Fun with rooting hormones

Tachigi

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With us moving to our new location and transferring trees. I decided to remove some of our trees from inventory as they were not progressing they way we wished. Never being one to waste, I decided to experiment with these to see what would happen.

The experiment was to take rooting hormone with a concentration of 3% and apply it to a variety of different trees. A 3% concentration has been (as I understand it) reserved for hard to root cuttings. Well, we decided to use it on not only these, but on japanese maples, hornbeam, dawn redwoods, and cork bark elms trees that aren't so hard to root. We didn't use the hormone for cuttings. Instead we used it on trees that had bad nebari to see if we could enhance root growth faster in these deficient places by scoring and dusting in areas that we would like to enhance.

This was done 18 days ago and in the last 5 days an incredible flush of growth has come up from each spot that was dusted, for the exception of the pines which I would expect. Also no growth from the redwoods which pop roots if you look at them and smile. This was surprising and unexpected with what happened to the rest.

I am anxious to pull back the soil (these trees are in the ground) and inspect the roots but will wait a bit longer as not to disturb the fine growth. What I am really wondering is, did the hormone actually send roots out and the shoots(suckers) are a bi-product of that or did the hormone trigger latent buds and there are actually no roots at all?
 
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Bonsai Nut

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I will be very interested to hear what you find. I have always wondered about this.
 

Tachigi

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Me to Greg, I'm very optimistic. When scoring the nebari I knicked myself with the knife and a bit of the hormone got on it. I'm now developing a sixth finger, which should be useful for wiring and appling raffia ;)
 

Dwight

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I say cut off the new finger and plant it.aybe you can get a new Tom to help with the work.
 

bonsai barry

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Me to Greg, I'm very optimistic. When scoring the nebari I knicked myself with the knife and a bit of the hormone got on it. I'm now developing a sixth finger, which should be useful for wiring and appling raffia ;)
I'd air-layer it and sell the extra finger on e-bay.

Or perhaps give it as a gift... anyone you've always wanted to give the finger to?
 
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Tachigi

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I'd air-layer it and sell the extra finger on e-bay.
Great idea Barry, but I'm afraid of the infection that I might get from the sphagnum. As to your other idea.....so many people .... so few fingers
 

John Hill

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Great idea Tom! Keep us updated it should work IMHO. Man I have got to take a drive to your place some weekend for sure.

A Friend in bonsai
John
 

Bunjinent

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I've seen similar results in trees that need nebari in particular areas. The easier trees, of course.
I also sprinkle 3%-8%, depending on the species, onto roots when I root prune and repot. I don't have proper scientific statistical data to support, but I have low casualty rates from repotting...

-Wm

For those that abhor pseudonyms... bwa ha ha, poor things.
 

bretts

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Can we see some pictures Tom I am a little unsure of were you have put the rooting hormone above or below the soil?
 

Bunjinent

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Wow, thanks for the link Bretts. Glad there are practicing biologists out there to hold down the folklore.
-Wm
 

Tachigi

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Can we see some pictures Tom I am a little unsure of were you have put the rooting hormone above or below the soil?
Brett, give me a few more weeks and I will. We are just about ready to start working trees here. It was my intention all along to document this. Its been about 9 months since I started this so whatever has happened below the soil line should be quite visible in a photograph.
 

Tachigi

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Well I was able to wait 5 days from saying I would wait 2 weeks. The renewed conversation got the best of me. Its been very warm and the this Japanese Maple has started to swell so I thought it might be best to do it now.....or that was my rational :)

The picture below shows fine rootage in the areas denoted by the white line that I can attribute to the application of hormone. A series of small rectangles were cut (vs. one long rectangular cut) and the hormone applied below the soil line. I should note that the hormone that was applied was hormex 45. This strength is way over the recommend strength that is called for on JM. The new growth (sucker) pictured in the center, I don't believe is from the application of the hormone like first surmised. It originates farther below the application point. It is hard to say whether this was coincidence or not that it emerged at shortly after the application. There was no evidence it existed at the time of hormone application. Yet the back of my brain is still tickled by the thought that the hormone may of been washed further down spurring this growth.
 

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