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Harvesting bamboo?

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Forgive me if there's an existing thread--I tried searching but nothing came up. With all the bamboo that goes into a home tiki space, does anyone here harvest their own? There's a feral grove of bamboo near where I work that's difficult to get to but has a good number of mature-sized clums (1.25-1.75" diameter) that I could harvest and cure for my own uses. Over the weekend I collected a couple as proof-of-concept effort and got four 8' pieces out of them. I seared them with a propane torch and rubbed in the resulting resin. Now, the culms are hanging from my garage ceiling where there's a dehumidifier running to encourage the curing process.

Has anyone else done this? Any advice or suggestions? Are most bamboo woods usable for light construction, or are only some types durable enough? I've no idea what type this is--max height seems less than 25' and some of the culms have a bluish bloom on them. The lower half of the culm is pretty clean, but the upper half has lots of branching. It's a running type, blocked into a triangular area on a steep hillside by parking lots and roads. I've no idea what I will do with it, but I expect I'll come up with something sooner or later!


There is more to it than just cut and dry.
You tube, it’s not just for cat videos.

Chapter 1: Bamboo Selection and Harvesting

Chapter 2: Bamboo Treatment and Storage

Guadua Bamboo Harvest and Treatment Process

Thanks for those links, Tikiskip! Very interesting.


I know the stuff you are Harvesting
is much smaller and a different type but
it is the same for that stuff too.

And the small stuff shrinks a LOT.
Have made a light out of mine.

Boron injections appear to be the industry standard for commercial bamboo production, but it outside the ability of most backyard growers. Most bamboo enthusiasts seem to go with heat curing, which is what I'm attempting. Anyone here have experience with that? If not, I'll be the guinea pig and post my experiences.



See the light I made out of my home grown bamboo here...
It's mostly the hat that I made.
But I also use it to make Trellises for the garden too.


I was on the Bamboo forums some time ago.
Forgot my sign in.
But it is a cool site but has slowed a bit I think since that Mark guy that started it died.

I think carol is/was his wife.

One more thing dig up and play with the root of the bamboo, THAT is the cool stuff.

It's called Wangi bamboo I think.
It's what those wine racks are made of, and when it's green it bends really well.

[ Edited by: tikiskip 2017-01-30 15:07 ]

Very cool lamp work, tikiskip! About a decade ago, The Wife and I ordered one of those Eames Era grape swag lamps off eBay that was, according to the seller, "In perfect condition." Well, when it arrived it reeked of cigarette smoke, was coated with so much grease it must've spent the past 40 years hanging in a McDonald's kitchen, and when we plugged it in, it blew out sparks, caught fire and tripped a breaker. I ended up taking the whole thing apart and rebuilding completely, not entirely unlike the work you show in your post. It's happily shining away as I type this. I'll be checking out all your lamp work for inspiration--my tiki space is sadly almost entirely devoid of tiki-appropriate lighting, so that's something I need to rectify in the future.

I'll have to see if I can dig up any of that root. The ground's steep and rocky, so I don't know how viable that is, but I'll give it a shot. We're thinking about getting a couple types of clumping bamboo, but that's not coming until we're a bit farther along with the grand design.

Thanks for sharing the wisdom of your experience!


I don't know if Texas has a growing season like Ohio.
Ours is in spring and the bamboo jumps out of the ground and pops
up everywhere as it runs.

Clumping bamboo that we got still runs a bunch so take care.

BUT if you get the bamboo and or root in the spring it is more bendable it
When you flame it this will set the bamboo and it will not bend.
This in fact, flaming it, is part of how I get Bamboo, mostly rattan to keep
a shape.

The root in places will come out of the ground and go back in the ground to avoid a rock or other root even.

