Bambusa Balcooa


Bambusa Balcooa

Local Names:

Baruwa (Manipur); Bhaluka (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bengal) ;
Beru (Meghalaya); Bhalu bans (Nagaland); Barak (Tripura)


Scaffolding, construction, ladders, Agarbatti sticks, edible shoots, paper


Culm length: Upto 30 m
Culm diameter: 8-15 cmHollow)
Internode length: 20-40 cm

1. Distribution: Indigenous to North eastern India but naturalized in many states of India.

2. Recommended for cultivation in following site conditions:

Altitude- Sea level up to 600m

Soil type- Grows in a wide range of soil types but maximum productivity is seen when grown in heavy textured soil with good drainage.

Climatic conditions- Growth is profuse in tropical and tropical to sub tropical conditions
3. Planting material:

This species does not set seed although flowering is occasionally seen , Vegetative propagation techniques are however quite successful and propagules can be easily produced in a span of one year. Planting material produced in NBM High Tech Nurseries or accredited Tissue culture labs is recommended. This species is one of the most commonly available tissue cultured planting material in India.

Availability of planting stock :
Vegetative propagation: KFRI, Peechi; JNTBGRI, Thiruvanathapuram, Uravu, Wyanad

Tissue culture :
Growmore Biotech, Husur, Tamil Nadu; Hindustan Newsprint Limited, Jagi Road, Assam; KFRI, Peechi, Thrissur; Rain Forest Research Institute, Jorhat, Assam.

4. Planting procedure:

Season of planting- During the pre monsoon showers planting should be initiated and completed. In areas were artificial irrigation is feasible planting can be delayed upto December.
Pre planting operations- The area to be demarcated is fenced and weeded at least 15 days prior to planting.
Pit size & treatment- 45 X 45 X 45 cm cubical pits are to be dug, half filled and kept exposed to sun for top soil sterilization. Trenches are an option if heavy earth movers are used for preparation of the site.
Planting- Simultaneous with the pre monsoon showers, the pit to be filled with one year old plantable seedling/propagule, taken out of the container and kept in position in the pit. The filled up soil is to be compacted around the plant.
Spacing- The species to be planted at closer spacing of 5 X 5m if managed for the production of edible shoots and 7 m X 7 m for timber production. High density plantation intensive management have been suggested for biomass for bioenergy production but the sustainability of this practice is not clear in all situations . The recommendation is for planting at a spacing 1.21 m (4 ft) X 3,04 ( 10 ft) so as go have access to machinery for management operations and harvesting.

5. Soil/water conservation measures:

Productivity can be increased multi fold if water harvesting trenches (60cm X 45cm X 30cm) are dug in interspaces if square planting is done. Care should be taken to see that the trenches will not interfere with the harvesting and transportation of shoots/culms from the plantation.

6. Management of established clumps:

Fertilization : Depending on the soil testing carried out just prior to planting and after clump establishment, fertilizer doses are to be fixed up by an expert. Bamboo responds well with NPK and dry farm yard manure or vermicompost
Irrigation: Essential in the first two years just to ensure healthy establishment and culm production. Moisture retention through trenches also helps.

Plant protection measures: If managed properly with routine pruning, thinning and cleaning (cultural practices) bamboo usually escapes pest infestations. Bamboo blight caused due to Sarocladium oryzae can be controlled by application of Indofil M-45 as a soil drench, physically removing the blighted culm, burning debris in situ and adding contamination free new soil around the clumps.
Clumps managed for edible shoots needs protection from porcupines and wild pigs in particular. This can cheaply be provided by encircling the clump with fishing net as barrier. The method can be adopted in clumps managed for culm production also.

Thinning- Regular pruning and cleaning should be carried out from the 4th year of clump establishment. All dry, dead and drying culms are to be removed from the clump so as to provide sufficient space in the clump for new sprouts. Branch pruning also provides sufficient space for the emerging culms to grow upwards quickly without any hindrance. As a regular practice these operations are to be carried out every year probably soon after winter months.

7. Harvesting

For edible shoots- Culms can be harvested in non rainy months when usually copious culm production occurs. For edible shoots tender sprouts are to be harvested within 3 weeks of emergence when they are about 30 to 40 cm in length. Ensure that not more than 60% of the sprouts are removed in one season. Soon after extraction the tender sprouts are to be taken for processing as drying of the sprout is detrimental for further processing.
For poles- Harvesting of culms is done following the colour coding system to avoid removal of immature culms or miss the mature ones.

8. Flowering cycle: 35-40 years but no seed set or death of clumps have been ever reported and therefore the species is ideal for plantations in that respect.

Additional information


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