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Bamboo Newsletter October 2011

youngest culms to the wind.

Bamboo makes a great windbreak. It will bend and sway in the hardest wind, giving up only the

We have this special bamboo. Its called Oxytenanthera abyssinica (lowland bamboo) a clump forming, solid stemmed bamboo. The dense clump consists of 20–100 (exceptionally up to 200) stems (culms) between 10–15m tall and up to 10cm in diameter. Its unique mechanical qualities give it the ability to bend to the ground under the weight of ice in winter, and with the first rays of sunlight begin to return to its upright position. The extremely large root mass in a mature bamboo grove anchors the bamboo much better than trees are anchored. Bamboo windbreaks have been reported to protect people and property in hurricane winds and tornados. Although not related to wind, in Japan children are told to go to the bamboo grove in the event of an earthquake because the root mass stabilizes the earth without much danger of the culms falling and causing injury. The thicker (front to back) the grove, the better the reduction in wind force. Because of its unique qualities, bamboo will help reduce the force of wind and protect whatever is behind it. Growth and development: A single shoot, which may reach 1m in height, is produced in the first year from a rhizome. From the third season onwards, several shoots are produced annually. Rhizomes penetrate 30cm in 3 years. On one acre, you can plant up to 88 seedlings with a spacing of 5 m by 5 m square. It grows with a minimum annual rainfall of between 350 and 800 mm. Stems reach 1.2cm in diameter and 1.8–3.0m in height within a few years of germination, reaching full height and diameter in 4–8 years. New stems break through the soil surface in the rainy season. Extensive growth slows down after 3–4 weeks, and ceases after 2–4 months. New shoots appear at the peripheries of clumps. Clump longevity is estimated 40 years. The stems mature in 3 years and may survive for 8 years, but they are over-mature and unsuitable for harvesting from 6 years of age onwards.

Advantages of this bamboo: We have listed over fourteen uses for this bamboo which include but not limited to the following; charcoal briquettes, building, manufacture of wooden products like tiles and, perquets, tooth picks, match-sticks, incensesticks, scaffolding sleepers, flower/horticultural stands, industrial wood for energy e.g. in tea factories, edible shoots and voliage. Medicinal, water filtering.

Place your order by calling Kitil Farm on + 254 722729630 or E-mail: kitilfarm@gmail.com