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Old 15-03-2004, 11:40 PM
Mark. Gooley
 
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Default Moso diameters (was Moso sending up shoots)


"Bob Johannessen" wrote

I'm in the San Francisco Bay area and my moso have been putting up new
shoots for at least two weeks now. The folks out here say that moso
needs a lot of water during the shooting season in order to size up more
quickly but they also say it can take up to ten or twelve years to reach
large size (probably around 4" diameter).


Watering...good to know. I have soil that's a sand/clay mix, with
clay underneath, and very water-retentive, perhaps to excess for
bamboo. I watered my clump yesterday just in case, as we haven't
had rain for a while; some is in the forecast. Also I really should
buy and apply some lime, as the soil is around pH 5.5.

"And anudder t'ing," as Bugs Bunny would say: the textbook
diameter for moso culms in a mature grove in good condition is
around 7 inches, but I've never seen or heard of moso of any
clone in the US exceeding around 4. One year I was in the yearly
cleanup of the famous cemetery moso grove in Anderson, SC
(there are actually two, one maintained by enthusiasts from the
ABS, one not, as it's on the edge of a sort of ravine and I'm sure
someone fears an accident and a lawsuit) and not one culm was
thicker than about 4 inches. The moso at the old Experiment
Station near Savannah, GA is thinner yet, last I visited.

What gives? Conditions? Genetics? Surely there is some place
in North America or Europe where the soil and climate are enough
like those in China or Japan that moso can reach its full potential,
but if so I haven't heard of it. Maybe SC, GA, and FL are just too
hot. The Anderson grove is in stereotypical red Georgia clay soil,
which presumably is just the thing; maybe it just needs a bit of
fertilizer that it may not be getting. Maybe an English or Pacific
Northwest climate is what's wanted: are the culms fatter in such
places?

Mark.





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Old 15-03-2004, 11:40 PM
plantsman
 
Posts: n/a
Default Moso diameters (was Moso sending up shoots)


"Mark. Gooley" wrote in message
...

"Bob Johannessen" wrote

I'm in the San Francisco Bay area and my moso have been putting up new
shoots for at least two weeks now. The folks out here say that moso
needs a lot of water during the shooting season in order to size up more
quickly but they also say it can take up to ten or twelve years to reach
large size (probably around 4" diameter).


Watering...good to know. I have soil that's a sand/clay mix, with
clay underneath, and very water-retentive, perhaps to excess for
bamboo. I watered my clump yesterday just in case, as we haven't
had rain for a while; some is in the forecast. Also I really should
buy and apply some lime, as the soil is around pH 5.5.

"And anudder t'ing," as Bugs Bunny would say: the textbook
diameter for moso culms in a mature grove in good condition is
around 7 inches, but I've never seen or heard of moso of any
clone in the US exceeding around 4. One year I was in the yearly
cleanup of the famous cemetery moso grove in Anderson, SC
(there are actually two, one maintained by enthusiasts from the
ABS, one not, as it's on the edge of a sort of ravine and I'm sure
someone fears an accident and a lawsuit) and not one culm was
thicker than about 4 inches. The moso at the old Experiment
Station near Savannah, GA is thinner yet, last I visited.

What gives? Conditions? Genetics? Surely there is some place
in North America or Europe where the soil and climate are enough
like those in China or Japan that moso can reach its full potential,
but if so I haven't heard of it. Maybe SC, GA, and FL are just too
hot. The Anderson grove is in stereotypical red Georgia clay soil,
which presumably is just the thing; maybe it just needs a bit of
fertilizer that it may not be getting. Maybe an English or Pacific
Northwest climate is what's wanted: are the culms fatter in such
places?

Mark.



=============

Moso definitely does get bigger than what's in the Old Silverbush Cemetery
grove. I don't know about in the US though. I've seen pieces from China
that were at least 6" diameter. It may be a climate thing. Anderson, SC is
so incredibly hot/humid in the summer, yet can get quite cold at times in
the winter. Savannah's problem may also be extreme heat and humidity and a
hint of salt air. You'd think it would be common in northern FL, but I've
never seen any there. In China, it can grow at some altitude and probably
never gets the extreme temperature swings we see. It is most definitely a
tropical to subtropical range grower in China.

