Thursday, November 25, 2010

Bamboos in the snow

This summer we planted several bamboos at my in-laws’ place in Mount Shasta in the mountains of Northern California (zone 7b): golden vivax (Phyllostachys vivax ‘Aureocaulis’), stone bamboo (Phyllostachys angusta), yellow groove bamboo (Phyllostachys aureosulcata), Fargesia dracocephala ‘Rufa’, Fargesia denudata and Chusquea gigantea. We also put a container-grown black bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra) in the ground.

We’re back in Mount Shasta for Thanksgiving and I just took some pictures of the bamboos. Quite a difference, to say the least. Some of them I couldn’t even find!

11/27/10 update: It snowed all night and most of the morning. Everything looks magical when covered with new snow, especially bamboos, so I’m adding new photos from this morning.

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Stone bamboo (Phyllostachys angusta) in July 2010 right after we planted it…
 
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…and now in the snow
 
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Golden vivax (Phyllostachys vivax ‘Aureocaulis’) in July 2010…
 
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…and now in the snow
 
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Chusquea gigantea, barely visible in the foreground
 
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Yellow groove bamboo (Phyllostachys aureosulcata) in the snow. Since this was was quite small, just 4 ft. tall, it didn’t get bent over by the snow like the others.
 
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Peek-a-boo! A Fargesia dracocephala ‘Rufa’ is hidden under the mound in the foreground.
 
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Black bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra) in early October…
 
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…and now, flattened by the snow and almost invisible
 

All of this is business as usual for those of you who live in areas that regularly get snow, but for us fair-weather people, it’s startling to see how plants 4,6 or even 8 ft. tall can virtually disappear under the weight of the snow.

5 comments:

  1. I hope the bamboo will be okay with the snow.

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  2. Ellada, yes, they will be. All of the bamboos we planted at my in-laws' house are hardy to at least 0°F (-18°C). It's just bizarre to see them buried under the snow, but the snow actually provides insulation against the cold air.

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    Replies
    1. I found your post after researching about bamboo and snow. I will be planting bamboo in michigan where the snowfall is excessive. Which is better for bamboo, the cold or the snow? I'm looking for a property to purchase and can't decide. Any comment would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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    2. I found your post after researching about bamboo and snow. I will be planting bamboo in michigan where the snowfall is excessive. Which is better for bamboo, the cold or the snow? I'm looking for a property to purchase and can't decide. Any comment would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

      Delete
    3. The cold is much worse than the snow because the snow provides insulation.

      You should check out It's Not Work, It's Gardening: http://www.itsnotworkitsgardening.com/. Alan lives in St Louis and has many cold-hardy bamboos in his garden. He writes extensively about their performance in the winter.

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