Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The little bamboo shoots that could...

It happens every year around this time.  Bamboo Geek anxiety.  Generally speaking, clumping bamboo shoots in late summer and keeps shooting until temperatures really cool down around mid-November (in California).  Some shoots emerge in July and shoot vigorously, reaching full height and make it through the Winter freezes in Sacramento. Still bare all winter, they finally produce leaves when temperatures rise again in May.

Others, the slow pokey culms, will freeze off their exposed tops and flop over; or get sheared off by high Winter winds... what a bummer that is to see in the middle of Winter.

Hopes for that giant, tallest-ever culm - dashed, for at least one more year.

So, today, I walked nervously in the garden looking at one of my Bambusa oldhamii 'Giant Clumping Timber Bamboo' that has new culms larger than my arm shooting, but still quite tender and short.  Will it make it over the Winter?  Will I be amazed by its resilience or disappointed by its defeat by cold, Old Man Winter?

My Bambusa textilis 'Weaver's Bamboo' showing tall, pretty well developed culms.  These are likely to make it over the Winter.

A shoot from my Bambusa oldhamii 'Giant Clumping Timber Bamboo' showing some promise.  This was one of the culms that began shooting in July.  Others, larger than this one, I'm not so sure.  Still tender and susceptible to damage by the Winter.

Keeping my fingers crossed... just have to think positive and hope for a mild, bamboo-friendly Winter.

Mad Man Bamboo
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