perennial. It is also a nutritious forage for cows, etc.

So I had a conversation with a bamboo grower today who recommended I buy a variety called oldhamii ( Timber bamboo) which is similar to the gracilis ( slender weaver) but grows to a height of around 12m.

I did ask him about why it isn't propogated from seed, and he explained that the seeding stage of bamboo is the terminal point in its life; when it seeds, it dies. Basically, all bamboo varieties have this death clock embedded in them, and this event happens anywhere within and 80 year period to a period of hundreds of years. Apparently there was a huge event in Thialnd some years ago where a very, very old orchard of bamboo grown for its shoots for food consumption was wiped out basically overnight due to every plant spontaneously flowering at one time.That, and they are highly variable from seed and are better propagated from corms, ultimately.

I can't really buy seeds or anything else anymore owing to the BICON legislation put into place, but hopefully the Mexican sunflower turns up somehow, I'd love to grow it.

sahai1

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Re: Clumping Bamboo recommendations needed (for screening)
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2017, 11:40:44 PM »
Quote
I really need something that grows to a height of about two stories and is 'set and forget' so to speak, but I wouldn't mind some pigeon pea due to its sheer utility. Do you eat the peas themselves or just use the plant for green manure crops/mulch?

You can never forget about bamboo, it requires maintenance, even clumping ones spread, just easier contained because they don't run underground, so you can get at the shoots easily.  Bananas are clumpers.. and they can spread out 5-6 feet over 2-3 years if untouched.

You may consider Red Gum Eucalyptus or Casuarina equisetifolia, both would supply you with hardwood and are salt, drought, and flooding tolerant.  Or you could research some other hardwoods like Rosewood.  First two could trim every 5 years for firewood, rosewood you could begin to harvest in 30 years.

echinopora

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Re: Clumping Bamboo recommendations needed (for screening)
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2017, 01:10:44 AM »
Used the pigeon pea for cover cropping some small fruit trees, then chop and dropped them. But the chooks and king parrots liked them enough that I keep a patch going in the back corner. They self seed readily and crop very heavily. I have harvested them for dhal, but the effort is great for what I can buy at the indian food store for a few bucks. There are tons of dry pods on right now.

King

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Re: Clumping Bamboo recommendations needed (for screening)
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2017, 01:29:14 AM »
I have bamboo growing on my property. I live in the Central Valley of California.  Keep in mind, that once a bamboo forest is established, it is nearly impossible to get rid of.  Your neighbors are going to hate you if you plant it on the edge of your property, since it will invade into their property.  The bamboo rhizomes are going to compete against your other trees and may even choke out the roots of nearby trees.  Bamboo groves may reduce your property value. The bamboo poles do come in hardy though, for projects and building things like tomato cages, and vine trellises.

This bamboo has been in my property in my parents' house since before I was even born. If I had my own property, I would not plant bamboo on it.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2017, 02:45:42 AM by King »

pineislander

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Re: Clumping Bamboo recommendations needed (for screening)
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2017, 06:33:42 AM »
So I had a conversation with a bamboo grower today who recommended I buy a variety called oldhamii ( Timber bamboo) which is similar to the gracilis ( slender weaver) but grows to a height of around 12m.

I can't really buy seeds or anything else anymore owing to the BICON legislation put into place, but hopefully the Mexican sunflower turns up somehow, I'd love to grow it.
Beware Oldhamii is much larger in diameter and height than what you said you wanted.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkSF5oQBNeE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2dTNMQ9_ec




greenman62

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Re: Clumping Bamboo recommendations needed (for screening)
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2017, 08:44:19 AM »
i am growing this one from seed.
its pretty slow
but one of the best edible bamboo
also looks really good.
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Phyllostachys+nigra

i have another one (i dont know the name)
but its clumping, and hasnt been a problem
its really stayed in place over 4 yrs.
a stalk will start, and will get almost 20ft in a  couple of weeks.
id say they are almost 2in thick.
The thing i dont like, is eventually i want to replace it with a fruit tree
but, it looks almost impossible to dig up the roots.
i will have to cover it up and plant next to it.

Inga would grow fast, tall, provide food, and fix nitrogen.
moringa grow straight up if you let it. also fast.
it has high germination rates and seeds are fairly cheap.

my tithonia reseeds BTW.

