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FAQ about Bamboe

General

Bamboo is the name of the plantgroup of Bambusoideae family of the gras family Poaceae (Gramineae). This means bamboo is a grass and not a tree/wood.

Bamboo has many varieties. There's herbal bamboo and wood bamboo, with a total of over 1,575 identified species.

Herbal bamboo is usually quite small and looks more like grass. Whilst the wood bamboo can grow up to 40 meters high and 30cm in diameter depending on the species.

Lots of bigger bamboo species have a wood-like appearance and are unjustly considered a wood. Bamboo is actually anatomically and morphologically very different from trees. Bamboo misses meristem cells and a vascular layer that trees do have. This is what makes the tree grow in diameter and height each year.

Bamboo doesn't grow after the first season (6-8 months). The fibers will harden in the next 3-4 years but it'll already have it's maximum height and diameter.

Another important factor is that bamboo doesn't have bark unlike trees. Instead they have protective leaves in their early stages of development.

What are all the things you can make with bamboo?  People often ask us for all the possible ways to use bamboo, but a better question would be: What can I not make with bamboo? Or as the old Asian proverb says: "A man is born in a bamboo crib, gets buried in a bamboo coffin. Anything in between is possible with bamboo!"

And it isn't a lie, because basically anything can be made with bamboo. From medicine to bio fuel, from edible bamboo shoots to clothing to building materials. Anything is possible.

Keep in mind that not all bamboo is useable for everything. Some species of bamboo are edible, but most aren't. A lot of the woodtypes bamboo are useable for structural wood, decorative purposes or pulp. Every species of bamboo has its own specific purposes.

A very important reason for bamboo's popularity is its environmentally friendly. But why is it so environmentally friendly?

  • Bamboo grows incredibly fast. This is why its possible to harvest a lot of bamboo in a relative small surface.
  • Bamboo doesn't need any pesticides, insecticides or manure to be able to grow well.
  • Bamboo is a master in preserving water. It'll store water in its chambers so it'll need little to no extra water to grow.
  • When bamboo is correctly cut down, it'll grow back within a year. This means it doensn't have to be replanted and it'll recycle itself as it were.
  • Bamboo takes in more CO2 than other plants or trees.
  • Untreated bamboo is biodegradable and compostable.

Besides all this bamboo is in many cases more environmentally friendly than any other alternatives used for production of a certain product. Think about the difference of cotton or bamboo clothing, furniture, flooring, fencing, but also things like toothbrushes, construction work and packaging. 

The term durability is a very wide term and can be interpreted in many different ways. When you think about the growth of bamboo, it may very well be one of the most durable resources in the world. When you think about the fast growth and complete adulthood within 4-5 years. 

A bamboo forest contains different stems of all different ages. The adult stems van be harvested when they are 4-5 years old each year. This was the forest gets thinned but not wiped out. Selectively harvesting stems created light and space in the forest which gives new stems room to grow. Just like trimming your grass: bamboo will keep growing without replanting.

The term durability is also often used to describe the life expectancy of a product. In this way you might not say bamboo is very durable. If you were to leave a cut stem of bamboo on the ground, it usually wouldn't last beyond two years. If the bamboo gets treated right, you could change those 2 years into maybe even forever when using it indoors. With outdoor use it depends on the product.

The care of bamboo is different of every type. To prolong the lifespan of your bamboo it is recommended to use our maintenance products. You can find out which maintenance product works best for your product at the productpage of your product. When in doubt you can always contact our customer service.

Yes, our black bamboo poles are actually back. These are made of the species 'java black' or the species 'nigra'. Maybe you have seen that the black bamboo products are more expensive. This isn't because of the colouring, but because these bamboo species are more expensive to import. This is because it's more rare species and harder to come by.

Vertical cracks can/wil happen to your bamboo fencing. Bamboo will expand and shrink when changes happen in temperature and humidity just like wood. Cracks and splits do not affect the durability of your fence. More information about tears in bamboo can be found here.

Split bamboo is a popular way to call bamboo slats. Usually it is being called split bamboo when it is converted to a product in which multiple slats are combined to make the endproduct such as a bamboo roll or bamboo blinds. So generally when saying bamboo slats people mean plain slats. Usually split up with a machete, but it can also be done with an axe.


Pay attention that bamboo always has two different sides: a straight and a bend side. A bamboo pole is always straight (or almost straight) when you look at it from the side. When you turn the pole over 90 degrees it is possible to see the bumps at the chambers. So think before splitting your bamboo if you want it straight from the top or straight from the side.

How to install your fencing depends on your product. There's information on how to install it on each productpage. Here are some highlights:

  • Be wary that your fence is installed 2 cm above soil. This to prevent discolouration by being in contact with the wet ground.
  • The round fencing is made with poles that are closed off on the top. It is important to be aware of the top and bottom of the fence, so that rainwater won't collect on top.
  • You can install the fencing to an existing wall. If you don't have a fence right now, you can use our wooden poles to install the fencing. 

No, unfortunately it is not possible to get your bamboo sawed to your custom sizing. On each productpage we do explain how you can easily size down each product. We also sell a special Japanese saw which is especially suitable to size your product to your needs.