Is Growing bamboo for utility a good idea? Using it on my Christmas tree farm.

At East Fork Christmas Tree Farms, every year we have to tie the tops of some of the trees. We normally cut wood strips for this. Most people purchase bamboo. Today we explore how quickly we can get pieces of Bamboo cut for use on the farm. It comes from an old stand of bamboo I planted on the property to create play sticks for the boys. @FlanaganHomestead

Hello Rob here from the Flanagan Homestead and East Fork Christmas Tree Farms today uh I have a some and I Thought an idea I just started doing This the other day and uh maybe it's a Crazy idea maybe it's a bad idea maybe It's a good idea let me know but anyway I am standing in front of a small stand Of bamboo that I planted on my property Years ago I planted the bamboo because You know my boys were young and they Wanted light sticks to play with have Fun maybe make some bows because they're Flexible and strong and just playing Around and whatnot but uh anyway I Planted this years ago I I know that They're a very invasive species and like To spread out take over yards and a lot Of people are frustrated with that so I Planted this I'm way down by the creek Way way from my property my pasture not My property I'm on my property but my Pasture my lawn my garden all that other Stuff and I just stuck this bamboo in Here and left it I have not cared for it I have not fertilized it I've not Watered it but it's just kind of grown I'll show you how it looks here in just A bit but anyway Um Barry and I are in the last couple Days of tying tops for our Christmas Trees and normally we tie I just have Sticks that I I take a piece of 2×4 Waste piece of 2×4 and cut it up in the

Table saw about 3 8 inch to a quarter Inch thick 16 inches long or so and then We tie the trees with that I know a lot Of people buy bamboo to do it it's not Too expensive but it you know uh buying In bulk it can get expensive but uh so The other day I came down here I was Feeding the fish in the pond and I was Like I should just grab some of the Bamboo myself And so I started cutting this and it is You know some of the qualities of bamboo For pound for pound it is really strong I mean it is lighter than a stick and Very strong flexible it's fairly rot Resistant I know I they sell these in Bulk for Christmas tree Farmers to get And to tie tops and other gardening Supplies and they sell all different Sizes and uh and my garden at the school I needed some more steaks to tie some Tomatoes and I was running out of other Steaks so I just cut some of these and Turned them into steaks for the tomatoes So there's a number of different uses That you could have for it so anyway at The moment I am really happy that I Planted some bamboo here and some of This is goodness about 15 feet tall I would say it's not a Super tall one but it's not small and so What I'm going to be doing Today is taking some loppers cutting off The bottom and saving the thicker pieces

For steaks to tie up stuff in the garden And then I'll be using some thinner ones To take to the Christmas tree farm and Finish tying tops today Here's a closer look at this stand Of bamboo Getting up there pretty tall so that's Where the original was planted you can See that we're talking about being Invasive it ran across the forest floor And then there's some more Coming up here Another interesting note Some of these branches are bent over Coming over this way and I was going to Cut these off but I noticed There's a nest right in here So I'm going to leave these and not mess With that there's a couple Robins making A fuss out in the woods nearby like they Think something's being messed with so It might be their nest All right let's get in there and get a Couple larger pieces of what I have and See how this turns out I think they're gonna the larger piece Is gonna be a little bit too strong for My hand pruners but we're going to grab The loppers cut them off at the bottom And then work our way up from there All right the loppers got them out Pretty easy you can see this is a nice Long Piece

Lay that down there here grab the other One that I cut So look at the length of this Nice and firm Hard to break Because I know I want to use the Skinnier parts to tie tops I'm going to Cut those up but then the longer pieces I may use them for diff a couple Different uses so from where my hand is Right here well right about here is the Thickness that I'll start using to tie Tops I'm going to cut tops off here and Going off this way there's Approximately 10 feet there I'm just Going to leave the full 10 feet together For now I can cut them apart later into Two fives or if I want a 10 foot long One I have it but you know you can't put Them back together once you cut them but You can always cut them later so I'm Going to leave that 10 feet there and I'm going to take the tops Of these right here And start cutting approximately 16 inch sticks To tie the tops of my Christmas trees on And these are light and definitely stiff Enough to hold the tops of their Christmas trees That's probably as thin as I'll go so I'm gonna get three out of the top of This one Tear off the side branches here

