bonsai activities during unseasonable warmth ?

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bonsai activities during unseasonable warmth ?

Post  kevin stoeveken on Mon Dec 21, 2015 12:39 pm

if you have been experiencing consistent unseasonably warm late fall/early winter temperatures where you live, what are some of the bonsai related activities you have been undertaking ?

yesterday, i took all my conifers and gave them all a foliar feeding of superthrive sunny
(superthrive is a registered trade mark and not endorsed by jim lewis ! Razz )

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Re: bonsai activities during unseasonable warmth ?

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Mon Dec 21, 2015 4:28 pm

Sorry Kevin,

cold brrh temperatures of 70 deg.F [ 22 deg.C ] have stopped growth of all but the hardiest Sub-Tropicals, as we settle in for extreme lows of 68 to 66 deg.F [ 18 to 20 deg.C ].
It's thus far a wet and windy and cold evening to early morning days.

Christmas, is a time of happiness for us as the cooler weather / food and drink take over. Then when the Season's Greetings are extended to all,
and a Happy New Year as well, we get .....................

!!!CARNIVAL !!!! and the Beaches

Made Pastelles yesterday, Beef and Chicken ------- our Spanish Heritage -............... Wrapped the corn in banana leaves.

Merrily,
santa Khaimraj  santa  rendeer  rendeer  rendeer  rendeer  rendeer  rendeer  rendeer  rendeer  rendeer last is Rudolpho thumbs up

*Now leave Jimbo alone or send him some of my Fruit Wine 19% proof and filled with -tears - of joy!!!! Beaurangel  Beaurangel

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Re: bonsai activities during unseasonable warmth ?

Post  kevin stoeveken on Mon Dec 21, 2015 6:05 pm

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:we get .....................

!!!CARNIVAL !!!! and the Beaches

Made Pastelles yesterday, Beef and Chicken ------- our Spanish Heritage -............... Wrapped the corn in banana leaves.

*Now leave Jimbo alone or send him some of my Fruit Wine 19% proof and filled with -tears - of joy!!!! Beaurangel  Beaurangel

maaaan... i have always wanted to EXPERIENCE CARNIVAL !!!
such unbridled debauchery and free spiritedness and dancing as if nobody is watching while everyone is watching...
all of which to me seems like a celebration of BEING ALIVE !!!

pastelles seem similar to tamales
http://caribbeanpot.com/pastelles-a-caribbean-christmas-tradition/

re: jim - i am just keeping him on his toes ! Laughing Wink
after all laughter is the best medicine,,,
(now if i could only figure out how to make him do that scratch )

and how could i send him some of your fruit wine ??? Confused
besides, he is a dark and chewy beer kind of guy.

happy holidays to you and yours khai !


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autumn feeding

Post  Norma on Mon Dec 21, 2015 8:27 pm

Hi Kevin,

When I took my first bonsai class there was a discussion about superthrive...pro or con/  with several having dubious results  but to put fertilizer on a tree to prepare for dormancy requires the knowledge that anything on the bonsai leaves with the exception of a good water wash to rid the leaves of insects at this time is futile.

Three years ago I splurged on a Japanese liquid fertilizer ( Fujiyama Specialty Fertilizer that contains NO nitrogen)  0-10-10 . It is for the purpose of hardening off or winter hardiness in bonsai. The label says..." While promoting root growth and brighter color in foliage it does not promote foliage growth which can be damaged by low temperatures".

I use this fertilizer every two weeks until frost and continue it's use once a month for my cold room bonsai.  And I found my tropicals do well also with this winter fertilizer.

It would interest me to know if others in cold climes use this fertilizer  or another similar.

Best regards,
Norma


Last edited by Norma on Mon Dec 21, 2015 11:16 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: bonsai activities during unseasonable warmth ?

Post  kevin stoeveken on Mon Dec 21, 2015 8:38 pm

hi norma !
superthrive is not a fertilizer... its just vitameatavegamin for plants...
and to my understanding conifers do not go as fully dormant as deciduous material so they may get some benefit from a foliar spraying... and if not, it was still a nice day outside  Cool

but in regards to season ending fertilizer, last year i too was using zero nitrogen fertilizer for hardening off, but now there seems to be some thought to the contrary... i think i was reading that either by walter pall or michael hagedorn... ?

(btw - been following your son on instagram... good stuff !)

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Re: bonsai activities during unseasonable warmth ?