BTW where is the other grove in Anderson? When we first tried to find the
above mentioned grove, we found very few local people that had any idea of
what we were talking about. I live in northeast TN (Zone 6a) and would
love to try 'Moso' but scared of losing my investment over the winter on
this pricey plant. P. vivax does well here.

David Sizemore
Kingsport, TN
"no shoots yet"


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Old 15-03-2004, 11:40 PM
Mark. Gooley
 
Posts: n/a
Default Moso diameters (was Moso sending up shoots)


"plantsman" wrote:
BTW where is the other grove in Anderson? When we first
tried to find the above mentioned grove, we found very few
local people that had any idea of what we were talking
about. I live in northeast TN (Zone 6a) and would
love to try 'Moso' but scared of losing my investment
over the winter on this pricey plant. P. vivax does well here.


I meant that the cemetery has two groves, one near its main
entrance and one of its edges (and that ravine or gully or
whatever you wanna call it), the other along a creek; it's
the latter that gets tended, but frankly the thickest culms I
saw on my visit are the ones in the untended grove. Heck,
for all I know it has three...I didn't explore the whole place.

The locals 1) often don't know where the cemetery is and
2) don't know that their town is nationally famous among
bamboo fanciers for that moso. In fact, I lost my copy of
the directions to the old cemetery and went to the library
in Anderson, where most of the librarians didn't know
where the cemetery is (one old-timer knew exactly
where I meant and gave good directions). The clean-up
is usually on a weekend sometime around this time of
year, and participants are allowed to dig and take home
some of the moso.

Adam Turtle (I think that's his name) was there, as I'm told
he usually is for the clean-up; he runs a bamboo nursery in
Tennessee I think, and offers the Anderson clone, which he
claims is more cold-hardy than most moso. He told me that
moso is an oddball among bamboo in that it stores most of
its starch (and hence reserves of food for putting out new
shoots) in its culms rather than its rhizomes. This adds a
potential difficulty to transplanting it: if you damage the
connection between culm and rhizome by rough handling,
the culm may survive for a few years but there may never
be any new shoots. I managed to kill the plant I dug at
Anderson, and have only the seedling I'd bought the year
before from a seller near me in Florida.

Lots of on-line bamboo sellers have (or used to have, a
few years ago) moso seedlings at not too high a cost.
If you're willing to wait a few years for one to get large,
that might be the cheapest way.

Time to go plant the Dendrocalamus asper I bought the
other week in south Florida. The new shoot has already
been damaged by last week's near-freezes, and I fear that
I will lose that plant over the coming winter, but I'm damned
well going to give it the old college try. The literature
claims that D. asper can take 23F without damage to mature
culms, and this last winter it barely got that cold here...I
might just get lucky. Also got the slightly-more-cold-hardy
B. dissemulator (or is it B. dissimulator?) and B. chungii,
which I've just planted. I don't see myself getting big fat
culms out of ANYTHING here, mind you: the moso probably
won't go over 4 inches, and the D. asper will probably either
die or get frozen to the roots annually...

Mark., "But the big bamboo pleases one and all!"




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Old 15-03-2004, 11:40 PM
Mark. Gooley
 
Posts: n/a
Default Moso diameters (was Moso sending up shoots)


"plantsman" wrote:
BTW where is the other grove in Anderson? When we first
tried to find the above mentioned grove, we found very few
local people that had any idea of what we were talking
about. I live in northeast TN (Zone 6a) and would
love to try 'Moso' but scared of losing my investment
over the winter on this pricey plant. P. vivax does well here.


I meant that the cemetery has two groves, one near its main
entrance and one of its edges (and that ravine or gully or
whatever you wanna call it), the other along a creek; it's
the latter that gets tended, but frankly the thickest culms I
saw on my visit are the ones in the untended grove. Heck,
for all I know it has three...I didn't explore the whole place.

