Why Bamboo? (Green Solution)

Planting bamboo is one of the best ways to help our environment.  Bamboo is a crucial element in the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.  A grove of bamboo release 35% more oxygen than an equivalent stand of trees. Because of this, planting bamboo is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and help fight global warming. A perfect selection for Going Green. 

Bamboo is a great ‘Green Solution’.   Bamboo is a wonderful replacement plants for trees with its short growth cycle and a high carbon dioxide exchange rate. Bamboo is a grass with 80 genera and over 1200 documented species. A mature grove of bamboo sends up new shoots every year. These new shoots reach their full size in just a couple months. Some grow 47 inches in 24 hours and can reach over 100 feet in height within 60 days. This short growth cycle makes it a great replacement for our slow growing forest that are being steadily cut back. It can provide erosion control when other plants wash away. It can screen out unsightly areas and provide a noise barrier in the process. It will not take over the world and I cannot tell you how many discussions we have had over the years with that one. As it has been dated back several thousand years it should have already choked out everything by now if that was true.

This video features our bamboo and nursery. It also promotes a ground level project in which we are involved.

Interesting Bamboo Facts

  • The Bamboos (Bambusoidaea) consists of 1439 different species in 116 genera. It is one of the 12 subfamilies of the grass family (Poaceae) and the only one to diversify in forests. Bamboo is a great plant for individuals concern with a green environment.
  • Bamboo is the fastest growing plant on this planet. It has been recorded growing at an amazing 47.6 inches in a 24 hour period.
  • Bamboo is a crucial element in the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.  A grove of bamboo release 35% more oxygen than an equivalent stand of trees. Because of this, planting bamboo is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and help fight global warming.
  • Bamboo is a viable replacement for wood. It can be harvest in 3-5 years versus 10-20 for most softwoods. It can out yield pine 6 to 1 in biomass production. It is also one of the strongest building materials with a tensile strength of 28,000 psi. To help give you an idea how much this is, mild steel measures 23,000 psi.
  • It is a great soil conservation tool. It greatly reduces erosion with a sum of stem flow rate and canopy intercept of 25%. This dramatically reduces rain run-off, preventing massive soil erosion and making it very earth friendly.
  • Bamboo can be eaten (new shoots), made into fiber for clothing, it can be used in concrete reinforcement, in can provide great livestock feed with the foliage being up to 22% protein, it can be machined into numerous forms of lumber, etc. It might be easier to compile a list of what bamboo cannot be used for than what it is used for.
  • Bamboo can also tolerate extreme conditions that most plants cannot. It was actually the first plant to re-green after the atomic blast in Hiroshima in 1945.
Phyllostachys edulis 'Moso' Grove at Lewis Bamboo's Nursery

There are thousands and thousands acres of bamboo in China. Throughout the world in areas such as China, Japan, and India, bamboo has been and is one of the most important plants in history. There are thousands of ways bamboo is used, falling under categories such as housing, food, medicine, landscaping, and furniture. The use of bamboo dates back to over 3000 years by the Chinese. Thomas Edison used bamboo in the development of the light bulb. The carbonized bamboo filament he used still works. It is on display at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.

There are many reasons to choose bamboo and us as your source. We are dedicated to customer service and committed to helping you find the perfect bamboo for your situation. We are a specialized nursery dealing with over 150 species of bamboo only. That alone says a lot about our feelings and dedication to bamboo. There are just a handful of nurseries specializing in bamboo. Your bamboo source should be from a certified nursery that has a well informed staff and has bamboo as its primary plant.

Our bamboo divisions are properly acclimated for outside planting. They are not fragile greenhouse divisions. While greenhouse plants may look good, they are not harden off and usually suffer or die when planted in the elements. For example, when a greenhouse raised Phyllostachys aureosulcata ‘yellow groove’ is placed in its new site in full sun, it better be ready. It will be robbed of its controlled lighting and watering conditions. The four to twelve hours of natural sunlight that it is exposed to greatly increases evaporation of water that a greenhouse plant has not been accustomed to. This same species is cold hardy to – 10 degrees F. and needs a well established root system to withstand its first winter. A young greenhouse grown bamboo may not have an extensive network of roots supporting the top growth. Our bamboos will have a great network of feeder roots with top growth of one to four canes depending on the species. We take great pride in our hardened divisions being ready to handle the conditions that the new site and climate zone will present them. We only ship our hardy bamboo that have met our strict plant criteria developed with over 30 years of bamboo growing experience. We have been collecting and growing bamboo on our current property since 1985. We begin our mail order business in 1995 and it has been a total success. Since 1999, we have been shipping thousands of bamboo divisions going out yearly via UPS. Take a few minutes to look at the  locations we shipped to over the past years and see if we have shipped to your city. Our primary groves and homes are in Oakman, Alabama which is 45 miles outside Birmingham. They are planted on 60 acres of rich fertile river soil. Top soil and silt were key reasons for establishing our gardens here. The river basin soil soil and pure creek watering source are keys to our beautiful bamboo growth. Once we have dug our divisions from the groves, they are placed in holding areas for 4 to 8 weeks. After this each division is checked for viable rhizomes. This procedure is to ensure that there will be buds to establish a new grove. Most divisions are the potted and held from 6 month to 1 year period to insure excellent root growth.

Lewis Bamboo also uses recycled bags for shipping and cardboard boxes made of recycled material. We use renewable resources wherever possible.

If you decide to grow bamboo choose a professional bamboo nursery that can provide the correct species for your needs. All your questions can be answered by a bamboo professional and there will be no surprises with Lewis Bamboo. We have thousands of repeat customers and the reasons are simple.  Great plants and wonderful service.

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