Japanese Maple

FOX7591

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This is one of my japanese maples i just did some work on it and pruned it up and repotted it
The soil i put it into was
all equal parts...
akadama
pumice
grit
and a regular planter box potting mix..

hows is this mix, how could i improve it?



for this maple the left large branch i want to plull it down and then style it by having the right branch as the apex ... if that makes sense:p ahah or i would make a broomstyle cause thats where it looks like it wants to go :p




* is it OK to water a newly repotted tree with some superthrive to help get it going, or will this burn the roots?*


thanks every1
 

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bisjoe

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That's a nice start on your tree, great flared and tapered trunk.

I would not use any potting mix in bonsai soil, your other ingredients were fine up to that point.

Superthrive, while controversial, is meant to be used when transplanting, and mixed correctly (one drop/gallon of water) is not going to burn any roots. No fertilizer though until it's recovered from the transplant, 2-3 weeks or when in leaf.
 

FOX7591

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thanks bisjoe

my planter box soil i used was peat moss with some sand and vermiculite in it. i odnt see how that would not benefit the plant. i didnt use a lot so it wouldnt kepp the soil warter logged or anything.

what are the downs of the planter box mix used in the soils ????
 
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thanks bisjoe

my planter box soil i used was peat moss with some sand and vermiculite in it. i odnt see how that would not benefit the plant. i didnt use a lot so it wouldnt kepp the soil warter logged or anything.

what are the downs of the planter box mix used in the soils ????
Take a look at your pictures of your soil ingredients, notice the grit and other components in the picture on the left are all about the same particle size? Now look at your potting soil, notice how much smaller the particles are?

Drainage is very important for bonsai, it allows the soil to dry out some between waterings, assuring that the soil doesn't stay a wet, muddy, mess that could suffocate your roots or rot them. Good drainage also sucks air down into the soil as the water drains out of the bottom and good drainage allows excess salts to be rinsed out of the soil.

With my soil mix, I can literally let the hose run on the soil all day and never see overflow, the water just gushes out of the bottom drainage hole in the pot.


Now.....

Drainage occurs because there is plenty of air spaces between particles in the soil, hence it is wise to use particles that are of the same size. When you add your potting soil, which is finer, the smaller particles fill in the spaces between the larger particles, leaving less air pockets and thus, slowing drainage. The peat and other components in the potting soil sill stay wet longer (due to the water retention and also the small particle size) and may very well be very hard to re-wet if it is allowed to dry out.


Here are a couple articles by Brent Walston that you may find interesting.


Soil: Why the earth is not like a pot

Soils for Containers and Bonsai



Will
 

FOX7591

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thanks Will
that makes sense to me now, in still a bit new to this so that really clears things up for me.

i just have another question



im in gr 11 so and i work a lot too so basically i have no time to water, what else would retain water a lot so i owuldnt have to worry about my plants drying out.
 

Rick Moquin

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i have no time to water, what else would retain water a lot so i owuldnt have to worry about my plants drying out.
... don't take this the wrong way, but you find time, or give up the hobby.

Watering is but a portion of what we do, albeit the most important portion. A proper draining soil as you have come to find out by now is of paramount importance. You will be watering once a day or every second day. A lot of folks work etc... and still find the time to water their trees. Outdoor trees take little time to water compared to indoor tropicals. Should you still find that time to water is too short, then may I boldly suggest you do not acquire any more trees until your schedule permits looking after them, because as mentioned watering is only one aspect of bonsai that is time consuming.
 
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Rick hit the nail right on the head, if you do not have time to water, you do not have time for bonsai.

During the warmer months here when my trees need constant attention, I set my alarm an hour earlier and water in the mornings and then again when I get home, if needed.

My tropicals which are inside during the cold months, can be attended to also in the mornings or more likely at night before I go to bed.

There are always automated watering systems, but I like the hands on experience.



