All of our art map layers are made from bamboo. Not only is bamboo a superhero in terms of sustainability, it is also incredibly strong as well as having a really beautiful and varied finish.
Did you know?
There are over 1000 different species of bamboo. The one that is used in our maps goes by a few different names, Mao Zhu, Moso Bamboo or phyllostacchus edulis. It is one of the largest species and the main one used for timber, growing up to 28 metres tall!
This species only flowers and seeds about once every 50 years, but spreads primarily through its underground rhizomes. The individual shoots (or culms) can grow to their full height and diameter in just 1 season of 4-5 months, in perfect conditions, that's up to 50mm per hour! Over the next 2-3 years the walls of the culms thicken and harden until they are ready to harvest. Being a grass, cutting bamboo down to ground level actually encourages growth, just like your front lawn, making it a truly renewable source of wood. The time to harvest bamboo is after about 4-5 years, much quicker than traditional timber species.
The 'edulis' in the Latin name refers to the new shoots being edible. Our bamboo supplier also supplies new shoots from his plantations for the restaurant industry. The growing shoots are incredibly strong, you can see them pushing up a rock in the photo below.
The bamboo plywood we use is exclusively made from FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) bamboo. It is also unbleached and the glue used to make it into plywood is Super E0 rated glue (meaning it is formaldehyde free and VOC content is as low as you can get).