Rooting powder .....why not branching powder?

Joe Dupre'

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A guy can dream, can't he? You slap on rooting powder and it encourages root growth. I'm just wondering if there could be some kind of compound to apply in the area of adventicious buds to stimulate them to sprout. It's basically all a chemical-based system.
 

KiwiPlantGuy

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Hi,
GA3 is a growth hormone that might work. Not sure about the adventitious buds though, as GA3 needs green leaves to grow more green leaves and so on.

@Wires_Guy_wires will have a far greater knowledge regarding this area.

Interesting idea, and easily possible I would think.
Charles
 

Jzack605

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I’m following this.

My cornus kousa chopped tree is starting to sucker and bud slowly but I’ve been wondering if there was a way to control where it suckers out from.
 

Joe Dupre'

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I'm thinking some kind of auxin compound applied over adventitious buds might stimulate budding. On some trees, like chinese elms, you can see hundreds of adv. buds all over the trunk. It would be nice to pinpoint exactly where you want a branch to form.
 

Shibui

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On of our growers was trying keiki paste to stimulate buds on a prunus mume. Keiki paste is used by orchid growers to stimulate new growth on orchid stems. It is a cytokinin in a lanolin base. He reported some buds forming but I haven't seen any follow up.
 
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Hi,
GA3 is a growth hormone that might work. Not sure about the adventitious buds though, as GA3 needs green leaves to grow more green leaves and so on.

@Wires_Guy_wires will have a far greater knowledge regarding this area.

Interesting idea, and easily possible I would think.
Charles
Thanks, this is kind of my area. Always nice to discuss! I'll try to stick with the human-talk to keep things comprehensible.

Gibberilins or Gibberilic acids tend to affect the energy 'household' affecting dormancy and foliage size. I had an accident once with a citrus and gave it a little too much of GA3 or GA6, and it turned into a dwarf. 75% foliage reduction for 6 consecutive years, just a month ago the first 'real' sized leaf popped up.

2-IP is an adventitious branching enforcer, but it can also produce a whole bunch of suckers at the base of a plant. Epi-brassinolide does somewhat the same, but not all plants respond to it equally, it tends to have stronger effects when combined with an auxin. But Brassinolide is hard to come by at high concentrations, I have 2% powder of the stuff and a pinhead size amount dissolved in a tea cup of water produced 10+ suckers on my tropicals.

6-benzylaminopurine or 6-BAP/BAP is a pretty strong branching hormone. This one too works most effectively when paired with an auxin at roughly a 1:4 ratio of auxin:cytokinin. BAP is pretty strong in it's effects, it can be dissolved in heated ethanol (60 degrees C, use as a spray when cooled) or in some hydrochloric acid (then water it down to the right concentration). Sprays work less effectively compared to soil drenches.
This cytokinin can cause dwarfism, stall growth, or turn your literati into a broom style. It shortens internode length by quite a bit. It also inhibits root growth. But when done right, it can increase adventitious branching by a tenfold. Skipping a few years of clip and grow.
This growth however, cannot be directed. The stuff is transported throughout the entire plant and will have it's effects wherever it ends up.
I'm battling with juvenile (needle) growth on crappy junipers, and I think BAP is something I want to try to see if it counters the effects of serious trim backs by inhibiting auxin effects. Why? Because when auxins are applied to junipers in excess, they convert to needle foliage. Inhibiting those auxins might work. It might also increase foliage density. Don't try this at home, I'm going to do this so you don't have to risk a tree.

BAP coupled with auxin and acetic acid is a serious stress reductor. I once made a mixture and applied it to corn. The control group died within 3 weeks without water. The experimental group survived 6+ weeks without water. When I tried to commercialize the stuff, I found that 45.000 bucks of admission fees just to get it tested and ready for the market were a bit too much for me. I'm putting this out here because it might save the world one day with that whole climate change going on. The concentrations are for the world to find out.. There are millions of dollars to be earned, go for it.

Zeatin, originating from corn seed, is also a minor cytokinin. It's effects are more variable (zero effect or minor effect) and less powerful. If you want to increase branching without seriously screwing over your design, this might be the right stuff.

