Some things we forget; for beginners

head_cutter

Yamadori
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Simple things that work:

Petting your trees: run your open hand over the top of the foliage lightly and often, it will create (over time) more breaks and denser foliage. Much of the new branching will be horizontal and nice and dense.

Pest control: good ole Ivory Liquid, mixed to the same proportion as Safer Soap, will do just a good a job on most pests.

Drain-hole screen: the best is always galvanized screen--the roots of most trees will avoid it like the plague. No roots near the drain-hole, good constant drainage for a number of years.

'Forever' training box: Jet Net, the same stuff they make commercial cutting boards and counter tops from. Handles the same as wood, screw the parts together. The first one I made was still looking good 11 years later.

Bob
 

bonhe

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Simple things that work:

Petting your trees: run your open hand over the top of the foliage lightly and often, it will create (over time) more breaks and denser foliage. Much of the new branching will be horizontal and nice and dense.

Bob
Hi Bob, that's interesting, because one of my old friend told me this in the past. What is the mechanism? Bonhe
 

Yamadori

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What is the mechanism? Bonhe
Bonhe, Here is what I think you are asking about. From an article called, Plant Tropisms- Investigating Plant Movements Generated by Growth

Tropisms are responses in which the direction of the movement is determined by the direction of the stimuli. Tropisms are growth movements that happen slowly and whose results are irreversible.

If a plant reacts toward the stimuli, this is said to be a positive tropism but if the plant reacts away from the stimuli, this is termed a negative tropism. Plants respond in this fashion to the external forces of gravity, contact (touch), direction of light, water, and fluctuation in temperature.

Thigmotropism is the term applied to growth movements made by plants in response to contact with a solid object. Most such movements are curvatures and they are most impressive in the tendrils of climbing plants. A tendril is a thread – like growth that may be a modified leaf or part of a leaf, or a modified branch. Certain plant families, such as the pea, grape, and gourd, are outstanding in their climbing habits.

The curvature of the tendril that follow contact with a support are the result of increased growth on the side opposite the stimulus. Contact with a solid object causes the auxin to migrate to the side away from the contact. The cells on the far side of the contact lengthen more than those on the contact side and thus the tendril grows around the contact object. In the gourd family (pumpkin, squash, cucumber) a complete coil may form around a support within 1 to 10 minutes after contact, depending on the age of the tendril.
 

head_cutter

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Right, or simpler...most plants recoil from touch. Some react (like most fine foliaged ferns) by just dying back after being touched ot brushed on a regular basis. A friend of mine found this out by accident about 20 years ago when he didn't move his Mum sprayer up as the bench sprayer went back and forth over it, he had shorter, fuller plants that were budded all over with a lot of breaks.
Since then I've always done this when around my trees with good results. :D

Bob
 

rockm

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"Petting your trees: run your open hand over the top of the foliage lightly and often, it will create (over time) more breaks and denser foliage. Much of the new branching will be horizontal and nice and dense.

Drain-hole screen: the best is always galvanized screen--the roots of most trees will avoid it like the plague. No roots near the drain-hole, good constant drainage for a number of years."

Sorry, but some of this is very misleading, illogical and possibly harmful to your trees. Running your hands over your trees won't do much of anything bonsaiwise. If you run your hands over your tree hard enough to break foliage, you can screw up your tree. The reaction you're talking about is best generated with pruning and trimming with shears. Trees, particularly deciduous trees, have resting buds that produce horizontal branching. Those buds are stimulated by pruning hardened twigs. Removing twigs forces hormones (auxins) into resting buds, telling them to open and grow--there's nothing mystical about the process...

Galvanized screen is a VERY bad thing to use in drainage holes. It rusts and corrodes rather quickly, which can lead to failure, which can lead to extensive soil loss. Roots growing through drain holes means you should repot the tree. Galvanized metal can retard root growth away from the drainage hole too. There is no reason to use it.
 

ovation22

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I too have been instructed that petting a pine will in fact damage it's needles and should be discouraged.

For drainage screen we use a fine plastic mesh (that I'm told is used for koi ponds).

I'm sure others have similar or differing experiences to share.
 

head_cutter

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I wasn't trying to start an arguement nor will I participate in one. What I posted was simpy some advice, based on facts learned over the years and, I wasn't alone in doing these things. After a while working Bonsai you get to know what works and what doesn't, experience.
 

rockm

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Forgive me, but my experience with these two things is exactly the opposite. Both aren't necessary and can actually do bad things.

Not trying to start an argument. Just offering what I've seen.
 

bonhe

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Thanks for your information, Yamadori.
Bonhe
 

Wm Tom Davis

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Thanks Head_cutter for mentioning these options.
It was very thoughtful to offer them.
 
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