Whats Going on in Smoke's Backyard?

Smoke

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#62
In the Maple Chronicle thread, I started out with five trees. All of them have been cut back and grown out while one was reserved for an experiment. over the years I totally forgot what the experiment was. The tree had been cut back and was being grown out for a reason to try something, but I forgot about it and it grew out two trunks. They grew out from the chop area. I used the stump and its long leaders for grafting onto other trees over the years as these five trees have very small leaves.
 

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Smoke

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#63
Last year I decided to remove one of the trunks in an effort to regain some of the look of a single trunked tree. It was cut off and sealed and the tree has been allowed to grow unchecked for almost a year and a half. It was over twelve feet high this year.
 

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Smoke

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#64
This year I have decided that the time is right to do the third chop. It was severed off yesterday and the wound dressed with a sharp knife and sealed. The new leader was wired and is elevated to its new position and will now be allowed to thicken for the fourth and final chop maybe next year. Branch building will start now.
 

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Smoke

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#66
On about June 1, I did some pruning on a couple pines. It was a little early but they were growing so strong that I risked enlarging the branches too big and getting them out of shape. The first one is the pine tied in a knot. It is already budding. Small pin head buds popping out everywhere.
 

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Smoke

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#67
The small pine that I wish to make a literati from was heavily pruned and then needle cut. Then it was allowed to bud and then I candle pruned it the same time. It too has pushed many buds. Seems fast in only 5 days.

Woo hoo for fertilizer.
 

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Smoke

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#68
This yaupon holly just seems to find its way to the front of the bench every so often. It has a killer trunk and the branches are getting better. The base is really getting huge. Almost filling the 8 inch pot it is in. the tree is about 7 inches tall.

I might want to start thinking about finding a pot for this one.....
 

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Smoke

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#69
I have a couple maples I have no idea what I am going to do with. One is a field maple, acer campestre and the other is a amur maple, acer ginnala. the amur has a very nice trunk but both are maples that have been cut down and are still needing a few years work before a plan can be made. The amur may be ready before the other though as the trunk and new trunk line shows promise.

Both will be shohin size trees.
 

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jkd2572

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#70
This yaupon holly just seems to find its way to the front of the bench every so often. It has a killer trunk and the branches are getting better. The base is really getting huge. Almost filling the 8 inch pot it is in. the tree is about 7 inches tall.

I have a pot if you want to send it to Texas.
 

Smoke

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#71
I like your "thinking out of the box style"......
 
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#72
Everything looks great al, thanks for sharing. I'm new to pines, but it looks like you may have cut your needles? Any particular reason why you would do that? Or is it just to make them appear shorter this year?
 
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#75
Whaaa? What's that? This is my second season using the Gro-Power cakes...but what's this? Are you just testing it out, or are you switching to it? Is it something you're going to use in combination with other stuff? How was your day today? Did you have a nice day today? What's your favorite color? ;-p
 

Smoke

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#76
Wow, you ready for this?

Technical Al ready to explain his program and why I do it.

Ok here we go. Sometime ago I brought about my dealings with humic acid and its benifits for better growth in bonsai. Nothing new, farmers have been using it for decades. Michael Persiano had it, but didn't know he did. His superfeeding program was totally based on the effect from humic acid but they did not know why it worked. Many tried making the superfeeding poo balls from the list of ingredients he used yet did not see the same effects. Part of the problem was that his recipe contained Roots II fertilizer, a product that contained humic acid. It was not so much the concoction of ingredients he used to make the cake as it had more to do with the application of the humic caid as part of the recipe. Many could not get the roots II and therefore were missing the most important part of the cake. From my point of view he could have had just as good of results by using the roots II on its own and throwing away the concoction of smelly ingredients and flour based fillers to get it to bind.

So an overview of nitrogen and how it works.

the NPK on the label of fertilizer tell you the total breakdown of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. It also tells you the breakdown of the nitrogen and where its derived. It will be listed as Ammoniacal or Urea. Both are extreamly water soluable and are fairly available to plants. The ammonical nitrogen is most notably derived from ammoinium nitrate and the urea is from a man made chemical known as urea. It is a byproduct of gasoline production. Urea can sometimes by called an organic fertilizer by virtue of it containing large amounts of carbon. while carbon is organic it is not in the same sense as water insoluable fertlizers derived from blood and bone or animal byproducts.

