Four inches of rain have made the difference. Last weekend I could hardly bear to walk through the grove, now new shoots are appearing constantly, and those shoots which emerged earlier are powering. A burst of warmth now should see them racing skyward at one to two feet per day. Here are a couple of new fatties:
Now that I’m back in business, a few random thoughts on why I love this stuff.
Ever tried working with trees? They’re dangerous, as any timber-worker will affirm. Even a branch of a tree can kill. Trees are heavy, brittle, unpredictable.
Moso is a valuable timber, yet it is smooth, light and regular. One person can safely cut and remove towering culms of great width. And when I say great width:
Yeah, you can pat it.
Something else I love about moso. You can walk through a forest of trees, but you can’t walk through it easily. As moso develops on re-growth land that’s choked with all the usual weeds – wild tobacco, lantana, wild thorns etc – it gradually forms a clear, easily walked ground level that is shaded year round. In short, you get your land back. You can run, walk and, as I mentioned in an earlier post, race mountain bikes through moso. No tracks needed.
Moso loves hilly country, and it can stabilise hills and the folds between hills at a great rate. On the other hand, once you understand it, you can easily control where it grows by removing shoots or using physical barriers of all sorts. (My favourite barrier is a deep gravel track rolled very hard.) No need to worry about wet areas, it won’t go there.
Here’s the root-zone of one of my culms. You can see how it does its stabilising thing:
I no longer fertilise, and the only treatment my bamboo gets is some fresh blood and bone right on the new shoots to repel wildlife. So, taking into account that I walk to part-time work in town and to the shops, I must be the most “carbon neutral” person on the mid-coast of NSW.
Did I mention that moso is pretty?