Bamboo harvesting at the Bundaberg Botanic Gardens has been under way this week as part of Council's annual beautification process.
Area Supervisor for Botanic Gardens and Horticulture, Cody Johnson, said bamboo had been growing in the Bamboo Grove adjacent to the Japanese Gardens since the early 2000s and needed to be trimmed to keep the space in pristine condition.
“Originally we started this maintenance to move the seasonal nesting of cattle egrets away from the manicured area of Fairymead House and the Japanese Gardens,” he said.
“This thinning maintenance is also classified as a non-lethal method for managing the cattle egrets under Bundaberg Regional Council's damage mitigation permit.”
Cody said mature bamboo was targeted and turned into mulch to use around the rest of the Botanic Gardens.
“We try to mostly remove mature canes or new shoots that are showing signs of lateral growth as opposed to maintaining an upright form,” he said.
“Over the years we have steered away from chainsaws and find that a reciprocating power saw works best on the canes of the bamboo and is much safer for staff as well.
“The mulch is a consistent fine blend, which is suitable in most locations and, like all mulches, we do try to age it several months before use.”
Cody said now was the perfect time of year to harvest bamboo.
“Most bamboo species only put on above-ground growth for three to four months through the warmer months,” he said.
“The rest of the year they appear dormant so this allows us to ‘reset' their form and reduces nest sites on the lateral shoots for the cattle egrets prior to the growing period.”
Council’s Parks and Gardens portfolio spokesman Cr Wayne Honor said the practice of bamboo harvesting provided many benefits to flora at the Bundaberg Botanic Gardens.
“There are so many great things to come out of using organic bamboo mulch in gardens,” he said.
“This particular mulch acts as a natural weed barrier and during our warmer months, helps to hold in much-needed moisture and nutrients which keep our amazing Botanic Gardens' plants growing so well.
“Bamboo harvesting is another way our Parks team are utilising the many natural resources around them to create a constant cycle of life here at our gardens.”