Soil mix for Yew

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Soil mix for Yew

Post  F. Waheedy on Mon Dec 06, 2010 12:20 pm

Hello all,

Was wondering if using limestone chippings mixed with medium grain akadama is a better option for taxus?

I have a taxus which was very weak and was planted in pure sphagnum moss about 2 years ago. The tree is now healthy and full of new buds. I'm hoping to re pot it this spring and was thinking of using limestone chippings mixed with akadama.

Any suggestions / comments would be much appreciated.

Kind regards,

Faisal

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Re: Soil mix for Yew

Post  Tony on Mon Dec 06, 2010 8:01 pm

Hi Faisal, I now collect small limestone chippings from the place that I collect my Yews and include in the soil mix. Yews definitely benefit from the minerals the. The size of the particles are smaller than garden peas. the rest of the soil mix is cat Litter and Acadama.

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Re: Soil mix for Yew

Post  F. Waheedy on Mon Dec 06, 2010 8:03 pm

Thank you, Tony.

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Re: Soil mix for Yew

Post  Kev Bailey on Mon Dec 06, 2010 8:08 pm

Any limestone will do Faisal. Road chippings can be tested with a drop of hydrochloric acid (or patio cleaner) to see if it fizzes. If it does, it is limestone.

I use old lime mortar, that I have in abundance from my recently re-roofed victorian house. They used to use it under the slates as a windproofer. Bonemeal or garden lime are beneficial too.

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Re: Soil mix for Yew

Post  F. Waheedy on Mon Dec 06, 2010 8:23 pm

Many thanks, Kevin. I shouldn't have any problem sourcing limestone.

Hope you're keeping well.

Regards,

Faisal

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Re: Soil mix for Yew

Post  Paul B (Scotland) on Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:19 pm

Kev Bailey wrote:

I use old lime mortar


Hi Kev,

I do all the administration for 10 squads of stonemasons specialising in lime mortar pointing. I potentially have an unlimited source of this material.

Is it just a case of breaking up and sifting the mortar they rake out of the joints?


Hi Faisal,

Is this you getting things ready for repotting the Yew that was styled at Burrs? If it is, I'd love to see your choice of pot.


Cheers.

Paul

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Re: Soil mix for Yew

Post  F. Waheedy on Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:27 pm

Hi Paul, How you doin?

The yew that I styled at BURRS won't be re-potted until next spring (2012) John Pitt will be coming up with some ideas and we will then decide what pot to go with.

This is for another Yew that I've had for a good few years. It was very weak for a few years and then took around 2 years to recover. I will be re potting it this spring, but again in a training pot. Just change the planting medium from moss to limestone chippings and akadama.

Regds,

Faisal


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Soil for Yews

Post  bonsaisr on Thu Dec 09, 2010 3:11 am

Do Japanese yew & Taxus xmedia also need lime?
Iris

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Soil for Yews

Post  Guest on Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:16 pm

bonsaisr wrote:Do Japanese yew & Taxus xmedia also need lime?
Iris
Yes, they all do. I have also heard that Buxus also benefits from Lime too.

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Re: Soil mix for Yew

Post  Kev Bailey on Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:20 pm

Yes Will, the stuff I use is weathered and crumbly. Often you can turn it to a coarse powder with your hands but it is corrosive so I wouldn't handle too much. Smack it with a lump hammer and sprinkle on the surface or add small quantities to your mix when repotting. A cup full of mortar to a builders bucket full of potting mix is what I use. I'd half that if using powdered garden lime.

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Re: Soil mix for Yew

Post  Guest on Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:29 pm

I'm wondering about Beech too. They grow well over chalk in the southern counties.

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Re: Soil mix for Yew

Post  Hans van Meer. on Thu Dec 09, 2010 3:07 pm

will baddeley wrote:
bonsaisr wrote:Do Japanese yew & Taxus xmedia also need lime?
Iris
Yes, they all do. I have also heard that Buxus also benefits from Lime too.

Yes they do Will!
Just like the Buxus in our garden, Buxus bonsai like to live in a ground mixture with pH> 6,0.
My old Buxus bonsai was suffering for a few years, until 2 seasons ago, when I started to give Buxus fertilizer + Lime from Ecoline . In just two seasons my little Buxus regained all its vitality and has grown and blossomed like never before!
Cheers,
Hans van Meer.

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Re: Soil mix for Yew

Post  mr treevolution on Thu Dec 09, 2010 8:45 pm

Anyone using pumice?

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Re: Soil mix for Yew

Post  Guest on Thu Dec 09, 2010 8:53 pm

I have used Pumice in the past but have difficulty getting hold of it. Is it limestone then?

