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By: Monica Pitre
The other day I was helping a customer select a number of Alphonse karr bamboos in the nursery when a pretty gray catbird fluttered by. The surprisingly bold bird was not bothered by my presence and let me shoot several pictures before he (she?) decided to fly off to another, less peopled spot. Sustainable bamboo harvesting can be done between the 3rd and 7th years of a bamboo's life cycle. A bamboo forest can yield twenty five times more building material in a single harvest than the material you'd get from logging a regular hardwood forest. This is also why prices for bamboo are generally much lower than most hardwood. Just one bamboo stand can produce something like 200 poles over five years, which is roughly the same amount of time it would take just a single hardwood tree to grow big enough to be used as a building material.

To achieve their smooth shine, freshly cut poles are dried in a low-oxygen high heat kiln. These poles are generally straight and crack-free although, like all bamboos, occasional fissures and bends sometimes occur. Different types of poles as well as different lengths and diameter poles can be mixed together. Some people want all their poles to look similar while other people prefer a more irregular look with varying thicknesses of canes, different color finishes (like mixing black canes with the tan ones) and different length poles. If you've grown a big variety of bamboo plants, then you could be ready to sell to them.

This is primarily due to advances in the engineered bamboo technology in conjunction with the worldwide concern to mitigate Global Warming. Engineered bamboo or e-bamboo is the mechanical and chemical manipulation of the bamboo pole to produce products which serve as substitute for wood. Finished products using 100 percent engineered bamboo include doors, windows, flooring, trusses, beams, chairs, desks, tables and furniture. In Mexico City, Architect Simon Velez built the 55,200-square-foot Nomadic Museum using bamboo which is also referred to as vegetal steel".

The next day he pulled all the rocks and stones together around in a circle and on his way to collect bamboo for the walls he just had to stop and eat some more of the melons that were bursting open they were so ripe. All summer, as he was rushing around from place to place, he had been collecting bamboo and wood. Bamboo skewers and toothpick umbrellas can also be used in your party fare display.

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