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 Post subject: bamboo for reeds?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 2:47 pm 
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I have managed to get some Arundo donax from a fellow in Florida and I have planted it. We'll see how well that works. But even if it *does* work, it sounds like I have several years to wait before I get canes large enough to make reeds from, so I have a question...

I am told that botanical "experts" say that bamboo does not grow this far north. The bamboo, of course, does not know this, so it grows around here with wild abandon. It's actually quite invasive and grows into large dense stands if left alone. Some of the bamboo around here is maybe 1.5"-2.0" in diameter.

In looking at the bamboo, it looks to my untutored eyes to be similar to Arundo donax. Not exactly the same, of course, but similar. So I had to wonder (while I am waiting for mine to grow) if it might be possible to make acceptable reeds from bamboo. (It would be really handy to have an almost unlimited local source for reed making material!)

I did a search of the forum for bamboo reeds and it looks to me like there are conflicting opinions. Some folks say that it simply cannot be done and others say that it can and has been done. Would anyone who has been successful making a reed from bamboo like to chime in with his experiences?


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 Post subject: Re: bamboo for reeds?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 4:32 pm 
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Location: Minnesota, Birthplace of the pop-up toaster
I’m not sure where you live, but I’d caution against planting what is confirmed to be a quite-invasive species in your area (Arundo).

To your question: I’ve not heard of any successful reeds made of bamboo. Perhaps it is too porous/stringy.

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 Post subject: Re: bamboo for reeds?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:26 pm 
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tommykleen wrote:
I’m not sure where you live, but I’d caution against planting what is confirmed to be a quite-invasive species in your area (Arundo).


Well... Not to worry. Actually, I have planted it in a very large (25 gal.) plastic pot. From what I read, any seeds produced will likely be sterile, as the plant normally propagates by rhizomes. As long as the rhizomes can't get through the sides of the pot, I think I am OK. If it starts to outgrow the pot, I plan to segment the rhizomes and put them in other large plastic pots. Will this work? I don't know, but I think there is one way to find out...


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 Post subject: Re: bamboo for reeds?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:31 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2005 12:23 pm
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Location: Baychimo
A friend tried making reeds from bamboo. After several attempts he concluded that the bamboo was too hard and brittle to be suitable. I don’t think he succeeded in making any playable reeds from bamboo.

There you go: sample size of 1 ! :)

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 Post subject: Re: bamboo for reeds?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 9:51 pm 
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Although I never attempted to make chanter reeds from bamboo (Arundinaria japonica), I have made quite nice drone reeds from it. I burnt out the pithy middles and sealed the closed end with wax.
Don.t think Crofter has to worry about his Arundo plants being too invasive where he's at. The seeds are not viable and he has it confined.
My own plantings are doing great and several are nearly two feet tall.


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 Post subject: Re: bamboo for reeds?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:49 am 
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Sample size of two: my teacher Chris Langan said it was unsuitable because it was "harder than the hob of Hell"!


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 Post subject: Re: bamboo for reeds?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:35 am 
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Yes very successfully , plastic tongues ...

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