akadama availability

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akadama availability

Post  dick benbow on Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:14 pm

Over the time thqt I have been interested in bonsai, I probably have tried dozens of various soil mixtures. But when it came right down to it, i got the best results out of double red line akadama. With a mixture of equal parts of pummace and lava along with this soil from japan, I WAS pretty happy.
yesterday I stopped by my favorite retail bonsai site to load up on repotting supplies and found out that this particular akadama was not gonna be available. Something about an import regulation. The weekend before, somehow the word got out to everyone but me and the meager remaining bags from the previous year were grabbed up.
All this to inquire if anyone can tell me WHY this product is being taken off the list of what can be brought in
and any "fall back" plans as to what o use now.

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Re: akadama availability

Post  abcd on Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:58 pm

fukushima !!!!!!

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Re: akadama availability

Post  drgonzo on Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:26 pm

dick benbow wrote:
All this to inquire if anyone can tell me WHY this product is being taken off the list of what can be brought in

The answer to this question was related to me early last summer as part of a warning to "stock-up" while I could and it has nothing to do with the tragedy at Fukushima.

What I was told is that the Akadama has been arriving with small pieces of grass and/or organic material in the bags/particles and this is apparently unacceptable to the USDA. Whether or not this is the result of newer restrictions or a change in the Akadama itself I'm unsure.

-Jay

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Re: akadama availability

Post  dick benbow on Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:29 am

thank-you jay, that makes sense. Congrats on having friends to warn you it was coming. I'm very envious. sure beats holding the bag Sad

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Re: akadama availability

Post  drgonzo on Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:40 am

dick benbow wrote:thank-you jay, that makes sense. Congrats on having friends to warn you it was coming. I'm very envious. sure beats holding the bag Sad

Would that I used Akadama in my soil mixes! However I do hope the same fate does not befall Kanuma, lest my Beeches suffer the same fate as my Maples; that being a life subject to the confines of simple Turface and grit.

Best
-Jay

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Re: akadama availability

Post  John Romano on Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:46 pm

It was not so much Fukushima but the earthquake that had something to do with it (though Fukushima 'may' have been the reason the USDA decided to inspect it after that event). The earthquake damaged the sifting, screening machinery at the Double Line plant. The company was also sold and the newer batches processed by the newer company had more organic material in it than previously (it always had a little bit of root, sticks,etc in it that was ignored in the past). Why the USDA decided to check this particular shipment to a major US importer/distributor of it, I do not know but maybe because of Fukushima and the fear of contaminated product? (just a guess here). The importer had to send it back and was financially out of their money. They are reticent to bring any more in. There IS akadama to be had in the US - other brands being brought in by others but its not being distributed as widely to other smaller sellers. You would have to pay more to ship it to you.
John

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Re: akadama availability

Post  Guest on Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:58 pm

This would mainly be because of very stringent environmental regulations (the organics that were found in the akadama), thats my guess. These very strict laws are meant as protection measure, to push off every (possible) threat. Import of foreign products like this are the main reason that invasive species can enter a country. These are in most cases reall devastating, and that also means very high economic cost to clean up the mess afterwards (in many cases impossible).

In belgium we recently had somehting like this, with an imported cargo of massproduced malsai. The infamous Anoplophora glabripennis was found on several malsai (check wiki). Very devastating to local forestry

Australia for instance is known for its super stringent regulations, even for private persons with little baggage but containing some product or stuff that has to be reported before you check in at e.g. airports.


Last edited by yves71277 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:59 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : textual)

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Re: akadama availability

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:19 pm

I traveled to China and Japan where i bought or was given Bonsai pots which I listed when I re entered the US, the only question customs asked was if there were plants in the pots. My reply, I know better.

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Re: akadama availability

Post  Guest on Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:42 pm

Billy M. Rhodes wrote:I traveled to China and Japan where i bought or was given Bonsai pots which I listed when I re entered the US, the only question customs asked was if there were plants in the pots. My reply, I know better.

I suspect you know customs would need to have hundreds of people actually there, to check 'all and everything' Wink. If I was customs, I would rely on the staff that scans all luggage (yours was scanned no?), and then first go for things or persons that slip through but look suspicious, the actual plants, foods, etc... thats how it works i guess? Offcourse people themselves have a responsability too, so what still lips through and causes major problems (see my previous post), well thats too bad but you can hardly blame customs. The rules exist, so if you're prepared to ignore em, thats all it takes, sure


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Re: akadama availability

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:51 pm

I wasn't blaming customs. I was simply reporting what happened.

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Re: akadama availability

Post  JimLewis on Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:04 pm

Any one who wants or needs to know abut invasive/exotic species, how they get here, the economic damage they do, as well as the environmental damage would find these pages informative.

http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/

International sources of information:

http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: akadama availability

Post  Hoo on Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:14 pm

Thanks for the link, Jim. Saw a few creatures I consider nemeses (multiflora rose, wooly adelgid and european starling), but why no house sparrow?? Arguably the most evil creature ever to exist (besides humans).

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Re: akadama availability

Post  Guest on Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:49 pm

Billy M. Rhodes wrote:I wasn't blaming customs. I was simply reporting what happened.

Hahaha! Very Happy

There are some environmental police here Billy,, be careful. hehehe.