S t a r l i n g

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Re: Clumping Bamboo recommendations needed (for screening)
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2017, 08:03:24 PM »
Used the pigeon pea for cover cropping some small fruit trees, then chop and dropped them. But the chooks and king parrots liked them enough that I keep a patch going in the back corner. They self seed readily and crop very heavily. I have harvested them for dhal, but the effort is great for what I can buy at the indian food store for a few bucks. There are tons of dry pods on right now.

Bugger it, I'll give them a shot. Are they fast from seed? Are they drought tolerant?
Not sure what I have to offer in return, I already owe you one if memory serves correctly. Still have a few things sitting around that you might be interested in.

S t a r l i n g

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Re: Clumping Bamboo recommendations needed (for screening)
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2017, 08:07:26 PM »
I have bamboo growing on my property. I live in the Central Valley of California.  Keep in mind, that once a bamboo forest is established, it is nearly impossible to get rid of.  Your neighbors are going to hate you if you plant it on the edge of your property, since it will invade into their property.  The bamboo rhizomes are going to compete against your other trees and may even choke out the roots of nearby trees.  Bamboo groves may reduce your property value. The bamboo poles do come in hardy though, for projects and building things like tomato cages, and vine trellises.

This bamboo has been in my property in my parents' house since before I was even born. If I had my own property, I would not plant bamboo on it.

I guess I'll have to build some kind of boxing for them so they don't spread. They will be going into what is really a cow paddock and will be kept will clear of my fruit trees, it's basically a blank slate(just a grassy area) so nothing will be competing with it.

echinopora

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Re: Clumping Bamboo recommendations needed (for screening)
« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2017, 10:39:05 PM »
I'm easy, I'll wait for a few dry days so I can wind winnow them and send them your way. I'm all planted out on dragonfruit but I'd take some prickly pear pads of good varieties next time a storm blows some off. PM me an addy or post office box.

Slow at first but this is a bigger variety and makes 2 meters in its second year, tops out at about 3 meters. They will only live 4-5 years but by then they will have self seeded.

S t a r l i n g

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Re: Clumping Bamboo recommendations needed (for screening)
« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2017, 03:16:39 AM »
I'm easy, I'll wait for a few dry days so I can wind winnow them and send them your way. I'm all planted out on dragonfruit but I'd take some prickly pear pads of good varieties next time a storm blows some off. PM me an addy or post office box.

Slow at first but this is a bigger variety and makes 2 meters in its second year, tops out at about 3 meters. They will only live 4-5 years but by then they will have self seeded.

Might able to swing the opuntia. Will send PM.

echinopora

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Re: Clumping Bamboo recommendations needed (for screening)
« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2017, 12:24:37 PM »
If you have extra pads, if you are still growing out the patch just put a tick down for me when you have some to spare.

pineislander

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Re: Clumping Bamboo recommendations needed (for screening)
« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2017, 05:30:51 PM »

Inga would grow fast, tall, provide food, and fix nitrogen.
moringa grow straight up if you let it. also fast.
it has high germination rates and seeds are fairly cheap.
my tithonia reseeds BTW.

Inga hasn't been a fast grower for me and others in Florida. This is about what I've seen.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwxSbYPw1YY

There is an annual Tithonia rotundifolia with flourescent orange to red flowers, swollen hollow flower base(peduncle).
I would recommend only the sterile perennial variety Tithonia diversifolia which grows very easily from cuttings, the one that seeds is known as a noxious weed in some tropical climates.

mangaba

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Re: Clumping Bamboo recommendations needed (for screening)
« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2017, 07:49:59 PM »
Bamboo draws a lot of water. You should try Polyalthea longifolia also called the false Asoka tree. When planted in a row it forms a nice screen.

roblack

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Re: Clumping Bamboo recommendations needed (for screening)
« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2017, 08:22:02 PM »
surinam cherry makes a great natural fence for us, with some getting over 15 feet tall. Once established, can go a while without water. growing chocolate bamboo, but it's not thick enough yet to provide solid privacy. not sure how big it gets. surinam cherry and chocolate bamboo look good together, contrast e/o well.

S t a r l i n g

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Re: Clumping Bamboo recommendations needed (for screening)
« Reply #23 on: November 09, 2017, 08:47:29 PM »
Thanks for all the replies everyone.

I've been dissuaded from the bamboo option and have decided to go with a native called a Eumundi Quandong ( Elaeocarpus Eumundii) which is a pretty tree that grows fast and straight. Quite expoensive though however.

 


 

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