Bamboo Canes

We supply Oregon grown bamboo canes.      

Bamboo Garden supplies both fresh cut and dried bamboo canes. Smaller canes range in price from $2 to $10 each, with a diameter of .75" to 2", cut to about 14 feet in length. We have larger canes that are 2" to 3" in diameter and priced at $15 to $25. Ornate Black Bamboo canes are priced slightly higher than standard green canes. Bundles of canes are discounted. Price is determined by cane diameter with straightness and quality also factored.

Cane Diameter (aprox.) Price
< 1" $2
1" - 1.25" $5
1.25" - 1.5" $8
1.5" - 1.75" $10
1.75" - 2" $15
2" - 2.5" $20
2.5" - 3" $25
3"+ $25 - $45
root cut $35

$80.00  Bamboo wood working tool package:
Japanese cane splitting hatchet with oak handle, fine toothed saw, traditional palm rope (100 meters, choice of brown or black)

Different species of bamboo have different quality wood and color. All are sustainably grown in Oregon, at Bamboo Garden, or other locations in the Portland area. Our canes are not imported, or cured, though some are heat treated to give a natural gloss and protection from the elements. Most canes are selectively harvested by our staff in summer and winter. Please call for details about species available and pricing. We do not normally ship canes out of state, but we can deliver locally.
503-647-2700  --

We can ship bundles of large canes via freight truck (minimum orders value $200). The order above is a bundle of 7x canes that are 2.5" caliper by 14 feet long, shrink wrapped for safe transport. Call us for a quote. The two photos below are from a large commercial order for 200+  3"-4" diameter fresh cut bamboo canes.

photo © Bamboo Garden

photo © Bamboo Garden

Bamboo canes have many practical uses: Garden stakes, decorative railings, trellises, fences, shade screens, art and craft, building materials, tool handles, musical instruments, etc. Take advantage of bamboos versatility, flexibility, and decorative charm, while using a resource that has a positive impact on the environment. A well maintained bamboo grove will produce an abundance of new canes annually, easily replenishing itself after a selective harvest (30 to 40% of the canes). Buy locally, Oregon grown bamboo canes. We always try to make the most of our resources; there is almost no part of the bamboo we don't use.

Species of bamboo canes usually available:

Phyllostachys nigra "Black Bamboo"
Phyllostachys nigra 'Bory' "Tiger Bamboo"
Phyllostachys edulis "Moso"
Phyllostachys atrovaginata "Incense Bamboo"
Phyllostachys bambusoides "Japanese Timber"
Phyllostachys vivax "Chinese Timber"
Phyllostachys aureosulcata "Crookstem Bamboo"

Working with Bamboo Canes

By Charissa Brock, bamboo sculptor
Bamboo is an amazing material to work with. It can be used architecturally, as part of a structure, or as part of a detail within a structure. It can be used in a garden to support plants. It can be used in an art studio as a fine art or craft material, or in the home, as a decorative element. Whatever the use, here is some basic information about working with bamboo.

About bamboo canes (anatomy and coloring)
Most bamboo has hollow culms with nodes that are solid. The skin of bamboo shreds easily when cut or drilled, and the grain runs the length of the cane, only crossing over at nodes. The color, sheen, and texture of the skin can vary within a species. The diameter of bamboo is largest the base and tapers to the top. The base also has a very thick culm wall and gets thinner as it tapers.

Cutting bamboo
The skin of the bamboo can easily splinter if not cut properly. To create a nice smooth cut follow these tips. Wrap one layer of masking tape around the bamboo where you want to cut it. Stabilize the cane so it doesn’t roll or vibrate. Use a fine-toothed saw. Bamboo Garden sells the Silky Oyakata folding saw. When you have sawed through the pole about 3/4 the way, rotate the bamboo so your cut is facing down, line up the blade on top of the culm and continue cutting. If you don’t rotate the bamboo, the weight of the piece you are cutting will fall and rip the skin off one side. Remove the tape carefully after cutting.

Storing bamboo
Moisture, light, insect degradation, and mold can all affect the quality of bamboo. Storing it outside on the ground is not adequate if the bamboo is going to be used to build with. Bamboo can be stored vertically or horizontally, just like planks of wood. There needs to be some ventilation, a little light, and a little warmth to make it unattractive to insects and keep mold from growing in the bamboo walls.

