How to Cut and Dry Bamboo

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Bamboo is separated into two main varieties, clumping and running. However, both varieties have tall canes with leafy foliage at the top. While bamboo is commonly used to create shade or privacy in the landscape, you can also harvest it and build furniture or crafts. After you harvest the bamboo canes, they must be cured before you can use them in projects. Curing is the process of removing all moisture from the canes so they will not warp and shrink.

Things You'll Need

  • Fine-toothed handsaw
  • Saw horses
  • Fine gauge wire
  • Tarp
  • Power saw (optional)
  • Masking tape (optional)
  • Wait until the bamboo is at least three to five years old before you cut it down. At this age, the canes are approximately 2 inches in diameter.

  • Using a fine-toothed handsaw, cut the bamboo canes off at the surface of the ground.

  • Look for a covered outdoor location in full shade. Place two or more sawhorses in the location, and lay the bamboo canes on top of them so the canes are fully supported and do not touch the ground. If you have a rack for drying firewood, you can place the bamboo into it to dry as well.

  • Wrap a piece of fine gauge wire around all cut ends of the bamboo, 1/2 to 1 inch from the ends. Twist the ends of the wire together to secure the bamboo in place. This prevents the bamboo canes from cracking and splitting as they dry.

  • Leave the bamboo in this location for one week, and then turn each of the canes by a quarter to a half. Repeat the turning process on a weekly basis for two to three months or until the bamboo is brown with no green coloring, and all the leaves have fallen off.

Tips & Warnings

  • If no covered area is available, cover the bamboo with waterproof tarps.
  • To cut the bamboo canes after they are dry, use the same fine-toothed handsaw. You can also use a power saw, but wrap the bamboo canes in masking tape first to prevent them from splitting and cracking when you cut through them.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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