Will
 

Graydon

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Rick hit the nail right on the head, if you do not have time to water, you do not have time for bonsai.

There are always automated watering systems, but I like the hands on experience.
... don't take this the wrong way, but you find time, or give up the hobby.

Watering is but a portion of what we do, albeit the most important portion. A proper draining soil as you have come to find out by now is of paramount importance. You will be watering once a day or every second day. A lot of folks work etc... and still find the time to water their trees. Outdoor trees take little time to water compared to indoor tropicals. Should you still find that time to water is too short, then may I boldly suggest you do not acquire any more trees until your schedule permits looking after them, because as mentioned watering is only one aspect of bonsai that is time consuming.
I disagree. A sound alternative would be to build an automatic watering system.

I built an automated system to water my material because I usually have no time to water. For the most part I work from sun up to hours after normal people have eaten dinner and are falling asleep watching the television. I have never lost a tree to lack of water. I check the function of the components weekly even if that means doing it with a flashlight after dark.

I miss the interaction of hand watering a bit I suppose but I have found I now leave the material alone and let it grow or develop. When I do have a day free to tend to stuff I am always happily surprised at the progress that has occurred in my absence.
 
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"There are always automated watering systems, but I like the hands on experience."


Watering time for me is also a time to inspect my trees, being there gives me the opportunity to check for pests, damage, etc. However, if for some reason I could not water myself, an automated system would be an alternative to consider.

Bonsai require much more time than simply watering, as we all know well. ;)



Will
 
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Many of us lack the time to water as we would like. Boon waters or has an assistant water three or more times daily. Here on the prairie where it's hot and windy, watering by hand alone is not an option. For about $50 plus a timer from www.dripworks.com, I was able to build a misting system for my tables that I could have come on at about 2 PM for long enough to soak the trees. So I can water before I go to work, know that my trees are going to get what they need while I am gone, and check when I get home to see if anything needs to be topped off.

Is it ideal? No. But it works. I don't lose out on the close inspection or time with the trees, and I don't have to make a two hour round trip to water in the middle of the day. For those of us who don't make our livings from our collections, or those who have so many trees (nurseries, etc.), automatic watering should be axiomatic.
 

Rick Moquin

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Sorry folks...

I hear, accept and honour your opinions. Please understand his post. "I am in Gr 11 and work, and I am too busy I do not have time to water."

My interpretation:

Water is but one thing, trees have other needs as well. If one does not have the time to water because of "ones" busy life at the moment, then one either finds time or gives up bonsai until one has the time to practice this hobby. A lot of folks salivate over cute dwarfed trees in ceramic pots, but do not have the slightest clue of the commitment towards their maintenance.

Irrigation system is a way to go for sure, but I am looking at the bigger picture here. When I was in Gr11 the last thing on my mind was bonsai ;) ;)

I hate blowing sunshine, I am just being honest
 
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FOX7591

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its ok i didnt take it the wrong way,
i have waterting my plants fit into my schedule i just want to know i planter box mix was ok in a mix for water retension
 
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its ok i didnt take it the wrong way,
i have waterting my plants fit into my schedule i just want to know i planter box mix was ok in a mix for water retension
Add more pine or fir bark, not potting soil. ;)
 

Rick Moquin

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Bonsais are trees in pots not plants in pots and in doing so have different needs and requirements. The majority do not like wet roots or a medium that stays wet for extended periods. Since you are young and have your entire life ahead of you, why not plant them out in the ground and let mother nature look after them. You can still apply bonsai techniques to them in growing out stock and be further ahead in years to come. Just my .02
 

FOX7591

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thanks but i dot have the option of growning on the ground because of farm animals and the fact that in the summer we r moving so the trees might not make it if i plant the trees in the ground now and dig them up so soon, plus the climalte different.
but anyways im not gonna be giving up this hobby i like it its a science and its never the same.

thanks for all of the opinions dont be afraid of saying anything nothing bothers me, especially if it something over the net haha :p
 
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