At National Bamboo, we love trees and are passionate about protecting natural forests, avoiding disruption of natural ecosystems and habitats. Today's responsible US forestry practices are sustainable over the long term. The problem is that consumer demand for wood products is growing faster than our forests can regenerate.
Global demand growth for wood products will be 90% higher by 2050 compared to 2010 (equivalent to clear cutting an area of land the size of continental United States). Soon humanity will be consuming over 25% of the biomass produced each year by plants on Earth, leaving too little for wildlife and putting at risk the biosphere on which all life on Earth depends. To keep the planet in a suitable state for civilization, we should be using no more than 10% of plant biomass annually.
We believe that increasing use of sustainable non-wood alternative natural fibers are the key to "bridging the gap" and helps us address climate change in the process.
As a triple bottom line company, we are focused on the sustainable delivery of economic, social, and environmental benefits. Since 2012, National Bamboo has invested in R&D to not only prove out our plantation model but also advance the science of bamboo fiber within the pulp & paper industry. The result is that we have compelling data that presents our timber bamboo (produced from tissue culture) as a leading sustainable wood alternative to commercialize in the Southern United States (localizing the fiber basket to drive down costs and increase sustainability).
The internal rate of return for growing pine in the South is only 3-7% over a 30 year period, whereas timber bamboo is averaging 8-14% IRR during that same period as a hardwood fiber alternative. Our bamboo fiber is more similar to Southern mixed hardwoods (in fiber morphology), and pricing for hardwood fiber is continuing to increase due to the long 50 year re-growth cycle and restricted supply in the South.
We are confident that responsibly managed timber bamboo plantations, established on degraded, marginal, or underutilized land in the Southeast, can significantly contribute to satisfying the burgeoning demand for wood products. Such plantations can stimulate economic development in rural communities and outpace traditional forests in carbon sequestration, aligning with our vision of ecological and commercial balance.
Enhancing Nutrition and Revenue through Bamboo Shoots - National Bamboo recognizes bamboo shoots as a nutritious and popular resource. These edible shoots not only contribute to improved diets but also represent a substantial revenue stream in the bamboo industry. Their harvesting is an integral part of our field management practices, creating optimal growth conditions for bamboo plants.
Revitalizing Agriculture and Industry through Bamboo - National Bamboo and its partner companies play a vital role in reinvigorating the agricultural sector. We focus on regions in Europe facing challenging agricultural conditions, like degraded lands, and aim to create employment opportunities in agriculture. Our efforts have successfully attracted the younger generation back to these regions.
Promoting Circular, Inclusive, and Innovative Practices - National Bamboo follows a business model focused on circularity, inclusivity, and innovation. Beyond the well-established applications of bamboo, our collaboration with universities, research centers, and innovative companies fosters a continuous environment for bamboo innovations. We explore the versatility of bamboo fibers and wood as alternatives to tropical hardwood and high-tech composite materials.
Building Sustainability with Bamboo - Across many Asian cities, bamboo is a well-recognized sustainable material for urban development. It offers versatility, from construction elements to sewer pipes and composite materials, making urban communities more sustainable. Bamboo aligns perfectly with circular economy models, enriching urban areas through carbon absorption, oxygen production, soil regeneration, and erosion control.
Efficiency and Sustainability in Bamboo Farming - Bamboo's exceptional efficiency lies in its zero-waste nature and minimal water consumption. With careful planting only once every 80 to 100 years, it develops a self-sustaining water management system. At National Bamboo, we emphasize low energy consumption through solar panels and sustainable processing methods. This approach leads to a profitable bamboo industry with a minimal environmental footprint.
Bamboo as a Carbon Champion - Bamboo, a fast-growing grass, excels at carbon storage. It significantly surpasses traditional trees in carbon absorption and oxygen production. Sustainable bamboo products store carbon, reducing emissions through product replacement. Cultivating bamboo in Europe for local markets also reduces heavy CO2 transport from other continents.
Bamboo's Ecosystem Restoration - Bamboo is a boon for degraded or eroded lands. Its extensive root system aids gradual soil fertility restoration, creating ecosystems and water management systems. Well-managed bamboo fields attract diverse wildlife. Bamboo's minimal seed production and controllable "running" roots make it an eco-friendly choice. It thrives alongside other crops and effectively contributes to climate change mitigation by sequestering more CO2 than traditional trees.
Fostering a Sustainable Bamboo Industry in USA - National Bamboo is actively promoting a sustainable bamboo industry in the rural Southeastern agricultural sector. US serves as the largest import market for bamboo products. We work collaboratively across borders and sectors, involving various stakeholders to advocate for bamboo's value in US. Joint ventures, research collaborations, and partnerships with universities and companies are essential to drive bamboo's adoption as well a sustainability
Some species of running bamboo can spread 5 feet or more per year, whereas most species of clumping bamboo only spread up to 5 inches per year. Clumping bamboos have short root structures and will generally form circular clumps. Running bamboos spread through the growth of long, horizontal roots with the ability to travel far distances horizontally from the mother plant, but no deeper than 24".
We specialize in Running bamboo - Phyllostachys Nigra Henon (aka Giant Gray Bamboo) from tissue culture as well as Phyllostachys Rubromarginata (Red Margin). Our P. Henon is the most popular and most commercially important, though Red Margin, produces a lot of biomass quickly.
For the US - clumping bamboo is only commercial viable (Zone 10+) from Central Florida to South Florida. For all other commercial timber bamboo farms in the US, best success can be achieved in zones 7-9.
On behalf of all Bamboo lovers, we are sorry that your irresponsible neighbor planted "bamboo" for a green privacy fence, and failed to understand the management it requires (produces 20+ tons of biomass per acre, per year) as well as failed to put containment controls in place to keep it from running into your yard. Alternatively, your grand pappy planted one bamboo plant for fishing canes 30 years ago...now it's taken over 5 acres of your family farm and you have no idea what to do with it!?
There are several species of US "native" bamboo, unfortunately none are commercially relevant. People talk of only wanting to plant "native species" but due to globalization and climate change - that collectively "we" caused the boundaries and ecosystems to shift. In fact, ecosystems are shifting faster then ever, forcing people, plants and animals to find a more suitable environment to live. We must adapt our thinking beyond just "native" and ensure the best plant is being used.
There are over 1,600 different species of bamboo (both running and non-running), but only 6 are considered commercially valuable timber bamboo species. It is a tall woody grass that - in some species - can grow as tall as 80 feet (5-8 inch diameter) and grow as fast as a foot a day during the shooting season. Typically timber bamboo is much taller and has thicker culm walls.
Asia has the largest natural timber bamboo forest landmass but timber bamboo is found in most tropical/sub tropical as well as temperate climates with good annual rainfall. Additionally significant acreage can be found in Central America, Mexico, South America, Africa, Southern Europe, India and the Southeastern US has seen strong growth of timber bamboo plantations.