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Bambusa oldhamii “Giant Timber”, “Oldham’s” – BOL




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SKU: BOL Category:


A giant timber clumper growing 55′ tall and 4″ in diameter in southern California and 20′ to 30′ up north. Long known for its large, olive green culms, vertical and clumping growth habit, and tasty shoots. Hardy to 20 degrees. Not good in desert climates.

  • Origin: Japan
  • Minimum Temperature: 20
  • Size in climate of origin: 55’ tall, 4” diameter
  • Sun/Shade: Full-day of sun down to a half-day of sun (3-5)
  • Recommended Uses: Visual, sound, and wind screens. Tall, large diameter, decorative clumper with tasty shoots and useful timber.
  • Shooting Season: Shoots year ‘round, especially summer and fall.


  • Ideal growing conditions: Hot, humid summers, full sun, ample water with good drainage, warm winter temperatures.  Does particularly well in San Diego, and is especially happy in certain parts of the SF Bay Area with milder winters and hot summers.
  • Acceptable growing conditions: Hardy to salt air in ocean environments and hot desert climates with warm winters.  Does not do well in shade.  Drops leaves at 18 F, but roots survive to 20 F.


  • Size Locally in open ground: Reaches 20’ tall, 2” in diameter in Sebastopol.  Reaches 30’ in many Bay Area locations, and up to 40’ in the warmest places, such as Berkeley/Oakland and Santa Clara.  In LA and San Diego it may grow up to 55’ tall with 4” diameter canes.  To reach full size it requires at least an 8’ x 8’ area.  Will not get tall in shade.


  • Time required locally to fill in a screen, with most favorable growing conditions and care:

Starting with 5 gals, 4’ apart:  5-6 years for good screen.  May reach 15’ tall in 2 ½ years.

Additional information


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  1. Arlyn Duval

    Mojave Desert, Imperial Valley. Two clumps – both doing well. One full sun, and dryer, planted 2015 — now 12 feet tall. Other damp and in shade, planted 2006, now 40 feet tall and harvested frequently. Makes good fences. Shaded one often grows bent culms, sunned one grows straighter. Highly recommend for hot (120*) desert areas. Water withheld in cooler winter weather.

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