The Northern California Chapter
American Bamboo Society Logo
Promoting the Beauty and Utility of Bamboo

Chapter Information

The NCC/ABS is the first ABS Chapter, formed by Jim Smith in 1981-82. He was a gardener at the Strybing Arboretum in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco and led the Chapter until his death in 1985. The NCC usually has its annual spring sale and auction at that location, which is now known as the San Francisco Botanical Garden.

There are chapter meetings throughout the year, plus meetings of the Board of Directors at which members are welcome. A relationship has been established with the San Francisco Zoo where members have planted and helped maintain bamboos. Foothill College (Los Altos) and Hakone Gardens (Saratoga) have hosted Chapter events as well.

Annual Meetings of the American Bamboo Society were hosted by the Northern California Chapter in 1994, 1999 and 2008. These exciting events feature displays, lectures, workshops, garden visits and plenty of opportunity to meet other bamboo enthusiasts of all persuasions.

Directors and Officers

Membership information:

To check current membership dues and to JOIN, click HERE.
Please note that the Northern CA Chapter does not have a separate (chapter-only) membership category because of the advantages of the joint ABS+NCC membership, including the legacy ABS publications such as BAMBOO (the Magazine), Bamboo Science and Culture (the Jounal), the Species Source List, and access to members-only parts of this web site.
David King, Treasurer/Membership


For further information about events, contact Rosalie Ross, NCC Director.


Future Events ---

Bamboo Gathering at Foothills College Bamboo Garden
Saturday, October 16 from 11 am - 3 pm
Admission to the gathering is free
$2.00 required for parking at the College (Quarters are recommended/closest parking is in Lot 6)
Bring a lunch and learn more about Bamboo at the Garden and around the Bay Area
The gathering will include:
Tour of the Bamboo Garden
Discussions about bamboo plants and uses
Opportunities to talk with other bamboo experts and enthusiasts
Meeting members from the Northern California Chapter of the American Bamboo Society
Information on joining NCC/ABS
Everyone is Welcome!
For more information see Bamboo gathering 2010.PDF


Past Events ---

18.September is WORLD BAMBOO DAY.

24.April 2010: Annual Spring Bamboo Festival, Sale and Auction at the San Francisco County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park. This year we featured the music and craft of Martin Espino, maker of bamboo musical instruments. Click here for SALE POSTER and a great photo of the beautiful Blue Bamboo, Himalayacalamus hookerianus.

7.March.2010: NCC/ABS Membership meeting at the home and bamboo-laden yard of Suzanne Coffee, NCC Director.

23.January.2010: Winter NCCABS Meeting, Garden Club Room, San Francisco County Fair Building, Golden Gate Park.

25.April 2009: Annual Spring Bamboo Festival, Sale and Auction at the San Francisco County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park.

31.January 2009: NCC Chapter Meeting at the San Francisco County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park. Meetings for 2009 and work parties at Hakone Garden and/or Foothill College were planned.

5 - 9 .November 2008: The ANNUAL MEETING and CONFERENCE of the AMERICAN BAMBOO SOCIETY took place at the bamboo-friendly San Francisco Zoo, with the Northern California Chapter as host. The theme: "URBAN BAMBOO".

26.April 2008: Annual Spring Bamboo Festival, Sale and Auction at the San Francisco County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park

3.February 2008 (Sunday):NCC Chapter Meeting at the San Francisco County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park.

17.November.2007: 11:00 AM --- Meeting at home of Suzanne Coffee, NCC Director, in Berkeley. Demonstration by Brazilian bamboo craftsman Wanderlei Tavares -- technics for bending bamboo, construction of household items. (

28.April 2007 -- Annual Spring Bamboo Festival, Sale and Auction at the San Francisco County Fair Building.

20.January.2007 -- NCC Chapter Meeting: After a remembrance of the recently deceased Jerry Phelps, MD of Garberville, CA (Humboldt County), a major contributor to the promotion of bamboo and a past NCC Director, who died on Christmas day, Karl Bareis gave his presentation. In November 2006, Karl taveled to Kyoto Japan and met with Dr. Masatoshi Watanabe for five days, exploring the traditional methods of harvest and treatment of Phyllostachys bambusoides and P. pubescens. The fall harvest season is the busiest time of the year and Karl was able to observe the methods of cultivation and treatment. Included in the presentation were methods of harvest,  a description of the traditional hiyaburi curing, and kiln drying bamboo for architectural uses.  In addition to bamboo for architecture Kyoto contains the most important forests of bamboo cultivated for food.  The presentation showed the unique way Japanese farmers grow Moso bamboo for food.

9.December.2006 -- NCC Board of Directors Meeting at the San Francisco home of Rosy Ross.

29.April.2006 (Saturday): The Northern California Chapter's Annual Spring Bamboo Festival, Sale and Auction was held at the San Francisco County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park. The music group Gamelan Sekar Java again performed during the Festival.

4.February 2006 -- NCC Chapter Meeting: San Francisco County Fair Building. Program included a presentation by Jo Scheer (of Puerto Rico, now Oregon) detailing the development of the "Hooch", a treehouse-like structure made with bamboo poles and plywood, based upon a single support point on the ground. Check out Jo's book, How to Build with Bamboo.

