Was: Hello all, plus pics; now: bamboo discussions

Hi everyone, my name is David. I have been a lurker on this site for a while. My interests are no spray, low input fruit and nut trees. This forum is a great resource.

Here is a photo of a simple cleft graft done a couple of months ago. I placed a Rossenyaka budwood on a wild male persimmon.


Same tree this past weekend. Sorry, it was getting dark.




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Can’t see your pics. It requests signing in with my google account.

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Sorry about that, my first post was on my mobile device. No preview…
Here is the graft approximately 2 months ago.


Here is a pic from this last weekend. I sawed off the weaker of the two grafts to allow the area to get some fresh air.


Another pic with the flash since it was getting dark.


Your graft must have grown very well. I never have to saw new new grafts off. Most of mine are small. A pruner is more than adequate.

Welcome aboard. Please put your state i your profile if possible. People can help you more if they know where you are located. Knowing a location is as important as knowing a zone,


It has grown a lot, it’s a very large tree. I had to get a 6 foot ladder out to work on it. The limbs had a split in the center, which I did not like. I felt like too much moisture was getting in there. Here is the full tree in the bottom left of the photo, and some of my mowers to the right. I will remove the remainder of the male persimmon’s branches as the months progress.


Hello David @BambooMan !
A late welcome to the forum. I just saw another one of your posts, the first post of yours I noticed, and went looking for the thread where you talk about your bamboo. I’m hoping I can solicit that here since there doesn’t seem to be a thread where you talk about your bamboo yet. What species do you grow? How big and old are they? Which species grow the best for you? Do you use the bamboo for anything (edible shoots, poles…), assuming you’ve had it long enough for it to be mature enough? If so, I’m curious about your thoughts on particular species for particular uses. I’m especially interested in using bamboo for practical purposes, but I definitely appreciate its aesthetic qualities, too.


Oh boy, I love talking about my bamboo! I think everyone who can should grow some form of it. It is so practical, just the culms alone have so many uses. Please excuse my spelling, I am pulling a lot of this from memory.

The main species/variants I grow are the the giant phyllostachys:
P. bambusoides (5 or so cultivars/variants)
P. dulcis
P. edulis “obviously”
P. nigra (4 or so cultivars)
P. vivax (3 cultivars)
P. viridis ‘Robert Young’
P. aurea (4 cultivars)
P. aureosulcata ‘Spectabilis’
P. glauca
P. iridescens
P. makinoi
P. bisettii
P. parvifolia (very nice cold hardy giant)
P. atrovaginata
P. flexuosa
P. I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few.

I also grow:

Pseudosasa amabilis and japonica
A few Semiarundinaria
Sinobambusa tootsik albostriata and intermedia

A few cold hardy clumpers:
Bambusa multiplex ‘silverstripe’ and ‘Alphonse Kar’
Bambusa textilis ‘Kanapha’

A few odds and ends that are still young:
Sasamorpha borealis
Indocalamus solidus
A couple of Chimonabambusa
Hibanobambusa tranquilins ‘shiroshima’
A couple of Sasaella
Indocalamus tesellatus
Shibataea kumasaca and lancifolia

I’m sure I’ve missed a few…

My groves are young, I just want them to grow at the moment. I will post pics in a sec so you can have an idea of how they perform and how long I’ve been growing them. Ultimately, my goals are:
Evergreen fodder for my ruminants (to cut down on hay costs)
Shoots for kimchi, stir fry, and other tasty goodness.
A windbreak for my orchard/collection of fruit trees.
Soil improvement for abused farmland.
Plus, I need all the culms I can get for tree stakes.
Also, shade for animals in the hot and humid South.

This is a picture in 2015 of a moso seedling. Which means it must have been germinated in 2014.

Here is a pic in July 2017 of the same moso. Notice, the foliage still retains some of the juvenile characteristics. I suspect next year these qualities will be gone.

P. viridis ‘Robert Young’ 2014.

The same P. viridis ‘Robert Young’ in 2015. Notice, no trees to the right of this pic.

The same P. viridis ‘Robert Young’ in June of 2017. BTW, there is a shorter Moso in front of the ‘Robert young’. See some trees to the right? I never planned these shots I just happened upon them in my files. The second photo is a closeup of the culms.

P. bambusoides ‘Tanakae,’ June 2017.

P. nigra ‘Punctata,’ June 2017.

Sinobambusa tootsik ‘Albostriata,’ June 2017.

As far as how big they are, it varies. My tallest is 35 or so feet, which is P. bambusoides. Thickest culms, ‘Robert Young,’ at 3ish inches. Bamboo shooting season is always impressive, but I always want more and look forward to next year.

