Mycorrhizae Product?

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Mycorrhizae Product?

Post  timahlen on Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:02 am

I was at one of my favorite local nurseries today and found a product called "Micorrhiza Transplant Formula," produced by a company called Soil Moist. Anybody ever used it? Or heard of it? Anybody know of other products that can be used to innoculate bonsai?

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Re: Mycorrhizae Product?

Post  Mitch Thomas on Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:47 am

Timahlen
I have not used this product. I found it on Colin Lewis's site


  http://www.colinlewisbonsai.com/products.html
 

MYCONOX
Contains the spores of no fewer than fifteen species of mycorrhizal fungus, which guarantees that whatever species you grow, there will be at least one species of fungus that will benefit your bonsai - and your flower or vegetable garden too!

Mitch

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Re: Mycorrhizae Product?

Post  Justin_ on Sun Mar 04, 2012 1:29 pm

It sounds similar to Rootgrow in the UK.

http://rootgrow.co.uk/

I use it, but I've never done an A/B test to see if results are different on any repot or ground planting without using it.

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Mushroom hunters

Post  Robert Taylor on Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:38 am

If I may add a few comments they may be helpful. I haven't used any commercial products but I do go out to collect mycorrhizal fungus if I need it. Get to know some mushroom experts in whatever area you live. There are different varieties in different geographic locations and identical looking shrooms from one region can be totally different in another. In that we're not eating anything, in this instance, there are other problems. This past fall my son (my expert who also raises Shiitake mushrooms) and I were on a mushroom hunt with a group of experts from several clubs and the conversation about the mycorrhizal fungus symbiosis relationships with evergreens came up after we all brought in our days finds. I'd brought in some chanterelles and some mycorrhizal that I dug from under a pine tree. Another member had found several different puffballs and mentioned one as being the kind that was good for evergreens. (I got to take that home with me) It turns out that some are good and some are not good for this. I found a some (edible) brown honey mushrooms that someone mentioned would damage a tree.
As part of the discussion another member mentioned that a nursery in his area was going around informing any homeowner that had evergreens growing on their property that they needed to have a mycorrhizal treatment (or several hundred $$'s) or their trees would not survive. A creative scam!


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Re: Mycorrhizae Product?

Post  drgonzo on Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:12 am

There are some Bonsai growers who believe, as I do, that the development of highly efficient modern synthetic fertilizers has made the actions of endomycorrhizal fungus in bonsai culture less important with regards to plant nutrient uptake then they might be for plants found in a more natural 'wild' setting. Although I will happily take all the help I can get! Very Happy

Indeed the complexities of the symbiotic relationship between trees and beneficial fungus is not clearly understood. Its a fascinating field of study and not just for those of us growing Bonsai!
-Jay

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Re: Mycorrhizae Product?

Post  RKatzin on Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:49 am

Hi to all, a windfall recently came my way, in regards to this very subject. I have been an avid fungiphile for many years and, as a matter of habit, on my hunts I enjoyed punting these ugly brown fungus that stick up out of the bare ground in places. They make a very satifying cloud of brown spore and a bit of fun, but I figured they were otherwise worthless, better kicked than picked, as the saying goes.

Boy was I wrong on that account! Turns out the Deadmans Foot as they are commonly called, I loaned out my shroom book, again, and it never came back, again, so I can't call it by its real name, turns out they are prized for just the purposes dicussed here, to the tune of about $400-500US for a 5-gal. bucketful. That's alot of bucks in your bucket for a walk in the woods. Needless to say, I won't be kicking anymore Deadmans Foot, and I will be carrying a bucket.

It is amazing how it all ties together for me. I'm often scouting around the woods for trees, and mushrooms, which I gather and I sell locally. I save the monies I make selling the shrooms and buy new trees for bonsai. See how simple life can be Very Happy It's a symbiotic realtionship.
Sincerly in Oregon, Rick

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Re: Mycorrhizae Product?

Post  my nellie on Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:27 am

I have no specific knowledge but I know that mycorrhizal fungi are existing into the soil. They are not the kind of mushrooms growing over the ground or on woods some of which are edible. Aren't they?
Have you ever noticed some kind of whitish mold covering the roots of pines or within the decaying pine needles underneath the pine trees which has a distinctive odour? This is mycorrhizal fungus. This last weekend I have visited my countryside cote and I have collected some of this but I am not sure it can be applied to every tree since each plant has its own mycorrhiza existing within its root system.
There are two kinds of mycorrhiza, endomycorrhizal fungus and ectomycorrhizal fungus which are symbiotic with different species of plants. Hence the different mycorrhiza depending on tree species.