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Re: Soil mix for Yew

Post  Kev Bailey on Thu Dec 09, 2010 9:12 pm

No, pumice is volcanic aerated rock particles. Great for drainage and some micronutrients, but no lime.

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Re: Soil mix for Yew

Post  Alain Bertrand on Fri Dec 10, 2010 7:43 am

I strongly doubt that Yew needs limestone. Here in France, one of the few places where yew is still quite flourishing is the western part of Britanny with very acidic soils. As for the Japanese yew, I am even more confident it doesn't. Kawabe Takeo for exemple use only akadama and pumice for them.


Edit :
google search with "yew soil pH site:.edu" effectively confirms that yew likes neutral slightly acidic to neutral soils and thus doesn't need limestone.

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Re: Soil mix for Yew

Post  Kev Bailey on Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:43 pm

Hah, our Taxus baccata obviously haven't read the book. The ONLY place where I've found any number of them growing wild is on limestone outcrops, often with their roots in cracks in the limestone and an obviously completely calcareous substrate. The most common tree I found growing on limestone cliffs, in a rock climbing career spanning 30 years, was Yew. Googling Yew and Limestone provides much evidence that Yew is native to limestone outcrops, in the UK at least.

These are some coastal windswept Yews I found growing IN limestone.

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Re: Soil mix for Yew

Post  Tony on Fri Dec 10, 2010 4:51 pm

Sorry Alain, Kev is on the money. The Yews I have that are growing through, over and IN limestone are far healthier than those that have NO limestone in the mix... the results speak for themselves.

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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: Soil mix for Yew

Post  GaryWood on Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:39 pm

Isn't it amazing the adaptability of plants within species! Yews, Larch, Pine and on and on. Everyone should read THE TREE by Colin Tudge. A good book covering physiology, evolutionary biology and diversity of trees.
Wood

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Re: Soil mix for Yew

Post  Guest on Fri Dec 10, 2010 7:27 pm

Hello Alain. The majority of Yews I've collected have been growing in pure chalk. All these trees have the best dark green colour I have seen. I have added garden lime to my Yews with great improvement to colour and vigour.

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Re: Soil mix for Yew

Post  RichLewis on Sat Dec 11, 2010 10:39 am

Which other conifers require alkaline soils?

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Re: Soil mix for Yew

Post  Alain Bertrand on Sat Dec 11, 2010 10:41 am

The fact that yews grow in limestone doesn't show in any way that yews need high soil pH, it merely shows that they can accomodate high pH. For the very same logical reason, the fact that yews grow in acidic soil in Britanny or Japan doesn't show in any way that yews need low soil pH, but merely that they can accomodate low pH.

So either you have several ecotypes with differents pH needs or any yew can accomodate a wide range of soil pH. In both case, observation challenges the idea that any yew needs limestone.

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Re: Soil mix for Yew

Post  JimLewis on Sat Dec 11, 2010 1:28 pm

And, I might add, life in a bonsai pot is a heckuva lot different from life on in the "wild." pH means a lot less to (most) trees in a pot; we give them nutrients, whether they need them or not.

Junipers as a genus really don't care; they're among the tough guys of the plant world; I suspect they -- along with cockroaches -- will be here long after we've made the world uninhabitable for humankind.

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Re: Soil mix for Yew

Post  Guest on Sat Dec 11, 2010 1:41 pm

Well I for one,will carry on with lime, as it greens up my trees very quickly indeed.

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Re: Soil mix for Yew

Post  Hans van Meer. on Sat Dec 11, 2010 4:08 pm

Hi everybody,
especially for Yews collected in the UK, I find that this quote from HERE explains it very logical!

Taxus repandans, the spreading yew, along the front drive, and for several years they have been persistently yellowing off – looking, in fact quite dreadful. I tried everything I could think of: adding iron to combat possible chlorosis; adding fertilizer; extra water; less water; acidifying the soil with sulfur. (All evergreens like acid soil, right?) Wrong. Turns out that’s another one of those common garden myths. In truth, not all evergreens like acid soil, the yew being one of them. It makes perfect sense when you think about it: European yews are native to the calciferous soil of Western Europe – think of all those ancient yews growing in chalky English churchyards – and really can’t tolerate acidic soils very well. So all my previous ministrations were actually hurting, not helping the yews. I made an about face, added some gardening lime, and the yews have begun to green right up.

Let’s just file this one away under the “Whoops” category.



Makes sense doesn't it?
Makes you also think about Common Junipers and Mugo's that are collected from places consisting off mainly limestones!
Cheers,
Hans van Meer.

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Re: Soil mix for Yew

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