Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bamboo Geek gets equipped...

Serious propagating equipment.  Felco #2 - the Clipper of Champions.

So... here is the story behind this obscure post.  After my 'Bamboo Diet' offload of a few thousand pounds of bamboo, my good friend and bamboo wholesaler spent some time as usual chatting with my wife and I (which we really enjoy).  We travelled to the backyard to discuss bamboo and the conversation headed towards good propagation techniques for bamboo.  Sacramento is a great place to propagate plants.  A little heat can do wonders when used with the right plants, and we have heat, lots of it in Sacramento in the late Spring through mid-Fall.  Used to an advantage, we Sacramentans can propagate plants like there is no tomorrow.

But alas, propagation is a little art and science mixed in proper proportions.  And of course, you need the proper equipment.

Demonstrating culm cuttings, I was asked for a pair of clippers, I hand him my rusty 'big-box' specials, left a few days in the rain and lost and found in the garden a few times.  These suckers were as dull as they come and pathetic.  I get a look from my friend that says without uttering a word... 'Are you serious!?'

My verbal reply, 'That's what I have.'  With a look of shame for my lack of real gardening equipment.

He ran to his truck and revealed a beautiful tool... his Felco #2 clippers.  Beautiful.  I think I saw a glow coming from them.

His reply, 'You need these.  You can sharpen them.  Take them apart.  Order replacement parts.  I've had these for 20 years."

Damn...  I've been schooled.  I have been enlightened.

Next day (or so), my wife orders one for her and one for me (above are mine).  They arrive a few days later.  We try them on our coveted Japanese Maples.  The have a clean cut and they cut like 'warm butta.'  Beautiful.  No more rusty, cheap clippers for me, live and learn.


Mad Man Bamboo
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Alan said...

I've had mine for a few years, and although I'm sure they're not the only good pruners on the market I'll never know about the others because I'll have these forever.

I use a little carbide sharpening tool to keep them dangerous.

DD said...

How do they do for rust? I have some Fiskars drop-forged pruners which have replaceable blades, but they do tend to get rusty.

Mad Man Bamboo Nursery said...

Alan - Yes, dangerously sharp is what is needed for good, successful propagation.

DD - I'm not sure, I would imagine they would rust like many similar tools. The Felco's have replaceable everything - springs, blades, etc., etc.