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Re: Mycorrhizae Product?

Post  JimLewis on Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:52 pm

There are some Bonsai growers who believe, as I do, that the development of highly efficient modern synthetic fertilizers has made the actions of endomycorrhizal fungus in bonsai culture less important with regards to plant nutrient uptake then they might be for plants found in a more natural 'wild' setting.

There is some research that suggests that the phosphates in fertilizer will damage endomycorrhizal fungus.

I have been told by growers that, if your plant in questions needs them, they will appear; that the roots of plants will carry enough to inoculate your soil. I do wonder, though, since we repot and change soil so often.

_________________
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: Mycorrhizae Product?

Post  RKatzin on Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:56 pm

Hi folks, there is a third element that is vital to this symbiotic relationship and you can not talk about mycorrhizal fungi with out talking about microbes. These are the little critters that live in your soil, if it's healthy, and they are the vital link between the roots and the fungi and everything else that is going on in your soil. They are the carriers that move everything around underground. Without these guys in your soil all the inoculant in the world is a moot point.

An excellent book on this subject is, 'Teaming with Microbes', by Jeff Lowenfels and Wayne Lewis. The book is sub-titled,' The Organic Gardeners Guide to the Soil Food Web', required reading for anyone who works in my garden, and if you work with soil you need to know this book. If you look at your soil and don't see anything, take a closer look, it's teeming with life, at least it should be and if it's not then trees and plants will suffer respectively.

As Jim mentioned, the roots have the mycorrhizal, but they need the microbes to spread this into your new soil. They are the workers and good old organic compost is loaded with them, you don't need to buy anything fancy or expensive.

Ok, the gist of it all, I do not use any type of mycorrhizal fungi, never have. I do use a ton of organic compost and I gather forest humus from the forest floor, pretty much free stuff for the gathering. Don't want to brag, but what the hey, my 20,000 sq ft veggie garden is the talk of the town. I got the microbes and they are the life of the soil.

My belief is that the fungus fad is much like the vitamin disinformation. Yes they are essential, no you do not need to spend $50 for a little sack of mycorrhizal inoculant or little bottle of vitamins that you can get by eating right. Save your money and get yourself another tree.
Greetings from the best coast, Rick

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Re: Mycorrhizae Product?

Post  my nellie on Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:18 pm

Dear Rick,

Could you possibly comment on this?
my nellie wrote: ... ... and I have collected some of this but I am not sure it can be applied to every tree since each plant has its own mycorrhiza existing within its root system... ...
Endo- and ecto-mycorrhizal fungi are species dependent. Does this mean that one specific plant has its own specific mycorrhiza which is not symbiotic with another plant species? (I am not sure if I made myself clear...)
Thank you very much!

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Re: Mycorrhizae Product?

Post  drgonzo on Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:55 pm

Microbial action is vital when we discuss plants growing in "soil" that is dirt in the ground soil, they function primarily as the "middle men" that make inaccessable organic material available to plants after they have metabolized it. In Bonsai soil that has a high degree of inorganic material the action of these microbes is of course diminished as are their overall populations, indeed the more inorganic you go with your soil mix the more important it is to make sure your nutrient feeds are properly formulated to provide adequate nutrition without the need for microbial activity.

I agree with Rick completely in that the endomichorzial fungus that most benefits our plants is with the roots at all times, they grow with their hyphea in the very root cells themselves so they "cling on" even if we bare root. Can they resist the hard spray of a garden hose? I don't know. So I've taken to simply bare rooting with dry means (rakes and such) and try to stay away from really blasting roots clean with my hose.

I agree, the marketed inoculant products may at best be overkill or at worst be unnecessary.
-Jay

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Re: Mycorrhizae Product?

Post  abcd on Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:57 pm

Go to this web site : www.symbio.co.uk
e mail :info@symbio.co.uk
I use endo and ecto mycoforce mycorrhizal transplanter for pines and deciduous trees with successfull results

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Re: Mycorrhizae Product?

Post  RKatzin on Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:18 pm

Hi Nellie, the outfit that is buying the dead man's foot fungus produces specific mycorrhiza for specific clients depending on what they are growing. The commercial mycorrhizal products contain a broad spectrum of mycorrhiza so that no matter what you are growing the one you need is in there, but it's the microbes that then spread this throughout your soil and generate mycelium for the spores to grow in and populate the soil.