P. bambusoides, viridis ‘Robert Young’ and rubromarginata are my quickest growers. Everyone dogs Moso as a slow grower. In zone 8 Moso seedlings exhibit seedling vigor and are very vigorous for me. The pic up top of the smaller Moso was a division. If you can’t tell, I love ‘Robert Young.’ It has a somewhat clumping growth pattern for the first few years, but still grows quickly. Most of my other runners just run in chaotic patterns. A lot of wasted energy goes into growth in areas where I don’t want bamboo.


Fantastic bamboos David. I planted Phyllostachys aureosucata ‘Yellow Groove’ this year. I’m planning on using it for tree stakes for any plants I sell. Train them and send a plant with a stake to the customer. They’ll also come in super handy for anything and everything in my landscape.

I dug a channel around the area I planted the rhizomes creating a bed at the same time. I have a question: in my zone 5b I researched which thickness and depth of barrier I planned on purchasing but I can’t find that info. now. If it’s not too much trouble… do you have a recommendation? I’d buy the strip and plastic fasteners to join the barrier, of course.

A friend nearby has P. nigra and it’s escaped. I believe his wife told told my Mom they installed 24" depth. He’s had that bamboo probably 10-20 years I’m guessing. Even with the lip of the barrier a few inches above the ground it got loose somehow. I guess I’m asking for tips and advice.



Dax, as far as containing bamboo, if you have a tractor, I believe you could do what one of the bamboo nurseries I bought starts from did to keep all of their bamboo plantings contained where they wanted them, namely to leave a mowed area around each type of bamboo and then to subsoil around the edge a couple times per year. They said they subsoiled once in the summer and once in the winter. That way any rhizomes that escape in between subsoiling will have very little vigor once detached from the grove to send up new shoots, and if they do, they’ll easily be killed by mowing. That idea comes on the basis of seemingly very solid second-hand experience, but another idea I’d wonder about is how large a buffer zone would be necessary for mowing alone to suffice. Even large diameter new shoots/growth can easily be mowed – new shoots are tender enough to eat after all – so mowing can definitely control the spread of bamboo so long as the bamboo can’t grow under and past the mowed area and come up on the other side of it in an area that’s not going to be mowed. With a vigorous species like P. aureosulcata I’d guess you’d need something like 30’ (but definitely don’t trust my guess.) Other things that can help to control the spread of bamboo are water and woods. Bamboo won’t cross a creek and will grow weakly in the shade of established woods (assuming the woods are taller than the species of bamboo you’re growing) where it would be relatively easy to control with hand tools if it would spread further into the woods than you wanted, which I’m not sure if it even would. Livestock will also graze new shoots and growth. Of course, none of these tactics are typically applicable in a suburban context (without tractors, with little or no buffer zones, without extensive woods, without livestock, etc., and I think trouble with suburban privacy screens is where a lot of bamboo’s reputation for being so hard to control comes from. Even if you can find a relatively simple way to keep your bamboo where you want it, though, give a little thought to the next owner of your place, especially if for any reason you’d need to move or sell unexpectedly in the near future. I’ve talked about ways of controlling the spread of bamboo, but the tactics I’ve discussed wouldn’t really be usable for eradicating an established grove, only for limiting spread.

And on another note, I wonder if P. aureosulcata will get bigger than you want. Once it’s fully mature, I’d guess almost all of your culms will be close to or a little over 2" in diameter. If stakes are you main objective, I wonder if a species that maxed out at a smaller diameter wouldn’t serve you better, maybe something like a short cultivar of P. bissetti (which might be even a little cold hardier for you than P. aureosulcata) or a cultivar of P. aureosulcata that doesn’t grow to quite the same size as Yellow Groove.

I think you’re right. I read about edging/subsoil tactics and that the rhizomes wouldn’t jump a gap.

I think even though bamboo here is supposed to grow at surface level but my friend’s patch must have had runners go below the 24" depth barrier in order for it to spread. That’s a heck of a depth for me to dig and maintain years down the road.

My bamboo is in full sun with a lot of room to spread. Mowing is an option I certainly agree, but I believe once the rhizomes/culms escape, the perimeter necessary for mowing as the means of control will always continue to expand. I could be wrong.

Thank you for for mentioning Phyllostachys bissetti. I read about it just now and wasn’t familiar with it until now. Originally I wanted green culms but I was told to only plant aureosulcata here. My friend with P.nigra lives 1/2 zone warmer than me but he stated that nigra is the hardiest. So we all hear or read different ratings of hardiness…

I still plan to provide a barrier. I’m thinking 36" is my only option. It’s big bucks to do it, but better than 24" my mind is leading me to believe. If you read about barriers for zone 5, they say 18" or more than enough. I don’t believe it now after seeing my friends grove escaping.

