I just purchased some property, and I'm interested in growing bamboo to use for various projects on the property ( hoop houses, tripods ). So I'm looking for fast growing, large, non - invasive species that is suitable for some structural application. Does anyone know a species that fits that criteria.
Ain't no such animal. Well, Plant. I've looked...
Clumping bamboos (cold-climate tolerant) do not grow particularly "large and structural".
For that matter, in zone 5, about the best you can hope for IME is "garden stake size" and that's with a running bamboo (Phyllostachys). The big stuff won't survive the winter, and the stuff that will survive the winter won't even get as big as it will in warmer climes.
A root barrier, moat (water) or wide mown area will keep running bamboos in check. In Zone 5 they won't run all that hard anyway.
You might do better with hardwood saplings (or coppiced trees) for the uses you want, in that climate. Alder is one (of several) options that coppices well (and grows well in wet spots that might be otherwise difficult to use productively.) You may need to thin the coppice a bit to get better pole material.
Typically any fast growing species is going to have invasive tendencies. Bamboo however is not invasive like most plants. We do a good job of explaining the opposite in fact... Is Bamboo Invasive?
As you will find on that page, bamboo is a very poor producer of seeds. The seeds that is does seldom produce (seldom being every century or so) are not very viable for reproduction and hurt the bamboo more than help. The energy required to produce the seeds can kills off the entire grove.
Now, since we know seeds do not contribute to the invasive nature of bamboo. This only leaves the roots which typically only run around 18 inches deep in the soil. You can use a bamboo barrier to block the spread and keep everything contained. The product we recommend is Bamboo Shield.
When using Bamboo Shield this allows for a fast spreading running bamboo instead of a slow spreading clumping bamboo. Producing more canes and biomass for use in a shorter amount of time.
Disclaimer: I work for Lewis Bamboo which is the parent company of Bamboo Shield.