Bamboo stems, also referred to as 'canes', 'culns', or 'culms', can grow as tall as 40 meters and as wide as 30 centimeters. In Davis, some varieties of bamboo can reach up to about 13 meters tall (possibly taller) and 12 cm in diameter. The wood quality varies among bamboos. Several varieties feature exceptionally hard wood that can be used to make everything from flooring to musical instruments. Since it also grows very quickly, it is often cited as a sustainable wood for use in many products.
An excellent resource for bamboo information is the American Bamboo Society. Their bimonthly magazine, Bamboo The Magazine of the American Bamboo Society, is edited by DonShor and his mother. If you ask nicely at the Redwood Barn Nursery he will give you a free copy.
Pro Tip: if you ever happen to find yourself removing bamboo, wear gloves, long pants, and long sleeves. The exterior of bamboo stalks are covered in small stiff protruding "hairs." If you brush against them, they will rub off into your skin, giving you a nice patch of splinters. These can be removed by pressing a piece of duct tape against your skin, and peeling it off in the direction of the splinters, "with the grain." Clear packing tape will not work, as the adhesive is less gooey.