Bring me Sunshine

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Bring me Sunshine

Post  Tony on Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:18 pm

I am always moaning about the fact that here in the dark dark North of England my Pines and Junipers do not grow well. Is there anyone who has experience with artificial lighting? sunny

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Re: Bring me Sunshine

Post  landerloos on Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:13 pm

Tony wrote:I am always moaning about the fact that here in the dark dark North of England my Pines and Junipers do not grow well. Is there anyone who has experience with artificial lighting? sunny

Are you serious Tony???
No experience, but the question sounds a lot like a, south american could ask, if he should buy a freezer for his imported beech from Europe Wink

Peter

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Re: Bring me Sunshine

Post  Tony on Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:57 pm

Hi Peter this is a VERY serious question. I am aware that there are bonsai folk who use artificial light and it improves colour, growth and overall health of the trees.

I need to know of anyone's experience... what lights..how many... placement etc.

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Tony Tickle.. "that's not your real name is it?"

‎"Study me as much as you like, you will never know me, for I differ a hundred ways from what you see me to be. Put yourself behind my eyes, and see me as I see myself, for I have chosen to dwell in a place you cannot see." — Rumi

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Re: Bring me Sunshine

Post  JimLewis on Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:14 pm

Those lights are indoors, out of the weather (rain, snow, sleet, hail). I don't think the pines and their ilk would be happy there, and I don't know of any gro-light bulbs that would survive outside.

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Re: Bring me Sunshine

Post  Tony on Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:38 pm

Hi Jim, the lights are for installing in my greenhouse (not sure the neighbours would approve)

Tony

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Bring Me Sunshine

Post  bonsaisr on Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:50 pm

Unfortunately, you seem to be the victim of what Rob Kempinski calls zone envy. Artificial light is an excellent medium for growing tropicals during the winter. Even fluorescent bulbs give us success with a wide variety of species. If you go to HID lamps, you can grow even more tropical species, with the results that Jerry Meislik has achieved.
However, temperate zone conifers require such a rigid combination of cool temperatures & exceedingly bright light, that I'm afraid you could only accomplish that with a highly sophisticated and very expensive greenhouse. If you must grow conifers, choose among those that come from a similar climate, like our Pacific Northwest or Japan. You may have to forego junipers and be satisfied with their cousins the Chamaecyparis.
Are you sure your poor results are due to lack of light? What results do other growers in your area get? Are there any conifers that grow naturally where you are, Like Scots pine or yew? Do you grow them? Have you tried changing the pH of your soil, different fertilizer, mycorrhiza, or other tricks?
Iris

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Re: Bring me Sunshine

Post  DuncanH on Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:52 pm

Hi Tony,

I have used a simple gro-light over the last 2 seasons in my greenhouse with some success.

I mainly bought the bulb to help through the gowing season with my shohin black pine and also the rosemary & thymus plants I've collected in Europe . I did notice a difference when using the bulb, along with very damp floor (an old carpet that I soaked daily with water).

The humidity & the bulb did help when cutting the candles on the b/pine, plus the additional light was good for the trees I think. Even through the summer here in the UK we get plently of grey, overcast weather (as I'm sure you will know).

I would give it go based on my own (limited) experience - the bulbs are relitavely cheap to get hold of & run (there are plenty on ebay & I've seen a few in those special shops that sell all sorts of plant growth enhancers etc,)

my understanding is that you need to get the blue spectrum bulbs as these are for growth (other bulbs are for flowering).

this is my 5 cents worth - hope it helps

Best wishes,
Duncan

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Re : Bring me sunshine

Post  Bob Brunt on Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:04 am

Hi Tony....I'm in Rochdale in the morning..I will call into Grotec and get some info for you.
http://www.grotec.co.uk/
thumbs up

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Re: Bring me Sunshine

Post  Guest on Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:00 am

Tony wrote:Hi Jim, the lights are for installing in my greenhouse (not sure the neighbours would approve)

Tony
I think the local police might take an interest too. I have a grow light bulb. I bought it to revive an Elm that was leaf pruned late in the year for Ginkgo. I'll get th details for you tomorrow. sunny

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Re: Bring me Sunshine

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Tue Feb 02, 2010 3:02 pm

My son was subject to a warrant, house search and threat of arrest for POSSESSING grow lights. They were in a closet, unconnected and not being used. Apparently, someone called the authorities and said he was growing illegal plants. I never thought I would see the day where someone put through that nonsense for "might someday grow something you shouldn't" charges!