The locals 1) often don't know where the cemetery is and
2) don't know that their town is nationally famous among
bamboo fanciers for that moso. In fact, I lost my copy of
the directions to the old cemetery and went to the library
in Anderson, where most of the librarians didn't know
where the cemetery is (one old-timer knew exactly
where I meant and gave good directions). The clean-up
is usually on a weekend sometime around this time of
year, and participants are allowed to dig and take home
some of the moso.

Adam Turtle (I think that's his name) was there, as I'm told
he usually is for the clean-up; he runs a bamboo nursery in
Tennessee I think, and offers the Anderson clone, which he
claims is more cold-hardy than most moso. He told me that
moso is an oddball among bamboo in that it stores most of
its starch (and hence reserves of food for putting out new
shoots) in its culms rather than its rhizomes. This adds a
potential difficulty to transplanting it: if you damage the
connection between culm and rhizome by rough handling,
the culm may survive for a few years but there may never
be any new shoots. I managed to kill the plant I dug at
Anderson, and have only the seedling I'd bought the year
before from a seller near me in Florida.

Lots of on-line bamboo sellers have (or used to have, a
few years ago) moso seedlings at not too high a cost.
If you're willing to wait a few years for one to get large,
that might be the cheapest way.

Time to go plant the Dendrocalamus asper I bought the
other week in south Florida. The new shoot has already
been damaged by last week's near-freezes, and I fear that
I will lose that plant over the coming winter, but I'm damned
well going to give it the old college try. The literature
claims that D. asper can take 23F without damage to mature
culms, and this last winter it barely got that cold here...I
might just get lucky. Also got the slightly-more-cold-hardy
B. dissemulator (or is it B. dissimulator?) and B. chungii,
which I've just planted. I don't see myself getting big fat
culms out of ANYTHING here, mind you: the moso probably
won't go over 4 inches, and the D. asper will probably either
die or get frozen to the roots annually...

Mark., "But the big bamboo pleases one and all!"




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Old 23-11-2004, 10:40 PM
Registered User
 
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Location: Tennessee, USA
Posts: 19
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark. Gooley
"Bob Johannessen" wrote

I'm in the San Francisco Bay area and my moso have been putting up new
shoots for at least two weeks now. The folks out here say that moso
needs a lot of water during the shooting season in order to size up more
quickly but they also say it can take up to ten or twelve years to reach
large size (probably around 4" diameter).


Watering...good to know. I have soil that's a sand/clay mix, with
clay underneath, and very water-retentive, perhaps to excess for
bamboo. I watered my clump yesterday just in case, as we haven't
had rain for a while; some is in the forecast. Also I really should
buy and apply some lime, as the soil is around pH 5.5.

"And anudder t'ing," as Bugs Bunny would say: the textbook
diameter for moso culms in a mature grove in good condition is
around 7 inches, but I've never seen or heard of moso of any
clone in the US exceeding around 4. One year I was in the yearly
cleanup of the famous cemetery moso grove in Anderson, SC
(there are actually two, one maintained by enthusiasts from the
ABS, one not, as it's on the edge of a sort of ravine and I'm sure
someone fears an accident and a lawsuit) and not one culm was
thicker than about 4 inches. The moso at the old Experiment
Station near Savannah, GA is thinner yet, last I visited.

What gives? Conditions? Genetics? Surely there is some place
in North America or Europe where the soil and climate are enough
like those in China or Japan that moso can reach its full potential,
but if so I haven't heard of it. Maybe SC, GA, and FL are just too
hot. The Anderson grove is in stereotypical red Georgia clay soil,
which presumably is just the thing; maybe it just needs a bit of
fertilizer that it may not be getting. Maybe an English or Pacific
Northwest climate is what's wanted: are the culms fatter in such
places?

Mark.
Perhaps the plant needs to be able to spread out more to grow larger culms, which would be difficult with multiple people digging divisions every year.


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