bamboo poles

Bamboo - versatile and renewable

Bamboo (Bambusoideae) comprises about 116 genera from the family of sweet grasses (Poaceae). The approximately 1500 different species are naturally native to all continents - with the exception of Europe and Antarctica.

Bamboo is one of the fastest growing land plants on earth and has been valued for centuries for its versatility. Although bendable and flexible, bamboo is a surprisingly resilient material. When it comes to tensile strength and hardness, bamboo can even take on steel when processed correctly. Nevertheless, it is extremely light and can be easily processed further into countless end products.


Key characteristics:

  • Fast-growing and naturally renewable
  • After harvest, it regrows constantly without replanting
  • Versatile mechanical/chemical characteristics
  • Strong Oxygen producer, strong Carbon Sink abilities
  • Undemanding and resilient against natural disasters
  • Utilization possible in a number of industries

The special economic and ecological value of this raw material results from the unique growth characteristics that distinguish bamboo from other forest plants. Bamboo culms grow comparatively quickly and regrow regularly. Bamboo allows for selective annual harvest, whereas only matured culms are being harvested, while the rest of the plant remains fully intact. Depending on the species, replanting is only necessary after many decades.
In addition, bamboo does not require intensive use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. Properly managed soils with bamboo vegetation enjoy excellent health even after many years of cultivation. The reasons for this are, among others, an efficient nutrient management of the plant itself and effective prevention of erosion by roots and rhizomes. Small animals, insects and microbes, which appreciate the soil environment of bamboo, also provide positive symbiotic effects.

bamboo irrigation

Positive impacts on environment

If economic and ecological aspects are combined, bamboo occupies a special role due to its rapid growth and continuous reproduction alone. Combined with ecologically responsible cultivation, meaning the avoidance of a "chemical club" and safeguarding the lasting well-being of humans, plants, animals, soil and groundwater, bamboo offers unique opportunities to combine economic efficiency and environmental concerns.

Bamboo also offers numerous other ecological benefits:

  • Habitat for a variety of small animals, insects and microorganisms
  • Up to 35 % increased oxygen production compared to hardwood
  • Strong Oxygen producer, strong Carbon Sink abilities
  • Highly efficient against erosion and strong in stabilising slopes and riverbeds
  • Resistant to a large number of environmental influences
  • Ideal for swift reforestation and rehabilitation, even in contaminated soils (e.g. former open pit mines, wasteland, disaster areas)

Comparison to conventional trees

Bamboo offers a range of advantages compared to common tree species. This does not mean that bamboo should replace other tree species in the timber industry, but it can indeed be a valuable addition in many fields.

Conventional trees

  • Trees mature within 10-25 years.
  • Once a tree reached maturity, it can be harvested once.
  • After harvest replanting is required.
  • One the tree is harvested its Carbon Sink abilities are lost.
  • Regrow process is very time consuming.
  • Vulnerable to natural disasters.

Bamboo

  • Bamboo culms mature within 4-6 years.
  • Can be harvested annually (selective harvesting).
  • Regrows constantly without replanting.
  • Carbon sink abilities remain intact despite harvesting.
  • Fast regrowth allows sustainable production.
  • Resilient to natural disasters.
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