New growth on Lodgepole pine

Peter44

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I collect Lodgepole pines here in the Mountains. I usually don't get a lot of growth or bud back in the summer so this year I decided to change my fertilizer and now not only did I get some good growth (very long needles) but got lots of bud backs on branches etc and those buds are pushing needles now! What a difference. I will assume that I should probably protect these with the buds pushing needles in cold winter weather or maybe they will be done at that point. Nice to know that Lodgepoles will bud back like this with a different fertilizer application. Comments appreciated.
 

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Peter44

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No, I use 0-10-10 in fall and winter months only and then, for the last two years, have used Bonsai Pro @ 7-9-5 with very little growth and about no bud back. This year I used Miracle Grow @ 30-10-10 early and 24-8-16 later on. All of my Lodgepoles have 2-5 buds on the ends of branches ready for next spring and numerous new buds and needles pushing as shown. I'm sure what I did was not all right, but it did show me what a different fertilizer could do.
 

0soyoung

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Good nitrogen nutrition is essential for budding.

30-10-10 has roughly 4 times the nitrogen per unit than 7-9-5 (4x7=28). In other words, if you applied approximately the same amount of Miracle Grow as you have Bonsai Pro, you gave your trees about 4 times more nitrogen (of course, that is nitrogen available to the tree, some amount of which was actually utilized/adsorbed by the tree as opposed to washed out in the drain water).

Happy you've got buds, btw :)
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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Trees need nitrogen to grow. A 0-10-10 is absolutely wrong. That fertilizer was developed for London, at the Royal Gardens at Kew. It was developed at a time when homes were heated with coal, and the smog season began in autumn. The rain washing through the smog supplied the gardens with an excess of nitrogen in the form of the various nitrous oxides that form in smog. This was the 1860s through the 1890s, it was a great formula at the time, because the air pollution provided all the nitrogen needed for the garden. Just add phosphorous and potassium and you have cabbages as big as your head. The recommendation to use a 0-10-10 was for autumn and winter, in spring you went back to a high nitrogen formulation, because the heating with coal season had ended.

Then London required the removal of the coal stoves for heating residences, by 1950 the "London Smog" was a thing of the past, and suddenly London vegetable gardens needed nitrogen fertilizers.

Unfortunately, because GARDENING BOOKS, do not require extensive research, and are for hobbyists, nobody bothered to look at current agricultural research. Every f***ing GARDENING book has repeated the same bad information over an over for 150 years, without ever going to primary sources for the current information on plant nutrition. Ask a farmer, he'll tell you he never using anything like a 0-10-10. Its just bad science.

I suggest you throw out your 0-10-10 and use either your 30-10-10 or your 24-8-16, year round. The other fertilizers are just bad science.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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Your improved growth shows the importance of adequate nitrogen in your fertilizer.

I use a 12-1-4 and a 11-1-6 around my yard and I am quite happy with the buds my trees make.

The proportions of nutrients the tree ACTUALLY use is roughly 12-1-4 with calcium being 12, magnesium being 3 or 4, sulfur 2, and a long list of micros.
When the nitrogen source is as nitrate, potassium is needed in the active chemistry used by the plant to absorb the nitrogen, so a nitrate based fertilizer should have nitrogen and potassium levels roughly equal. If a fertilizer has its nitrogen in the form of ammonia or as amines, then the amount of potassium needed is only the 4, required for other metabolic processes in the plant.

These nutrition ratios are surprisingly stable across all species of plants. Seaweed to sequoia, they all need roughly 12-1-4, with only minor percentage changes for individual species.

Fertilizer companies are in the business of making money. They don't care if it works, they only care if it sells. So if enough consumers ask for a "balanced blend" meaning a 10-10-10, they will make it and for the farmers they will make a 12-1-4 or a 12-1-13. THey sell much more of the "modern nutrition formulas", much more in terms of thousands of tons more of the modern formulas.

So that "Balanced formula" 10-10-10 is really imbalanced to what the plant actually uses.

Interestingly, the ratio of nutrient usage does not change, winter, spring, summer, autumn. It remains constant. What changes is the total amount needed. In slow growth in winter, you only need a very dilute solution of a 12-1-4. In late spring and early summer, you need a much higher concentration of 12-1-4. But the ratio the plants actually use remains constant.
 

sorce

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What else changed?

Sorce
 

Peter44

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How long from now until the first frosts in your area Peter?


My first frost could be mid to late Sept. Thanks why I was thinking I will have to protect these trees until at least the needles are pushed clear out. I can do that.
 

sorce

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What about years established in the pot?

This is one that a lot of people take for granted.

I'm not doubting the fert in total, I just believe it is impossible to credit it in full.

