Bamboo grows in a fashion that is quite different from the way that a tree develops. A tree has a layer of living tissue around the outside of it’s trunk just beneath the bark. Left alone this layer of tissue adds an ever increasing circle of wood around the central mass which you can recognise as the concentric annual rings in cut timber.
Not so bamboo. The bamboo stems emerge from the ground as buds with the same diameter as the final stem. All they do is grow longer in much the same way as a telescope, extending at a very rapid rate that can be in excess of a metre a day in a mature stand. When the culm is around three quarters to two thirds tall the elongation will tend to taper. However, they will remain the same diameter and possibly only grow another 10% taller as they mature over the next twelve months.
When the culm has reached full height branches will start to appear and depending on species a new shoot can be fully developed within three months.
During the shooting stage the new culm will be at least 85% water and it is imperative that sufficient water is supplied to fill these vertical liquid columns. If timber is to be harvested, there will be at least a three year wait for the water content to diminish, thus allowing the tensile strength to increase.