Annual Meeting of the ABS – October 28-November 1 2015

 Where :   Xalapa, México

“Tropical Bamboos for a Better World”

Potential Schedule for 2015 ABS Conference, Xalapa, Veracruz, México

October 28th

Pre-meeting field trip to the El Riscal, a new bamboo plantation and walk in the cloud forest in the Perote Mountain.

October 29th

ABS Board Meeting at Francisco Javier Clavijero Botanical Garden Auditorium (Pending location)

October 30th

Keynote opening speaker: Dr. Lynn G. Clark (Bamboo revolution:  recent advances in understanding bamboo evolution).

Mauricio Villaumin (Bambuver: experiences running the first commercial Mexican bamboo company and plantation)

Dr. Víctor Ordoñez (Physical and mechanical properties of Mexican Guaduas and other species)

Dr. Teresa Mejía (Mexican bamboo living collections)

Lic. Arturo Aguilar (Bamboo culm sheaths uses)

Ing. Armando Moreno Sánchez (Bamboo architecture projects in Mexico)

Demonstration how to make baskets using otate (Otatea acuminata = Mexican weeping bamboo)

Bamboo for kids I: paper making and decorating it with bamboo leaves.

October 31th

Ing. Ximena Londoño (Guadua angustifolia, an agroforestry plant)

Dr. Felipe Trabanino (Guadua as a mortuary item in Mayan burials)

Dr. Luis Cervantes (Insects in association with bamboos)

Mike Bostwick (Bamboo Landscape design)

Dr. Rogelio Macías (Otatea acuminata: distribution, propagation, current and potential uses)

Mauricio Mora Tello (Bambusa Cholula Beer, the first Latinoamerican beer that uses bamboo in its elaboration and experiences running a microbrewery)

TodoBambu (Demonstration how to make furniture using different bamboo species)

Bamboo for kids II: how to build a kite using bamboo sticks.

November 1st

Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) field trip to the Naolinco city, to know this traditional celebration in México.

Stay tuned to the ABS website for registration info,


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NEC Meeting June 27, 2015 Join us!

We are looking forward to seeing many of you at this wonderful venue! The gardens will be looking great and the facilities will allow us a nice place to share discussions and lots of conversations.

Guest Speaker -to be announced!

On Friday and/or Sunday, we can arrange side trips for those interested!  Saturday evening we can share dinner at a nearby restaurant.


  • Saturday, June 27
  • Blithewold Mansion and Gardens
  • Bristol, Rhode Island
  • 10am – 4pm
  • website here for more info
  • Cost $35 includes entrance fee, presentations, box lunch, and grounds tour
  • You must RSVP!   Please send me an email at

The Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum is an arboretum of 13 hectares (32 acres), located at 101 Ferry Road, Bristol, Rhode Island, mid-way between Newport and Providence, Rhode Island, onBristol Harbor with views over Narragansett Bay. It includes a mansion, with a 4 hectares (9.9 acres) lawn and over 300 species of woody plants in its arboretum and gardens, including both native and exotic species. And a really nice, well-managed grove of Yellow Groove bamboo, Phyllostachys aureosulcata!

2014-08-01 17.05.47

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Bamboo presentation for the Pacific Northwest Chapter, January 31, 2015

January 31st, 12:30-2:30
Hoyt Arboretum, Bill DeWeese Classroom, Portland OREGON

Presentation Title: Looking into Moso plantations, China

I have been working as an independent consultant to commercial companies interested in developing bamboo plantations in the U.S. Most recently, concerns regarding the availability of bamboo plants for research plots, and the clonal integrity of bamboo seedlings produced in-vitro, have led me to question of the feasibility of growing moso bamboo as a source for paper pulp in the United States.

China is reported to have both the largest and the fastest growing bamboo sector, involving more than ten million bamboo farmers, providing 35 million jobs and generating a market value of over 10.5 billion U.S. dollars of exports of various bamboo products for the global market. Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys pubescens [syn. edulis]) has the highest ecological, economic and cultural value of all bamboos in Asia, accounting for almost 70% of the total area of bamboo growth. This bamboo alone is valued at 5 billion U.S. dollars of annual forest production in China. For these reasons, I traveled to China to find out first-hand about moso plantation development, and other aspects of moso cultivation that is required for successful translation in the United States.