Sorce
 

Peter44

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Trees need nitrogen to grow. A 0-10-10 is absolutely wrong. That fertilizer was developed for London, at the Royal Gardens at Kew. It was developed at a time when homes were heated with coal, and the smog season began in autumn. The rain washing through the smog supplied the gardens with an excess of nitrogen in the form of the various nitrous oxides that form in smog. This was the 1860s through the 1890s, it was a great formula at the time, because the air pollution provided all the nitrogen needed for the garden. Just add phosphorous and potassium and you have cabbages as big as your head. The recommendation to use a 0-10-10 was for autumn and winter, in spring you went back to a high nitrogen formulation, because the heating with coal season had ended.

Then London required the removal of the coal stoves for heating residences, by 1950 the "London Smog" was a thing of the past, and suddenly London vegetable gardens needed nitrogen fertilizers.

Unfortunately, because GARDENING BOOKS, do not require extensive research, and are for hobbyists, nobody bothered to look at current agricultural research. Every f***ing GARDENING book has repeated the same bad information over an over for 150 years, without ever going to primary sources for the current information on plant nutrition. Ask a farmer, he'll tell you he never using anything like a 0-10-10. Its just bad science.

I suggest you throw out your 0-10-10 and use either your 30-10-10 or your 24-8-16, year round. The other fertilizers are just bad science.

Leo, Very good info. I use(d) the 0-10-10 because I was told to use that in the off season when dormant. I'll pitch it and use what you suggested. I do want to talk with you about what you mean by "diluted" and "higher" concentrations of the fertilizers.
 

Peter44

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What about years established in the pot?

This is one that a lot of people take for granted.

I'm not doubting the fert in total, I just believe it is impossible to credit it in full.

Sorce
This is there second season in grow pots, and I do agree that definitely has something to do with it. I do think if I had used the Bonsai Pro again this year, I would not have had nearly the success with buds and back budding that I did.
 

Housguy

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Nice Peter, the one I collected in 2016 is growing nicely as well, not back budding as well as yours, but really healthy and has been in same garden can since 2016. I want to pinch it back though to help promote back budding, have you tried that yet on your Lodge?
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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Interesting... do you have a source link?

I wrote a couple lectures on fertilizer, I give one to orchid societies, and a slightly different one to bonsai societies. I do not have the text of the lectures "on line" as I want your local society to pay me to come on out and give a talk live and in person. It is one of the dozen minor income streams I have that total up to just barely making a living. However, I do have 2 articles in particular that I base my talks upon as references on my somewhat out of date website. (i've partly retired from the lecture circuit originally for health reasons, and continued due to Covid19. Anyway, the article by Richard Lockwood 2013 includes a long list of references. So start with the R. Lockwood article, and check the references he cites.

Jan Szryn wrote the lecture notes from 2011. She is still on faculty as Michigan State University. She is part of the group of researchers at MSU that developed a number of fertilizer formulations for the potted plant industry.

Bill Argo is a principal at Blackstone Co., he runs one of the larger fertilizer companies in USA. His article is from work he did in conjunction with Michigan State University. The 2003 article is the predecessor work to the work of Szryn 2011, and Lockwood 2013.

The other links on the page are useful but not curated to specifically support me.

 

Leo in N E Illinois

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Leo, Very good info. I use(d) the 0-10-10 because I was told to use that in the off season when dormant. I'll pitch it and use what you suggested. I do want to talk with you about what you mean by "diluted" and "higher" concentrations of the fertilizers.

You can call me anytime. :cool:

By dilute, I mean fewer teaspoons per gallon concentration, by higher concentration, I mean just adding more teaspoons per gallon.

In autumn, when trees are nearly dorman, I will use a dilute 1/4 teaspoon per gallon solution of my 12-1-4. This works out to about 40 parts per million as Nitrogen concentration. In late spring, when trees are awake and growing and using larger amounts of nutrients I will does the water at 1 teaspoon per gallon, this yields a roughly 160 ppm concentration as Nitrogen. On the average, I use about 1/2 teaspoon per gallon or roughly 80 ppm as nitrogen.

All three dose rates above are relatively low, and can be applied as frequently as once a week.

If you are a vegetable gardener, often commercial fertilizer packaging will suggest using more than a tablespoon per gallon of their fertilizers, yielding strong solutions, often upwards of 1000 parts per million as Nitrogen. So I am not using overly concentrated doses.

If you want, contact me (PM) and I'll get you samples of the fertilizers I use.
 

Forsoothe!

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I have alerted the Fertilizer Police about @Peter43½'s use of high P and they have assured me that he/she/it will be arrested soon for being one brick short of a load and abusing trees.
 
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