Either way, I have 2 fixtures in the basement with daylight spctrum lights on my tropicals but I don't have any experience using them on outside trees. Gree houses use them to push plants to flower. Don't know how they would work with trees, although many trees are driven by length of photo tropic days instead of, or in conjunction with, temperature, so I figure, the right lights in the proper configuration might be beneficial. However, watch the distance from light to plant or you could get very leggy growth patterns.

Jay

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Re: Bring me Sunshine

Post  Joe Hatfield on Thu Feb 04, 2010 12:31 am

I can't add much in regard to the specifics to your location but, I do know that if would probably help. The florescent "aquatic" bulbs I have used were housed in a 2 bulb fixture attached to chains to adjust the height. I would use these for seed starting and temporary housing for my tropicals during the winter. It worked very well.

I just visited a gentleman who was using these to grow H. Cyprus in his house (Zone 7).

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Re: Bring me Sunshine

Post  Tom McCue on Thu Feb 04, 2010 1:51 am

Tony
From what I have researched high pressure sodium are the best. They are balast driven and throw heat, also supposed to be somwhat noisy. I use for my indoor tropicals flourescents. Blue is for growing and red are for flowers. I use the blue in flouescent fixtures very close to the plants. They are on timers and receive aprox. 16 hours of light daily. Some tropicals do very well, other with mixed reviews. I believe Jerry Meisik uses them extensively. I have no idea how hardy trees might react. I think Dustin Mann who is also a member of ibc uses atificial lighting to grow bonsai.

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Re: Bring me Sunshine

Post  dorothy7774 on Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:46 am



Is it working?

-dorothy Dance

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Re: Bring me Sunshine

Post  Tom McCue on Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:21 pm

Dorothy !

If you are asking me if they work. I live in Michigan and leave my tropicals outside during the summer. They grow much better in the natural sunlight outdoors. My tropicals include a couple varities of ficus and a bougenvillia. During the winter I use a 4x4ft flourescent fixture with the blue spectrum tubes which are on timers. They receive about 16 hours of light per day. I also use a humidifier to keep the moisture up. The lights are very close to my trees. Interestingly some ficus thrive, while others survive with not much growth. The bougy grows but the leaves are a little pale (not the normal green). As soon as possible I get them back outdoors. I read about growing bonsai in artificial light in 2 books by Jerry Meislik #1 American Bonsai Society "Introduction to Indoor Bonsai". #2 Ficus The exotic bonsai. I also stand corrected in my previous post about high pressure sodium lights. It is said they turn the leaves yellow. The lights recommended are Metal Halide. They have a ballast, throw heat and make noise. They are also more expensive, but are supposed to be the best. I have never used them.

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Re: Bring me Sunshine

Post  Tony on Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:46 pm

dorothy7774 wrote:

Is it working?

-dorothy Dance

and me... a friend of Dorothy Rolling Eyes

Tony

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Re: Bring me Sunshine

Post  Tom McCue on Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:05 am

Tony! Sorry for omitting you

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Re: Bring me Sunshine

Post  Gæst on Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:12 am

Hi Tony

I researched a bit on the weather around the UK and compared my local spot with yours - or close to. My junipers, and the local club members junipers, grow very well, and I see only a difference in sun hours (not daylight) in the summer months where we have a few hours more sun (see the graphic). Maybe that's enough to spoil it for Junipers. Is that a general problem in your area?

When studying the graphic I only see the hours of sun in the summer as a difference in conditions, but maybe that's what lacks for growing Junipers healthy.
Adding artificial lights in winter has little or no effect I believe. First of all winter is the dormant period, and the trees are able to overwinter with very little light. The summer is more crucial, because the tree needs to build up strength and growth for the winter during summer. If Junipers do not receive enough sunlight in summer it may weaken them, but adding artificial lights in summer is not possible (you need a power plant).