The more ammoniacal nitrogen in a fertilizer the "hotter" is is. This is because plants can only take nitrogen in as nitrate. Half of the ammonical nitrogen will have to be browken down by the soil into nitrate to be used. It is usally washed away. The good news is that nitrogen locked into ammonia is attracted to clay particles. Nitrogen is repelled by clay. So if your plant uses half the nitrogen the rest is flushed away but the attracted ammonia will turn into nitrate to fertlize another day. This happens very quickly in soil, with the added benifit of acidifying your soil.

Urea nitrogen must first be converted to ammonia and then converted into nitrate. this makes it more long lasting in fertlizer formulas Osmocote is almost all urea with a polymer coating on it further reducing its conversion to nitrate. Untill the urea has turned into ammonia it can be washed thru the soil substrate very quickly reducing its effectiveness. This is why guys like Walter Pall say we fertilize too little, we need to fertilize more. No we don't, we fertilize plenty, we just don't utilize what we put on and wash it straight thru the substrate.

What we need is something to bind the nitrate to the substrate like the ammonia. That is where the humic acid comes in. By chemical reaction as a catylist (meaning it adds nothing in the way of fertlizing benifits), it changes that ion attraction of the nitrate and binds it with the clay particle for assimilation by the plant.

Others out there are advocating higher NPK values in an effort to see better results. By moving towards fertilizer with more ammoniacal nitrogen, like Ammoniam nitrate, we see faster results. This is hard on the plant, leads to leaf burn, and coarse growth as well as the dreaded salt buildup.

Insoluable nitrogen, truely organic fertilzer is mostly dead animal byproducts and indutrial sludge. (rapeseed cakes from the pressing of rapeseeds for cooking oil). Due to the nature of the product it takes many weeks months and sometimes years to fully turn bone into nitrate. This does have a benifit of being very slow and methodical allowing the small release of nitrate on a ongoing level for years. This keeps plants strong with softer and smaller growth.


So what does Al use and why?

First I use the gro power plant tabs. I use these throughout the year mostly in the growing season from March to September for me. I like them because the NPK is pretty goof for me. While the nitrogen is 12 in the NPK it is composed of just 3.5 percent urea nitrogen and 8.5 percent insoulable nitrogen in the form af blood and bone. (I called). That means there is no readily available nitrogen in this product. It must be broken down by the soil brfore it begins to be used by the plant. the first nitrogen is the urea turned into the ammonia and then into nitrate. By that time the 4 percent humic acid is starting to work on the nitrate and bind it to the akadama in my soil. (more snake oil right!) evenethough the plant tabs seem to break down into ash fairly quickly, the goodies are already locked up in the soil for the plant to use for months.

Now the gro power granules. I must confess that this was the first product I used over 7 years ago. I liked it but it was messy. It floats all over the pot, runs out of the pot if the soil is too high, and will stain a pot if used for many years. It does come off, just have to remove it like calcium stains.
 

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Smoke

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#77
If you notice the make up of the dry stuff you can see that the NPK is very low. This is good. Slow steady small amounts of nitrogen is best. This stuff has the added boost of having just 1 percent ammonical nitrogen and 4 percent urea nitrogen. It also has 12 percent humic acid in it. My problem with this product was finding a good vehicle to apply it to my plants year round. Yes I use this year round.

I went to the local Japanese supermarket and found these paper tea bags. They are made of silk span, the stuff used to line the back of Japanese scrolls with. It is very strong, can't be ripped and holds up to the water and sun. They are about 3"x3" inches in size and have a flap that folds over trapping the fertilizer. I put two shot glasses in each bag and apply them to my trees.
 

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Smoke

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#78
On this tree is one that has been there for about two weeks. If I pick it up and palm it it will secrete the brown tea from the paper. If I water it it will fill my hand with brown water like diluted fish emulsion which is very good.

The shot glass contains the gro power prills.

In conclusion....like akadama there are many myths about certain products we use in this hobby. Some swear akadama is the devils soil, OK don't use it.

Some will se this as snake oil also. My fertilizer costs no more that any other product out there without humic acid. So cost is not an issue.

Try it or don't, just answering questions.
 

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Smoke

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#80
Almost forgot. The bags also contain 1 percent surfactant...no perched water tables!
 

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