Author Topic: Please help - what is this?  (Read 17745 times)

Adair M

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Re: Please help - what is this?
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2014, 04:46 PM »
Don't use pine bark as a soil component. Or any other organic material, for that matter.

Mushrooms live on decaying organic matter. So, the pine bark in your soil must be what's doing it.

I looked up what seramis is. Some kind of clay product for orchids. It said it retains water. If so, you don't need the pine bark. It holds water, and becomes slimeyif kept too wet. And root rot sets in.

Remove the pine bark from your soil mix.

I'll say it one more time:

Remove the pine bark from your soil mix.
 

John Kirby

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Re: Please help - what is this?
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2014, 07:01 PM »
Zerotol. Gentke oxygen radical priducer, controls soil fungus without impacting symbionts.


Dump the bark.
 

Kent2106

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Re: Please help - what is this?
« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2014, 11:51 PM »


Remove the pine bark from your soil mix.

I'll say it one more time:

Remove the pine bark from your soil mix.
[/quote]

Thanks Adair, got it!
 

Adair M

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Re: Please help - what is this?
« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2014, 12:58 AM »
Kent,

I'm not just saying that to you, there's lots of people who mistakenly use pine bark. Including some "professionals".

These professionals are more nurserymen than bonsai practioniers. They're more concerned about keeping their inventory alive than optimal conditions. Their greatest fear is having stock that dries up and dies. So they use water retentive soil. That works in the short term. But we keep trees in pots for years. Which demands having a soil mix that won't rot.

Anyway, I hope you resolve your issue!
 

Sorce

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Re: Please help - what is this?
« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2014, 06:05 AM »
No worries Kent.

I have to remove some pine bark from mine too!

I thought seramis didn't hold water.

Your trees will be ok without the bark. No....better!

Sucks about the pumice.

I would remove that unidentified fungus though,  so it doesn't impact your watering.
Hell,  you can probably afford to water a lot less often too!
Next year,barkless, a little more.

Sorce
 

geoffhobson

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Re: Please help - what is this?
« Reply #20 on: December 15, 2014, 09:45 AM »
This is interesting, I don't add bark myself, but I know guys who do and it works well. They use what is the same as orchid bark, so perfectly safe. It is used at about 20% of the mix.
Geoff.
 

Sorce

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Re: Please help - what is this?
« Reply #21 on: December 15, 2014, 10:22 AM »
Even that better bark only lasts about 2 years.

Ok for development. Repo t ting often

I've found.

Sorce
 

Herman

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Re: Please help - what is this?
« Reply #22 on: December 17, 2014, 09:42 AM »
Before changing out the bark for something else, experiment first Kent. I did an experiment to establish if a soil less mix would work for me, under the African sun and only being able to water once a day, and on my deciduous i almost lost all of them in the soil less mix, the others with 20% bark were flourishing. for my pines i potted one in a soil less mix and the rest into my 10% composted bark mix, all did fine except my pine in the soil less mix(died from drought)...granted I still need to experiment but in the mean time I'm happy with 10% bark and the pines being alive and healthy. we don't have the mild sun of the northern states nor may we have the ability to run out and water up to 4 times a day....besides that, Graham Potter uses milled pine bark in his soil mixes and he lives in one of the wettest countries in the world, and his trees are very healthy...so pine bark can't be that bad for a tree :)

if you want to change the bark out, I've been looking at some alternatives, look into aqua soil, africana, its apparently a lot like akadama, but be prepared to pay 500 bucks for just enough to repot 1 big tree :)

some other alternatives may be rough palm fibres, we know it as palm peat bricks, get the high cec rough one if you can, its much cheaper!

kind regards
Herman
 

geoffhobson

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Re: Please help - what is this?
« Reply #23 on: December 17, 2014, 02:48 PM »
You are right, Herman, a friend of mine used a soil mix with loam added. He was at work all day and so could not water during the day. I had trees from him in his mix and I was over watering and almost killed them. My mix is much more open, and free draining.
It depends as you say on individual cercomstances. I use Akadama or with 50% Kyodama, which is a British product. It is a grit like material, and very good, but not for everyone,
Geoff.
 

Kent2106

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Re: Please help - what is this?
« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2015, 06:22 AM »
Hi All, thanks for the comments, Herman in particular.
That fungus is slowly but surely invading my collection again - my frustration changes to resignation....

I am watering very cautiously - or at least I thought so.

The spot (where the trees are) can get very hot (40's) - it is unfortunately the only spot with sun and some wind protection (wind is hectic here in Cape Town). Could the hot temperature be the problem?

The pine bark chips were dry (not decomposed) when I added them to the soil mix - could this be the issue? There is no more than 15% of pine bark in the mix.... but it looks like the fungus attaches to the bark chips first before spreading.

...oh I forgot to mention, when I repotted these last year I inoculated with Myconox. Sometime I think it is a mutation of mycorrhizea.

The trees look 'fine", some of the infected trees have developed distorted needles (see pic)- but  all of my trees have brown tips. The summer candles are developing/looking alright. I assume the brown tips are from too much fertiliser (green dream) I may have used after repotting.

We are in the middle of summer so repotting is not an option.

Herman, Auqua soil Africana... where would I be able to get this?

