Clumping timber bamboo sighting

Walking around our side of town trying to find citrus trees to photograph (for a different post), I came across a house with six giant clumping timber bamboos (Bambusa oldhamii) outside the front yard fence. I did a double take because Bambusa oldhamii is not exactly a common sight around here. The clumps are fairly mature, judging from the diameter of the culms, and yet they are very tight at the base. This growth habit makes even a giant like Bambusa oldhamii with its potential height of 40+ ft. eminently suitable for smaller urban and suburban properties.

Front yard
Side yard
111229_bambusa_oldhamii5  111229_bambusa_oldhamii4
The largest culms were about 3 inches in diameter

Seeing these clumps of Bambusa oldhamii gave me a good idea of what our specimen will look like in a couple of years. I’m confident that it won’t overwhelm its location but rather complement it with it large culms and leaves.

Our Bambusa oldhamii in front of our house (January 2, 2012)

Speaking of Bambusa oldhamii, the other morning my wife told me of dream (nightmare?) she’d had the night before. Stepping into the bathroom, she was shocked to see parts of the bathtub torn up and a Bambusa oldhamii planted right in it! She wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry, considering that I’m constantly on the lookout for new places to put bamboo.


  1. I'm not a clumper expert, but those don't appear to be 40' tall. They actually look just a bit taller than your plants. So maybe... 20'? So double the height of the existing plants -- now that's a privacy hedge!

  2. Those bamboos look so tropical!

    Happy New Year btw :)

  3. Alan, you're right, these Bambusa oldhamii definitely weren't 40 ft tall. That appears to be the potential in our area but I have yet to see any that tall. Still, even at 20 ft they look impressive--and, as Mark said--very tropical.

  4. Oh, and I forgot to say: stop showing huge culms. It's just not fair.

  5. I am the person that planted those bamboo. They were planted as 15 gallons in about'07, give or take a year. Oldhamii has difficulty getting much taller than 22 feet in Davis due to its relatively weak culmination when growing an Davis
    ' high winds during its production season. I was initially concerned with these due to their exposure along the street but they have done well. I would be happy to answer any questions about them. I can be reached at Rensing LANDSCAPE Construction on Facebook.

    1. Thank you so much for the information! I do a double-take every time I see tall bamboo in Davis--it's simply not a common sight. My B. oldhamii is exploding this year. Much fatter culms than before and presumably more height. I think ours is pushing 30 feet. It gets watered once a week through a soaker hose. I don't remove the leaf droppings so there's a couple of feet of mulch.


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