Where to Buy Bamboo in the States???

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Where to Buy Bamboo in the States???

Postby MaartenSFS on Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:44 am

I decided to make another thread to get more replies, as this is a critical component of my sword training and need all the advice that I can get. Since I assume that shipping my local-cut bamboo would be difficult and expensive, where can I buy stalks of bamboo in America?

I need part of a stalk of bamboo to make traditional training swords. The stalk should be about 1.2 metres in length and have a slight taper to it, be about 4-5 centimetres thick, with segments at least as long as my big feet. I will add weights to the hollow cavities myself. It is a great, great training tool.

Thank you for any information in advance. ;D
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Re: Where to Buy Bamboo in the States???

Postby kenneth fish on Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:24 pm

Are you planning to move to America? Or are you still in China? Bamboo is readily available in the U.S. (in Maryland there are wild stands of bamboo. It is considered a nuisance).

https://www.homedepot.com/s/bamboo+pole?NCNI-5
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Re: Where to Buy Bamboo in the States???

Postby MaartenSFS on Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:18 pm

Yes, indeed Dr. Fish. My parents live in Michigan, so that will be my first stop (as I'm beyond broke..). Thanks for the advice! Unfortunately I can't access the page from China, but that sounds good. Is it expensive?
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Re: Where to Buy Bamboo in the States???

Postby greytowhite on Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:34 pm

Yeah once you get back to Michigan check with some neighbors who might view it as a landscaping blight. I know my mother resents the bamboo that is constantly trying to take over her backyard. Granted, it's not as cold where she is.
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Re: Where to Buy Bamboo in the States???

Postby kenneth fish on Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:36 pm

Its readily available at Home Depot and 84 lumber. It is pretty inexpensive. If anyone has a stand of it growing in their backyard they might let you cut some - but you would have to dry it outside carefully so as not to split it.
Last edited by kenneth fish on Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Where to Buy Bamboo in the States???

Postby MaartenSFS on Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:18 am

In China it doesn't grow that far North, so I'd be surprised if the really tall variety grows in Michigan. I cut the ones here myself and just let it sit for a month or two. Sounds like Home Depot will have most of what I need! ;D
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Re: Where to Buy Bamboo in the States???

Postby Interloper on Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:48 pm

I have been growing hardy bamboo in New England, USA, since 1997. Currently, I have about 12 species, several of which are the "classic" tall varieties in the genus Phyllostachys, and quite a bit of it would be in the size you're looking for. This is the time of year that I harvest the dead, dried culms (stalks), and there's quite a pile of them building up. Anyone is welcome to them for free; the rest I use to make simple fences and outdoor screening.

One thing to keep in mind is that different species of bamboo have a different quality and strength of wood. Some are quite brittle and make terrible training staves, while others have a very dense, resilient wood. So, if you don't have easy access to someone's backyard stand of bamboo to test a few culms for strength, then I think that Ken's suggestion of checking the bamboo poles at Home Depot would be your best bet - since those are likely to be species of Phyllostachys that are strong and durable, not crappy and brittle.
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Re: Where to Buy Bamboo in the States???

Postby Greg J on Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:26 pm

Hi Maarten,

I regularly purchase raw rattan from Frank's Cane and Rush in California. Their quality control is pretty good, and the prices are reasonable. I've never ordered bamboo, but they sell it.

http://www.franksupply.com/bamboo/

Good luck!
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Re: Where to Buy Bamboo in the States???

Postby MaartenSFS on Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:14 pm

Wow, I'm surprised that they will grow in New England as there was no bamboo growing in the far Northeast of China. Since I won't be using the bamboo training swords to hit each other, I suspect that the durability will be good enough. Thank you for the offer. I'll check Home Depot first and if not then perhaps a trip further east will be necessary - once I have enough funds, of course. That's pretty cool that you have a bamboo grove in your garden, though. Would bring back memories of China (if you have been there).. :)

Or buy it from a website. So many options! Thanks for all the help. I feel a lot better about leaving China, now, with access to ropes and bamboo!
Last edited by MaartenSFS on Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Where to Buy Bamboo in the States???

Postby charles on Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:56 pm

I live just outside of Toronto, Canada. I've tried growing a number of "hardy" bamboos here, with very limited success. It is easy enough to find the plants, difficult to keep alive over the winter. (I've had 13' black bamboo growing indoors during the winter, but can't give it enough light to last the winter before taking it back outside.) The only one that really survives in my garden is a small shrub 2' tall. Half an hour south of here, I know of at least one person successfully growing tall bamboo out of doors in a sheltered area.
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Re: Where to Buy Bamboo in the States???

Postby MaartenSFS on Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:18 am

It does get very cold up there. The closer to the coasts the more moisture. The Northeast of China is very dry. Wherever bamboo grows in China it is very humid.
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Re: Where to Buy Bamboo in the States???

Postby Interloper on Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:39 pm

There are many species that grow in the cooler mountain climates of the Himalayas and elsewhere. Bamboo doesn't do well in arid climates, though, so you won't find it growing in the American Southwest, for example, unless it has a lot of help.

Where I live, the temps rarely hit -23C/-10F, and if they do, it's only for a night or two. There are many species that are top-hardy (meaning that the foliage and culms remain alive) at colder temperatures than that. Some varieties are root-hardy (the foliage and culms may die back to the ground, but the roots survive and re-shoot in the spring) to -40!

My guess that the lack of bamboo where you are in China, has more to do with dryness than cold temperatures.
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Re: Where to Buy Bamboo in the States???

Postby Interloper on Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:18 pm

charles wrote:I live just outside of Toronto, Canada. I've tried growing a number of "hardy" bamboos here, with very limited success. It is easy enough to find the plants, difficult to keep alive over the winter. (I've had 13' black bamboo growing indoors during the winter, but can't give it enough light to last the winter before taking it back outside.) The only one that really survives in my garden is a small shrub 2' tall. Half an hour south of here, I know of at least one person successfully growing tall bamboo out of doors in a sheltered area.


Charles,

If you want to experiment with a tall, hardy species. I recommend Phyllostachys nuda, which is top-hardy to -29C and root hardy to almost -40C/F. I have a stand of it here, and although the leaves often get cold-killed by drying winter winds, they always re-leaf in the spring, and the culms do not die to the ground. There is also a non-running (clumping) bamboo, Fargesia nitida -- as well as several other species of Fargesia, that are hardy in your zone, too.
Last edited by Interloper on Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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