THE KINGDOM OF THIS WORLD

Carpentier

Haiti

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Email

Home

About

 

Canebrakes (page 14, and throughout the book)

Huge stands of bamboo were called canebrakes, and they can be found close to streams and creeks. Canebrakes vary in size, but can be 20 feet tall with shoots an inch thick. These bamboo thickets are not trees and can grow for miles. They can be found in many places, including the United States.

Canebreak

Source URL: http://www.forestencyclopedia.net/p/p198/i/i163/quick_image_view

Giant cane (Arundinaria gigantea) is unusual in that it is a large grass that is woody. When fresh shoots pop through the ground, they are tender and very nutritious. Researchers say cane, which is rich in phosphorus, calcium and crude protein, is the most nutritious native grass forage available in the southern United States. Cattle grazing on cane show significant weight gains and are said to produce superior milk and butter.
Four hundred years ago, aboriginal tribes cultivated large agricultural fields across the South. Cane bordered many of those fields.

During the 1500s and 1600s, cane overtook untended fields, creating enormous canebrakes. Animals that used cane flourished like never before, because canebrakes were tall enough to protect animals from wind, rain, snow and ice. Settlers that arrived later, in the early 1800s, encountered these giant canebrakes because they were good places for limited livestock grazing, and used to pasture horses, cows, and sheep.
Settlers also noticed that cane grew in excellent soil. Cane was easier to clear than trees, and the brakes were great locations for farm fields. Thus, many farm fields, established by natives 200 to 400 years earlier, were once again cleared for crops.
Clearing, combined with overgrazing, resulted in the decline of canebrakes. Which in turn, was grazed down faster than it could grow back. After a canebrake was no longer useful for grazing, it was cleared for farm land.

Cane still grows in bottomland field edges and in scattered locations along streams and creeks. Small patches of cane still remain, but they are nothing compared to the large stands that once were common around the world. Today, bamboo is used for hardwood flooring in the United States, and because it must be imported from foreign lands, and is considered exotic in the U.S. market place.

For additional information, go to:

http://www.forestencyclopedia.net/p/p198

 

 

Carpentier
Haiti
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Email
Home
About