Solid copper wire for wiring

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Solid copper wire for wiring

Post  Jim Doiron on Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:51 pm

I apologize if this is a stupid question but I have had a few conflicting sources on this in the last few days. I know copper is toxic to trees/plants but if you wire with, say, electrical wire is that a potential toxic source of copper? Or if you wired trees into a pot with solid copper? I had someone tell me they killed a few trees just from dropping bits of copper wire on the soil which broke down and killed the tree, but then everything you read says you can use annealed copper or aluminum. I use the aluminum now but I do have a few older trees from my first days that still have copper around the roots. Thanks, jim

Jim Doiron
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Re: Solid copper wire for wiring

Post  Rob Kempinski on Wed Apr 15, 2009 5:00 am

That bonsai have survived decades being wired with copper should tell you that it doesn't kill the plant.
Something else killed your "someone's" tree (maybe stupidity, if they believe the copper wire did it, evidence that they aren't prepared to handle the other needs of a bonsai.)

If you use electrical wire with the plastic insulation be careful as the wire will quickly work harden (it's already work hardened just by placing it in a roll) and will be difficult to use. I seriously doubt the plastic insulation would be toxic to the tree. Copper wire specifically for bonsai has no insulation, has been rolled and then annealed to be soft. Annealing requires heating the copper to red hot state so the insulation would only burn off and be quite smelly. Soft copper wire is much better for the health of the tree bark and easier to put on. The raw copper will quickly develop a dark coating and practically disappear from view

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Re: Solid copper wire for wiring

Post  Jim Doiron on Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:28 pm

Thanks Rob, it seemed to me that that would be the case as it also had not killed the few trees I have wired into pots with it but those are only a few years with it. I should listen to to that logical voice in the back of my head more often. Very Happy

Jim Doiron
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Re: Solid copper wire for wiring

Post  TreeKiller64 on Fri Apr 17, 2009 1:54 am

Jim,
I have been using solid copper wire for years, with no affects on the tree. (other than the occasional wire marks).
I find it more economical than copper coated Alum. ( especially since remodeling my house Very Happy 0
I anneal the wire in a paper fire to a cherry-red color and let it air-cool so it won't reharden.
Hope this helps,
KJ
P.S. Jim,,,,,,there are no stupid questions.

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Re: Solid copper wire for wiring

Post  Jim Doiron on Sat Apr 18, 2009 2:34 am

Thanks KJ, I am a remodeler myself and have been known to use a few strands from jobs but I have never annealed it myself, good to know.
P.S. Jim,,,,,,there are no stupid questions.

Give me time, I'll come up with something Laughing

Jim Doiron
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