Some readers have asked why we chip rather than harvest the cut culms for other uses. Right now we’re working to grow clumps of bamboo for future harvesting, and many of the clumping bamboos can get crowded in their first few years of growth. We remove culms from the inner sections of the clumps to promote straighter growth of the next generation of bamboo. Straighter bamboo culms are much easier to use for construction, and nearly all of our tropical clumping bamboos are grown for building materials.
The culms that we remove aren’t mature enough for construction use, as the ideal age for building bamboo is around five years. We chip the young culms and add them back into the bamboo groves, since they make perfect compost for the culms that we’re growing for harvest.