Post  Leo Schordje on Mon Dec 28, 2015 9:10 pm

Hi Kevin
You are in Wisconsin. This mild weather could suddenly turn. I would not tempt fate by beginning spring repotting or anything like that. Keep plants in as cold a spot as possible, in shade, to avoid waking them up.

About winter fertilizer, I do fertilize my trees in cold storage, but with a very, very dilute solution of fertilizer. In summer a normal dose of my mix would be 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per gallon. This time of year it is 1/8th teaspoon per gallon. About 20 ppm as N, if you go the high tech calculations route. That is dilute enough that it won't wake anything up. But there is enough that if something is growing a little, there will be nutrients available.

As you know I don't think much of Superthrive. But I also know it won't hurt anything. The "Magic Chemicals" I do use are Seaweed extracts, or Kelp extracts, and or Humates or Humic Acid supplements. My personal observations seem to show these help a little. And there are a couple controlled studies showing humic acid and humates do have benefits. (in blueberries and grapes, rather than bonsai). Seaweed extracts, I select brands that say they have some percentage of humic acid or humates. There is little info out there on how much to use. I use just enough to turn my water ice tea brown. I do this about every 2 weeks. Read vendor's label.

We likely will be in the 20's F day and night for a week or so once this storm passes. (-2 to -9 C). That should help your trees to stay dormant and rebuild cold hardiness.


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Re: bonsai activities during unseasonable warmth ?

Post  kevin stoeveken on Mon Dec 28, 2015 10:18 pm

Leo Schordje wrote:I would not tempt fate by beginning spring repotting or anything like that.
of course not... but thanks.

Leo Schordje wrote:Keep plants in as cold a spot as possible, in shade, to avoid waking them up.
cant do much about the ones in the garden, but it is what it is... just like real life !


Leo Schordje wrote:Hi Kevin - You are in Wisconsin. This mild weather could suddenly turn.

after 50+ years (minus the nomadic years), i need reminding ??? Razz Razz Razz

i just got done being pelted with 50 mph pellets of ice... pale


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Re: bonsai activities during unseasonable warmth ?

Post  M. Frary on Tue Dec 29, 2015 12:27 pm

Does the nitrogen in the soil in the landscape suddenly disappear in the fall so trees can harden off?
No.
So why use a fertilizer with none?
Makes no sense to me at all. I keep using my regular fertilizer until the leaves are turned.
Multiple times the strength. They aren't growing. Even in the unseasonably warm weather.

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Re: bonsai activities during unseasonable warmth ?

Post  kevin stoeveken on Sun Jan 03, 2016 6:48 pm

M. Frary wrote:  Does the nitrogen in the soil in the landscape suddenly disappear in the fall so trees can harden off?
 No.
So why use a fertilizer with none?

yeah mike... thats pretty much the gist of what i was reading...


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Re: bonsai activities during unseasonable warmth ?

Post  Leo Schordje on Mon Jan 04, 2016 7:30 pm

beer city snake wrote:
Leo Schordje wrote:Hi Kevin - You are in Wisconsin. This mild weather could suddenly turn.

after 50+ years (minus the nomadic years), i need reminding ??? Razz Razz Razz

i just got done being pelted with 50 mph pellets of ice...  pale

Sorry Kevin, I know you know where you are, I was just trying to be conscious of all the newbies and others reading the post that don't know you and I live within 35 miles of each other. The other reason I said this, is there is the "Climate Zone Envy" side of me that has me wanting to work on my trees as if it were early spring. If I "write it out loud" then I feel obligated to practice what I preach. It is tempting to start work on stuff. Its now January 4, as I write this. We have another above freezing spell coming along in a couple days. Then back to highs in the upper 20's F toward the end of the 10 day forecast. So we still have a bit more winter to get through.

However, your garage where you store your trees does stay a couple degrees warmer than the low temps for the night. I think by the middle or end of February, you could start the repotting of trees in your garage, because they will be protected from night time frosts. Watch for buds beginning to swell. Trees that are showing buds swelling, signaling that they are getting ready to grow, these you can start repotting. If your larches are in the garage, they would be the first to be ready. Oaks would be the last, as they are always late in spring to grow. Some Japanese maples start pretty early. Let the bud size and condition guide you.

This spring may come quite early, if we don't keep an eye on it, we could miss the ideal window for repotting.



M. Frary wrote:  Does the nitrogen in the soil in the landscape suddenly disappear in the fall so trees can harden off?
 No.
So why use a fertilizer with none?
Makes no sense to me at all. I keep using my regular fertilizer until the leaves are turned.
Multiple times the strength. They aren't growing. Even in the unseasonably warm weather.
 

