Shooting season is now officialy open

Moso Shooting 2017

Winter

Winter damage from the northern side

Winter damage from the northern side

After unusually dry winter with almost no snow cover and two months of uninterrupted below freezing temperatures, spring came early. Due to lack of snow cover, soil got frozen down to 50 cm deep. That made me think that Bamboo shooting season will be postponed for quite some time. Fargesia Rufa started late and I believed my Phyllostachys bamboos will also need a bit longer to finally wake up. Moso proved me wrong.

Top layer of leaves got burnt, leaves below remained protected

Top layer of leaves got burnt, leaves below remained protected

Winter did some damage to the Phyllostachys pubescens ‘Moso’ seedling this year. Not as much as I would have expected, though. Despite being frozen solid, most of the canes survived with moderate leaf loss. North facing side survived almost completely undamaged while southern, more exposed side took quite some damage. Older, smaller culms got defoliated completely this year, which was a surprise to me, because I expected the older and completely hardened culms will have much better chances, compared to young and tall culms. Youngest culms from previous spring were not damaged until the worst cold hit us. Low temperatures around -15°C, sunny and windy weather with soil being completely frozen, managed to burn some of the leaves. I can only guess how they would look like if the soil would remain thawed.

First shoots came early

First Moso shoot of the year

First Moso shoot of the year

To my surprise, I have found first Moso shoots on March 25th. That is the earliest Moso shooting date (well actually it’s a tie with season 2014) so far. Until this season, the first to poke out of the soil were always very small shoots that grew on the edges of the grove where I severed the rhizomes. Not this year. The first shoot I saw is already larger than shoots from last year. I accidentally exposed it when I decided to water the bamboo. When I looked a bit closer, I noticed more a bit smaller shoots on the western side of bamboo clump.

Three weeks of warm and sunny weather warmed up the soil and grass started actively growing. It didn’t take long for the first fruit trees to wake up as well. On the very same day when I noticed Moso shoots, apricots opened their flowers. Everything  re-started in fast forward mode this year.

I have not noticed the second shoot until I checked the snapped photo.

I have not noticed the second shoot until I checked the snapped photo.

One of largest shoots so far trying to reach for some light

One of largest shoots so far trying to reach for some light

Upsize

At first it didn’t look like there will be any upsize. Shoots were not as large and seemed more juvenile compared to the larger shoots last season. Eventually, they started getting thicker and started showing Moso specific features. It seems that last year, shoots started from deeper down in the soil, because I have added some soil and mulch around the bamboo during the previous year.
As the shoots started growing, it became evident, that there was some upsize, compared to last season. Like last year, there were many small(er) shoots that arrived earlier. I have left all the shoots intact, like in previous years. Smaller shoots can always be pruned off later on during the season, if the grove becomes congested.

Shoots have increased quite a bit this year

Shoots have increased quite a bit this year

To compare the size of the shoots, I use 1 Euro coin

To compare the size of the shoots, I use 1 Euro coin


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Spring freeze

The upsize in  some parts of the clump was impressive

The upsize in some parts of the clump was impressive

In late April, temperature plunged down to -5°C a couple of nights. Late freeze did a lot of damage to most of the fruit trees and completely defoliated walnut trees. We’ve had late freeze like this for two year in a row now – this year it got even worse than last year. The freeze, however, did no damage to the bamboo shoots. They were quite tall already at the time and for a while, I got really worried.
After the cold weather, we’ve had some warm rainy days again. Abundance of rain and mild weather (temperatures around 10°C) made the shoots grow much faster again. At that point it became evident that the number of shoots increased this year. Large shoots emerged throughout the whole grove, not just on the eastern side like in previous season. Majority of the large shoots, though, is still facing East.

Large shoot with young anchor roots

Large shoot with young anchor roots

I will update this post regularly until the shoots completely leaf out.

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3 thoughts on “Moso Shooting 2017

  1. Avatar Alec

    Awesome! Thanks for updating!

    I finally got a few rhizomes (moso, henon, ph. atrovaginata, ph. nigra, and pseudosasa japonica) shipped from Croatia, and they arrived already showing activity, so I placed them inside for now. I guess next year will be my first year of keeping this kind of record. We usually see freezing temperatures throughout March and the occasional night of frost in early April, so I’m expecting late April to be the start of our shooting season. I can’t remember when our Fargesia starts shooting from previous years either, since I haven’t kept a record.

    I’ll be following this thread closely! Thanks for sharing 🙂

     
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  2. tarzan tarzan

    Moso will shoot when morning temperatures still drop slightly below freezing. Young shoots are usually not damaged by frost, except if temperature drops really low. If it gets cold when bamboo starts shooting, I usually cover the shoots and surrounding soil with bamboo leaves. Shoots would most likely be OK, mulch helps keeping the soil temperature warmer.

    This year, Fargesia Rufa started shooting almost the same time as my Phyllostachys edulis – Moso, which is interesting. What is even stranger is, that I already see like 4 or 5 Phyllostachys aureosulcata ‘Spectabilis’ shoots. They are not growing and I haven’t seen them start poking out of the soil in large numbers, so I’ll not write down the shooting date just yet. Spectabilis usually shoots much later. I’ll check my Phyllostachys aurea tomorrow, perhaps that one is waking up as well.

    Good luck with your bamboos!

     
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  3. Avatar Alec

    Thanks, and thanks for sharing yet again! This April has been horribly cold, we even went down to -5 C one night, so I never took my moso rhizomes outside. My aurea has not show much sign of coming back to life after it got defoliated over the winter (I expected no less since I planted it in November). But I see numerous little buds on the branches, which I can only assume are new leaves ready to come out. No sign of shooting yet either.

    My moso has peeped out of the ground, but stopped at just under 10 cm and hasn’t moved since. My yadake rhizome has sent up three 2 cm thick shoots which is more than I hoped for, only having been used to my own feeble seedlings.

     
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