Using bone meal?

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Using bone meal?

Post  Oleg6 on Sun May 18, 2014 9:52 pm

I have just potted my trees after the winter using river stone, lava, Turface (fired clay), Opti sorb (Diatomaceous Earth) and pine bark. The mix changes for the tree: Pines, junipers, cedar, fir, larch-(developing-pine bark) and a cherry. It's the first time I've not used soil: Peat moss, triple mix, sand and a little clay. While some like the junipers still have the inner rootball in soil ( not much of a shock) others the cedar and cherry were bare rooted and the larch had a pretty strong root pruning. I have read that the use of bone meal (high in phosphorous 2:14:0) directly after root pruning/repotting can be advantageous, has anyone used this? like this? It is granular and will be washed into the crevasses.
Thanks
Chris

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Re: Using bone meal?

Post  Marty Weiser on Mon May 19, 2014 1:44 am

I use bone meal as part of my organic mix. Most of it is a commercial organic lawn fertilizer (Dr. Earth) and I supplement. I generally start applying to the surface 1-2 weeks after repotting - mostly due to the frenzy to repot and then getting around to spreading some fertilizer.

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Re: Using bone meal?

Post  John Quinn on Mon May 19, 2014 3:27 am

It shouldn't hurt anything. On the other hand, regular fertilization with a balanced product would be good too. I gave a soil talk years ago and remembered something about high phosphorus levels and mycorrhizal innoculation.
http://mining.state.co.us/SiteCollectionDocuments/MycorrhizaAndSoilPhosphorusLevels.pdf

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Re: Using bone meal?

Post  Oleg6 on Mon May 19, 2014 4:00 pm

Marty, John, thanks to both of you. I understood from the paper John that the quantity should be kept small or the benefits are negated, is that correct? The only reason I was thinking of bone meal is I have always believed it was best to give a tree a month or so without regular fertilizer after repotting. can I use a balanced fertilizer on top of the bone meal in a few weeks without fear of over fertilizing?
Thanks again
Chris

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Re: Using bone meal?

Post  John Quinn on Tue May 20, 2014 12:04 am

I think you (we) got the gist of the article. Phosphorus availability to plants may be limited by both low soil concentrations and the limitations of the metabolically demanding uptake process. P is one of the main elements whose uptake is facilitated by the presence of mycorrhyzae.
Regarding the caveat to not fertilize after repotting, I believe this is not true. Brent Walston, Bill Valavanis and I believe Walter Pall all have stated as much. I hope they chime in if I have misquoted them. A balanced fertilizer in appropriate concentrations will not be harmful.

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