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tiG, I use it right away. It won't root that way so no worry there if that is what you are asking. With golden bamboo, a friend likes it to turn yellow before she uses it since she likes a uniform look in her flower beds. My flower beds are never going to be uniform so I don't worry about that either.
Bonnie, my experience with bamboo is that bamboo I cut in the Spring-early Summer rotted within 2 years. The first bamboo I cut for my trellis and gates was cut in early Fall the previous year, and most of it is still viable after 5 years.
There must be many places near you along creek beds where you could cut stakes?