Cover Image
close this bookTrees and their Management (IIRR, 1992, 195 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentMessage
View the documentProceedings of the workshop
View the documentList of participants
View the documentCurrent program thrusts in upland development
View the documentTrees and their management
View the documentSustainable agroforest land technology (Salt-3)
View the documentOutplanting seedlings
View the documentTree pruning and care
View the documentBagging of young fruits
View the documentEstablishing bamboo farms
View the documentPhilippine bamboo species: Their characteristics, uses and propagation
View the documentGrowing rattan
View the documentGrowing anahaw
View the documentGrowing buri
View the documentShelterbelts
View the documentBank stabilization
View the documentAssessing the usefulness of indigenous and locally adapted trees for agroforestry
View the documentA guide for the inventory, identification and screening of native plant species with potential for agroforestry
View the documentFruit trees for harsh environments
View the documentCitrus production
View the documentJackfruit production
View the documentMango production
View the documentMiddle to high understory shade tolerant crops
View the documentLow understory shade-tolerant crops
View the documentConserving available fuelwood

Philippine bamboo species: Their characteristics, uses and propagation

Bamboo is the tallest perennial grass that belongs to the Graminae family. Due to the long cylindrical woody stem strength and ease of workability, bamboo is a versatile material for a variety of economic uses: handicraft and furniture; farm implements; fishpen, fishcages and other fishing gears; banana props; musical instruments; pulp and paper; and, house construction. Aside from these, young shoots of some species are edible.

Demand for bamboo in the Philippines is steadily increasing However, the demand is not being currently met. Bamboo production is, therefore, a potential source of income for agroforestry farmers.


Bamboo also has ecological benefits as it minimizes soil erosion and stabilizes river banks. Bamboo thrives in a wide range of site conditions making it a suitable reforestation species for environmental protection.

According to a recent report, there are 12 genera, consisting of 49 species of bamboos that are growing in the Philippines -- 30 erect species and 19 climbing species. Nine erect bamboo species are presently utilized by industries for various purposes. These nine species are summarized in Table 3.





Length of Intermode





1. Kauyan tinik Bambusa blumeana




Widely distributed.

2. Kauayan kiling Bambusa vulgaria




Low and medium altitudes. found in backyard along the periphery of cultivated lands, creeks and foothills.

3. Giant bamboo Dendrocalamus as,oer




Natural groves locally distributed in Bukidnon and South Cotabato. Cultivated lumps in Laguna, Samar and Leyte.

4. Bayog Dendrocalamus




Widely distributed in Ilocos Sur, Nueva Ecija, Rizal, Zambales, Pangasinan, Bulacan, Cebu, Bohol and Lanao.

5. Kaychi Gigantochloa atter




Natural stands and cultivated clumps in Davao, Surigao, Bukidnon, Samar and Leyte.

6. Bolo Gigantochloa levis




Growing in Laguna, Batangas, Mindoro, Palawan, Panay, Leyte, Basilan.

7. Buho Schizostachyum Iumampao




Growing in Laguna, Batangas, Mindoro, Palawan, Panay, Leyte, Basilan.

8. Anos Schizostachyum lima




Occurring in Agusan, Mindoro, Rizal, Central and Northern Luzon.

9. Laak Sphaerobambos Philippinensis




Cultivated in Davao del Norte on commercial scale.


Use Bamboo Seeds. Producing bamboo using seeds is not common due to irregular flowering and fruiting of bamboos; if seeds are produced, a large percentage are infertile and have short viability. However, it is better to utilize them if seeds are available.

Bamboo seeds

Sow bamboo seeds directly in pots (polyethylene bags) or germinate them first in seedboxes or nursery beds. Seeds germinated in seedboxes may be pricked out and transferred in plastic bags after two months or more. Use either ordinary garden soil or sandy loam mixed with compost as a potting medium.

Enhance and maintain the health and vigor of the new bamboo plants. Water plants regularly. Remove competing weeds. Apply either organic (farmerprepared compost or commercially-prepared compost like biotab) or inorganic fertilizers like Urea (46-0-0) or complete (14-14-14).


Use of Vegetative Parts. Vegetative parts of the plant like offset, culm cuttings and branch cuttings are preferred propagating materials.


The offset method can be applied to bamboos such as anos and buho which have loose clumps that are not producing prominent branches with well-developed basal parts. These bamboos are difficult to propagate either by culm or branch cuttings.

The offset method can be applied to bamboos

Collect the offset from one to two-year-old culms during the rainy season. Planting offset directly in the field can be done. However, it is better to first raise them in the nursery to ensure higher survival and better growth and development once they are transplanted.

Collect the offset from one to two-year-old culms during the rainy season

Culm cuttings

Longer culm cuttings (2 to 4 nodes) of many species of bamboos are traditionally planted directly in the field. This method is used if planting materials are near the planting area or if the purpose is only to raise a few clumps.

Culm cuttings

One-node culm cuffings

To propagate one-node culm cuttings, it is preferable to collect the culms during rainy season. Prepare the cuttings by pruning the upper portion of the branches. Saw the culm into one-node cuttings ensuring that each cutting has a branch with a prominent swollen basal portion.

These one-node culm cuttings can be raised in containers or in nursery beds. Plant the cuttings in a slanting position with the branch stub at the upper side of the node. Plant the cuttings with a portion of the culm internode the branch node exposed. Ordinary garden soil or sandy loam soil is the preferred growing medium.

One-node culm cuffings

In nursey bed

In bags

For faster and easier rooting of culm cuttings, propagate initially in a sand bed with a misting system.

Branch-marcot culm cutting

This method can be applied using secondary culms which are characteristically smaller than mature primary culms. This method works best in culms with fully extended branches and unopened leaves.

Branch-marcot culm cutting

This propagation the following materials: marcot bags, sphagnum moss and coir dust or any similar waterabsorbing material.

This propagation the following materials: marcot bags

Fill marcot bag with moist sphagnum moss securely tied around the culm. Cover only the lower side of the branch base with sphagnum moss. After 15 days, when roots show through the moss, cut the culm and prepare onenode rooted culm cuttings. Rooted cuttings are planted in pots (plastic bags) with ordinary garden soil or sandy loam mixed with compost.

Rooted cuttings are planted in pots

Branch Cuffings

Bamboo, such as bayog, kauayan tinik and kauayan kiling which produce prominent branches, can be propagated using branch cuttings preferably during rainy season.

Gather branch cuttings with two to three nodes from one to two-year-old culms. Select branches with a well-developed base and aerial root primordia. During collection, be sure not to damage the basal part of the branch and buds.

Branch Cuffings

Branch cuttings can be raised in pots or in nursery beds after collection. Branch cuttings, similar to culm cuttings, can be better rooted in a propagation sand bed before transplanting them to pots or plastic bags.

In nursey bed

To plots or plastic bags