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Author Topic: bad soil = bad root  (Read 3525 times)
boon
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« on: March 28, 2012, 08:48 AM »

this crab apple grew in this pot for at least 2 year.  i think the material is haydite and bark and some other fine particle.
the tree will not develop into anything  without good root.
old soil is washed away.  it does not have much root in this mix. 

my point is to show that root will not grow in poor bonsai soil. 
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John Kirby
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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2012, 09:58 AM »

We opened up some "windows" and covered with Sphagnum and then repotted in to a slightly deeper (but smaller) pot with better drainage. It went in to double screened Clay King brand soil (small, not shohin) mixed 2 to 1 with screened pumice. Wired in, lets see what we get. The goal is to cut off the lower part in 1 or two years (depends on if we get roots out of the drain holes this year.
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Yenling83
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« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2012, 10:53 AM »

I think alot of people see that the tree is growing and think that means it's healthy.  I know I use to use a mix of Turface and bark, my trees were growing in it but the roots looked like this.  Now using Akadama, Pumice, Lava, my trees grow much better and have way stronger roots. 
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akeppler
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« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2012, 07:59 PM »

There is nothing wrong with the components....

.....the particles are too small. If all these particles were 1/4 or larger this tree would have grown way better roots. 
Roots grow because of available vapor. Larger particles make larger openings in the soil, so more vapor. You could gro strong roots in pea gravel if you water correctly and didn't have to move the pot around.....

I have trees that gro roots right out of the pot and gro along the top of the benches. They are in no soil and perfectly healthy. They are healthy because they are exposed to the air (vapor) and it never dries out because the misters come on about 4 times a day.
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MatsuBonsai
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« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2012, 08:25 PM »

There's nothing wrong with it other than what's wrong with it?  Got it. Wink
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akeppler
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« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2012, 11:10 PM »

There's nothing wrong with it other than what's wrong with it?  Got it. Wink

Posted by Boon
Quote
i think the material is haydite and bark and some other fine particle.

There is nothing wrong with bark, haydite and the finer particle, just use large particle sizes. Now you got it.....
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akeppler
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« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2012, 11:23 PM »

Whats the worst soil you could gro a bonsai in.....Clay.

What is akadama......clay. Why is it good? because the particles are large and they are fired. Unfired akadama breaks down into the same soupy mess Boon shows in the pot. Turface is a great substrate ....if we could get it in a 1/4 to 3/8 particle size.

Turface in and of itself is not "poor soil" just bad particle size. The small grain size has too much surface tension and it tends to adhere together making it impermeable to air flow. 1/4 to 3/8 size aggregate stays friable even when wet due to limited adhesion to its nieghbor.

Plant a tomato in a gallon container of 1/8 akadama for one year. in one year turn the plant upside down and the soil will stay in the pot.

Plant a tomato in a gallon container of 3/8 akadama for one year and in one year turn it over and tell me what you get?

Paper towels for your shoes!
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MatsuBonsai
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« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2012, 07:05 AM »

Akadama isn't fired.

Oh how I've missed the great soil debated.  It's all about who's got the bigger particle size.
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crust
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« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2012, 10:02 AM »

I had heard that only SOME akadama is fired and that the best is not.  If akadama is just fired clay that would be easy to replicate. My understanding is that what makes it special is that it is not fired and it holds and exchanges moisture better than hard fired products.
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akeppler
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« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2012, 12:12 PM »

Akadama isn't fired.

Oh how I've missed the great soil debated.  It's all about who's got the bigger particle size.

Not fired like a pot, but excavated, crushed, and kiln dried to retain shape, and graded. Once it is wet again it contains the capacity to break down. If akadama, in a tempertae climate, without freeze thaw cycles, is of 3/8 size, and dry at time of repot, will retain is shape and size for three years here in Fresno. It does not break down. If smaller size like 3/16 and smaller, just the act of watering is enogh to erode it to mush.

The post has nothing to do with akadama though and has to do with haydite and bark and a fine particle. My point is that those elements in and of themselves are not "bad soil", the bad soil was that the particle size was too small and the roots were drowning.

oh how I've missed the great arguments, its a Boon post, I should have known better.


Ok back to my bunker.
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MatsuBonsai
John Callaway
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« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2012, 12:48 PM »

So John, how's the tree doing?  Has it survived in spite of having clay in the pot?
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John Kirby
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« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2012, 03:15 PM »

It is doing great.

Aroumd here if you plant a tomato plant in anything and ce back a year later, you have a dead plant and potting mix.
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nathanbs
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« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2012, 03:23 PM »

I had heard that only SOME akadama is fired and that the best is not.  If akadama is just fired clay that would be easy to replicate. My understanding is that what makes it special is that it is not fired and it holds and exchanges moisture better than hard fired products.
The fact that it is not high fired is a benefit because if it were high fired it would no longer have an ok cation exchange. My understanding is that once its high fired anything it loses its CEC.
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nathanbs
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« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2012, 03:25 PM »

There's nothing wrong with it other than what's wrong with it?  Got it. Wink

Posted by Boon
Quote
i think the material is haydite and bark and some other fine particle.

There is nothing wrong with bark, haydite and the finer particle, just use large particle sizes. Now you got it.....

I have had problems with my JBP in soil with particles larger than 1/4". Too much vapor, especially on a hot day. Ryan Niel thinks it cooks the roots
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Elliott
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« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2012, 05:55 PM »

Bags of akadama say "fired" because by law it cannot contain any organic material as it is imported from Japan. If the Feds found out soil that has not been nuked into oblivion was being imported into the US, Akadama would be the the soil component "we used to use".
 Al says it's kiln dried. I don't know how hot that is, but I have opened bags of Akadama and found dead whole ladybugs, dead snails and lots of little twigs, so It can't be exposed to too much heat. As Nate said, if it was cooked, it would only be good for water retention and lose it's Cation exchange capacity which is already relatively low compared to organic material, which most people won't use.
 I think the key is inorganic soil of the correct size. pumice for water retention, lava for air and heat retention, and akadama or kanuma for cation exchange (in other words, Boon's mix).
 Last year, I was thinking large particles for large trees, med for med, and small particles for small trees. Ryan pointed out to me that the functional part of the root system on a tree is about the same size, no matter if it's a huge tree or a shohin, so soil should be the same also.
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