I grow in the hill country south of the Macleay flood plain. I’ve seen moso growing in Europe, but nothing like how it grows here. The good news is that it’s suited to most of the marginal country (hills) between Sydney and Brissie. Its problems in our biome are dry winter/springs and browsers, especially wallabies. A secondary problem is wind, depending on exposure. All of these probs are only for the few weeks it needs to shoot and grow to branching.
Lack of spring rain, as occurred last year and nearly occurred this year, is the biggest let-down. My hunch is that once you have a critical acreage of adult culms you can use drought to just take a rest. I’m a few good seasons away from that sort of luxury, but I’m almost there.
I can only recommend seedlings because I have seen my own forest take shape before my eyes. If I could turn the clock back 23 years and start again, I would use more seedlings, protect them much better, and maybe use irrigation to get things started (though not ongoing).
When certain experts advise me about moso, I’m surprised at what they think will work; consequently, I’m not surprised when they don’t have any moso. However, I do think there may be genuinely knowledgeable people who can show you how to get started sooner with propagation etc. Just be careful of expensive and doomed beginnings! Moso is not a good propagator and won’t just take off in the middle of a hot, exposed paddock or a moist river flat, regardless of how good the soil is.
Anyway, I have some superb new culms thrusting up right now, so it’s impossible for me to feel pessimistic about moso. As I’ve said elsewhere in the blog: it’s a ride!