Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Bamboo with a Story

The bamboo forest is a major feature of our new yard, we love it and a few days ago learned more about the history of our house and now we love our bamboo even more. Here is the story, as heard by Curtis from a neighbor (and it aligns with other house history we have heard as well). The original owner of our house was a pilot who flew in Vietnam. We were told that he flew some of the first troops into Vietnam and also some of the last troops out of Vietnam. On one of his flights, he brought home a clump of bamboo for his house in Dallas. It started as a little patch... back in the 1960s. Today we have an almost impenetrable wall of bamboo along the east side of the property line. It is about 16 feet thick and stretches the full length of the back and side yards of the house. From what we can tell, our forest is made up of two kinds of bamboo. Both grow to about 25-30 feet tall. One is a pale green with a thinner almost cane like stalk, probably 1 inch in diameter or less. It is easy to snip down with a pair of pruners at almost any height. It is almost crispy in texture when cut. It comes up as a thin, fernlike shoot then grows thicker and taller with time. The second kind of bamboo is a deep green that starts at about 1 inch in diameter and grows to 2-3 inches in diameter over time. The cane wall is thick and woody and we need a saw to cut mature canes down. This one sprouts as a thick fleshy spear poking out of the soil. It grows amazingly fast, from first little poke out of the ground, to 8 feet high in a matter of 2 days. The first day the sprouts are easy to kick over, they snap off at ground level, they have a texture almost like celery (so rigid, but not tough). We learned that if you cut off a few day old cane of this bamboo it will ooze water at an impressive rate. Curtis drank some, and said it tasted like plain water, and he did not die from it, yet. This appears to be the more vigorous of the two kinds.

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