Preparing Homegrown Bamboo For Use as Building Material

Preparing Homegrown Bamboo For Use as Building Material

Kathryn Wright
Aug 5, 2010

As we know, Bamboo is one of the fastest growing wood plants on the planet and produces about 30% more oxygen then other trees. It's light and flexible while also being incredibly strong and hard. Bamboo is also a beautiful building material with many applications. Sow can you turn the patch of bamboo overtaking your garden into usable poles?

There are a few methods: the key is to let the poles dry out completely to prevent insect infestations and fungi growth. The easiest method is to cut down poles and prop them upright on a raised wooden or brick stand or hang a bundle in a tree to dry out. This should take a few months to dry out.

There are more complex ways including the traditional Japanese smoke-cured bamboo, which kill insects and give bamboo a warm honey colored finish. The traditional method involves a smoke hut, but smoke curing can be done over a fire. Another method is to soak the poles in salt water for 90 days, then set upright to dry out for several months more.

The only method tried around our house was to prop poles upright to dry out. The resulting poles are mainly used for outdoor building projects.

We're curious to know your experiences with home-grown bamboo curing and construction projects. Have you ever cured home-grown bamboo and used it for construction?

Related Post: Bamboozled to Bamboo-alooza in 18 Hours

(Image: Bamboo Bridge at Crosswaters Ecolodge, China from

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