Pete in Paradise Hills Posted January 4, 2015 Report Share Posted January 4, 2015 Josh, your soil/weather and mine are totally different (mine is wet), so clumping bamboo might not be an option for you. But I find that a giant cane (canes 3 inches thick) weeping-type bamboo clump will get 40 feet tall and shade out/give overhead canopy to everything around it. As the bamboo spreads outwards, you won't be able to see the silhouette of the palm as well, but it's a cool look when a palm is intermingled with bamboo fronds (I'll try to post some photos from Jacksonville Zoo which has great examples of this jungly look). I would not recommend the bamboos which are very upright-growing because they won't provide overhead canopy (e.g. bambusa oldhamii), but the more weeping ones will give a decent amount of canopy to palms in the 20-foot height range (not really tall palms). One of the fastest-growing is probably bambusa malingensis and it had a semi-weeping habit for me, though perhaps not as much as my giant-cane bambusa ventricosa "Buddha Belly" (not to be confused with the other "Buddha Belly" bamboo which is not cold hardy). In one six-month period, my bambusa malingensis grew tons of canes for me and I could see that it was just too vigorous for the size of my yard, so I gave it away. You need serious space for these clumping bamboos, but they stay evergreen and look awesome with those huge, thick canes. Crazy fast --- possibly due to my wet clay soil, which you likely don't have in Vista, CA. They love water. Do not plant running bamboo (obviously). Also, don't plant anything that is not one of the "giant" bamboos or else you won't get that 40 foot height and weep. This means no bamboo with skinny canes or even medium-sized canes. But be prepared to have a ten-foot radius clump of bamboo over time. At Kanapaha Botanical Gardens (Gainesville, FL), they dig around the base of certain bamboos and use a reciprocal saw to control the size of the rhizome in places where the bamboo would eventually grow up against a sidewalk, etc. For small palms, you might also consider planting Schleffera Actynophylla for canopy, but it would only serve as canopy for a couple of palms nearby. The only reason that this came to mind is that it is so extremely fast-growing that you wouldn't have to wait long for it to become a tree (plus, the small ones are cheap $8.99 at HD) --- even though it is not a traditional canopy tree. It looks great too, although some people complain that its roots choke out other plants and are just too vigorous. ....not traditional canopy trees by any means, but stuff that will keep your tropical look going. Now I will wait for everyone else to disagree with me. Good luck.don't know about others in San Diego but my experience has been that bamboo cannot handle my sun. I wanted to use them to hide a dying tree on the other side of my property and they literally died within two weeks of going in the ground despite daily watering... Paradise Hills, 4 miles inland, south facing slope in the back, north facing yard in the front Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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