overfeeding?

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overfeeding?

Post  bobby little on Sun Jul 18, 2010 12:37 pm

is this possible - not that I anticipate my trees will get like one of those people who need a wall knocking down to get them to hospital. Trying to promote lots of growth on a cork bark elm that has been mutilated by my daughter hoying footballs at it. I always have a layer of chicken poop on the top of all my trees and feed every two weeks with a liquid feed. Thinking of increasing it to weekly for this critter.

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Re: overfeeding?

Post  JimLewis on Sun Jul 18, 2010 1:07 pm

I'm assuming the "chicken poop" has been well aged.

Assuming that, and assuming you water your trees regularly, it is hard to damage trees with fertilizer -- common belief notwithstanding. You would have to apply 10 times the recommended label strength to the tree.

Here's some good info: http://www.evergreengardenworks.com/fertiliz.htm

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Re: overfeeding?

Post  bobby little on Sun Jul 18, 2010 1:16 pm

JimLewis wrote:I'm assuming the "chicken poop" has been well aged.

Assuming that, and assuming you water your trees regularly, it is hard to damage trees with fertilizer -- common belief notwithstanding. You would have to apply 10 times the recommended label strength to the tree.

Here's some good info: http://www.evergreengardenworks.com/fertiliz.htm

the chicken poop is commercially made organic pellets, so safe. so will feeding more regularly stimulate more growth or will I be wasting my limited resources?

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Re: overfeeding?

Post  Velodog2 on Sun Jul 18, 2010 2:51 pm

It's not very fashionable perhaps but I am in love with the Osmocote type bead fertilizer. I find it impossible to damage a tree with it, so far, but I've stopped short of planting one in pure fertilizer beads. I have however begun experimenting with mixing some into the planting medium when I do a transplant. I have taken Brent's (Evergreen Gardenworks) advice to heart.

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Re: overfeeding?

Post  JimLewis on Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:04 pm

I'm too anal retentive to use Osmacoat.

Feeding more heavily is fine up to a point. You can't force a tree to use N, P, or K if it "thinks it has had enough. They use what they need, and let the rest drop through the drainage hole.

Weekly feeding at label strength probably will result in more greenery if that's what you want. Generally, we don't want that.


Last edited by JimLewis on Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:19 pm; edited 1 time in total

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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: overfeeding?

Post  Velodog2 on Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:18 pm

My trees are almost all in development mode where I want strong growth and enthusiastic budding. I just want to be sure that lack of nutrients is not a limiting factor in growth.

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Re: overfeeding?

Post  bobby little on Sun Jul 18, 2010 5:54 pm

JimLewis wrote:I'm too anal retentive to use Osmacoat.

Feeding more heavily if fine up to a point. You can't force a tree to use N, P, or K if it "thinks it has had enough. They use what they need, and let the rest drop through the drainage hole.

Weekly feeding at label strength probably will result in more greenery if that's what you want. Generally, we don't want that.

trying to fill the holes and grow branches that were destroyrd by my little angel of darkness, so lots of greenery please Very Happy

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Did I overfed my thuja???

Post  my nellie on Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:33 am

I have used the "Search" for referrence but have not found anything related to my problem and since I do not want to start another thread, I will post my question here and the Moderators, please, move it where you think more appropriate...
I have also read this article http://www.evergreengardenworks.com/fertiliz.htm which Jim and Iris have recommended elsewhere...

I have a pre-bonsai Thuja Orientalis "nana" in a spacious pot which was growing very well (setting leaves even on old wood) since the past week when its leaves began looking as if they lack water, they were dehydrating, wilting.
Could this be due to fertilization during this hot summer month?
I did nothing different than I did to the other plants as far as feeding solution is concerned. Not my azalea, nor my chinese elm and small junipers presented a problem.
Only the watering schedule is a little different because of the extreme hot conditions prevailing last two weeks...

I was making plans for this tree and now.... Crying or Very sad
Can you help me in any way with this problem?


Edit: I have my plants sprayed a few times a day during these hot months, if this helps you to figure out the phenomenon...

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Re: overfeeding?

Post  63pmp on Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:15 am

I'm going against the tide here, but the answer is, yes, you can overfeed.