Thank you all for your advice
Kent
 

Herman

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Re: Please help - what is this?
« Reply #25 on: January 13, 2015, 04:40 AM »
Hello Kent :)

I got this on a couple of my black pines too a few years back, I got a systemic fungicide from a buddy that works for Protech. Apparently the forestry guys use this fungicide to combat needle-cast in our pine plantations. I didn't get it for the weird malformed needles, but for needle-cast... long story short... after I applied the fungicide I've never seen needles like that on my pines again, neither needle-cast. I don't think the fungus in your soil causes the needles to be misformed, It almost like peach leaf curl fungus? directly on the needle/leaf, maybe a contact fungicide like myco-guard would do the trick on it's own 

best wishes

kind regards
Herman
 

DorianJF

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Re: Please help - what is this?
« Reply #26 on: January 13, 2015, 05:26 AM »
Hello Kent.

Maybe just a suggestion is to take you pine into a bonsai nursery and have them look at it.  That may solve the fungicide and needle problem.

There is a great bonsai nursery in Houtbay (Bishopsford).  Maybe you have been there before.  They have always been ultra helpful to me. 
 

Kent2106

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Re: Please help - what is this?
« Reply #27 on: January 21, 2015, 03:11 AM »
Hello Kent.

Maybe just a suggestion is to take you pine into a bonsai nursery and have them look at it.  That may solve the fungicide and needle problem.

There is a great bonsai nursery in Houtbay (Bishopsford).  Maybe you have been there before.  They have always been ultra helpful to me. 



Hi Dorian, thank you for your reply.
All knows Bonsai places nor nurseries were able to help

I honestly think that the brown needle tips come from over fertilising in combination with heat and wind (staying in Vredehoek). It does not look like needle cast. Only the tips (2 - 3 cm) are brown, the rest of the needle looks fine - I am spraying in regular intervals with Bravo - as prevention.

Re malformed needles, looking at the needles it seems that the shed does not widen for the needle to grow - but traps it rather. Most malformed needles have their shed at the top half of the needle.  Perhaps too much Nitrogen in the fertiliser? Or again heat and wind? Well, time will tell.

Regarding the soil fungus, have also been at a few nurseries (besides the known bonsai nurseries) - no success. They are all telling me that this is a fungus (and they haven't seen something like this before) - Wow thanks for the news...!!!

I will keep on picking the fungus and repot as soon as I can, with no pine bark at all (thanks Adair!)...Do you know of a place where I can buy (inorganic) growing medium such as pumice?  Herman recommended Aqua soil... The soil available at Bishopsford or other places is not suitable for pines.

Otherwise I will use gravel/grit with some peat - I think peat might be the better option to pine park (at least around here).

Thank you for your input.
Best





 

Herman

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Re: Please help - what is this?
« Reply #28 on: January 26, 2015, 02:32 AM »
Hi,

If you manage to get aqua soil africana or amazonia just make sure to soak the medium in water for about a week to flush out all the ammonium. These have a very high concentration of ammonium, as the medium is made for planted aquarium tanks. And like I said its damn expensive...

here is my current mix for pines.  - 1 part washed silica 4mm sand
                                                     - 1 part crushed clinker brick 3-5mm
                                                     - 1 part hydroton leca 3-4mm very uniform
                                                     - 1 part rough palm fibers(high cec)
                                                     - 1 part composted pine bark(sifted to 4mm)
                                                     - handful of aquarium charcoal

    all of these ingredients are easy to find and not too expensive. I wouldn't use peat it compacts easily and   
    when you skip a watering it becomes hydrophobic resulting in dry spots, I will also venture to say it has a lot   
    more pathogens present than pine bark, If worried about the pine bark, just microwave it for 20 seconds and that will
    kill off every living organism in the pine bark. Just be vigilant with your watering if you go for a completely inorganic
    mix, I know Cape Town has very dry HOT summers(42 Celsius in the shade), prepare to water a
    lot.

I also don't think too much nitrogen will result in malformed needles, some of the people on this site fertilize the heck out of their black pines, none of them seem to have had the same problem as you, or they would've chimed in? I think it's some kind of fungus, maybe a micro nutrient deficiency.

edit: We currently don't have any place to buy pumice in the country for horticultural purposes, mutimex imported turkish pumice, but they stopped importing about a year ago, we also have no akadama in the country, our cat litter almost dissolves in water, scoria or lava stone we have but its more expensive than clinker and clinker is lighter and holds more water. you can maybe try and find the people that imports the pumice stones the ladys use to skaaf their heels with but that means you will need to crush the pumice stones, not fun if you have to break stone for 20 bonsai...and you need a specific size... a lot of volume will be lost.

do you know or can get into contact with Amith Rambali, he's in the same club that Rudi Adams was part of, a great guy! Amith will be able to point you in the right direction down there in Cape town if you are searching for modern substrates to use for bonsai. It may also be a good idea to go speak with Terry from bonsaitree... he imports a lot of black,red and white pines from japan, he may give you the advice you need.

best regards
Herman                                               
« Last Edit: January 26, 2015, 02:46 AM by Herman »
 

Kent2106

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Re: Please help - what is this?
« Reply #29 on: January 26, 2015, 04:26 PM »
Thanks Herman,
...not sure if I have the time to crush pumice by hand...

I am pretty sure I m dealing with needle cast/red band fungus. I plucked all infected needles, virtually removed everything but this seasons growth - which seems fine and sprayed with copper soap (recommended). Not sure why the Bravo didn't work. So lets see what happens.

And as soon weather will allow i am going to repot to get rid of the bark.