Collecting moss

Bonsai Nut

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I am about to go on a moss collecting trip (I do so when it gets cool and damp here in Southern California) and will soon post some photos of my finds - as well as some photos in a few months to show the success rates of different mosses and methods.

So I thought I'd start this thread out to ask people about their moss collecting areas / methods. I typically collect mine from cracks in parking lots.
 

darrellw

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Hmm, here in the Pacific NW, we get it just about anywhere, on anything that isn't moving. It grows on my roof, which gets full sun (when we have the sun :) ).
 

Tachigi

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Here on the Chesapeake Bay there is a lot of wet shaded areas. So I divert from the damp woodland areas and head for our local town center. Their, for some reason it grows abundently along the sidewalk curbs. It is in bright sunshine and is a beautiful emerald green. So, armed with plastic bag, small trowel and facial disguise I go collecting. The police always wonder what I'm up to and the shoppers walk to the otherside of the street.
 

Tachigi

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I forgot to add that my wife shakes her head ruefully
 

rlist

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Their, for some reason it grows abundently along the sidewalk curbs. It is in bright sunshine and is a beautiful emerald green.
Must be the chaw enhanced spit of juvenille delinquents (as rednecks are much further south) is the perfect "fertilizer"...

As Darrell said, two things you can count on here if you stand still for 5 minutes: The weather will change and you will have moss growing on some part of your anatomy.:(

Hey Nut, we can mail you some moss if you want. Will be nice and dry when you get it. Just do the blender method and you will have more than you ever wanted! PM me with your address...
 
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Bonsai Nut

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The first victim: a strip of moss in a sidewalk crack outside of Chikugo-En bonsai nursery in Gardena, CA. This sidewalk is in FULL sun all year 'round, but benefits from water runoff from a nearby gas station. Before photo:



An example of how much a single sidewalk of moss can cover (in a pot with a cork bark black pine). Note - the moss is not placed there permanently - I just tossed it in a pot to show how much I had.

 

gve

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What is the actual benefit of the moss to the bonsai tree? Is it for decoraion or has it another function?
Here y us we have moss everywhere his time of year, butit s a very coarse kind. It is not fine like the photos you've posted.
 

Tachigi

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Gve, Moss is primarily for decoration. A secondary benefit is that it shields the soil from the sun helping with moisture retention. When using it, keep it to the soil, don't let it creep up the trees as it will want to. I can't speak for what Switzerland has to offer as far as moss spores go. If it lives in bright sunshine then its good moss for our purposes. The fact that its coarse should be no problem. To enhance your moss display consider trying to find other types as well. Then mix it up with other varieties to give texture and variety to your display. I have posted a picture with a variety of moss including lichen and hopefully you can see what I'm talking about.
 

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gve

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Thanks for that info! I have another question though. When you put moss on the bed, do you let it dry first and make it fine (grind it), or do you put the large chunks of living moss on the treebed until it is covered?
On one of my trees I did the latter and found that the roots of the tree grew very close to the moss. Also it attracted a lot of tiny little fly type insects. Is this normal?

Gerhard
 

Tachigi

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You can do either. My personal preference is to layout the selected moss in sheets on top of the soil and then pleat the edges together. Can't comment on the tiny flies haven't had that pleasure. Well, I do get flying critters when I use fish emulsion, but that is another story.
 

BONSAI_OUTLAW

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Must be the chaw enhanced spit of juvenille delinquents (as rednecks are much further south) is the perfect "fertilizer"...

As Darrell said, two things you can count on here if you stand still for 5 minutes: The weather will change and you will have moss growing on some part of your anatomy.:(

Hey Nut, we can mail you some moss if you want. Will be nice and dry when you get it. Just do the blender method and you will have more than you ever wanted! PM me with your address...

That redneck comment borders on offensive....
 

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