But, there's a whole bunch of buts..
1. These hormones affect the entire plant. You can't direct single branches or parts of a tree.
2. The concentrations needed can vary from plant to plant, 6mg/L can be enough for one red pine, but not the other. Who knows? Science does. Check google scholar for literature before you use any of these.
3. There's a serious chance these hormones screw over your design. You might get branches on the trunk, but also on some roots, or below the trunk, or fifteen new apexes or all of those at the same time.
4. These are chemicals in pure form. Some of which are known carcinogens, and some cannot be used without proper knowledge and skills about handling chemicals. This isn't table sugar, you need gloves and proper protection handling this stuff. Lab skills are required and you'll need some to do some algebra to calculate concentrations (that's why they teach you those things at school, if you've ever wondered about when you're going to use algebra in real life). ALWAYS check the entire MSDS.
5. Effect might linger for days or sometimes decades, and your tree might stall for roughly the same amount of time. Is that a risk worth taking? Waiting 10 years for the tree to recover and start growing again is not something I'd sign up for.
6. Some plants don't respond at all to a certain hormone. Do some research before you buy the stuff.
7. Effects can sometimes cause plants to lose sensitivity to certain other hormones. Suddenly, your air layers don't root anymore and your cuttings are failing. Why? Because of inhibition. Unfortunately, these effects can stay in place for generations after the application. There's convincing evidence that application of agent orange (containing 2,4-D; an auxin) has caused entire plant communities to become unresponsive to auxins. I have plants from one of those communities and they cannot be air layered and they cannot be reproduced through cuttings.. They just don't respond anymore. Reproduction from seed has a 90% dropout rate because some plants lack the alternatives to those auxins, they miss out on important signalling and just die after germinating.
8. Most hormones have limited shelf life and if your plant is bound to seasonal growth, applications in summer might do nothing, while applications in spring do a whole lot. When is the right time? I don't know. Science does, I think.

This list can go on for some time. It's always good to read up on this stuff before you try any of it, and it's better to use it only on plants you don't mind losing or stalling.
The world of plant signalling and hormones is wonderful, but please be cautious about your health, the health of your family and pets. And please do your homework before you even consider buying a hormone. These effects are irreversible, so make sure you know what you're signing up for. There are hundred of techniques to do basically the same, with no external application of hormones. That's the sport of bonsai, is it not?
Hormones can be seen as cheating, and parts of the community will consider it cheating. I think it's just making good use of the tools we have created as humans, but many people disagree. And they're not entirely wrong, I mean, we are in fact hacking the system. But to do that right, you need at least basic knowledge about the system and the hack you're applying and some extensive testing.
Also check your local laws, some of these chemicals can be used to do other things. You don't want to get arrested for owning illegal stuff when you're just trying to grow some plants. Make sure that you're doing nothing illegal. Also keep all documentation within reach at all times. I wish I didn't have to say this, but I know a few gardeners that should have heard this before they started experimenting.
 

fredman

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@Wires_Guy_wires What do you think of aloe vera gel straight from the plant as a rooting substance?
I hear claimes and seen a few videos where its used for that. You're thoughts plz...
 

Joe Dupre'

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Wow, lots of information! This idea popped into my mind and I had no idea that there were any scientific studies on it. As potent as some of this stuff appears to be, I'm wondering if a TINY speck of it applied directly on an adventitious bud would do anything.
 

JacobL'etoile

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BAP coupled with auxin and acetic acid is a serious stress reductor. I once made a mixture and applied it to corn. The control group died within 3 weeks without water. The experimental group survived 6+ weeks without water. When I tried to commercialize the stuff, I found that 45.000 bucks of admission fees just to get it tested and ready for the market were a bit too much for me. I'm putting this out here because it might save the world one day with that whole climate change going on. The concentrations are for the world to find out.. There are millions of dollars to be earned, go for it
Get some venture capital, then market the product to golf courses/ home lawns. There water stress is a huge deal and lots of time money and resources go into mitigating it. Also anything with a turf label costs 2x as much. Use that money to develop a product with benefits to people other than golfers and subdivision lawn owners. Ive been a turf farmer my whole life.
 

