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Frost damaged bamboo
by dikdok • Mon 02 Apr 2012 13:03

I have a screen of bamboos along one side of the garden; they have survived all sorts of weathers but after the severe frost this winter all the leaves have died. The stems are all green but it looks awful. Do bamboos grow new leaves or will they die? (if so, I have about 100 3-metre garden canes for sale!) :)

"Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the great ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all."
dikdok
50
Jun 2005
Re: Frost damaged bamboo
by lestroisours • Mon 02 Apr 2012 13:21

Same result to a bamboo in our garden, so we trimmed it right to the ground. It shows green in the base of the cut stems so it's still alive. It will resprout from the base. Incidently ours is planted in a bed with a double skin of polythene in the trench, so that it doesn't invade the rest of the garden.
It grows in the cold in China so there is no reason to believe it's dead, so persivere.

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lestroisours
527
Oct 2007
Re: Frost damaged bamboo
by smilespwp • Mon 02 Apr 2012 15:36

I hope the frost has got ours. It's a constant battle trying to keep it under control. I do like the double skin of polythene idea, although I would first of all need to get the existing underground network eradicated. They do screen some of our south facing terraces from the hot sun, so they're not completely useless.

Now what about the bracken and blackberry creepers.

Best regards

Brian
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smilespwp
315
Apr 2007
Re: Frost damaged bamboo
by lestroisours • Mon 02 Apr 2012 22:26

Blackberry is difficult as you have to get the crown root out, but the odd bramble can still be missed. As for Bracken, not had to deal it as a pest, as the corms are quite pretty in the right place. The spores can get everywhere, and lie dormant.

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lestroisours
527
Oct 2007
Re: Frost damaged bamboo
by dikdok • Tue 03 Apr 2012 00:59

I rather hope it's still alive but I share your concerns about spread - most of the area is gravelled over a membrane and every year an ominous bulge appears somewhere and when you cut down there it is trying to burst through like the Alien :evilgrin: ; the longest root so far has been about 4 metres from the parent. And the underground roots are much thicker and harder than the culms. I think if I left the house unattended for a year we wouldn't be able to find it! Wish I'd thought about root containment before I planted those sweet little plants all those years ago!

"Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the great ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all."
dikdok
50
Jun 2005
Re: Frost damaged bamboo
by virtdave • Wed 04 Apr 2012 04:53

There are hundreds of different bamboos, some are indeed quite cold-resistant. We grew lots of them in California when we lived inland, where it got chilly, but nothing like Creuse. Especially last winter. I'd assume if you got them locally, the species was chosen to be de plein terre in Creuse.
There are two main types of bamboo, clumping and running.....and the latter can run fast and far. I used to have to go out in the early spring with a grub hoe and whack the shoots or it'd have taken over the place.

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virtdave
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Sep 2008
Re: Frost damaged bamboo
by dikdok • Wed 04 Apr 2012 10:30

They don't tell you on the label if they're clumpers or runners!

"Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the great ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all."
dikdok
50
Jun 2005
Re: Frost damaged bamboo
by virtdave • Sat 21 Apr 2012 00:02

You can look here for a brief discussion of the clumping vs. running bamboos. Alas for Creuse, most of the clumping ones are rather frost-tender, tho one, THAMNOCALAMUS tessellatus is said to be cold-hardy to 5 degrees F. Not enough for this past year, but might survive most winters. Most cold-hardy bamboos are PHYLLOSTACHYS, which are vigorous runners. If you get a bamboo in a garden shop, you should ask for the scientific name, which will direct you to the details of interest. In the USA, bamboo roots can be purchased on the web, and the folks at the Bambouseraie could likely advise you of availability in France--tho they do not sell by mail order, they might be able to direct you to someone who does, and can be emailed at ventes.plantes@bambouseraie.fr----btw, if you're ever near Alès, a visit to their garden is pretty wonderful.

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virtdave
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Sep 2008
Re: Frost damaged bamboo
by lestroisours • Tue 29 May 2012 16:55

Having done what I suggested and chopped the lot off, I was unsure as nothing happened for weeks, now there are shoots all over the bamboo patch that have grown 20 cms in a week. Amazing plant.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” ~ Charles Darwin
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lestroisours
527
Oct 2007
Re: Frost damaged bamboo
by Dave • Tue 29 May 2012 17:00

Some of our Bamboo's (but not all types) looked liked they'd died completely, but all have recovered and have new growth. I've left the old growth as support and shelter, but may thin that out in the summer.

As you say, quite a remarkable plant, surviving minus 20 to plus 40 with very little help.

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Dave
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