Not a matter of right or wrong

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Not a matter of right or wrong

Post  dick benbow on Fri Oct 09, 2015 5:32 pm

But interested in getting your opinion. was at a bonsai hobbist's back yard with several friends, and one asked the owner why he hadn't removed the yellowing needles from his pines. His answer was to say he felt since pines are not very seasonal like deciduous, he rather prefered to see the yellow needles as a sign of fall. I asked the other gentleman why he felt they should be removed and his answer was that to not remove them is to treat the tree slovenly, making his garden look unkepted.
Had to think about that for awhile but thought it might be a fun topic here. Admittedly, I must confess to leaning on the side that removes the yellow needles to make the collection look well cared for. Thoughts?

dick benbow
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Re: Not a matter of right or wrong

Post  M. Frary on Fri Oct 09, 2015 9:02 pm

I let them hang out and drop when they feel like it. I also like the way the leaves of my seiju elm looks on the moss in the pot after they drop.
The easiest way to get the needles gone is to wait for them to drop then pick them up or brush them off.

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Re: Not a matter of right or wrong

Post  William N. Valavanis on Fri Oct 09, 2015 9:37 pm

A leaf blower works great and is faster for clean up.
Bill

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Re: Not a matter of right or wrong

Post  bottasegreta on Fri Oct 09, 2015 11:05 pm

If you put stock in the Zen Buddhist influence on bonsai, it doesn't really matter what you do, as long as you know why you do it.

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Re: Not a matter of right or wrong

Post  dick benbow on Sat Oct 10, 2015 4:32 pm

As I look back on the comments (thank-you! ) I still don't have a sense of whether keeping a collection looking well kept, or it's not that important. My sense is the latter. Just under 300 "looks" and 1% willing to share. that's interesting to me about the subject.
At the Bonsai Museum where I volunteer, the curator has us begin our day removing fir needles, weeds etc from the pots of the trees on display. the pines have their yellowing needles removed each day. I find myself keeping my own collection the same way as if an unexpected visit might find it looking uncared for....imagine the influence of volunteering is carrying over to my own trees.
In the koi hobby I so dearly loved, preparing the koi for winter....clean pond, filters, do paracites etc....had a big influence too, on my trees. I like to have them all cleaned up and ready for the stress of winter, same as the Koi.

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Re: Not a matter of right or wrong

Post  LanceMac10 on Sat Oct 10, 2015 6:37 pm

Yellow needles DO make you look twice, don't they?
I tend to remove them as gently as my clumsy hands allow!
I suppose they do make it look a bit unkempt......

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Re: Not a matter of right or wrong

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Sat Oct 10, 2015 6:58 pm

At this moment, I prefer the seasonal changes no matter the plant. Keep in mind that my most advanced plants are tropical or deciduous and the only evergreens I have are pines in the ground and are extremely young. Maybe I'd feel different if I had more advanced stock.

Different strokes for different folks Smile
Have a great weekend!
Sam

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Re: Not a matter of right or wrong

Post  Leo Schordje on Tue Oct 27, 2015 4:24 pm

Right or wrong? In ones own garden, it is a matter of taste.

When I have time, I'd do it daily if I did have time, I remove all fallen leaves from the surfaces of my pots, and remove yellowing needles from my pines and other conifers. My reason may or may not be sound, but I have over the years been hit with needle-cast on occasion. Also the neighboring landscape maples often have that black spot leaf fungus. My thought is to get rid of the fallen leaves and remove needles to prevent the build up of "innoculum", sources of spores for future infections of the various fungal diseases. Truth is, if I read it right, the spores of needle-cast have already been released before the needle actually falls from the pine, but still, I can't help but think that the accumulating debris is "infectious".

Fortunately this last couple years I have not had needle cast issues. But I still try to keep the area around my pines as clean as time will allow.

So while the aesthetics of yellowing needles are in the eye of the beholder, my experience with past fungal-bacterial infections prevents me from relaxing until every yellow needle has been removed from my pines.

Similarly, in my experience with orchids and orchid viruses, I can not bring myself to enjoy certain variegated leaf patterned plants or trees, because to my eye they look "virused". Fleck or small spot and especially irregular small fleck type variegation patterns make my mind scream - "get it out of here before it infects all the other plants". In truth most of the variegated plants are not virus infected, but it does so much remind me of tobacco mosaic or ringspot mosaic virus that I can't enjoy looking at them.

Past experience colors my perceptions.

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Re: Not a matter of right or wrong

Post  dick benbow on Tue Oct 27, 2015 6:14 pm

nice perspective about the actual health of the trees as opposed to the looks.....thanks!

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Re: Not a matter of right or wrong

Post  gman on Wed Oct 28, 2015 12:16 am

Hi Dick,
I'm with Leo on this one i.e. doing it to reduce (not eliminate) diseases..etc, however at this time of year especially with a lot of Hemlocks there are a ton of fallen needles in each pot- so I'm going to try Bills use of a leaf blower (change it to the sucking/shread'n mode and put them in the yard waste bags) Wink
Cheers Graham

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Re: Not a matter of right or wrong

Post  augustine on Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:56 pm

Dick,

Interesting concept leaving yellow needles to enjoy seasonal changes and one I've never thought of.

The only "correct" issue IMO would be removal of the needles to increase air flow, light penetration and general cleanliness for the health of the tree.

You're correct, not a matter of right or wrong, just a personal prefernce

Augustine

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Re: Not a matter of right or wrong

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