Gate, bridge, fences from their own timber bamboo.
The Dale Satre family of Concord, California, consider themselves lucky to have one of the groves that survived. (Not everyone considers bamboo a blessing.) Their planting provides a number of excess culms every year; they harvest tehse to keep the grove open and attractive, and to limit its spread. As the accompanying photographs show, the cuttings are put to good use--on garden gates and fences, as a decorative screen, to create a footbridge. Here are some tricks they've learned from years of experience with bamboo as a building material.
don't cut young, green culms; these attain their full height and diameter the first year, but stem walls thicken and harden in later years (as they turn yellow).
Cut culms with a hacksaw--saws with coarse teeth shred the stems. Leave a joint at each end of the finished member.
Cure cuttings by stacking them vertically; if you must cure them horizontally (as along a fence), support stems at several points to prevent sagging and warping. Drill holes in bamboo before nailing it; if you don't, it's likely to split.
Giant timber bamboo is ahrd to find in nurseries; most people get starts from friends or at botanic garden plant sales. For a lift of bamboo species sources, send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to American Bamboo Society, 1101 San Leon court, Solana Beach, Calif. 92075. More readily available golden bamboo, if regularly fed, watered, and thinned, can reach timber size--about 20 feet tall. (Neglected, it can become a real pest.) Some lumberyards sell bamboo poles or can order them for you.
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|Date:||Apr 1, 1984|
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