Using young forest trees as the source for timber, yam sticks have in recent years produced record rates of deforestation in Jamaica and, reportedly, in Western Africa and Southeast Asia. Regeneration periods for plants producing timber yam sticks (which decompose after 2 years) are approximately 10 years compared to 3–4 years for bamboo. But when used as a yam stick, bamboo decomposes even more rapidly and hence is unsatisfactory. For treatment (a), four 7-day periods of submergence in cold, stagnant water removed carbohydrates including starch. This increased the longevity of yam sticks from 5–7 months (untreated) to a period exceeding 2 years. Treatment (b) excluded soaking, and after slow-drying, a surface coating of polyurethane was applied. This treatment marginally increased longevity. It was concluded that alcoholic alkali conditions in the stagnant cold water increased bamboo yam stick longevity by dissolving and removing the main nutrient for decomposers, namely starch. Further, lateral struts on the bamboo yam sticks substantially increased tuber yields by exposing more leaves to direct sunlight. The incentive of increased tuber yields for farmers, the improved longevity of bamboo yam sticks, and the relatively rapid growth of bamboo promises an effective tool for curbing deforestation caused by yam stick harvesting.