30.October.2005 -- Bamboo-dividing party at Rosy Ross' place in San Francisco, in a rooftop garden that has been featured several times in Sunset magazine

29.October.2005 -- Costa Rican master craftsman/designer, Martin Coto held a workshop on the El Sobrante property of Darrel DeBoer.

20-22.October.2005 -- The Annual Meeting of the American Bamboo Society in Houston, Texas. The Texas Bamboo Society Chapter of the ABS hosted this major event.

September 2005 --  The Bamboo Festival at Foothill College unfortunately could not be held this year due to circumstances beyond our control (i.e., ongoing construction at the College next to the Garden).

11.September.2005 -- NCC/ABS Board of Directors meeting: Planning for 2006. Click here for Minutes.

Election of NCC/ABS Board of Directors, New terms began 1.July.2005 -- Click here for Successful Candidates' Statements.

23.April.2005 -- The Northern California Chapter's Annual Spring Bamboo Festival, Sale and Auction again was held at the San Francisco County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park. Special this year was live Gamelan music played on bamboo instruments by the group GAMELAN SEKAR JAYA.

12.March.2005 -- A volunteer work party took place at the San Francisco Botanical Garden to clean up some of its bamboo plantings.

6.March.2005 -- NCC meeting. San Francisco, at the home of Rick and Leigh Hood. Planning for the 23.Apr.05 Festival/Sale/Auction; Networking/Schmoozing.

29.January 2005 -- Chapter Meeting: San Francisco, at the home of Rosy Ross in the heart of the City. Her townhouse patio bamboo garden has been the subject of a Sunset Magazine article. Two guests were present: (1) David Farrelly, author of the 20 year old classic The Book of Bamboo.  He spoke about his plans to rewrite the book.  Our chapter has purchased a laptop computer for David to make his travel/writing easier. ( 2)Christopher Shein, who is starting an interesting nursery on behalf of the Alameda Collaborative, an agglomeration of some 20 or so affordable housing advocate organizations at the former Alameda Naval Air Station.  They now have several hundred housing units and are starting this plant nursery of edible and useful plants which also serves a function as a jobs program.  Christopher wants to be able to screen the nursery operations using bamboo plants in half wine barrels. Email:

4.December.2004 -- NCC meeting at the home and garden of Tom Haworth in Merced, CA. Tom has been a major contributor of bamboo plants to our NCC sales.   From Tom: “My groves include two large groves of vivax with bory, henon, vivax aureocaulis, black, Robert Young, harbin, spectabilis, oldhamii, tuldoides, moso, Alphonse Karr, flexuosa, violascens, B. riviereorum, quadrangularis, B ventricosa kimmei, S. tootsik albostriata, castillon inversa, B allgold: all in the ground.

30.October.2004 -- NCC meeting at the home and nursery of Bob Johannessen in El Sobrante (East Bay). Bob owns the on-site Terra Viridis Nursery which grows roughly 150 species of bamboo.

7.August.2004 -- NCC meeting in the East Bay at the home and garden of Bob Stewart in Fremont with an additional visit to the nearby garden of Ed Prophet.

July 2004 -- NCC Board elections: Incumbents Rosy Ross, Suzanne Coffee, Bob Johannessen ran unopposed and have new terms without an election, per the NCC/ABS bylaws.

15-16.May.2004: In Garberville (Humboldt County), A course titled "Adapting Bamboo to Northwest California" taught by Karl Bareis at Daishuin-West. Click here to read the pre-event notice (PDF).

24.April.2004: The Northern California Chapter's Annual Spring Bamboo Festival, Sale and Auction took place at the San Francisco County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park, next to the Strybing Arboretum.

4.April.2004: A talk by Bob Stewart. TOPIC:  The Beautiful Well-Behaved Bamboo. GROUP:  San Mateo Arboretum Society. LOCATION:  San Mateo Central Park.

14.March.2004: NCC Chapter Meeting at the home and garden of Ed Smith, in Livermore: planning for Spring Bamboo Festival; pot luck lunch; archery contest with bamboo-related prizes.

24.Jan.2004 Chapter Meeting: San Francisco County Fair Building. Click here for the minutes of the meeting.

September 2003 -- Bamboo Festival at Foothill College, Los Altos, CA. Sale/vendors/program/auction.

October 1999: The Northern California Chapter hosted the Annual Meeting and fundraising auction of its parent American Bamboo Society in San Francisco. A Tortoiseshell Moso (Phyllostachys pubescens pubescens) realized an auction price of $7,000! This was the first time this species had appeared at an ABS auction.


Bamboos in the San Francisco Bay Area - General Information (PDF)

Bylaws of the NCC/ABS (PDF)


Tortoise-shell moso

Tortoiseshell Moso for 1999 Auction


Bamboo in high-tech environment

Bamboo in a High-Tech Environment


Bamboo structure by Akio Hizume

Bamboo Structure by Akio Hizume

Arrow shot through bamboo!

Chance happening at Ed Smith's




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