I went to China in February 2014 to ask questions and visit plantations. Please come hear and see my impressions.

Susanne Lucas, Horticulturist
9 Bloody Pond Road, Plymouth, MA 02360 USA /

Executive Director, Ned Jaquith Foundation,

Executive Director, World Bamboo Organization,

Vice President, American Bamboo Society

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NEC Newsletter sent via email today, November 19 – 2014

If any of you out there who are paid members of the Northeast Chapter of the American Bamboo Society, please let me know if you did NOT get the electronic newsletter I sent out this morning. We are updating our email membership list, and I don’t want to leave anyone out! Send private message to Thanks! ~ Susanne

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NEC Report to ABS Board at ABS Annual Conference

Submitted and presented by NEC Rep, Susanne Lucas (filling in for Scott Ritchie)

September 9, 2014   San Marino, California – The Huntington Botanical Gardens

The current NEC Board of Directors:

> Scott Ritchie, President (terms ends 2016), Baltimore MD
> Susanne Lucas, VP (2016), Plymouth, MA
> Stephanie Ritchie, Sec (2016), Baltimore, MD
> Fran Bartholomew, Treasury (2015), Albany, NY
> Dave Flanagan (2015), Boston, MA
> Whitney Adams (2015), Groton, CT
> Mike Bartholomew (2014), Albany, NY
> Ned Newton (2014), Westport, MA

> alternate: Larry Holland (2014), Amenia, NY

> alternate:  Anthony Poveromo (2016), Amenia, NY

NEC President Scott Ritchie and his wife Stephanie Ritchie (NEC Secretary) organized a wonderful spring meeting at the Cylburn Arboretum in Baltimore, Maryland, the weekend of June 21st. The site has a long history of gardening, dating back to 1863.  This 170-acre site is owned and managed by the city of Baltimore and is an impressive gem.  Scott works here as a staff horticulturist, and is perhaps solely responsible for the fact that the arboretum has any bamboo at all.   Our small but intrepid group toured the various plantings and spent time talking about the past winter’s effect on our own bamboos, cultural info on various species, the need to divide and root prune contained runners, and enjoyed each other’s company.  I gave a powerpoint presentation on my recently published book and also showed some pics from a recent trip to Taiwan and China.

It must be said that we were disappointed more people did not come out for this event.  Why don’t we get more people from our Chapter out to events?   Do the majority of members only need a newsletter?

No other events are planned for this year, although I wish there were.

I continue to post on the NEC page of the ABS website, and luckily a few other people post from time to time, too.

~ Susanne Lucas

p.s.  After the ABS Board Meeting and the ABS Members Meeting, I was elected Co-Vice President, serving with Bill Hollenback.  Stay tuned to ABS news via BAMBOO magazine.

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Free potted bamboo!

Hello bamboo lovers,
I have quite a few pots with indoor bamboo in CT.
They  have spent summer on the porch and I am giving them away as have
no time to split them/report and continue to take care.
I live on 95 between New London and New Haven.
If anyone needs them- stop by before frosts.
I have bought them long ago in MA bamboo place, do not remember their names.
Please send NE chapter mail with this info.


Tamara Potselueva <

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National Public Radio interview with Susanne Lucas, September 5, 2014

Listen here:

Susanne answered this call, after Scott Ritchie’s suggestion:

<<I’m a producer for the public radio call-in show on WNPR in Hartford, CT called Where We Live. I’m interested in putting together an hour-long show about bamboo and I figured this would be the perfect place to start. There are lots of different aspects to this and we’d just like to explore the various uses for bamboo, from decoration, to building, to eating.

I’d love to have a bamboo enthusiast join us in-studio for the hour as the “buddy” for our host John Dankosky next Friday (9/5) from 9-10am. Then throughout the hour, I’d have other guests calling in to talk about their specific uses for bamboo. Would you or someone affiliated with your organization be able to join us as a bamboo generalist?

