Planting Bamboo in The Philippines
We are planning to have a bamboo plantation to support our growing industry here in Cotabato Province, Mindanao Island, Philippines, my question is, what is the ideal spacing for bamboo plantation that would pose as a problem in harvesting in the future?
Presently, we have a hard time "pulling down" a bamboo pole even in a single clump... is ten by ten meters spacing profitable enough? What is the ideal spacing for riverbank plantation?
The spacing depends on the type of bamboo you plan on planting. If you were planning to plant the giant “Mindanao” ( Dendrocalamus asper - clumping type ), 10 meters spacing is ideal.
My plantation in Benguet Province, Luzon Island has a spacing of between 5 and 7 meters depending on the terrain, which is mountainous. It is also estuarial (surrounded by rivers, streams and creeks). But I make it a point not to plant too close to the river, due to typhoons.
On relatively flat terrain, a 5-meter spacing is too close. You would have to “cut your way through”! 7 meters is the minimum. 10 meters is better, as there is less competition for nutrients in the soil. Also, a mature grove could grow up to 5 meters in diameter.
As for profitable... personally, I treat the bamboo groves as if they were my children... the money will come... one day... I hope. I try not to think about this too much. What is important is that my children are happy and healthy.
Big, tall trees are also worth keeping... just plant the bamboo some distance away from them. When a typhoon hits, the bamboo poles at least have something to lean on. Other varieties worth planting are La'ak and Bayog.