We are just in the process of making some hiking sticks out of bamboo and I just had to write a post about bamboo and its amazing properties!
Where to start? Well bamboo is the biggest member of the grass family and are some of the fastest growing plants in the world with some tropical bamboos growing 90cm in a day! Even bamboos growing in temperate climates grow between 3 and 10 centimetres per day.
If that’s not amazing enough then what about this? Like all plants, bamboos flower but they flower very infrequently.
So much so that the interval can be as long as 65 to 120 years! Then when a species of bamboo has waited all these years to flower, all of the plants of that one species distributed around the globe flower together in a mass flowering over a several-year period. Needless to say, the reason and cause of this phenomena is largely unknown.
There are about 1450 species of bamboo on the planet and (like Eucalyptus trees) they are found in a diverse range of climates, from snowy mountains and semi deserts to hot tropical jungles and forests.
Bamboo is a brilliant material for so many things. Due to its structure and the fact that it is hollow inside, it is both very strong and lightweight. Just like coppicing Ash trees in England, bamboo must be harvested when the sap levels are at their lowest and when (in bamboos) the culms reach their greatest strength.
Bamboo is harvested for furniture making, fencing, scaffolding, bridge building, buildings, flooring, textiles and other goods, paper, musical instruments, fishing rods, bicycles, in cooking, walking stick making, etc, etc. Now, in 2012
the bamboo industry is worth US $25 Billion! Bamboo is used for scaffolding in Hong Kong to build skyscrapers.
So there we go, what a material. You can of course find out loads more about bamboo on the web and we will of course let you know when our bamboo hiking sticks are finished and available to buy!