I know you have a lot of rain, so it is crucial to have a very well drained soil too.

Regards
Morten Albek



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Re: Bring me Sunshine

Post  Tony on Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:01 am

Hi Morten, the lights are to supplement summer also.... we have had three bad summers in a row, I cannot afford a fourth.

Tony

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Re: Bring me Sunshine

Post  Dave Martin on Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:42 pm

Tony,
As you are aware I am a retired Police Officer. Some years ago I attended a public auction and purchased for pennies the lighting units seized from a cannabis farm........

These were a 250 watt sodium ballasted unit and a 500 watt sodium unit( big mistake from cost point of view) the ones with the edison screw bulbs I installed these in my green house(another mistake as neighbours were not impressed with daylight at 2200 hours) Embarassed .

I ran these over winter and the results were impressive because by the end of February I had a japanese maple in full leaf. By the time of my society's annual show I had already leaf pruned once and had the second flush of leaves (the first week in May). The downside was the electricity bill!

The tree suffered no ill effects as a result, other cuttings and trees in the greenhouse showed similar benefits.

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Re: Bring me Sunshine

Post  mr treevolution on Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:27 am

Hi Tony,
Nothing really to add thats not been said by others, but having had some real experience in the uk cutflower industry a while back i would say that the cost of running lights will be your real concern, over performance.
What size area are you wanting to light? 6' x 8' glass?
For maybe a small area and the type of tree you want to help along , i would look at terrarium lights. Easily available from good reptile dealer. Cheaper to run. Convienent small strip bulbs, easy to set up on a timer in evenings or whatever.
Another thought is to make use of the light that falls around your trees. Bonsai are usually placed upon dull, light absorbing surfaces. There are ways to make use of wasted light. Why dont you try white walls, or painted boards or even mirrors! Look at Pius Notters garden walls.
Regards Nick

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Re: Bring me Sunshine

Post  Gæst on Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:53 pm

Not to spoil anything , but the best is to grow specimens that are adjusted to the climate. Which signs of bad growth does your Junipers and Pines (Scots pine?) show?

Regards
Morten

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Re: Bring me Sunshine

Post  Tony on Sat Feb 06, 2010 6:54 pm

Dave Martin wrote:Tony The tree suffered no ill effects as a result, other cuttings and trees in the greenhouse showed similar benefits.

Dave.. are you going to Joy of Bonsai in Bath... Can we talk there on this lighthearted subject.

Tony

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Re: Bring me Sunshine

Post  bonsai monkey on Mon Feb 08, 2010 8:15 pm

Hi Tony,
Far from being an expert on this subject, coming from sunny Kent as I do, but I did watch a programme recently about food production in Holland. They grow most of their salad products under lights, grown in Rockwall (ceiling insulation). I did hear/read somewhere that in Japanese nurseries the Pines are usually placed higher up ie: getting more sun but also on white benches to help radiate the the heat back up into the pot.

The costs involved might be an issue but I think it could well be worth a try. I moved my Shohin to my brick outhouse for the first time a couple of years ago and accidently found out that even a few days of light from a standard lighting set-up did make a difference in how much earlier Spring came. OK I accidently left the light on for a couple of days, went to get tools and forgot to take them back, but this year when its been gloomy I've popped the light on for a couple of days and I'm starting to get some leaves already.

Keep us posted Tony,
Regards,
Simon

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I am not the only one

Post  Tony on Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:53 pm

Last week I was at a conference at the New Manchester City Soccer stadium. They have to resort to using artificial lights to make the grass grow... its grim up north No


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Tony Tickle.. "that's not your real name is it?"

‎"Study me as much as you like, you will never know me, for I differ a hundred ways from what you see me to be. Put yourself behind my eyes, and see me as I see myself, for I have chosen to dwell in a place you cannot see." — Rumi

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Re: Bring me Sunshine

Post  Smithy on Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:04 pm

I've often had the feeling they must do something on this scale as they even relay the turf in the winter. With the underground heating i bet it grows well.

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Re: Bring me Sunshine

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