Thank you so very much.


I don’t have any personal experience with buried barriers, but I’d bet 18-24" is plenty deep enough, and I suspect one of two things happened with your friend’s barrier: either the bamboo somehow got through a seam in the barrier or it grew over the top. Keep in mind, too, that the rhizomes won’t normally grow anywhere near 18" deep, but that when the rhizomes hit an obstacle they’ll try to find a way around it (under, over…), so you need the extra depth to deal with that issue (which you wouldn’t need, for example, if you let the rhizomes grow naturally and then severed them periodically, like with a subsoiler.)

Bamboo Gardens in Oregon has good information on their website on using barriers to contain running bamboo.

As far as mowing, there would be a limit to how far from the established grove the rhizomes would grow if all their attempts to grow shoots kept getting mowed. My very rough and minimally informed guess with P. aureosulcata would be somewhere around 30’. That distance might be greater than 30’ but whatever that number is, if you can keep a perimeter that wide mowed all the way around your grove, I feel sure you won’t have any shoots appearing beyond that distance.


Hey Dax, I went to bed really early and just now I saw your question. Everything Eric told you is great advice. Bissetii is a great choice, very vigorous and it produces great stakes. I also have P. Aureosulcata ‘alata,’ which is not as vigorous as spectabilis. P. nuda is another cold hardy cultivar, unfortunately mine has melted in the south GA sun, it’s alive but scraggly.

One thing u may consider are the Fargesias. Fargesia is not recommended for the hot and humid south, but F. rufa has done fine for me. I see it planted in suburban lawns throughout my area. It’s a clumper, so no need to contain it. The culms seem adequate for small tree stakes, but I don’t see making a bean trellis out of it.

I will add more to this thread later, my break is over.


I am planning to dig two big holes on each side of my drive way to fit the 2 blue plastic 100 gallons drums that will be flush to the ground level and plant hardy bamboo. Hopefully, the plastic drums will keep the rhizomes in check. What do you guys think?



Guys, I’ve listened and have the gist down real well. My situation is I planted in a bed with 5’ clearance to the edge of my property border where there are mixtures of dogwood shrubs and a lot of open spots where perennial grasses occupy that area, too. There lies the dilemma. Then to one side and probably 8’ at the most is a grape arbor that travels 60’ or something. To the other side is a Japanese maple. (3) sides are occupied and there would be no way to control the bamboo. I know I should’ve mentioned that earlier but I was trying to stay on track as best as I was able.

I have (different I believe) plants of Fontanesia fortuneii. I don’t particularly care for it as a suckering tree. I actually dug mine out and planted it at my neighbors where he needed something in front of his above ground pool. It’s looks okay there. Man has he been cutting suckers back a lot though. Again I believe this is a different plant/Genus than what you mentioned, David.

Tony, I think you’re doing it right. Let’s see what the other guys say.

For me, it’s a root barrier at this point. Just to show what I have done, here’s a photo… although I’ve described the situation very well, I believe.



Dax, just to confirm, that long narrow oval shaped bed is where you want to grow the bamboo? For an area like that, a rhizome barrier does seem like the only option.

As far as barriers, I’m inclined to believe they can work, but I suspect the key to making them work isn’t greater depth but rather using something that’s tough enough to do the job, making sure there’s no way the rhizomes can get through or force open a seam, and manually pruning any rhizomes that try to grow over the barrier.

For the number of poles you’ll get from a bed that size, I don’t think you’ll ever get enough poles to begin to justify the trouble and expense of a rhizome barrier and its aftercare, though. You also won’t get poles that are as nice with so much edge effect because there will be so many more lower branches and leaves than with poles cut from the middle of a larger grove. On the other hand, you may find the aesthetic value alone justifies the planting for you.


Is it partially/mostly due to the species I chose? What about bissetii in the (yes is the answer to your question) bed?

I never knew I’d be mostly or solely cutting from the middle of the bed before. I assumed this stuff would send culms 10-12’ high with as you stated a 2" diameter at the base.

Change the species then, possibly? By the way that bed is 4’ wide and something like 36’ long. I know it’s close to 40’ long.


Tony, sounds like a great plan as long as drainage is good. Eventually the bamboo will completely fill the tubs and they will go into decline (chlorotic leaves, fewer shoots). You can try to wrestle the root balls out divide and add new growing medium, which would stimulate new growth. I’m more worried about your back if you try this.

@Barkslip I have a lot more to say, but lunch is over. I will add to this when I get home.