Fascinating Facts about Bamboo


Woven bamboo for surfboard manufacture has positive buoyancy in the water (flotation) whereas the synthetic glass fiber is a dead weight with negative buoyancy. Bamboo produces a stronger more durable board without losing its flexibility.

Bamboo survived the atomic bomb at Hiroshima and was the first plant to recover following the blast in 1945.

Bamboo produces the largest amount of oxygen, and consumes more carbon dioxide than any other plant size for size.

Mature bamboos produce several new shoots and canes each year, which can be harvested individually without destroying the plant.

Bamboo plants are very effective at removing metals and other toxic substances from soils and water.

In fact, there are over 1500 species of bamboo in the world.

Over 1 billion people in the world live in bamboo houses. Bamboo buildings have proven to be exceedingly earthquake proof.

Bamboo shoots have been eaten throughout Asia for centuries, and branches and leaves make good fodder for animals.

Thomas Edison used bamboo filaments in his first light bulbs, and one of those bulbs is still burning today in Washington, DC.

Running or Clumping Bamboo

The first thing you need to do before purchasing your bamboo plant is to consider all of the advantages and disadvantages of the clumping and running varieties and what type will best suit your location. For example, clumping varieties spread wider at a slower rate, but grow tall faster. Additionally clumping bamboos don’t require root barriers for containment. Runners on the other hand spread wide very quickly to form dense screens, but require root barriers to contain the spread of the plants rhizomes.

Clumping bamboos have a very short root structure, are genetically incapable of expanding more than few inches a year, and will generally form small circular clumps. The dense root system however can exert strong pressure on structures that come in contact with it, and therefore the larger clumping varieties should not be planted to close to fences, sidewalks, retaining walls, etc. In saying that however, the clumping varieties may be shaped and prevented from putting pressure on any surrounding structures by removing new shoots at soil level when they begin to get too close to a structure. It is advisable to plant a clumping bamboo at least 2 ft from a fence to allow some room for growth of the plant.

Running bamboos spread vigorously, sending out underground rhizomes which sometimes spread far from the parent plant. Runners fill in the spaces between plantings faster, making them ideal for fast screens, hedges. Bamboo runners may be easily contained, since the rhizomes grow sideways at a reasonable shallow depth. Most of the running varieties are also very cold-hardy.