Trees in summer need nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, and the long list of micro-nutrients roughly in the ratio: 12 - 0.8 - 2 - 11 - 4 - 4 for the macros. In summer, depending on growth rate, typical fertilization rates may be to give the trees a 100 to 500 ppm as nitrogen dose of fertilizer, with the other nutrients concentrations following the listed ratios. This ratio sequence, is roughly the same for all species of woody trees and shrubs. The ratio of nutrients required does not change throughout the year, only the total quantity. So you might be giving your trees a 500 ppm as N solution in summer, in winter, a 20 ppm solution might be appropriate. But winter or summer, what the plants will use will always be in the ratio of roughly 12-0.8-2-11-4-4. This flies in the face of old gardening books, with their high and low nitrogen according to season. But controlled experiments have proven that the old "received wisdom" is just plain wrong.

There is a wild card. Called the environment. If your soils or your irrigation water are rich in calcium or magnesium or more commonly both, you don't need to supplement those 2 nutrients as heavily, plant is already getting those from either the soil or the irrigation water. Same for sulfur, which is a macro nutrient, not a micro nutrient. But sulfur is common to some level in most soils, and frequently our polluted air delivers enough sulfur in acid rain to cover the needs of our outdoor plants. In fact it is air pollution that is the source of the nonsense about low nitrogen fertilizers in autumn. The studies that gave rise to the myth that plants needs changed did not take into account the heavy air pollution. The experiments were done at Royal Botanic Garden at Kew, UK, during the 1880s. In that time period, homes were heated with coal. In autumn, people would begin heating their homes with coal, generating the horrendous London Smog. As rain fell through that smog, it delivered to the experimental plots heavy doses of various nitrogen oxide pollutants. The pollution was so heavy, that the acid rain of 1880's London, completely skewed the test plots results, seeming to indicate the plants did not need nitrogen in the autumn or winter. They assigned the cause of the experimental results to the plants changing their needs, not realizing the pollution was delivering sufficient nitrogen to the test plot. And the myth was born. Since Kew is the go to reference for all things related to hobby gardening, the 1880's test results were repeated over, and over again, in generation after generation of gardening books. Nutrient studies are complex and expensive to perform, Kew did not repeat the study, and the myth became firmly established.

In modern agro-business, they did re-examine the nutrient needs of plants, particularly economic crop plants, and found that the ratios I cited are indeed what plants need. Michigan State University, in doing studies for the ornamental plant industry refined much of the evolving literature around nutrition of plants in synthetic soils in greenhouse settings. Well, we grow our bonsai in synthetic soils, usually outside, but some of us grow in greenhouse, or light gardens or windowsill settings.

So the end result is: throw out your low nitrogen fertilizers, they are not doing you any favors. Lower your dose rates of your high nitrogen fertilizers to match your trees metabolism instead in autumn. Your trees will be happier.

Walter Pall's, and many other people, are successfully using various fertilizer programs that seem to contradict what I am saying. They are successful because between each dose of fertilizer, they water their trees with clear water, they don't add fertilizer continuously. The clear water or rain events, flush out unused and un-needed nutrients. If you skipped the heavy watering regime that Walter Pall uses, you would kill your trees. Most trees are pretty tolerant of an "unbalanced" level of nutrients in the water they use, if these events are follow with water that has no added nutrients.

But this also means that most fertilizer programs waste a lot of nutrients. If you give the plants what they need, in the ratio they need it in, you will have less nutrients in your waste water, which would be better for the environment and would be more efficient use of resources.

So that is the core of my "Fertilizer Rave Out" - I have some reference documents linked at http://www.schordje.com/leosorchids/myweb9/FertilizerInfo.htm if you want to see some of my sources. I did not pull this out of my (insert name of favorite body part here). I have been intending to write a more detailed article for the last couple years, but just haven't found the time.



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Re: bonsai activities during unseasonable warmth ?

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Mon Jan 04, 2016 11:10 pm

Leo,

I just wanted to say thank you for all that time, and research.
Humbly
Khaimraj

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Re: bonsai activities during unseasonable warmth ?

Post  kevin stoeveken on Tue Jan 05, 2016 12:48 pm

i think leo's brain must have been building up some pressure and he had to open the vent port... Razz Razz Razz

(said with nothing but love for our man leo ! Wink )

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