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Re: akadama availability

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:57 am

One day, I will figure out why Akadama, if various blends of local material will do the same.
Khaimraj

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Re: akadama availability

Post  marcus watts on Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:38 pm

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:One day, I will figure out why Akadama, if various blends of local material will do the same.
Khaimraj

it is an extremely effective component to assist ionic exchange - not all gravel like particles of similar appearance do the job as well.(none of the other commonly used soil ingredients are as effective I believe). Without this ionic exchange large amounts of the fertiliser used are wasted, and trees can have deficiencies, making them take longer to respond to our bonsai techniques

i would say though that local species probably will do very well in local clays and soil mixes with correct properties, but the undeniable results over the decades with akadama based planting medium make it an obvious choice - especially when it makes up such a small percentage of the value of the tree

2 line seems to be sorted out again - i just had a delivery of very well graded product, bearing the 2 red lines, 3 sieved grades, very very low visible root and twig content, all shipped from japan late Nov 2012. hope the supply chain to the USA repairs for you guys

cheers Marcus

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Re: akadama availability

Post  Guest on Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:29 am

marcus watts wrote:
Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:One day, I will figure out why Akadama, if various blends of local material will do the same.
Khaimraj
it is an extremely effective component to assist ionic exchange - not all gravel like particles of similar appearance do the job as well.(none of the other commonly used soil ingredients are as effective I believe). Without this ionic exchange large amounts of the fertiliser used are wasted, and trees can have deficiencies, making them take longer to respond to our bonsai techniques

i would say though that local species probably will do very well in local clays and soil mixes with correct properties, but the undeniable results over the decades with akadama based planting medium make it an obvious choice - especially when it makes up such a small percentage of the value of the tree

2 line seems to be sorted out again - i just had a delivery of very well graded product, bearing the 2 red lines, 3 sieved grades, very very low visible root and twig content, all shipped from japan late Nov 2012. hope the supply chain to the USA repairs for you guys

cheers Marcus
Any thoughts on how one could easily prepare local soil (clay/loam-like) for use as soil/substrate. I'd like to find a way to granulate it and heat it. Was thinking of flatten it out to a plaque, air-dry it, then granulate it and heat it in a traditional oven (250°C) for a couple of hours. I'd like to do an experiment this year, comparing akadama, this local clay/loam, maybe argex (small granular lava) and my current substrate zeolite

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Re: akadama availability

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:58 am

heat it in a traditional oven (250°C) for a couple of hours

MY feeling is that this temperature is not hot enough, the fired clays we use are fired at much higher temperatures and I would think the natural clays were also heated by volcanic activity to a much higher temperature.

I think what you will get is "hot dirt" and a bad smell.

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Re: akadama availability

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:46 pm

Yves,

earthenware clay needs to be fired to 900 to 930 deg.C for use in Bonsai soils. Additionally if you fire as a large mass, you have to heat soak or fire onto 983 deg.C [ cone 08]
A potter with a large kiln can do this for you.

Or look for a natural source. Down here we have deposits of naturally fired clay called porcellainite.

I have never been let down by my sifted all, builders silica gravel, crushed red earthenware brick and compost.
Later.
Khaimraj

* Thank you very much Marcus!

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Re: akadama availability

Post  Guest on Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:15 pm

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:Yves,

earthenware clay needs to be fired to 900 to 930 deg.C for use in Bonsai soils. Additionally if you fire as a large mass, you have to heat soak or fire onto 983 deg.C [ cone 08]
A potter with a large kiln can do this for you.

Or look for a natural source. Down here we have deposits of naturally fired clay called porcellainite.

I have never been let down by my sifted all, builders silica gravel, crushed red earthenware brick and compost.
Later.
Khaimraj

* Thank you very much Marcus!

hello, thank you. But i meant, in order to roughly get the characteristics of akadama...that is certainly not heated to that temperature. I suspect below 600 degrees, since it desintegrates after a while (even the hardened one). I have studied ceramics for 2 years, so i have a modest knowledge of fire temps of earthenware, stoneware. The early prehistoric earthenware was about 600 - 900 degrees, that is still water penetrable but does not rapidly break down anymore. I wondered if anyone really knows of the heating temp of akadama. Thank you


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Re: akadama availability

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:49 pm

Yves,

sometime ago I bought some akadama [ 2008 ] -

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000X69WJ6/ref=wms_ohs_product?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Akadama Japanese Bonsai Soil 1 Quart Small Grained
________________________________________________________________

I bought small grained as I figured this would be more durable.
Fired it to 900 deg.C.
It became iron oxide orange/red in colour and extremely brittle.

If I could find it now, I believe an addition of vinegar, would probably show calcium oxide present, as the oxide that cemented the particles together.

I began to wonder if Akadama was really clay that had been under salt conditions [ the sea ] and then the land was elevated. Perhaps not truly volcanic in nature???????

Perhaps a chat with a geologist would help ?

What about the layer below - Kannuma [ spelling?] also a hard clay ?
[ grey coloured - oxygen deficiency ?]
Volcanic ash formed insitu by local conditions? or a lot of hype to fool the customers?

Anyhow, I have located a yellow stone over here that is also clay bonded by calcium into a durable stone like material and highly resistant to decay at this size [ ]
Used in cement manufacturing.
Absorbent and plants grow well in it.
From the sea bed originally, uplifted to hills [ under 300m in height]

You probably have similar on your side.
Later.
Khaimraj

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