I have a bamboo grove adjacent to my patio, about 35 ft long and 6 ft deep. In the past month it has turned from green to entirely light brown, as has my neighbors, about 50 ft away. I am in Boston but friends in New Haven, whom I visited this weekend, have the same situation. In the eight years that I have lived here this has never happened. Are they dying? Does anyone know why this is happening?
RubyVox Boston, MA (Zone 6a) (7 reviews) April 25, 2008
I collect bamboo and have mixed feelings about New England Bamboo.
I agree that they provide excellent service and have gorgeous stock, including many hard to find specimens. They provide New Englanders with many species that are not suitable for our zone(s) along with excellent information on how to grow the plants indoors and/or over-winter the less hardy varieties. (Many other bamboo nurseries refused to sell me Phyllostachys nigra ‘Hale’.) NEB also works with many architects and corporations to create green spaces in Boston and I’m very pleased whenever I see NEB in public buildings.
My problem with NEB is their pricing. It pains me to mail order bamboo from other companies when such a fantastic local nursery is at my disposal, but it is less expensive to buy bigger plants and have them shipped.
I have 5 specimens from NEB planted (intermingled) with several other specimens of the same variety from different suppliers. All the plants live under the same exact conditions, but NEB are the shortest and smallest, despite being a few years older than their neighbors. (I supposedly ordered the same ‘size’ plants from all 3 nurseries.) The plants I ordered from 2 other nurseries (of the same exact variety) were far less expensive, bigger and grew lush and tall more quickly. NEB’s plants look very good, but it is ridiculous to buy smaller, younger plants that don’t perform quite as well. I now only purchase NEB plants when I cannot find what I want somewhere else. Unfortunately for NEB, my loyalty belongs to another bamboo grower.
bostondon Roslindale, MA (3 reviews) April 25, 2008
After a helpful and informative phone conversation with someone at New England Bamboo, I ordered a plant on Monday. It arrived Wednesday, beautifully packaged. These people love bamboo and really wanted to help me.
It is obvious in dealing with New England Bamboo that it is a first class professional operation. I have dealt with them on retail purchases for years. The plants and packaging are high quality and the staff is knowledgable and friendly. I think of them as the "cadillac" of bamboo suppliers. If you are serious about bamboo and want high quality plants, you will not go wrong with New England Bamboo.
jetoney Westerville, OH (4 reviews) September 22, 2005
I have purchased and planted two phyllostachis bissetti 'dwarf' plants. I received them promptly and in good condition, and they are doing well. The customer service staff was polite when they contacted me to explain that they were sold out of #3 pots, but I could get two #1s for the same price. No complaints.
I have dealt with New England Bamboo on two major projects and one small one. The large project necessitated the ordering of 200 plants, size 3. All the bamboo arrived on time, perfectly packed, from MA to NY. They were planted and are growing successfully. They were also planted in mid-summer, not a great time, but settled in well. Happy experience.
Project 2 was an ordering of extra large bamboo for a public installation. They gave us a break on shipping, plants were beautiful, well-packed, everything worked.
Third project a small brownstone back garden. Again Bamboo (P. "Harbin") arrived in mint condition, and is now growing happliy, sending up many new shoots in summer, which I ate!
back in 2000,i ordered 2 bamboo plants which were to be 2 1/2 inches in dia and 3 inches in dia.
after 2 years they both were 1/4 inch in dia.
no response from new england bamboo.
DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY OR TIME ON THEM!
I ordered three bamboo plants for $150. They were spindly and died within a week of planting. I called and called the company-no response. Finally, after a long while of trying to reach them, I sent a letter-no response, but three more plants arrived. These were lush and lovely. However, they sent them in the middle of an Oklahoma summer--inexcusable. Anyone who knows plants knows that you cannot plant anything tender in OK in the summer. I watered them well and put them on the patio out of the sun, but in two days, they wilted and died. The company never responded to me in spite of my efforts--$150 down the drain.
Have worked with New England Bamboo on plant several orders. The plants are packed and shipped very well. Yes the plants are small but stabilized mail order plants are. The plants are label constantly and relatively correct*. So when you order 3 # 1 gallon of black bamboo you do not get 1 P nigra and 2 p nigra henon you get 3 # 1 containers of black bamboo. I have never had a plant die or be not a viable and reproductive division from New England Bamboo. Being a bambo person and understanding that hardiness is related to mass of plant and the conditions the plant is exposed to prior to establishment as a mature grove. Hardiness number are not accurate until you compare all factors to derive a hardiness number. Plus most rare plant have not had the time to grow into a grove or planting specium in the area so actually hardiness is not known.
There is a project to collect and measure bamboo data at http://www.bamboopeople.com
New England Bamboo is the best mail order bamboo on the east coast.
*Bamboo Id is not that constant and accurate, many plants on national display are
miss labeled, like several plants at Arnold Arboruretium. Many experts have disagee on many plants.
Catalog was not accurate, especially as to hardiness. Folks there are hard to get hold of and not pleasant to deal with when you do. But I was really annoyed at the misinformation as I live in a cold part of the country.
Plant material OK but prices were very very high. I do not mind paying for quality but they are out of sight.On December 22nd, 2001, andrew changed the rating from to negative and added the following:
fpgill Sudbury, MA (Zone 6a) (28 reviews) December 15, 2001
I signed up for a "free" catalog from this company at the New England Flower Show a couple of years ago. In return I received a bill for a catalog. When I emailed to ask what the deal was, I got nasty emails back. Not a company I recommend doing business with.
Lundeen Westford, MA (5 reviews) December 10, 2001
Plant material OK, prices high, somehow they think the plants they offer are hardier than other nurseries. Shipping costs very high.
I live nearby and have done business with them, purchasing mostly grasses. I go to their nursery and am very impressed. They grow fantastic plants, are always helpful and courteous. Always neat, always well groomed. I highly recommend the company.
I recently had a negative experience with a company called New England Bamboo. They had a display at the New England Flower Show in Boston this spring. I found their plants very interesting, and they told me they would send me a catalog if I put my name down on their mailing list. About four weeks later I received not a catalog, but a postcard informing me that my catalog could now be purchased for $3.00. When I emailed them to ask why they hadn't told me about the catalog charge in the first place, I received a rather rude email beginning with "I'm sorry you feel that way..." and going on to say that such a tiny company can't possibly afford to mail out free catalogs. I feel that they were simply not being honest with me, or with all the other people signing up for the catalogs at the flower show, and that they should have just told us in the first place that there was a charge. As it is I can't ever imagine ordering from them now.