Stressing for Age

ghues

Omono
Messages
1,327
Reaction score
2,168
Location
Campbell River BC Canada
USDA Zone
7b
With most living things the more stress that it receives the quicker it ages or appears to age beyond its actual age. I'm sure we've all seen this with many things including trees.
We can collect the old wild things (yamadori) which have the old characteristics that make fine specimens or for those that have time you can try it with much younger trees.
I've tried it on many conifers and within 6-7 years I'm getting bark characteristics (flaky scales = sitka spruce)that comes much later in life. Its about balancing the health of the tree, stressing it by holding off watering during the spring and backing off the fertilizer.
Have others tried this too or have ideas on the topic.
Cheers G
 

rockm

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
9,683
Reaction score
12,367
Location
Fairfax Va.
USDA Zone
7
Actually that's the exact opposite of what I do. A healthy tree performs better than a stressed one. Withholding water and fertilizer is the slow dangerous way of development.
 

jk_lewis

Masterpiece
Messages
3,820
Reaction score
1,108
Location
Western NC
USDA Zone
7-8
Yup. Time is the best tool for aging. I'm 73. I know. <g>

Please remember, the most imprtant element in bonsai is patience.
 

yenling83

Chumono
Messages
906
Reaction score
923
Location
Nipomo, CA
IMO that's not a good way to grow Bonsai. You have to see some of the trees they have grown from seed,cutting and air layer in Japan. In no way do they hold back on fert, water or purposely stress the tree. These trees look really old because they are really old.


Collected tress are a whole other ball game. We can't do what mother nature does to these collected trees to make them look like they do. If you keep stressing a tree, it will just be weak and grow slowly.
 
Messages
136
Reaction score
10
Location
Milwaukie, Oregon
What they said but for one exception--backing off on the watering in the spring. This doesn't have to mean no watering at all, just holding back a bit. I belong to one of Michael Hagedorn's study groups and he advocates just that. "Make them hunt" in early spring, referring to the newly growing roots. If we water too generously in the spring the tree is less likely to grow more roots to seek out water and by the time summer hits, the transition can be rather stressful for some trees. It took me a while to warm to this idea, but I am trying it out this spring and so far, so good. Just some food for thought;)
 

ghues

Omono
Messages
1,327
Reaction score
2,168
Location
Campbell River BC Canada
USDA Zone
7b
Rockm,
I didn't say that the trees are unhealthy far from it....they get fertilizer especially later in the year so that they go into our winters healthy.
I dont have a lot of room to grow trees in the ground to get em nice and big......but many I have started out as seedlings and in a very short time they've produced some "old" features........
Jenling83......I don't have 100's of years to get that type of tree besides I couldn't afford them even if there was a market close to me......just trying to stimulate some discussion here on how to create character without a die grinder or dremel although I do use those from time to time to create features.
Greg...I met Michael up here last fall and we did have some great discussion on growing techniques and I'm still trying to find a local source of pumice as he swears by it.
In my 37 years in the forest industry I know exactly what Michael is saying in getting them to search for moisture as we do the majority of our planting (small seedlings) in the spring but also plant a significant amount in August (when conditions are considerable more dry) and have examined 1000's of different types of root egress development in all sorts of various soil conditions and under very different environmental conditions. So with SOME of my trees I've tried a little stress and like what I see compared to the ones that I've had under a more normal or should I see traditional regime.
Cheers
G
 
Last edited:
Messages
136
Reaction score
10
Location
Milwaukie, Oregon
Rockm,
I didn't say that the trees are unhealthy far from it....they get fertilizer especially later in the year so that they go into our winters healthy.
I dont have a lot of room to grow trees in the ground to get em nice and big......but many I have started out as seedlings and in a very short time they've produced some "old" features........
Jenling83......I don't have 100's of years to get that type of tree besides I couldn't afford them even if there was a market close to me......just trying to stimulate some discussion here on how to create character without a die grinder or dremel although I do use those from time to time to create features.
Greg...I met Michael up here last fall and we did have some great discussion on growing techniques and I'm still trying to find a local source of pumice as he swears by it.
In my 37 years in the forest industry I know exactly what Michael is saying in getting them to search for moisture as we do the majority of our planting (small seedlings) in the spring but also plant a significant amount in August (when conditions are considerable more dry) and have examined 1000's of different types of root egress development in all sorts of various soil conditions and under very different environmental conditions. So with SOME of my trees I've tried a little stress and like what I see compared to the ones that I've had under a more normal or should I see traditional regime.
Cheers
G
I will swear by pumice too. I place all my collected trees in it to acclimate them and man does it encourage root growth! Straight pumice, no other particles. But if you use it that way, it's necessary to fertilize well as there will be no organic available for the tree to utilize. Pumice is a real working particle that absorbs just the right amount of water while still retaining air, so the roots never get water-logged.
 

ghues

Omono
Messages
1,327
Reaction score
2,168
Location
Campbell River BC Canada
USDA Zone
7b
I will swear by pumice too. I place all my collected trees in it to acclimate them and man does it encourage root growth! Straight pumice, no other particles. But if you use it that way, it's necessary to fertilize well as there will be no organic available for the tree to utilize. Pumice is a real working particle that absorbs just the right amount of water while still retaining air, so the roots never get water-logged.
Hi Greg,
Thanks to the web, I've found a location over on the mainland so I'll be looking into getting some if they have the right size......I'll be mixing it with screened "seasoil" which is a local bi-product of the decomposed fish farm waste which has been combined and aged with conifer bark (from the logging industry)...this should make a great combination.
So any other aging techniques?
Cheers
 

ghues

Omono
Messages
1,327
Reaction score
2,168
Location
Campbell River BC Canada
USDA Zone
7b
Bark and Buds

Rockm and Others, here is a photo of the bark and the buds today of the little Sitka Spruce I mentioned...this will be its 6th year on the rock, exposing the soil at each re-potting, last fall I slip potted it and added some new soil and will leave it be this year.
Cheers
G
 

Attachments

noissee

Mame
Messages
135
Reaction score
0
Location
florida panhandle
Pot culture seems to age the bark with some trees (pine, elm, maple, in my experience). I have no idea why.
 

monza

Shohin
Messages
384
Reaction score
6
Location
Alberta, Canada
USDA Zone
3
Hi Greg,
Thanks to the web, I've found a location over on the mainland so I'll be looking into getting some if they have the right size......I'll be mixing it with screened "seasoil" which is a local bi-product of the decomposed fish farm waste which has been combined and aged with conifer bark (from the logging industry)...this should make a great combination.
So any other aging techniques?
Cheers
Ghues are you using the brand Seasoil? I screened some today, really nothing left but bark, and then that bark seems much larger then the rest of my mix. So being hesitant I barely used any, maybe 5% or lees total mix volume.

Sorry can't add to the aging techniques. Grind em and burn em...
 
Similar threads





Top Bottom