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How to Grow Timber Bamboo

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Timber bamboos are among the fastest-growing plants in the world. Well-established groves can produce canes 75 to 100 feet tall and 6 inches in diameter in a single growing season, which may be as short as two months in cold climates. As a landscape plant, timber bamboo can form impressive mini-forests or can be used as a tall screen. The slender canes and thin leaves provide a light and airy atmosphere that is enhanced by the sound of the leaves rustling in gentle winds.

Dig a hole at the planting location a few inches deeper and twice as wide as the container the bamboo came in. Back-fill 1 or 2 inches of soil, creating a slight mound in the center of the hole.

Remove the timber bamboo from the nursery pot and gently loosen the soil around the edges of the rootball.

Place the bamboo in the hole and adjust its position so it stands upright and the ground surface is at the same level as it was in the nursery pot. The roots should flare away from the cane just at and slightly above ground-surface level.

Fill in the hole with the same soil that came out of it. Gently firm up the soil so the bamboo can stand up on its own.

Water the bamboo thoroughly and let the water soak into the ground. Fill in any holes created by the water settling the soil.

Monitor the timber bamboo carefully for the next few seasons. Keep the soil evenly moist, and do not let it dry completely.

Fertilize timber bamboo groves that are several years old and well-established with a high-nitrogen granular fertilizer in the spring.

Prune out dead and unwanted canes by cutting them off at the ground with a fine-toothed saw after they have matured in the late spring or summer. Only remove up to 1/3 of the live canes per season. Leave fallen leaves on the ground as mulch; the leaves help add nutrients to the soil.

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