What is Guadua Angustifolia?
For centuries bamboo has been used in everyday life and in many different cultures throughout the world. The most gigantic and extraordinary type, now known as "Guadua Angustifolia Kunth", is considered one of the 20 best bamboo species in the world. In 1822, the German botanist Kunth described Guadua as a genus segregated from the Asian one, Bambusa. Kunth used the indigenous word "guadua" (narrow leaf), which was the name given to this bamboo among the native communities of Colombia and Ecuador.
This user-and environmental-friendly "grass" is presently employed for a multitude of uses; furniture; crafts work, raw construction material, panels (plywood, laminates, floors), paper industry, charcoal industry, pharmaceutical industries, musical instruments, houses, etc.
The reason for that is simple: no other natural resource possesses more: versatility, lightness, flexibility, endurance, hardness, strength, climatic adaptability, seismic-resistance, rapid growth, easy handling and visual warmth!
To top this of, it is also the most cost effective building material that easily meets International Building Code (IBC) and environmental requirements. So it's no exaggeration if we state that the "guadua" is the forestry species of the future!
Trees vs. Guadua Angustifolia
All bamboo, but Guadua in particular, has a rapid growth and a higher productivity, when compared with trees. Usually, the growth cycle of bamboo is a third of that of a "tree of rapid growth" and has double the productivity per hectare. Guadua BicolorCompared to oak, Guadua even produces up to four times more wood.
In addition, bamboo emerge from the soil with a fixed diameter, without showing increases of diameter over time, as happens with trees. The maximum diameter reported for Guadua is 25 cm and the average is between 9 and 13 centimeters.
In the case of Guadua Angustifolia, a 21 cm daily growth in height has been observed, so that it reaches its maximum height (15 - 30 meters) in the first six months of growth and can be harvested after 5 to 6 years. This growth is rarely surpassed by the native timber species of the region.
If handled properly, guadua may have an unlimited production once it has been established, without a great deal of care. The ideal composition of culms in a guadua grove is estimated to be 10% shoots, 30% young ones, and 60% mature ones with a density of 3000 to 8000 culms per hectare. This means a productivity of 1,200 - 1,350 culms per hectare per year, and an effective alternative to wood for production of laminated and agglomerate wood (columns, beams, girders, planks, panels, etc.)