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bamboo facts and bamboo applicationsDid you know those bamboo facts?

1. There are over 1400 species of bamboo and probably many more.
2. Bamboo grows at phenomenal rates, up to a foot in a single day!
3. A mature 100’x100’ patch of clumping timber bamboo can produce enough construction materials to frame an entire house every year.
4. Certain bamboo root clumps can live for hundreds of years, providing an annual yield of materials.
5. A species of Bamboo was the first plant life to return after the atomic bombings of Japan.
6. Bamboo has one of the highest rates of photosynthesis of any plant species.
7. Certain timber bamboos have better tensile strengths than iron or steel on a strength per weight basis.
8. Bamboo is actually a specie of giant woody grass, giving new meaning to the idea of living in a grass hut.
9. Bamboo has over a thousand household and industrial uses including high quality paper.
10. Bamboo enriches soil with beneficial microorganisms.
11. Bamboo retains soil and lives on even after harvesting the culm or stems.
12. Bamboo is a nutritious food source for both humans and animals.
13. Appropriate, beneficial bamboos can be grown, harvested and treated right here on the Big Island with no negative impact to the soil or greater environment.
14. Bamboo is at the center of a sustainable eco-ethical industry worldwide and that new industrial applications are being developed every year.


FROM the INBAR website
·A sixty-foot tree cut for market takes 60 years to replace. A sixty-foot bamboo cut for market takes 59 days to replace.

·Over one billion people in the world live in bamboo houses.
·The world trade in bamboo and rattan is currently estimated at 14 billion US dollars every year.

Bamboos are giant, woody grasses which put out several full length, full diameter, naturally pre-finished, ready-to-use culms ("stems") each year.

·A single bamboo clump can produce up to 15 kilometers of usable pole (up to 30 cm in diameter) in its lifetime.

·Described as the 'wood of the poor' (India), 'friend of the people' (China) and 'brother' (Vietnam), bamboo is a wonder plant that grows over wide areas of Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America. Millions of people depend on this plant for their livelihood.

·The existence of a Bamboo Age has not been ruled out. ·Its use in food and cooking goes far back in history.
Bamboo's potential for checking soil erosion and for road embankment stabilization are now becoming known. It is equally important for providing fast vegetative cover to deforested areas.

Bamboo's role in the construction field is equally substantial. Hundreds of millions of people live in houses made from bamboo. In Bangladesh, 73% of the population live in bamboo houses. It provides pillars, walls, window frames, rafters, room separators, ceilings and roofs.

There are about 1,500 documented traditional uses - from cradle to coffin - for bamboo. A few of these are:

aphrodisiac - ashtrays - bagpipes - barrels - baskets - beds - bikes - blinds - bookcases - bowls - boxes - briefcases - brushes buttons - candlesticks - crutches - desks - dolls - egg cups - fans - fences – fire starters - firewood - flutes, drums, xylophones and other musical instruments - flooring - flowerpots - frames - furniture - garments - gates - grain storage - hairpins - handles - hats - hookahs - incense sticks - jars - kites - knives - laquerware - ladders - ladles - lamps & shades - landscaping - matting - mattresses - medicines - napkin rings - organ pipes - ornaments - paper cutters - pegs - polo balls - rattles - rings - ritual objects - skewers - splints - tea whisks - toys - toothpicks - torches - trays - trellises - umbrellas - walking sticks - water storage – whistles - wine storage - winnowing trays

activated charcoal - acupuncture needles - aircraft parts - alcohol - beer - dowel pins - fireworks - light-bulb filament - looms - paper pulp - rayon - silk cocoon trays - weaving shuttles

boat hoods - boats - bridges - cables - carrying poles - carts - caulking - dirigible - junks - rafts - wagons - wagon floors - wheelbarrow

baskets - masts - floats - nets - outriggers - fishnets - fishing poles - sails - traps

baskets - dams - dikes - farm implements - food - forage - grain - hummers - irrigation pipes - props – sluice gates - stakes - windbreak barriers - windmills

hen houses - houses - plybamboo - posts - reinforcements - roofing - ropes - scaffolding - screens - shingles - stilts - temporary shelters - towers – flagpoles…

For more information on the amazing properties of Bamboo check out the informative websites of two related organizations: the International Network of Bamboo and Rattan or INBAR is located at and the American Bamboo Society’s web pages can be found at