Heat-treating bamboo
Preparing bamboo is only necessary when using the bamboo for fine crafts/arts or when incorporating it into an interior. It changes the surface of the bamboo, giving it a beautiful sheen. It removes a sugary starch, which some insects are attracted to, making it an archival art material. It will also kill any bugs living in the bamboo, whether they are eggs or mature insects.

Preparing bamboo is done with a torch and propane. Before preparing bamboo it should be washed with a non-abrasive cloth and soap then dried. Use the heat from the flame to treat bamboo in about six inch sections, turning the culm around so all surfaces of those six inches are being heated. A sheen should rise to the surface of the bamboo-that is an oily starch that insects are attracted to, a sort of sugar they eat. When the oil has become consistent and starts to bubble just a tiny bit wipe the oil off with a rag. If you hold the bamboo in the flame for too long it will toast or burn the bamboo skin. It will also make the bamboo brittle, should you need to split or bend it. Move on to the next 6-inch section, carefully overlapping just a little. Use a different section of the rag each time you wipe a new area, as to not accidentally wipe oil back on the bamboo. Heat-treating should be done in a well-ventilated area.

Preserving bamboo for outdoor use
The outer skin of bamboo is fairly water resistant. The woody inside will mildew when exposed to moisture. When fencing is made in Asian countries it is not treated with anything. When parts are no longer stable they are replaced. Canes used outdoors can last in between 5 and 12 years, depending on weather conditions, structure, and bamboo species. Bamboo used in building structures should be incorporated in a way where water does not enter the bamboo cane. A good book to read for information about bamboo preservation is “Bamboo Preservation Compendium” by Walter Liese and Satish Kumar. It is available for purchase through Bamboo Garden.

Changing the color of bamboo
Bamboo's water resistant skin is difficult for any paint, lacquer or dye to adhere to. Traditional Japanese dyes are effective, but come in a limited amount of colors, and are not available in the USA yet. Research needs to be done in this area.

Bamboo can be toasted with heat to change the color to varying degrees of tan or brown. See the section on heat-treating bamboo for more information on this. If the skin is sanded or planed off paint or lacquer will stick to the bamboo but the beautiful natural sheen of the bamboo and interesting shape of the nodes will be lost.

Constructing with bamboo
Bamboo grain runs the length of the cane, with fibers only crossing over each other at the nodes. Because of this, pounding a nail straight into bamboo will split the cane. Putting holes in bamboo, like cutting bamboo, can tear the fragile skin, so it is better to tape where you want to drill. One easy way to attach two canes together is to tape the canes together, drill a pilot hole through both canes, then use a screw or bolt to attach the canes together. Remove the tape afterwards.

Where to learn more
- Charissa Brock Private instruction and group classes in working with bamboo as an art material.
- A forum devoted to bamboo as a craft material
- ABS - American Bamboo Society, devoted to the education, utilization and beauty of bamboo. Yearly conferences and quarterly local meetings

photo © Bamboo Garden
"Cocoon" by Jiro Yonezawa
A 30 foot tall sculpture made out of split bamboo canes, hanging in the forest at Bamboo Garden.

photo © Bamboo Garden
Cane storage rack at Bamboo Garden.

photo © Bamboo Garden
Summer harvested bamboo canes.

photo © Bamboo Garden
Phyllostachys nigra "Black Bamboo" canes.  Black color is retained, even when dried. Highly decorative and sought after.

Split bamboo canes can be used to create decorative panels.

photo © Bamboo Garden
"Vascular bundles" on a cross-cut bamboo cane.  The wood is stronger where the bundles are more dense near the outer skin of the culm.

photo © Bamboo Garden
Mulch pulled away to reveal new support roots on
P. atrovaginata.

Heat treating process for a natural glossy finish and bamboo cane preservative.

Sometimes we make special root cut canes showing the pattern made by the support roots. These can be sanded down to reveal intricate, circular wood grains. They are often used to make shakuhachi flutes. Root cut canes are beautiful but very limited in supply.

What fun can be had with a couple hundred bamboo canes! European Bamboo Society, 2001

Thinning a bamboo grove: harvesting canes for timber and shoots for food.
Although many of our customers use bamboo to make tall, dense screens, the benefits of growing a full grove, or bamboo forest, should be considered. A flourishing bamboo grove has an amazing effect on the surrounding landscape. READ MORE...

photo © Bamboo Garden
P. edulis 'Moso'

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