How to Cultivate Lumber Bamboo

Overview

Bamboo provides a common building and decorative material in much of the world. Before cultivating bamboo as lumber, consider your climate zone. Some varieties of bamboo suitable for lumber will grow in colder areas. Many of the larger bamboos, however, do not fare well in areas where winter temperatures drop to below 15 degrees F. If you live in a colder area, consider growing a smaller, straight bamboo suitable for furniture or lightweight construction.

Step 1

Determine the size of the area in which you want to grow your bamboo for lumber. If you are growing in a very large area, such as several acres, you don't need to add a bamboo barrier. If you are growing in a more limited area where the bamboo may become invasive, dig a trench around the area and sink a bamboo barrier at least 36 inches below ground.

Step 2

Prepare the soil in your grove by turning it. Although you can do this with a shovel and rake, a rototiller will make the process faster and easier.

Step 3

Plant your bamboo rhizomes 2 to 3 inches deep.

Step 4

Add 2 to 3 inches of mulch to the grove and water the plants with about 6 inches of water initially.

Step 5

Water your bamboo grove three to four times a week, depending on how much natural rain has fallen.

Step 6

Cut the canes close to the ground with a saw and lay them across screens to dry when your bamboo begins to reach the desired thickness for decorative or construction use. If the canes are curved, tie the ends down to keep tension on the bamboo while it dries to create straighter canes.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Bamboo barrier
  • Rake
  • Rototiller (optional)
  • Bamboo rhizomes
  • Mulch
  • Saw

References

  • Lewis Bamboo: Giant Timber Bamboo
  • Bamboo HQ: Planting Care and Info
  • Tradewinds Bamboo Nursery: Timber Bamboo

Who Can Help

  • Auburn University: Bamboo Growing in Alabama
  • Bamboo Wolesale: Useful Bamboo Species
  • Farm Info.org: Growing Bamboo
Keywords: bamboo care, bamboo cultivation, bamboo lumber

About this Author

Christopher Earle is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colo. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for National Public Radio, the Associated Press, the Boeing Company, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, Active Voice, RAHCO International and Umax Data Systems. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota.