Buttonwood Question

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Buttonwood Question

Post  bonsaisr on Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:58 pm

I think my buttonwood has a serious problem, probably thrips. Which would be safer for the tree, Imidacloprid or acephate?
Iris

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Re: Buttonwood Question

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:23 pm

From what I have been told Buttonwoods don't like any chemicals, what about removal of branch tips where thrips live and isolation.

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Buttonwood Question

Post  bonsaisr on Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:42 pm

That would remove all the growing tips on the tree & doubtless kill it.
Iris

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Re: Buttonwood Question

Post  Mitch Thomas on Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:22 pm

Iris
I have found button wood are very touchy in applying many liquid insecticides, if I have to I only use seven dust or diatomatious dust. Follow all safety precautions. Of not you can totally submerge the tree in fresh water. Usually a 1 hr. soak will do it.

Any insecticide that ends in "ion" like malithion is deadly to BW. Basically all insecticides that are suspended in oil are the worst.

Hope this helps
Mitch

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Re: Buttonwood Question

Post  Norma on Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:18 pm

Hi Iris,

I've been hand spraying my buttonwood in the shower for years...then a light spray of insecticidal soap. I also make my own spray with dish soap, water and a bit of rubbing alcohol. Ever since I killed a large fukian with a systemic, I've not used strong chemicals on any of my bonsai for insect control. This is the time of year when trees under lights seem to have an explosion of the little buggers.

I find once it gets warm enough for my tropicals to stay out on benches, the rain takes care of most of the problems.

Good luck...
Norma

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Buttonwood Question

Post  bonsaisr on Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:44 pm

I examined the tree carefully with a magnifier. No visible sign of insects or mites. Mature leaves are covered with black dots. In-between age trees are curled under with varying amounts of black. On growing tips, the leaves are curled & bunched & shrunk down to 1/8". Looks like a disease. I have Immunox and Daconil on hand. Will either of these do?
Iris

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Re: Buttonwood Question

Post  drgonzo on Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:48 pm

I have used Monterey Garden insect spray with Spinosad on thrips (and other chewy wormy things) before and found it to be very effective and as its a bacterium that is the active ingredient it causes absolutely no harm to the plant. Good Stuff.
-Jay

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Re: Buttonwood Question

Post  Norma on Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:46 am

Hi Iris,

Does the pot have adequate air circulation and good drainage. I learned early that the soil must be fast draining and does not like any acidic organic material so I use coir with haydite and sharp sand (chick grit). If the roots are staying too wet this may be the source of your problem. I get a certain amount of side leaf curl because of indoor lighting but there are no black spots.

Do you fertilize your tree in the house? This could also be a problem because the buttonwood is semi-dormant until it gets outside.
I hope you can find the answer.....perhaps a photo of the leaves could help us see your problem.

Not to change the subject but how are your neea buxifolia doing? Mine is doing great and seems resistant to insects.

Good luck, Iris!!

Norma

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Re: Buttonwood Question

Post  Poink88 on Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:07 am

Iris,

Not sure if this will work but I got this tip through our bonsai club and worked on aphids very well (not sure if it will work on thrips).

Mix water and milk (in equal parts, regular, low fat, etc. doesn't matter) on a quart sprayer and add 2 pumps of dish washing liquid and use it as a spray. I've used it on all of my plants and so far it works like a charm. I just made 2 treatments spaced 2 weeks and I hardly see any aphids now. I am due for the 3rd treatment next weekend.

The bonus, it smells really good. The leaves will be shiny for a day, then start to look a bit whitish then start to peel/flake off after a few days. I was told the lactic acid, kills the pests and the soap helps too. Worth a try IMHO.

Good luck!

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Buttonwood Question

Post  bonsaisr on Tue May 01, 2012 4:42 pm

As I said, there is no sign of an insect. I do not spray until I see the whites of their eyes. No
I have been watching my Chinotto since I pruned & repotted it. I hauled out the magnifier again, & it appears to have essentially the same symptoms. affraid
This means it is not species specific and has nothing to do with soil. It is contagious. I will have to be very careful about sterilizing my tools. I sent a sample of the buttonwood to Nina & I am awaiting her answer.
Iris

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Re: Buttonwood Question

Post  Eastern Bonsai on Tue May 01, 2012 5:34 pm

Iris,

Could you share a picture of your Buttonwood.

Abe

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Buttonwood Question

Post  bonsaisr on Tue May 01, 2012 6:58 pm

I'll try, but I don't have really good close-up capability.
Iris

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Buttonwood Question

Post  bonsaisr on Tue May 08, 2012 8:42 pm

I got more than one answer. I called the University of Florida, my experts of last resort (I have used them before), and after my telephone got bounced around to three or four campuses, I finally got a gentleman in Miami who listened to my description & said it was probably witch's broom disease. Of course! I have heard of it, but never seen it in person. It is a systemic fungus, so none of the available fungicides will work. The only remedy is to prune off the affected growing tips, as Billy suggested, and sterilize everything.
Meanwhile, this just in from Nina, the Bonsai Doctor:
<<The leaves had both mites and thrips, but I'm incubating them to see if there are any fungi.>>
I will spray immediately, & see what happens.
I will take a picture as soon as I get a chance.


Last edited by bonsaisr on Wed May 09, 2012 1:44 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Different information)

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Buttonwood Question

Post  bonsaisr on Thu May 10, 2012 11:21 pm

Here are a couple of close-ups of my poor tree. Looks gruesome.
I already sprayed once with Ortho systemic (acephate). I also went over my Chinotto, which is in better shape, and pruned off all the affected growing tips.
I can't do anything else with the buttonwood except repeat spraying until the weather heats up and it has the best chance of budding back. I will prune it then.
Iris




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Re: Buttonwood Question

Post  Mitch Thomas on Thu May 10, 2012 11:49 pm

Ouch
I have never seen that before, looks like it needs some good ole sunshine. I don't know if there is any chemical answer to that fungus. I think I would wait till it gets warm enough and wait for signs of new growth then prune off the affected area. I wonder if a water proof heat pad under the pot would help get into a new growth pattern.

Mitch


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Buttonwood Question

Post  bonsaisr on Fri May 11, 2012 3:11 am

Temperature is not the problem. Two main heat ducts run through the plant room. If anything, it is too warm for some of my plants. The buttonwood needs sunshine & fresh air. It will be able to go outside later this month.
Nina is incubating my sample to see if there is a fungus. The witch's broom symptom may be caused by the mite.
Iris

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Re: Buttonwood Question

Post  Eastern Bonsai on Fri May 11, 2012 5:44 pm

Iris,
It may help to remove some of the affected leaves gradually during treatments.
Good Luck and keep us updated.
Abe

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Re: Buttonwood Question

Post  Mitch Thomas on Fri May 11, 2012 6:02 pm

Iris
I have found on my BWs that a slight heat source on the pot stimulates new growth. Also good ole hot sunshine also helps. Once it pushes trim off the old infected areas.

I think your 100% right BWs hate stagnant air, this could be a contributing factor to the fungus.

Mitch

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Buttonwood Question

Post  bonsaisr on Sat May 12, 2012 10:42 pm

Remember, we don't know yet that there is a fungus. We know it has mites and thrips. The witch's broom could be caused by the mite. I have it in the sunporch now.
Iris

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Buttonwood Question

Post  bonsaisr on Tue May 15, 2012 2:24 am

Here is the final word from Doctor Nina:
<<I didn't find fungus. According to another post on brown warty growths on buttonwood bonsai, the symptom is associated with mites (no confirmation from extension sites, but no one cares about buttonwoods commercially). Nothing controls thrips (spinosad *used* to work). Acephate is pretty nasty; you should avoid using it, or you should take the plant outside to spray, and leave it there for a week. The mites can be dealt with using Scholl's pyrethroid insecticide. Ideally, you could take the plant outside, hose it off, and let natural enemies deal with the pests over the summer. You would never see either of these pests on an outdoor tree.>>

All the plants are on their way outside for the summer. I will spray with the Ortho Systemic.
Iris

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Re: Buttonwood Question

Post  Mitch Thomas on Tue May 15, 2012 4:46 am

Iris
Scence its not fungal, Maybe you should concider a submersion treatment in just plain fresh water. In the wild it is not uncommon for them to be perodicly submerged. This will take care of any critters chemical free. A 1 hr soak should do it. I have used this technique to get rid of scale and carpenter ants.

Mitch

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Buttonwood Question

Post  bonsaisr on Tue May 15, 2012 5:23 pm

Sorry, I am not into "alternative medicine." I prefer to use professional products that are known to work. Acephate is still on the market in New York State, so it can't be that dangerous when used sensibly. I sprayed the buttonwood and a few other plants that may have another insect. They are all going outside, & will get the standard treatment of two more sprays about a week apart. If the buttonwood recovers, I will post a picture.
I will save the Captain Jack's with spinosad for when I have to spray in the winter.
Iris

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Re: Buttonwood Question

Post  Eastern Bonsai on Tue May 15, 2012 5:42 pm

Mitch Thomas wrote:Iris
Scence its not fungal, Maybe you should concider a submersion treatment in just plain fresh water. In the wild it is not uncommon for them to be perodicly submerged. This will take care of any critters chemical free. A 1 hr soak should do it. I have used this technique to get rid of scale and carpenter ants.

Mitch

Mitch,

I am interested in this method, it makes sense being that most pest control sprays have a base ingredient to suffocate the pest (such as an oil base or soap). What species have you used this method on? I prefer to use natural non chemical sprays and methods.

Thanks,
Abe

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Re: Buttonwood Question

Post  Mitch Thomas on Tue May 15, 2012 6:08 pm

Abe
I have only use this technique on ButtonWood. Deffeniately would not do it on any other unless I have studied the tree in question.

In nature these trees are a coastal mangrove specie, they are perodicly submerged by high tides and or hurricanes in salt water none the less. So I feel a 1 hr soak in fresh water not to be a harsh alternative medicine. I have been keeping buttonwood for about 13 yrs now in south Louisiana and I have NEVER lost one, knock on wood. I have two which survived hurricane Katrinia. They were under 8' of the nastiest salt water you can ever imagine for 10 + hours. There isn't much information out there on keeping them so all I know is what I have learned in keeping them.

Mitch

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Re: Buttonwood Question

Post  coh on Tue May 15, 2012 7:38 pm

Mitch, that is a great tip and it's good to know that you've used it successfully. I picked up a small buttonwood to experiment with this spring and will keep it in mind if I encounter pests...always prefer to avoid chemicals if possible.

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Re: Buttonwood Question

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