This occurs in a couple of ways, firstly the salinity of the fertilizer can affect the plant, depending on the species. A sensitive plant will wilt, or get leaf burn, due to high salinity levels in fertilizers. A Japanese maple will die at the salinity Japanese Black Pines tolerate. So the strength of a fertilizer is very important. Secondly, many nutirents can be toxic in high concentrations. Ammonium, trace elements, pottasium, phosphorus, chloride (found in scotts miracle grow) magnesium, can all cause problems if in excess. This also depends on the time of year, how much rain and the temperatures you are experiencing. Fertilizers can also change the pH of the potting medium, so that for pH sensitive plants, like azalea, they may grow sick over the course of summer as pH drifts upwards.

No offense meant towards Brent and others, but I feel fertilising is the least understood aspect of bonsai. It is usually put into the too-hard-basket and so gets simplified.

So easy to turn this into a rant so I'll stop here.

Paul

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Re: overfeeding?

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Tue Aug 17, 2010 2:03 pm

my nellie wrote:I have a pre-bonsai Thuja Orientalis "nana" in a spacious pot which was growing very well (setting leaves even on old wood) since the past week when its leaves began looking as if they lack water, they were dehydrating, wilting.
Could this be due to fertilization during this hot summer month?
I did nothing different than I did to the other plants as far as feeding solution is concerned. Not my azalea, nor my chinese elm and small junipers presented a problem.
Only the watering schedule is a little different because of the extreme hot conditions prevailing last two weeks...

A tree with root rot will have wilting leaves while it sits in wet soil. Stop watering and wait for the soil to dry. Putting the small tree in a large pot will often result in the roots staying too wet and root rot results. Your tree is probably dead. You might they washing off all the wet soil, dunking the roots in a weak bleach solution, (a cup of bleach to five gallons of water) and replanting in a more appropriate size pot in new commercial potting soil.

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Re: overfeeding?

Post  my nellie on Tue Aug 17, 2010 2:57 pm

Thank you, Paul and Billy!
It is sad to know the poor tree is almost dead...

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Re: overfeeding?

Post  JimLewis on Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:26 pm

Paul and I will have to disagree.

my nellie . . . How spacious IS the pot? If it is a small tree in a large pot, you may be having overwatering problems. Despite the heat -- and we've all been having that problem this summer -- the soil deeper in the pot may not be drying out because there simply isn't enough root to take up the excess water. So The soil on and near the surface may dry from evaporation, but the lower larers and the bottom may stay too wet.

Your tree tends to prefer dryer soil. I suspect Billy may be right and you may have some bad roots because the soil below stayed too wet.

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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: overfeeding?

Post  my nellie on Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:42 pm

Thank you, too, Jim!
So, taking into consideration the season and temperature but also the dying anyway tree, should I uproot it and check the rootball? Should I try this weak bleach solution bath that Billy recommends?
The substrate in the pot is peat, river sand and akadama and it strains well, I think....

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Re: overfeeding?

Post  JimLewis on Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:10 pm

I'd never use peat in a bonsai pot. It messes up drainage and if you use too much, can make your soil virtually impervious to water. The one exception may be azaleas, but even then I'd use very little.

Billy's suggestion about the bleach on the roots is a new one to me. He's been doing bonsai for a long time, though, and I'd bow to his knowledge.

If the bleach idea bothers you, you could simply bare root the plant and give the roots a blast of water. That would wash away any rotten roots. Then repot in coarse river sand, and academa if you wish.

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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: overfeeding?

Post  my nellie on Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:23 pm

Have nothing to loose.... Thuja is going to be dead anyway.
I will take your advice and bare root it.
Thanks once again!

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Re: overfeeding?

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:50 pm

JimLewis wrote:I'd never use peat in a bonsai pot. It messes up drainage and if you use too much, can make your soil virtually impervious to water. The one exception may be azaleas, but even then I'd use very little.

FWIW, I have planted Azaleas in pure peat and they are doing great.

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Re: overfeeding?

Post  63pmp on Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:47 am

my nellie,

It is quite possible that fertilising has nothing to do with your plant, usually all susceptible plants will burn if one does, so one standing alone would suggest another cause. If you are concerned about re-potting, it will recover from abuse and water affected roots if you simply plant it into a shaded area of a garden bed. Don't bare root it, simply remove it from the pot and completely bury the root ball. Garden soil is finer than potting mix and will suck excess moisture straight out of the potting mix. I have had no experience with Thuja, but I repot Hinoki cypress in autumn, if that is anything to go with. Good luck with it.

Paul

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Re: overfeeding?

Post  my nellie on Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:06 am

Thanks again!
Everyone and all of you! Smile

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