lathe cage

sassa

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Hello,
I have been reading Bonsai with maples by Peter Adams and came across this term: lathe cage.(page 26)
It is mentioned for placing maples, I have tried to find it in the dictionary and on Google but nothing.
Does anybody know how this is supposed to look like.

Thanks, Sassa.
 

bonsapien

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I am also reading Peter's book and would like to build one. It would be easier than moving them aroung all the time. :D
 

rockm

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"A lath is a thin, narrow strip of some straight-grained wood or other material, including metal or gypsum. A lattice, or lattice-work, is a criss-crossed or interlaced arrangement of laths, or the pattern made by such an arrangement."

Basically thin wood slats nailed on a frame so there are 1" to 2" spaces between them. The idea is to provide shade. A lath house is not really necessary if you don't have the specific materials. . Anything that provides open shade --including overhead landscaping trees or most species--do the same thing
 

Gene Deci

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I have seen people use 4 ft by 8 ft lattice sheets which are available at Lowes or Home Depot. They are relatively inexpensive, look fine, are easy to use and they do the job.
 

sfhellwig

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Shade cloth isn't real cheap but the structure to hold it can be built very cheaply/easily. It can also be moved during the winter if not needed and used for several years. As I remember those lattice panels are anywhere from $20-30 a piece and would need treating to last. I needed shade for my seedlings this year so I used palettes built up on 2x4's to a height around 30". They are cross-braced enough that unless a tree branch falls on it, they are are not coming down. I gave them one coat of weather proofer so they should be good for a few years. I cut out the slats I didn't want so I know the approx. shade percentages and right now they are wrapped in plastic keeping many plants from additional wind. They only work for first year plants but I have not found a cheap source of thin wooden material. This idea came once I decided that dismantling the palettes was not going to work.

I will have to check the book tonight. I have not re-read it since purchase but remember something about winter storage. The trees are placed in individual "cages" made of a material such as beach fencing. It is also strips of wood spaced on two rows of wire I believe (thus lathe), used to keep the sand from blowing away. The "lathe cage" is an open air wall and perhaps a top surrounding the tree. This way it is protected from additional wind and sunburn but is allowed the rain and snow and some wind. Also eliminates early waking because it's not sealed in plastic and getting too hot on an early Spring day. Adds protection but let's the tree have it's natural winter, less work and failure for you. Let me check but I believe that is what you might be referring to.
 

jk_lewis

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I have seen people use 4 ft by 8 ft lattice sheets which are available at Lowes or Home Depot. They are relatively inexpensive, look fine, are easy to use and they do the job.
But look out! on a windy day if they're not firmly secured. They have huge wind resistance.
 

milehigh_7

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I could not have trees without shade cloth. 75% Shade cloth from Home Depot cut to size fold the edges over a few times put in grommets then attach it to whatever frame you desire. It is required equipment for me. Nothing and I mean nothing gets full summer sun in a pot.
 

Smoke

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I could not have trees without shade cloth. 75% Shade cloth from Home Depot cut to size fold the edges over a few times put in grommets then attach it to whatever frame you desire. It is required equipment for me. Nothing and I mean nothing gets full summer sun in a pot.
You big chicken..... Bwak...bwak....bwak!

Go ahead and give those maples some sun:eek:
 

milehigh_7

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You big chicken..... Bwak...bwak....bwak!

Go ahead and give those maples some sun:eek:
Yes and very soon I would have (and have more than once) potato chips on a stick (in a pot)
 

sfhellwig

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I read through that section and was mistaken. It seems to suggest a protective hut of sorts for all times of the season. It would be nice but I am working to keep them slightly shaded. Let alone in their own slightly enclosed area. The book mentions seeing very healthy maples growing in these "lathe cages" in a very windy area. Also mentions being able to grow maples anywhere as long as you understand how they fit in to your environment. Might be an important step for those that feel they can't grow them, but I can't dedicate any more protection to them over my other D trees. It sure would be nice to see a picture of one of these "lathe cages."
 

sassa

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thank you all for your explanations, now I have an idea of what a lathe cage is supposed to be.

Sassa
 

milehigh_7

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thank you all for your explanations, now I have an idea of what a lathe cage is supposed to be.

Sassa
You should put your location in your profile. Then someone could give you specific help with care.
 

maplesandpaws

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I know this thread is a little old, but I too have just read the section in Adams' book on lathe cages and did a search to see if this was something specific, or just a general open-air wood box for the trees to be placed in for extra protection.

Living in KS, maples - bonsai or otherwise - are challenging to say the least due to our intense summer sun and seemingly never-ending wind. As luck would have it, a few years ago when I was just starting out with bonsai, I came upon a garage sale with what seemed to be a perfect solution for some of my trees. The picture isn't the greatest, but it should give a good idea of what - I'm guessing - Adams is referring to in his book. It has worked out quite well for me, to the point that I am hoping to make a few more, of different dimensions, using my existing one as a guide, for my growing collection of trees period, not just my maples.

If anyone would like more/better/closer shots of my 'lathe cage', I am happy to take them, just let me know.
 

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sfhellwig

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Ah, another KS grower. It is rare to see someone so close to my own area. Unfortunately KS varies so much, even you are a little worse off than I. Out there on the plains, not that I have much to block me but I don't seem to have the wind issues that you and the folks in OK have trouble with. Your "hut" looks quite handy, as long as you can build one big enough to house your biggest tree. I had actually just looked through my own pictures earlier and seen my own shade structure so I will it share it up. The entire frame is 2x4 to keep cost down and the top is "recycled" lumber ripped to 2.5" or so. The goal was 50% shade to save my JM from the summer sun. I not only accomplished my goal with very minor margin burn on the larger pots but I kept a Lion's Head to virtually no burn at all. My smaller trees under the palette shade structures did not fare so well but they are smaller plants. Can't expect too much with over 100 degrees for more than 23 days in a row but I think I fared pretty well.

Should mention none of this is in bonsai pots so I guess I have another level of water management to face in the future as my plants and skills develop.
 

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discusmike

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I have a wood deck attached to my house approx. eight feet off the ground,i built a bench that rests between the wood posts,my maples sit on this bench and the actual decking boards are the shade cloth,was cheap and has worked well for me the last five years,if anyone has a similiar deck,you might want to give it a go.
 

CamdenJim

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Shade cloth

"But look out! on a windy day if they're not firmly secured. They have huge wind resistance."

Yep. Another name for shade bloth is "sail."
 
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