These microscopic organizims are essential for plant life. This is the falacy that I see being perpetuated concerning innoculents, number one being that mycorrhiza is not in your soil already, and secondly that the mycorrhiza will work without the presence of the microbes. It's not stated as such, but just an omission of information, which is that if you do not nurture the microbial life in your soil the innoculent has little effect.

If you are seeing a positive effect by adding mycorrhiza to your soil, it is because you have a healthy microbial popultion in your soil. Sincerly in Oregon, Rick

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Re: Mycorrhizae Product?

Post  drgonzo on Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:59 pm

RKatzin wrote: but it's the microbes that then spread this throughout your soil and generate mycelium for the spores to grow in

Rick,
Its obvious that fungal soil microorganisms , such as those we are discussing in this thread, would grow mycelium but as
mycelium or hyphae are fungal tissue, how are these tissues generated by bacterial soil microorganisms? Or am I (most likely) misunderstanding you?
-Jay

Its the microbes that spread the spores around and the spores generate the mycelium right?

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Re: Mycorrhizae Product?

Post  RKatzin on Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:05 pm

Ah Jay, it's a small, small world in there and we probably know more about outer space than we do about the life in our soil. The microbes are facilitators in the process of the fungus growing mycelium. The fungus are facilitators for the roots of the plants absorbtion of nutrients. Both the fungus and the microbes feed off of the plants wastes. I love to stundy on it, but it does spin my head at times trying to keep track of who's doing what, I am fasinated by it all. Rick

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Re: Mycorrhizae Product?

Post  JimLewis on Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:10 pm

Does this mean that one specific plant has its own specific mycorrhiza which is not symbiotic with another plant species?

Yes.

_________________
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: Mycorrhizae Product?

Post  drgonzo on Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:19 pm

RKatzin wrote:Ah Jay, it's a small, small world in there and we probably know more about outer space than we do about the life in our soil.

You know, Its a shame to admit, but your absolutely right!
It is exactly because the complexity of all these interactions is so poorly understood, that I give them the benefit of the doubt, and treat the soil microorganisms as best I can seeing as I don't give them much to go on organically in my soil mixes.
-Jay


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Re: Mycorrhizae Product?

Post  my nellie on Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:14 pm

Thanks everybody.
drgonzo wrote: ... ...In Bonsai soil that has a high degree of inorganic material the action of these microbes is of course diminished as are their overall populations, ... ...
RKatzin wrote: ... ...I do use a ton of organic compost and I gather forest humus from the forest floor, pretty much free stuff for the gathering. I got the microbes and they are the life of the soil... ...
So, let me test my understanding.... Embarassed
If I'd like to have the mycorrhizae around my plants' root-balls, then I do not use completely inorganic substrate and furthermore if I'd like to facilitate the growth of inoculated fungi in my soil, then I need the microbes which I can get from organic compost/humus.
Are the above correct?

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Re: Mycorrhizae Product?

Post  RKatzin on Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:49 pm

Hi Nellie, I'll be brief. If you use a predominately organic substrate then all your organisms and fungi are in the soil. It does no harm to add mycorrhizal fungi, but an expense you could do without.

When using inorganic substrate your living organisms are not present or at least their numbers are greatly reduced and fungi must be added and a chemical solution used to serve the function of the microbes.

If you use an organic subtrate and chemical fertilizers that do not support the soil food web, then the populations of organizims are greatly reduced and the subtrate ceases to function properly and the tree suffers. Replacement therapy is merited, but after the chemical action of the fertilizer has ceased. -Rick

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Re: Mycorrhizae Product?

Post  my nellie on Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:40 pm

I owe you big time, Rick!
Thank you very much!

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To get getting to ?know? Check it out!

Post  Robert Taylor on Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:59 pm

From this (link) entertaining and informative article on mushroom hunting:
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/fl20111016x1.html

Matsutake are notoriously hard to find, but, as Mizuguchi explains, nature gives us some clues. As their name suggests, they are found alongside the Japanese matsu (pine), in particular the akamatsu (Pinus densiflora). Rather than emerging near the trees' roots, they are always a short distance away from the distinctive red trunks, and begin to appear at the onset of the akisame (autumn rains).

So, don't bother to consult a calendar — just follow your nose, literally. When the white, yellow or orange flowers of the kinmokusei (sweet osmanthus, Osmanthus fragrans) throw out their delicious scent, it's time to head for the hills.

Generally mushrooms spend most of their lives underground or inside a dying or dead tree and only "explode" to the surface for a brief period to send out spores.