At the moment, I'm keeping it simple. I'm trying to get some basic straight bamboo that I can use for picture frames and small detail work. My goal is to start with low ambitions--just get some to cure and dry without rotting, turning into a mold farm or splitting into toothpicks! If I can manage that, then I'll take the next step and try to convince it to take more interesting shapes like you pros do. :wink:

I don't know if Texas has a "growing season." All the obvious tutorials online say to harvest after the rainy season, but we don't have a real rainy season. We have continual drought interrupted by occasional flooding. Spring is the wettest season, and I suspect that's when the bamboo will be at its most vigorous. Heck, it might be sending up new shoots now--we've come close to hitting 80F these past few days and I'm not convinced we'll accumulate enough chill hours for any of my fruit trees to bear this year.


Well last year was the first year it did not rain every dam day here in Ohio.
We only get like three months of what I would call summer and every day that is messed up by rain just leaves you with less summer fun.

I tell you Ohio for the most part does suck if you like hot sunny weather.
They say we get 73 days that are sunny a year on average here in Ohio.
Today it's grey, snowy, cold and damp.
Our neighbors were happy because it was going to be 35 degrees the other day.

Ha! Then I won't be moving to Ohio any time soon! I tell you, summers in Central Texas are brutal--all the humidity of Florida without those late afternoon showers to cool things down for the evening. The reason why I tolerate August in Texas is so I may wear shorts in January. Of course, having a pool now makes the summer heat a lot more tolerable! It's 78F and sunny here right now. Simply brutal! :wink:


"so I may wear shorts in January"

Wow that would be great!

On 2017-02-08 04:12, tikiskip wrote:
"so I may wear shorts in January"

Wow that would be great!

Is great. Temperatures hit 88F yesterday, although a front blew through overnight and pushed the highs back down to the low 60s. We've had two freezes this winter, one big one in December and another in January. The only real downside is that I've got a back yard full of fruit trees that probably aren't going to produce squat this year because of the lack of chill hours. We really haven't had a winter at all, and a lot of trees and plants are breaking dormancy--3-4 weeks earlier than normal. :-/


"trees and plants are breaking dormancy"

That happens here every year.
Our flowers start to bud and then, WHAM a frost comes and kills most of them.
Man Ohio sucks.

Like plants have a zone they can live in, I feel I should be like two zones warmer
to be happy.

So do you never have to close your pool?
We have to close it in winter and open in spring you only get like three good months.

A pool in Ohio is really stupid, but nice for a few months.

So do you never have to close your pool?
We have to close it in winter and open in spring you only get like three good months.

Well, that depends on what you mean by "close." The pool's there. The water's there. It never freezes. We reduce the pump vigor and hours during the off season and with the sun lower in the sky, mostly blocked by the palm trees, chlorine lasts a lot longer than in say, July or August.

By the same token, the sun's lower and doesn't warm the water, even on hot days like we've been having recently. The beagles pulled out the floating thermometer and chewed it up, so I don't have an accurate read, but I'd say the water temperature right now is hovering around the mid-50s. My kids have decided to jump in on occasion when it's like this and quickly changed their minds. April's when it becomes swimmable, depending on the weather of course, and it's not until June that it gets really comfortable. From July-September, The Wife and I will usually spend a couple hours in it at night, just relaxing. This past year we were able to swim up to the week of Halloween. Again, it was more the sun's angle and shade that ended our fun than winter weather.

We thought about putting in a heating system, but the cheap options wouldn't make much difference and for the cost of something that'd make it usable year-round, we could put in a hot tub/spa. So that's what we've decided on. I hope to pour a slab for it in the next month or so, and then the hijinks will ensue.

And to gently nudge this thread back into the topic area, I'm kind of amazed how quickly the bamboo dries. The first three culms I collected three weeks ago and toasted have lost a significant amount of weight. I toasted a few more last night and the difference was striking.

I also discovered that culms segments can explode if one does not properly vent them before torching. Live and learn, eh? :o


"I also discovered that culms segments can explode if one does not properly vent them before torching"

We burn bamboo all the time it's fun.

"have lost a significant amount of weight"

It shrinks a lot too.

A Day of Explosions - The Filipino Bamboo Cannon

40 pound bamboo burning fast with many explosions

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