Bonsai Nut

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I'm thinking some kind of auxin compound applied over adventitious buds might stimulate budding. On some trees, like chinese elms, you can see hundreds of adv. buds all over the trunk. It would be nice to pinpoint exactly where you want a branch to form.
Actually you want the exact opposite. It is the absence of auxin (and presence of cytokinin) that triggers bud development.
 
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Get some venture capital, then market the product to golf courses/ home lawns. There water stress is a huge deal and lots of time money and resources go into mitigating it. Also anything with a turf label costs 2x as much. Use that money to develop a product with benefits to people other than golfers and subdivision lawn owners. Ive been a turf farmer my whole life.
Go ahead and do it, you have my blessing. I tried, and it took just too much effort and money to get to European markets. And drought isn't a serious issue yet. It did cost me around a year and a full months pay to figure out if the stuff was going to be labeled as 'plant enhancer' or 'nutrient additive', and that was only for the admission. The actual admission itself and the testing, as well as setting up a compound to start production, is out of my financial reach by miles. I'm in science to help the world, not to make myself a load of money, or to spend a load of money that I don't have. The components are out here, the market is yours. And in all honesty, if you get these hormones, you'd just have to find out the right concentrations.. I have those written down, but it should take anyone anywhere in the world less than 6 months and just a few dollars to find them out themselves. I did it for less than 20 bucks.. 14,63 euros to be exact. Corn seed was actually the most expensive part.


@fredman I've heard about aloe extracts, but they're about the same as coconut water; sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. And even with the same brand, and even in the same batch of the same brand, we've found major differences. A few years ago the company I worked for wanted to reduce environmental pressure by switching from purely chemical hormones to somewhat natural replacements, like coconut water. If it worked, it would have saved us money and we would just need a few coconuts instead of 20 plastic bottles, 5 weighing scales and a tonne of glasswork and coolers and freezers and manual labor. But after some extensive testing, we did found the hormones we were looking for, just not at a reliably steady concentration. So yes, it could work, but it's a shot in the dark. Some coconut water is made from extracts, some from straight coconut juice. The same goes with aloe extracts; if they're dried in the sun, then forget about the hormones. If they're freeze dried, then you'd have a chance as long as the bottles have been kept in the dark and do not contain too many other materials that could breakdown the hormones.. That's just too many variables.
But man, if that would have worked.. Indole butyric acid (IBA) the auxin, breaks down into indole and butyric acid. Butyric acid smells like.. Well, if you've ever been to the bathroom in a busy office building after the morning coffee, that's about the same smell. Coconut would be so much better!


@Joe Dupre' A tiny spec would not be taken up by the plant, the outer cell wall is meant to keep things out, and it does a pretty good job! Hormones need to be dissolved in water (or alcohol) to work. It's their transporter. But, a bit of auxin on a dormant bud could wake it up. Bud development, as in: "starting to make a bud from almost scratch" is actually cytokinin based as Bonsai Nut says. But getting that bud to grow/elongate is an auxin (and to some extent gibberilin and a cascade of other hormones) response. That's why I recommend coupling auxins with cytokinins. It's one thing to get side-branches, but if they don't elongate much and just throw of secondary, tertiary and quaternary branches while not elongating, they're pretty much worthless. Not whorlless, because that's in fact, quite literally, just a bunch of whorls. Use these things with caution.
 

JacobL'etoile

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Go ahead and do it, you have my blessing. I tried, and it took just too much effort and money to get to European markets.
I'm a farmer because being an engineer and sitting inside at a bench or computer drove me crazy. I grew up a farmer, became an engineer, went back too farming. Wasted a ton of money on a degree I dont need or want:/ i didnt realise you were in the EU, I know here in the states there would be a real demand for that type of product, and being a "nutrient" is regulatoraly better, cheaper and faster. Heck, if I could get an extra week without drought stress I could water half as much as I do, to not at all.

10 years ago maybe I would have tried:)
 

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