Tropical summer and pests=hell

Clicio

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So far this growing season we had:
Fungus gnats, aphids, red spider mites, scales, white fly, some unknown/undetermined pests on our plants.
Healthy trees, plenty of air circulation, draining soils, morning sun.
How do you deal with that? Every morning a new surprise! I don't want to spend all my little money on neem, soaps, bayer 3in1, gnats traps and Daconil.
@Anthony , any issues in Trinidad?
 

GGB

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Sounds like my backyard last summer. Chemicals are great for saving a tree's life but it sounds like something is out of whack in your garden. Maybe pots staying too wet? I don't know anything about your location or growing methods but typically a healthy tree is fairly immune to pests. I believe my pest attacks were caused by poor drainage ad over fertilizing leading to weakened trees. My two cents. Good luck
 

Clicio

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Maybe pots staying too wet?

Thanks for the answer!
I am sure I am not overwatering, soils are draining well, I avoid too much organics in my mix, and besides the Pinus, if I water the tropicals any less in this 35C every day summer, they dry and die; I've lost a couple already due to underwatering.
On the other hand, I am not fond of chemicals at all, so...
 
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sorce

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How do you deal with that?

For some reason we read "Red Spider Mite" a lot....

Well for years or had me killing them big juicy .."Red Spider Mites"...

Until last year when I watched one systematically walk up and down each needle of a spruce branch, in clear predator fashion.

I stopped killing them.

Remember, my trees spent 6 years on Apartment windowsills, brick and mortar that those red guys love!

And Only the last couple seasons here on the ground, atop wooden benches, with only a few trees near a brick wall...
And while the environment isn't that "Red Spider Mite"'s preferred...

My number of "real damaging mite" infested trees, has been very reflective of the number of the "Red Spider Mites" I see so far.

So I would say their numbers are a very accurate sign of the extent of a "real damaging mite" infestation.

Mite I invite you to observe these things in your tropical....uh.... @Carol 83, heaven?! Lol!

Since I've had a set up I can more actively and easily observe, my pesticide free methods have been more successful, that, and a more ....

Yes...like @GGB said...."out of whack"....

Since using the fish more, and less to NO MORE chemical ferts, (except a little in winter)...finding a more "alive" soil..
Which is really just straight 8822 DE with mad fish and what moss covering bring, centipedes, earthworms, etc..
Giving me healthier trees....
Just not overpruning and overworking trees goes a long way.

Sorce
 

sorce

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daeddc32-4b61-4734-bd9a-7ea981fec91d_1.32fc4b9a6b9c7cdf2c7caa0d08a36462.jpeg

I must not have left it in a "cool dry" place, cuz it doesn't smell like fish anymore....
It smells like straight sewage...

But it seems to work better!

This same stuff builds up on the insode of a fish Tank filter....

I would, matter of fact...soon I will...take some of it off my filters and use it just the same.

Bloody hell....soon! Cuz the ginseng\Ben ficus cuttings have rooted firmly to the inside of it!

Sorce
 

GGB

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Should have mentioned it, @sorce beat me to it. Red spider mites are good. They live in my larch soil and always have. Last year I decided to nuke em and that's when my real mite problem started. I also have that brand of fish fertilizer, halfway through last season is when I switched to miracle gro. Once again it went hand in hand with a battery of insect problems. I'm not trying to pinpoint anything you're doing wrong so much as sharing what I think l did wrong last season that ended in tons of pests. Plenty of folks on here use miraclegro with great results and some kill every bug they see. But I'm a hippy on a budget and a happy ecosystem seems most sensible for me and my tiny garden. Perhaps you've changed up an old practice recently?
 

Clicio

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Red spider mites are good. I'm not trying to pinpoint anything you're doing wrong. Perhaps you've changed up an old practice recently?

Yes, maybe. Fertilizing a lot while the season goes strong, using slow release BioGold and liquid chemicals once a week.
I'll try to stop the chemicals and see what happens, thank you.
 

Carol 83

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For some reason we read "Red Spider Mite" a lot....

Well for years or had me killing them big juicy .."Red Spider Mites"...

Until last year when I watched one systematically walk up and down each needle of a spruce branch, in clear predator fashion.

I stopped killing them.

Remember, my trees spent 6 years on Apartment windowsills, brick and mortar that those red guys love!

And Only the last couple seasons here on the ground, atop wooden benches, with only a few trees near a brick wall...
And while the environment isn't that "Red Spider Mite"'s preferred...

My number of "real damaging mite" infested trees, has been very reflective of the number of the "Red Spider Mites" I see so far.

So I would say their numbers are a very accurate sign of the extent of a "real damaging mite" infestation.

Mite I invite you to observe these things in your tropical....uh.... @Carol 83, heaven?! Lol!

Since I've had a set up I can more actively and easily observe, my pesticide free methods have been more successful, that, and a more ....

Yes...like @GGB said...."out of whack"....

Since using the fish more, and less to NO MORE chemical ferts, (except a little in winter)...finding a more "alive" soil..
Which is really just straight 8822 DE with mad fish and what moss covering bring, centipedes, earthworms, etc..
Giving me healthier trees....
Just not overpruning and overworking trees goes a long way.