Where We Live broadcasts like from 9-10am out of our Hartford studio. If someone could join us in our studio here, that would be great. We could also try to find a radio studio closer to the guest’s location.

Thanks,  Tucker Ives

Tucker Ives   Producer, Where We Live   1049 Asylum Ave.

Hartford, CT 06105
Work: 860-275-7281

Cell/Text: 860-614-0567

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BBC Radio Interview with Susanne Lucas

On the program, The Forum, the discussion is all about grasses, with specific focus on rice and BAMBOO.  The program first aired on August 18, but is still available as a podcast, online. Listen here :


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From Whitney Adams; THANKS, WHITNEY!

From April 8, 2014

Hi Ed, Thank you for the hardiness information.  My bamboos have been pretty much burned up.  Sasa palmata is all tan, etc.

After just emailing you there are some additional details that occurred to me.  The “rufas” were originally collected by the Shanghai Botanic Garden and offered to van der Palen in the Netherlands who acquired them.  Later Susanne acquired them and decided to tissue culture the wider-leafed one.  So far as I know, the narrower-leafed one has not been tissue cultured yet.

The following blue text is quoted from van der Palen’s website:

<<Fargesia ‘Rufa’
In the spring of 1995, I received a fax sent from the Botanical Garden of Shanghai, asking if I would be interested in specific bamboos. A staff member of the Botanical Garden had collected two bamboos in the south of the Chinese province Ganzhu. These plants were collected at elevations of 1,800 to 2,500m (5,900 to 8,200 feet) at latitude 34°20 N and longitude 106°00 E.
Here the average annual temperature is 8°C (46°F), and temperatures go down to -16.8°C (0°F) in winter. During the summer, the highest temperature can be 29.6°C (85°F).

We decided to call these plants Gansu 95-1 and Gansu 95-2 for the time being. The young plants of Gansu 95-1 grew amazingly well. In the first winter, it was observed that the leaves did not curl in dry conditions, during frosts or in direct sunlight, unlike the leaves of Fargesia nitida and Fargesia murieliae. Even the shedding of leaves, as is usual preceding winter with most Fargesias, was limited. This bamboo had no difficulty at all with the severe winter of 96/97, when temperatures went down to -19°C (-3°F) with the graceful leaves remaining green. Only extended periods of very low temperature with dry continental winds are endured less well by this bamboo than by the leaf-rolling types.

Already in April new shoots appear, which is in fact too early for the young shoots, which are sensitive to late frost. The height of the culms is between 2 and 3 m and because of the large number of leaves the culms arch over. New culms develop about 5-15 cm from the plant so after 5 years the plants can attain a diameter of up 2 m. This bamboo takes up available space at least three times as quick as Fargesia murieliae. In fact this bamboo would look its best in parks and large gardens, adding a fine touch to these places. The deep green leaves and the plant’s full silhouette stand in dynamic contrast to more static plants like Rhododendrons, cherry laurel and yew.

Naming the new plants
Our friends in China who sent us the plants proposed the name Fargesia spathacea. However, this name had already been assigned unjustly to Fargesia murieliae and later on to Fargesia nitida, and this time too, it did not fit.

In southern Gansu only a few bamboo species are found. The plant certainly was not Yushania confusa and we already knew Fargesia dracocephala. Then we came to Fargesia rufa. The visual resemblance with the two pictures of this species in the most important Chinese bamboo book ‘A Compendium of Chinese Bamboo’ and also the region of origin pointed in this direction. From then on, when the plants were distributed among growers and collectors this name started to lead its own life. When we study this species in more detail, we find characteristics of both Fargesia dracocephala and Fargesia rufa, both species being native to this region. It should be clear that bamboos from natural resources do not easily fit our classification systems.

