Mount Vernon Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center

Vegetable Research and Extension

Photo collage of watermelon tasting, tractor, dry beans

WSU Extension Bamboo Research

Overview of Bamboo Research and Extension

Responding to the increasing interest and knowledge regarding bamboo in the United States, the Agricultural Systems Program of WSU Extension began a research program in 1997 to study bamboo varieties for shoot and pole production in the maritime Pacific Northwest. In October 1997, we planted a total of 26 bamboo varieties (89 plants) into 46 observational plots in an area of 0.37 acres in Tenino, Washington. In 1999, bamboo was established at WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center by Andy Bary and Craig Cogger, WSU Department of Crops and Soils. This experimental design includes 7 varieties planted in replicated field plots. For a report on the WSU Puyallup bamboo planting, see In 2000, the Agricultural Systems Program became the Vegetable Program and relocated to the WSU Vancouver Research and Extension Unit (WSU VREU). In October of that year we moved 14 varieties from our on-farm site in Tenino to observational plots at WSU VREU. In 2007, the Vegetable Program relocated from WSU VREU to WSU Mount Vernon NWREC. At this time, no bamboo has been planted at WSU Mount Vernon NWREC.

photo of harvested bamboo shoots Photo of spider mite damamge on bamboo leaves Photo of winter flooding of bamboo plants
Bamboo shoots harvested by Wade Bennett, Rockridge Orchards and Bamboo Groves Spider mite damage on bamboo leaves. Winter flooding in the bamboo at Northcraft Farm.

Photo of cover of book Farming Bamboo

Farming Bamboo. By Daphne Lewis and Carol Miles. Lulu Press. 2007. 240 pages.
Overview of how to establish, maintain, harvest and market bamboo on a farm scale, including thinning and renovating a grove to maximize bamboo pole and shoot production. Information on plant sources, how to select and prepare a planting site, plant nutrition, irrigation, and pest management is also included. Also includes an encyclopedia of bamboo species that are most likely to be successful for production of poles and shoots. Methods for controlling bamboo to prevent spread of one planting into another area also discussed. This book is available for sale from several sources.

WSU Bamboo Research Report 2002. On-Farm Bamboo Production in the Pacific Northwest by Carol A. Miles Ph.D.

Bamboo Photos. Images containing bamboo taken in our research trials and on regional farms

Bamboo Suppliers. A list of bamboo nurseries and plant suppliers in the PNW

American Bamboo Society's Species Source List.

Access interactive on-line species list. Also contains over 2000 bamboo photos.

Bamboo Shoots (pdf). Alternative Crop Brochure – includes nutritional information and recipes

Bamboo Shoot Recipes. Bamboo shoot recipes developed by local chefs. Also includes nutritional info.

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Training Opportunities

The International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) offers international training events in China that attract participants from all over the world. Current training events include:

  • Poverty alleviation through bamboo-based development: policies, strategies, and stakeholders
  • Small Bamboo Daily Product Processing Technologies and Machines
  • Bamboo Handicraft – Bamboo Weaving and Furniture Processing Technologies.

For more information, or to register, visit the INBAR website.

Additional Resources

We have provided you with links to web sites which are not in the domain of Washington State University. We have provided these links as a service but do not endorse any commercial products, pest control recommendations, or attest to the accuracy of the information found on these non-WSU web sites.

American Bamboo Society. (ABS) home page provides a list of bamboo links and current information and events.

Bamboo Web. This page discusses the uses of bamboo and includes bamboo pictures and links.

Bamboo Research. American Bamboo Society Pacific Northwest Chapter in collaboration with Washington State University

Hardy Bamboos for Shoots and Poles, a booklet by Daphne Lewis that describes bamboo species suitable for USDA zones 7, 8 and 9. Also Bamboo on the Farm by Daphne Lewis. To order, contact James Clever, 206-782-3490 or e-mail

International Network for Bamboo and Rattan. The International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) is an international organization created by 22 member states of the United Nations, and has headquarters in Beijing, China. Through a growing network of participating organizations and individuals from all continents, INBAR develops and assists in the transfer of appropriate technologies and solutions to benefit the peoples of the world and their environment.

Our pages provide links to external sites for the convenience of users. WSU Extension does not manage these external sites, nor does Extension review, control, or take responsibility for the content of these sites. These external sites do not implicitly or explicitly represent official positions and policies of WSU Extension.

WSU Mount Vernon NWREC, 16650 State Route 536, Mount Vernon, WA 98273-4768 USA, 360-848-6150, FAX 360-848-6159, Contact Us