A Tooele City man may soon be shipping bamboo trees around the world.
Rodney Meadows has obtained a business license from Tooele City allowing him to grow and sell bamboo trees trees from a 1.5-acre field north of his home in Tooele City.
Bamboo Meadows is the name of Meadow’s new home-based business.
With a total of 19 trees in a small contained plot, Meadows will host an open house for his business located at 275 E. 500 North on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“Bamboo is an excellent plant for windbreaks and privacy screens,” Meadows said. “It requires less water than other plants and produces up to 30 percent more oxygen than similar sized trees, making it environmentally friendly.”
Meadows was searching online for a source of bamboo lumber for a project he was working on when curiosity struck him and he started looking into how to grow bamboo.
There are over 30 species of bamboo that grow in Utah, according to Meadows.
“I soon realized that growing bamboo was something I could do right here on my own property,” he said.
Bamboo is the fastest growing plant on the planet, according to Meadows.
“It can grow three feet in height in 24 hours under appropriate climate conditions,” he said. “Bamboo grows to maturity in one to five years.”
Bamboo planted in dry climates needs to be watered about the same as a new lawn for the first 3-5 years. After that water is no longer needed for survival, according to Meadows.
Some bamboo trees are known for sending out underground runners that are invasive. But Meadows said the species of bamboo he is growing, Phyllostachys aureosulcata, is not a running bamboo.
“However, I will put in a barrier around my bamboo trees,” he said. “That will make sure no bamboo trees pop up in my neighbors’ yards.”
Meadows plans to sell his bamboo trees locally in Tooele County, as well as developing a market on the internet and shipping bamboo trees to customers around the world.
“We get a lot of winds out here and bamboo makes great windbreaks,” he said.
Meadows said he will buy a 20-acre lot somewhere in Tooele County when his business grows beyond the capacity of his 1.5-acre field. When his bamboo operation gets that large, Meadows said he will augment his business by pulping bamboo trees and selling the pulp for hardwood flooring and textile production.
Meadows said he has marketing ideas that include selling Kennecott on the idea of planting bamboo to reduce the company’s carbon footprint and reaching out to Tooele City to include bamboo planters in city parks.
Meadows said he will take orders and answer questions during Saturday’s open house at 275 E. 500 North in Tooele City from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Open house attendees may also engage in the game of Kubb, an ancient Viking game, Meadows said.
More information about Bamboo Meadows is available on the Facebook page, Bamboo Meadows. Meadows said he will soon also launch the website bamboomeadows.com.