My proposal is to name this bamboo Fargesia ‘Rufa’, given its already widely known name. Not only does the name sound well, but also when in the future the species should be known more exactly, the species name can easily be placed between the generic name Fargesia and the cultivar name ‘Rufa’. Gansu 2 was also a nice bamboo, but it turned out to be a shade tolerant form of Fargesia nitida, and it did not grow much higher than 2m (61/2 feet). >>

The latitude/longitude location using Google earth shows it to be a particularly rich floristic area in Gansu that, as I remember, the Arnold Arboretum and other institutions were particularly interested in visiting.  They may have done so by now.

Susanne probably has additional information.

Best wishes


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From Ned Newton; THANKS, NED!

From March 24, 2014

Since you asked, I thought I would give you a few bullets on bamboo at my place this winter (dare I say spring yet). The forecast is for more snow and last night it was down to 14 F. If the below is worth sending on to others, please do. I know you are busy, but if you could check the spelling and naming before sending, I would be grateful.

1. I did a study several winters ago comparing actual exposed temperature against the official temperature which is shaded from radiation cooling. The night time temperatures averaged 5 to as much as 10 degrees colder in the open. With the 5 degrees for the colder, 15 to 20 degree nights. So, what does this mean to me the gardener? Plant zones and temperature ratings for plants are given by the minimum temperature. But, are these actual measured temperatures at the plant or official weather station temperatures? For back yard gardens and small plantings we are really interested in micro-climates at the location we are planting our bamboo. This can vary by many degrees, particularly around buildings. So, the best we can hope is that the catalog listings of minimum temperatures are accurate. Then we should adjust our expectation of minimum temperatures for the exact location. This would mean reducing an exposed location by 5 to 10 degrees from the “official” minimum temperature for the area. Of course nature is never too precise, and there are several levels of loss due to low temperatures: loss of leaves, loss of culm, and finally loss of the whole plant, rhizomes.
2. This past winter my lowest, shaded, temperature was 4 degrees on a clear night, and this is the lowest I have seen in 15 years. I am in zone 7a which is supposed to have a minimum temperature of between 0 and 5. Pretty accurate.
3. For the first time every bamboo on my property has their leaves desiccated; yes even the rock hardy, Phyllostachys parvifolia. Hopefully they will re-leaf in the spring. However, I plan to cut to the ground the Sasa palmate f. nebulosa, Indocalamus solidas, Hibanobambusa tranquillans ‘Shiroshima’, and Pleioblastus viridi striatus ‘Chrisofila’ . I hope this is not too drastic, but I would like new fresh leaves for the summer. They are all spreading, and so a cut back in growth would also be desirable.
4. The Sasa palmate f. nebulosa, Indocalamus solidas, and Pleioblastus viridi striatus ‘Chrisofila’ are absolutely beautiful with their solid pale tan leaves. What a treat, since they are right at the end of the driveway and seen every time I go by.
5. Something very unusual, at least for me, has happened to the Fargesia group here at my home. They are all standing straight and tall, except perhaps the F. rufa which has an ever so slight curve, no whereas near a bow as usual. They also all have dried leaves. The standing tall looks great in the garden where I have them. However, I have on my list of winter things to do to prune back the clumps to provide room for the neighboring plants which are getting crowded out. Now that they are straight, there is no problem. I suppose I should plan ahead and assume they will again be bowing when the spring comes and things warm up. The Fargesia which are so affected are: F. rufa; F. rufa, narrow leaved; F. robusta; F. nitida ‘Jiuzhaigou’; and F. denudate. The narrow leaved version of rufa is, right now, much straighter than the usual rufa. The first time I have noticed any difference between the two.
6. I am getting older and weaker, and so we are cutting back on the Phyllostachys collection. Quite a shame since to me they are the “real” bamboo. There is nothing like walking through a grove. If anyone wants rhizomes of P. aureosulcate ‘Aureocaulis’, please give me a call. The bed is approximately 48 by 11 feet.


7. Elizabeth and I always enjoy the bamboo group. So, if you all would like to come for a visit this spring/summer we would be honored.

Edmund (Ned) Newton
427 Horseneck Road
South Dartmouth, MA 02748

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