Giant Bamboo

Giant bamboo (Dendrocalamus asper) belongs to the family of sweet grasses.  It is one of the fastest growing plants in the world with reported average growth of 3 to 10 cm per day and can even grow as much as 100 centimeters in 24 hours depending on the local soil and climate conditions.

Giant bamboo has the biggest culm diameter and is the tallest among Philippine bamboos. The culms are quite straight and ornamental, developing a blue-grey-green cast and smoothly covered with small hairs when mature. Though the culms are straight, they are not one of the thicker bamboos that are used in heavy-duty construction. Only giant bamboos are good for fences and ornamental sculpture.

The suitable age for cutting bamboo varies according to its intended use.  One to two-year-old bamboos are ideal for the manufacture of handicrafts, which require pliable bamboo splits.  Two to three-year-old bamboo is preferable when the outer skin is needed, particularly if it is to be bleached. When durability is required, 4-6 year old bamboo must be used.

As bamboo abundant all over the country, communities harvesting and replanting them reap economic benefits as they supply the industry with this sustainable material.

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