Ohio farmer grows bamboo for zoos across North America

CINCINNATI - If you think you have rowdy neighbors, then you haven't met Jerry Burton of Morrow, Ohio.

Burton admits he's been raising cane for nearly 35 years on his 22 acre farm.

"There's something about bamboo that reaches in and grabs you," Burton said.

Burton's Bamboo Garden sells 50 species of the colorful canes all year.

"Ninety-Five percent of the people who come here buy bamboo for privacy screening. Some grow taller than others, some are different colors and some have broader leaves than others," Burton explained.

Burton says it's a myth that bamboo is an invasive plant. The roots just have to be corralled.

"It doesn't grow vertical. It grows horizontal. And, therefore you have to put the barrier in the ground to prevent it from spreading where you don't want it to be," Burton said.

Burton says when it comes to raising bamboo in Ohio, it's the chilly breeze not the deep freeze that's the plant's predator.

"It's not your cold temperatures. It's your cold winter wind that's the culprit. The winter wind would desiccate the leaves and blow the chlorophyll out of them." Burton said.

Burton's Bamboo Garden also supplies bags of bamboo to U.S.. and Canadian zoos to feed to their pandas.

Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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