Sorce
No mites here. I spray them a couple times before coming in. Not been a problem.
 

Gustavo Martins

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Hi Ciclio,

There's a Brazilian guy who has a bonsai youtube channel (bonsai on-line) and he is from Rio. Maybe give him a call?
 

Clicio

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There's a Brazilian guy who has a bonsai youtube channel (bonsai on-line) and he is from Rio. Maybe give him a call?

Yes, he seems to be a nice guy. But I've been asking around and most people in bonsai here have the same problems.
It's not that they are killing my trees, but are an endless nuisance .
 

Anthony

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Using a mild 1/3 strength Miracle Gro lawn fertiliser [ 12 N -0 p - 2 K20 - 1 S and a trace of Chelated Fe ]
Note the K is K20 so it less than 2 k.

Compost at less than 3 parts to 7 parts inorganic.

2 things, the compost feeds microbes, and the plants roots can handle N and K and so on.
Compost with use becomes inorganic, improves drainage.

Dry season ends June or so ------------- then no real fertilisng as the rain takes over.
Rain will stop around September for 2 weeks - some fertiliser.

The effect is growth that is tough and bitter, only grasshoppers and leaf cutting ants will
bite. No other insects save for little pill bugs and centipedes [ congaree ]

X years down the road - Full Sun, Breeze, No plants touch each other and no standing of
the same tree next to each other.
Good Day
Anthony
 

Anthony

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Clicio,

here's one for you. 6.45 p.m Humidity 45%.
Last night was around 18 deg,C and expected the same tonight.
Great Tropics.
Anthony -------------- and you are welcome!!!
 

Anthony

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Clicio,

I don't know if this will help, but when we re-pot, we simply slice away
the sides and bottom, how much depends on the size of the root ball
in the pot.

We only bare root if the tree is in poor soil.
Though a tree can in 24 hours re-grow fine feeder roots.
Bare rooting can knock off active growing for 2 or 3 months.
It is much more noticeable on non-natives.

If after ground growing there are large roots to remove, a stay in
the colander will reduce the shock, by encouraging the tree to grow fine
feeder roots.
See the topic - A Map
So after ground growing in a colander, the tree is left to regain fine feeder
roots.

When we remove from the colander to go to the refinement stage [ a
large plastic bonsai pot --------- we have a height/width limit of 39 to 48
cm - Gets too heavy. ]
The damage is considerably less, because of the root system developed
by the colander ------------ also this is refinement and it is okay to have
slower recovery growth.

Most of our shift to the refinement stage, is done when we repot anytime
after January 2nd.
Our air temperature at night is normally around 22 - 25 deg.C's.

Thus a month after a repot, we start a fertiliser programme.

Around March to say June, the tree handles all the soil in the pot, and rain cannot
affect it's continued progress.
Too much rain and the tree stops growing, which is natural for our
trees in landscape.
It is not natural to have trees growing all year long as is assumed of the
Tropics.
To dry and they also rest, and flower.

They all rest from Christmas until mid February or so.No new growth.
Good Day
Anthony
 

bonsai-ben

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Additives I use in Orlando, and have no pest or fungus issues ever after having begun the routine. A bit of information combination from wigerts/schley/rogers all in one. This works in my garden

1.) Talstar - 1st of month
2.) Avid - 15th of month
3.) Daconil during wet season and on certain trees, especially maples / pines (needlecast preventative) / azaleas
4.) Ronstar G for weeds, sprinkle that shit on like salting a steak on your soil. No weeds. Pluck existing weeds if any first and well, ronstar doesnt kill weeds it just prevents them

As to dosage just read the label.
 

Random User

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I doubt what I have to say will help you much because we don't share the same climate at all, but as a WAG, I'd say that you are lacking beneficial predatory bugs... like lady bugs. (harmonia axyridis) if you could buy them in bulk through a vendor, you're problems might be largely solved.

For aphid infestations outdoors, you could try putting a pepper plant in contact with the foliage on the tree that you're trying to save... aphids love peppers (and other particular plants), but they don't grow wings to fly until they have over-populated the plant that they are on... making an "artificial land-bridge" might cause many of them to go to the pepper plant, then I'd simply destroy the pepper plant once it was infested (and isolate the soil the pepper plant was in from your regular garden mix, or sterilize it).

As a (possibly annoying) side note, there was some discussion about BRTs the other day, and someone asking for pictures of actual mature Brazilian Rain Trees from a natural setting. There doesn't seem to be many pictures of this species as a mature tree on the Internet... would you have pictures of BRTs, or know where we could go to view some of them online?
 

Clicio

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As a (possibly annoying) side note, there was would you have pictures of BRTs, or know where we could go to view some of them online?

First of all, thanks for the valuable information!
Yes, there's one near my place, and many BRTs in the North and Northeast.
Some pictures:

F6E81186-D0CE-44B0-8ECF-B72B5A9CC4CD.png
1804FF98-3B15-4CF1-8FC5-75C24F3ABDCC.png
 

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