Year Two – Bamboo in Teton Valley

Happy to report that my two bamboo plants – Bisetti and Nuda – survived this very harsh and cold Teton winter. Temps here got to the 30 below range, very cold. I didn’t cover them with cloth. I began checking them frequently to look for signs of new growth. Initially after the snow melted, I thought the green leaves on the lower part of the Bisetti was new or fresh, but was wrong. On June 11, I was delighted to discover unmistakeable new growth shoots on the Bisetti – one about 2 inches log, another, smaller one thst was barely a shoot from the bud and several buds. Very exciting, and awesome that the Bisetti is starting to grow again. Back in the beginning of this Blog, Bill Hollenback noted that it takes a while for the Nuda to get established and I can see that, after checking. Can’t wait to post pictures of the progress and growth and to let others know that Bamboo is alive and well in the Tetons.

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The Amazing Bisetti Bamboo and Nuda’s Comeback

Ph. Bisetti was planted from the Bamboo Sourcery a few weeks after Ph. Nuda, exact date I have to get from my bamboo partner Johanna as my in-box experienced some kind of meltdown in May. It had a much easier transition than Ph. Nuda, but still I kept it in the closed-door bathroom (my cats are CRAZY for bamboo – had what I now realize is a “quasi” bamboo stick in water on the counter which the kittens immediately began to drink from – when the real thing showed up, it was all over and they went for the bamboo). Again, planting was rather ceremonial, and the weather was much better. I noted in the e-mail Bamboo Diaries seeing for the first time two new “shoots” on July 19. Noted at the time one was about 6-8 inches and the second was about 4 inches. Began the notebook diaries on July 25.  Noted on July 25 that Shoot #1 was 17 inches, on July 20 it was 20.5 inches and on July 27 was 23.5 inches. I could not believe my eyes and it gave the term “fast growing” a completely new meaning. By July 27, I began to pay attention to Shoot #2 which I recorded at 8 inches. On July 28 it was 11 inches. These shoots were amazing spurts of growth and I can’t describe what it’s like to see something grow at the rate of 3.5 inches a day.

More to follow. Will explain pictures in the next post.

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First Bamboo Planting on May 9, 2010


May 9, 2010

After several weeks of the harsh acclimation of this spring, Ph. Nuda was planted on Mother’s Day, or as it struck me, Happy Gaia Day! It took a while to decide where to plant it as once it’s planted, forget about that piece of ground, as the bamboo will take over. Since this species has the potential to grow “big” – over 20 feet, I didn’t want to block the southern exposure. Tilled the soil, didn’t really amend except added a little good soil, and then carefully placed it in the ground, somewhat ceremoniously. Gave it a good soaking and added some Super Thrive. In the next few weeks, I watched with sadness as the leaves turned brown and withered. They look like they were “shocked”. The branches became brittle and dead, and I just broke them off the main stem. I figured it was a “goner” and I felt bad that when the weather became harsh – snowy with hail, I should have brought it into the house. This was an ongoing conflict with me, and I rationalized it would send the plant mixed signals, and besides, the weather was typical Teton Valley. I was amazed and quite happy after about 6 weeks (and I kept watering during this time) when I saw the first cluster of small green leaves and a little branch that is now about 11 inches. In addition to the e-mail Bamboo Diaries we’ve been keeping, I’ve added a notebook that records climate, temps and growth several times a day.

Coming Up … Ph. Bisetti, plant number two, arrives and gets planted.


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The Beginning of Bamboo in Teton Valley, Idaho

Acclimating first Bamboo planted in Teton County, Id 2010

This photo shows a bamboo plant, Ph. Nuda, getting acclimated to what was a really harsh “spring” in my backyard in Driggs, ID. After arriving in Driggs from Sebastopol, CA, I kept it in the bathtub, door closed as my cats went crazy for it and would have devoured it if not protected. This was for a few weeks then moved outside for a few weeks to get acclimated, then planted on Mother’s Day (Happy Gaia Day) on May 9. To my knowledge, it’s the first bamboo ever planted in this county. Together with my friend, Johanna Marcell-Miller, we’ve embarked on this “bamboo project” to grow bamboo here. I selected another specicies, Ph. Bisetti, and planted it a few weeks after my first. Johanna has three different species and planted her first bamboo on Father’s Day.

We’re recording our notes, comments and observations in a series of e-mails, and most recently (like today) this blog we’ve created, and call it the Teton Valley Bamboo Diaries. We’ll be posting photos we’ve taken so far and as the plants develop.
I thought my Nuda was a goner, after the trauma of snow, sleet of May and June, and slowly the leaves turned brownish, withered and fell off I left it alone, watered it and after about 6 weeks was very excited to see new growth and leaves. I’m extremely new to the world of bamboo, so my use of words will probably be incorrect until I learn bamboo lingo.
I love bamboo and have been enchanted by it’s beauty and amazing properties, such a perfect plant as the new “sustainable tree” for present/future.  Bamboo Sourcery is a great website and plant supplier and I was amazed at the info about bamboo at their site. Bamboo is stronger than steel and gives back more oxygen to the atmosphere than any other plant on Earth, according to their site.
The second plant, Bisetti, grows very differently. I have been tracking, measuring, photographing the development of both, along with climate info and temps. I was so excited to see the first two shoots and knew that the plant had taken!
I can not believe how fast this one grows – 28 inches in eight days!! I have given the plants deep waterings and have only given them a blast of Super Thrive weekly. SThrive is a mixture of various vitamins.
It’s been interesting to see how people I know have “reacted” when I tell them of our venture – some have very gently asked me if I knew it’s a tropical plant, to which I reply — think pandas and mountains!
More to follow, with updates and photos.
Kate Reynolds Yaskot
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