This variety was initially identified as belonging to the Bambusas until in 1822 when the German botanist Karl S. Kunth determined that it constituted a genre in itself and identified it as Guadua, thus maintaining the term used by indigenous communities.
Guadua is the most widespread bamboo type in the Americas, endemic to this continent and made up of some 30 species. Guadua angustifolia, native from Colombia, is the most common of all thanks to its extraordinary physical-mechanical characteristics and the advance in the silvicultural and structural study that has been carried out in the country in recent years. Although it is found in its natural state from Ecuador to Venezuela growing between 0 and 2,000 m. above sea level, the optimum development of the plants is reached between 500 and 1,500 meters, with temperatures of 17º to 26º, rainfall of 1,200 to 2,500 mm / year, relative humidity of 80-90% and soils with moderate fertility and good drainage, characteristics of the central region of the Andes, known as the axis of Colombian coffee.
The ensemble of these Bamboo form the so-called Guaduales, spectacular forests where it is generally possible to venture in because they are not too thick and they give rise to very dynamic and highly specific ecosystems. It is incredibly rich with a multitude of plants, mammals, birds and reptiles.
These formations are very important even in remote areas because among their main functions, they are regulators of the water flow, absorbing water when there is excess and releasing it little by little, limiting possible floods, preventing soil erosion and deforestation thanks to its ramifications underground. They contribute to a large amount of biomass to the ground and are one of the largest fixers of environmental CO2 issue on the planet with records of between 100 and 150 tons per hectare in each life cycle, from 4 to 5 years.
GROWTH AND CUT
Guadua does not increase its diameter with time, but emerges from the ground with its determined diameter, as it is a monocot lacks cambium tissue so it does not get fatter like trees …
Depending on the type of soil and weather conditions these diameters can be up to 22-25 cm. although the usual is that they are between 8 and 13 cm.
During the first 6 months they grow at a very high rate that can reach 15 cm per day until they reach their final height of 20 to 30 m. During the following years, the plant will contribute to the ground biomass, fixing environmental CO2 issue and developing its woody structure.
After about 4 years it is considered that the stem has the suitable maturity for its use as a structural material and the cutting is carried out. If this is done well, a rhizomatic energy transfer mechanism starts at the plant and a new culm begins to be generated, so that the new production is guaranteed. Additionally, a regular and controlled exploitation favours the development of the Guadual as a whole and stimulates its natural regeneration.
It is estimated that the ideal composition of cane in a Guadua is 10% of shoots, 30% in young stems, and 60% of mature canes, with a density of 4,000 to 8,000 stems per hectare. The estimated productivity for a Guadua forest is between 1,200 and 1,400 stems per hectare / year which makes it a totally effective alternative to wood for the production of structural laminates, boards, floors, etc …
The stems of Guadua, with its height of more than 20 meters, are cut into reeds of standard length of 6 m., and according to their original position in the plant 3 differentiated sections are established.
The rods obtained from the highest section, called Sobrebasa, have thin walls but maintain a high fiber content, are used for auxiliary furniture joists and battens.
The intermediate sections or Bases are slender and very light in relation to their enormous resistance, they maintain very well the outer diameter and are very fibrous so they are the most common parts used in construction, especially in the manufacture of beams and composite trusses.
The pieces of the inferior part are called Strains, they display a great wall thickness, short internodes and by their high resistance to compression they are perfect for construction of columns.