So about 16 inches again So at the size I was working with there And this is not something I've worked Through a lot before I cut a couple Yesterday that's the first time I've Ever done it off my own bamboo I'm Getting about three sticks for the tops Off of each one and then I've got a Strong 10 foot piece that could be used For something else All right I'm gonna go in and cut a few More down Okay again like I said the first time I've ever done this on my own was Yesterday so I'm not an expert on this But I'm going to try a little bit Different technique I'm going to start I I took a bigger cane down and I'm going To start at the small end and this is Thick enough to tie the top to some tree So I'll take that and then I'll come up About 16 inches cut that off I'll do About 16 more inches or less and then I'll keep going There's three and then this was a little Thicker than I used last time but this Is not too thick to use to tie the tops Of trees so I'll go ahead and go one More and now I've got four sticks Instead of three out of each stock or Cane that you take down I don't you know If you call Bamboo stalks or canes or What I believe it's stocks Let's try that again gotta hold this up

For the camera I don't know if I Got this on camera tear the branches off This goes really easy I heard it said Before I think it's true I'll have to Look it up that uh bamboo is actually a Form of grass and if you ever have any Really tall grass that grows out in the Field it grows very similarly to this It's just a stronger thicker grass There's one Two Three And we'll go to a little bit thicker one So we get our fourth Plus that thicker one is good for Christmas trees but this would be a Little a little bit small for supporting Other stuff in the garden but uh now It's getting to where it's thicker and So we have a good sport post Was working on the bamboo down there I Remembered that years ago I also planned Another patch over here way across the Canyon on the other side uh it's kind of Out in the woods I thought I'd come and See how this one's doing this is not Growing quite as strong and as thick or As tall as the other one I don't know Why it's thriving I not I maybe it just Doesn't get as much sunlight or doesn't Have as much moisture as the bamboo down By the pond is picking up Blue But there's still definitely pieces in

Here Oh don't cut right on the Node There's definitely pieces in here that Will be a value for canes on the Christmas tree Farm So there you have it my little Experiment with uh using the bamboo I Planted a few several years ago now uh To get some cane sticks to tie the tops On my Christmas trees and I've got Support posts to use in the garden okay So the longer posts are about 10 feet Long I cut these at about 16 inches I'll take up the other supports to use In the garden uh or wherever else I need Them I might hide them because they're From hot mama my wife sees them she Might want me to do something cute and Decorative with them but uh anyway uh It's worked out really well in my Situation I think is really beneficial Because you know bamboo us canes are not Super expensive but I ran out of the Sticks that I was using yesterday I only Need a handful more to work on the Finish the last acre of Christmas trees We need to tie Tops on so I was able to While doing chores just run on down here Cut these real quick and I can head down To the farm I don't have to stop at a Store I don't have to uh where I'm Located where my tree Farm's located There's not a good place in between to

Buy these so I don't want to do extra Driving around I just have it available On my property at all times Again bamboo is really strong pound for Pound it's fairly rot resistant but it Is invasive so you have to make decision On whether it's worthwhile but at least This morning I'm happy I have it here Another thought while I'm at this is you Know if you don't want to plant your own If there's someone a friend of yours or Someone in the area that has planted Bamboo that's fairly of invasive and Growing really strong and fast I know a Lot of people that have yards are like Please take this out of here take Whatever you can out of here and so you Might be able to go up to someone and Just say hey can I cut some of the canes Or the stalks off your bamboo and they Might be happy to let you just come and Take some Thanks for joining me on the Flanigan Homestead where Christmas trees are my Business teaching including Horticulture Is my job and outdoor projects are my Passion hope to see you again soon Everyone be blessed and I'm gonna go cut Just a few more of these Foreign

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