If I collect anything in the wild I study the area carefully for signs of trouble. I lost a beautiful beech to beach blight, which is found around my area. Scotch pine has had problem in upstate northeastern New York. The American Chestnut still grows around here but it only gets to 15 or 20 feet before it dies back, a victim of Endothia parasitica fungus. Ceratocystis ulmi is the fungus that killed the American Elm. The above mushroom article indicates to me that if one is to collect soils/compost/etc. one should look for those in areas that contain healthy specimens of the same species as your bonsai. The commercial product could turn out to be a safer bet. I still wonder about the "broadcast of several fungi" in it. For example MYCONOX, as stated earlier, contains the spores of no fewer than fifteen species of mycorrhizal fungus, which guarantees that whatever species you grow, there will be at least one species of fungus that will benefit your bonsai - and your flower or vegetable garden too! Microclimate, soils, plants, insects and fungi all factor into what does well where.

Another mushroom article worth reading here http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/fe20080611a1.html

Otsuki says he's found these fantastic fungi only in native forests with many large trees, and where humans have interfered little — in particular on the wooded land surrounding shrines. Mycena lux-coeli is found almost solely on large shi-no-ki trees (Castanopsis sieboldii, or chinkapins in English), one of the dominant climax species in the native forests of the Kii Peninsula.

But while various types of mushrooms are abundant in native broadleaf forests in Japan, they are scarce in the man-made hinoki (Japanese cypress) and sugi (Japanese cedar) plantations that now make up nearly half of Japan's forests.

In other words, this unusual species depends on native broadleaf forest for its survival. Otsuki says that taking visitors out to see the mushrooms is one way to raise their awareness about natural forests in general.

"I want to show people how interesting the forest is," he says.

I'm about to prepare small growing area with lots of charcoal to see what effect that will have on plants. Carbon has the ability to "grab" trace elements and keep them where they are available to the plant. If anyone has tried this, I'd be interested in hearing about your experience.

Bob

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Re: Mycorrhizae Product?

Post  drgonzo on Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:11 pm

RKatzin wrote:
When using inorganic substrate your living organisms are not present or at least their numbers are greatly reduced and fungi must be added and a chemical solution used to serve the function of the microbes.

If you use an organic subtrate and chemical fertilizers that do not support the soil food web, then the populations of organizims are greatly reduced and the subtrate ceases to function properly and the tree suffers. Replacement therapy is merited, but after the chemical action of the fertilizer has ceased. -Rick

You can simplify (oversimplify?) it and state that Inorganic soils work better with inorganic nutrients and visa versa, thats been my experience as I've played around with various soil and fert' combos.
-Jay

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Re: Mycorrhizae Product?

Post  Poink88 on Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:22 pm

Robert Taylor wrote:I'm about to prepare small growing area with lots of charcoal to see what effect that will have on plants. Carbon has the ability to "grab" trace elements and keep them where they are available to the plant. If anyone has tried this, I'd be interested in hearing about your experience.
No real experience but my brother (a Chemist) used to grow orchids and he used charcoal a lot as a planting medium. The big advantage of using charcoal (I heard) is that it will not deteriorate, drains well, and it "ADSORB" fertilizer & minerals...made available and easily accessible to the plant later.

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Re: Mycorrhizae Product?

Post  JimLewis on Tue Mar 06, 2012 5:57 pm

You can simplify (oversimplify?) it and state that Inorganic soils work better with inorganic nutrients and visa versa, thats been my experience as I've played around with various soil and fert' combos.

I think you may have it backwards. If you use a mostly INorganic mix you should use an organic fertilizer as the organic molecules ADsorb to the inorganic soil grains -- or so a horticultural chemist explained to me some time ago.

Inorganic chemicals pass right through an inorganic soil. The reverse is true to some extent, also.

_________________
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: Mycorrhizae Product?

Post  drgonzo on Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:36 pm

JimLewis wrote:
You can simplify (oversimplify?) it and state that Inorganic soils work better with inorganic nutrients and visa versa, thats been my experience as I've played around with various soil and fert' combos.

I think you may have it backwards. If you use a mostly INorganic mix you should use an organic fertilizer as the organic molecules ADsorb to the inorganic soil grains -- or so a horticultural chemist explained to me some time ago.

Inorganic chemicals pass right through an inorganic soil. The reverse is true to some extent, also.

Its more a matter of providing instantly available nutriment as opposed to relying on the involvement of soil microorganisms.
-Jay

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