Bamboo is versatile with a short growth cycle. It can be
harvested in 3-5 years versus 10-50 years for most softwoods and hardwoods.
Bamboo is the fastest growing plant on this planet. It grows one third faster
than the fastest growing tree. Some species grow as much as four feet a day.
Thanks to its rapid growth, the yield (weight per acreage and year) is up to 25
times higher than that of timber.
Bamboo can be harvested and replenished with virtually no impact
to the environment. It can be selectively harvested annually and is capable of
regeneration without the need to replant.
Bamboo is a viable replacement for wood. It is one of the strongest
building materials, with a tensile strength that rivals steel and
weight-to-strength ratio surpassing that of graphite. It withstands up to
52,000 pounds of pressure psi. With a 10-30% annual increase in biomass versus
2-5% for trees, bamboo creates greater yields of raw material for use. One
bamboo clump can produce 200 poles in the fifty years it takes one tree to reach
Bamboo is a critical element in the balance of oxygen and carbon
dioxide in the atmosphere. It helps reduce the carbon dioxide gases blamed for
global warming. Some bamboo even sequesters up to 12 tons of carbon dioxide
from the air per hectare, which makes it extremely efficient at replenishing of
fresh air. It is the fastest growing canopy for the re-greening of degraded areas
and generates up to 35% more oxygen than the equivalent of a stand of trees.
Bamboo is a renewable resource for agro-forestry production. It
is used to produce flooring, decking, joists, wall paneling, pulp for paper,
fencing, briquettes for fuel, raw material for housing, and more.
Compared to an equivalent stand of trees, bamboo releases up to
35 percent more O2 in the same amount of time. Though wood stores more carbon
than does bamboo, bamboo removes more carbon from the atmosphere because of its
rapid growth cycle. All plants take in CO2 and convert the carbon into
carbohydrates, which make up their structure. Thus, carbon is sequestered in
all living plants and the many products made from them. When used to make
long-enduring products, bamboo has the potential to sequester more carbon over
time than any other agricultural land use. It is when decomposition and/or
burning occur that sequestered carbon in bamboo, trees and plants is released
back into the atmosphere.
Bamboo scores in the range of 1,130 to 1,640 psi based on the
Janka Ball Hardness Test (ASTM D1037). This rates bamboo as hard as or harder
than red oak (1,360 psi) with less dimensional change and a moisture content
level that is less than most hardwoods.