As a natural and renewable resource bamboo offers Australia an opportunity to turn away from the destruction of our native forests towards managed commercial plantations that can be selectively harvested annually without the destruction of the grove or stand. Tree plantations obviously have to be chopped down and their nutrient arrest terminated at harvest. Bamboo keeps on keeping on, with edible shoots capable of extraction after less than five years. Timber is available after seven years, then just continuing on for decades or centuries into the future with minimum soil disturbance.
The ability of bamboo to rapidly accumulate a high volume of tissue, or bio mass, has gained the attention of industrial and municipal engineers seeking to establish environmentally safe and reliable ways of taking up excess nutrients contained in waste waters from manufacturing, intensive livestock farming and sewerage plants.
Trial plantations are expected to secure an advantage over other cropping systems. This is because of bamboo’s inherently faster growth rate, massive size, and ever green all year round cover and the very important fact that bamboo can be harvested without the destruction of the grove or stand.