Author Topic: Pumice  (Read 4038 times)

Tony G

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Pumice
« on: May 23, 2012, 10:47 AM »
Hello All,
      I have a couple of Ponderosa pines to pot. I here some people use just Pumice. It's very dry where I am, and very hot in the summer. My question is, does pumice hold water at all? I put a few drops of water on a piece and it didn't seem to absorb much if any.  I'm trying to decide if I want to add a little pine bark, and a little Zoelite. I'm leaning toward the zoelite because it's a volcanic rock just like the pumice, except that it holds water and releases it slowly. So if I know how much water retention Pumice has, it will help me decide how much other stuff to add. Thank you all so much.
 

Walter_Pall

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Re: Pumice
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2012, 11:49 AM »
At Nature's Way Nursery in Harrisburg, Pa there are about 500 collected trees which are all in pure pumice without any additions. They are doing very well - extremely well compared to what we see in many other locations. Over the years this is now more than one thousand very old collected trees (RMJ, Ponderosa and such)v that we have experience with.

On the surface pumice often looks bone dry. But it really can hold a  lot of water ( just as much as any other substrate) and will carry most trees during the whole day with one watering in Pa. In your climate you will probably have to water twice in summer. The good thing is that anybody can water with a hose. There is no such thing as over watering. Just make everything dripping wet with a garden hose. Whatever is too much will flow out of the pot. Actually what used to be drainage section is now substrate.
Serious frequent feeing with lots of nitrogen will help a lot in addition.
 

John Kirby

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Re: Pumice
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2012, 01:54 PM »
Tony, in your climate, a layer of sphagnum on top of pure pumice would help with the heat/evaporation loss that one wouldn't  see in my location or at Nature's way. Good luck!
 

Tony G

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Re: Pumice
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2012, 02:06 PM »
Mr.Pall,
      Thank you very much for your reply. I read a previous post of yours on feeding and you said you mixed your nutrients 5 times stronger then it said on the instructions. But I never caught what fertilizer you recommend for pines. I don't want to over do it. Thank you.
 

Tony G

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Re: Pumice
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2012, 02:08 PM »
Tony, in your climate, a layer of sphagnum on top of pure pumice would help with the heat/evaporation loss that one wouldn't  see in my location or at Nature's way. Good luck!


  John,
      Thanks for the tip. It sounds like an excellent idea.
 

Walter_Pall

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Re: Pumice
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2012, 03:08 PM »
Tony,

I use whatever si on sale at the agricurltural market. Take any fertilizer that is for normal plants. I assume that you wnt to develop trees and not keep them as they are. Then they have to really grwo well. They only grwo with lots of notrogen. We used to know that this is bad. Well, it is not at all. See my galelry. All these trees are fed the same with normal feed for normal plants.
 

kostas

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Re: Pumice
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2012, 05:14 PM »
Hello All,
My question is, does pumice hold water at all? I put a few drops of water on a piece and it didn't seem to absorb much if any.  I'm trying to decide if I want to add a little pine bark, and a little Zoelite. I'm leaning toward the zoelite because it's a volcanic rock just like the pumice, except that it holds water and releases it slowly. So if I know how much water retention Pumice has, it will help me decide how much other stuff to add. Thank you all so much.

hi, if you weigh 100gr pumice and water it after,  the extra  weigh after the dranage is the water.
so then you now exacly the amount of water retention. ;)
 

mc4mc44

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Re: Pumice
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2012, 07:31 PM »
I happen to have a couple of the Ponderosas that Walter and Jim have in Harrisburg. They do great in pure pumice, drain well and only need 1 watering a day, sometimes they can get by on every other day if its been humid. just be sure to sift the pumice to remove the fines and your trees will be happy. I wouldn't add pine bark or anything organic that might decompose, it will block drainage after 2 or 3 years. The zeolite might be helpful for your location, but I don't think its needed.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2012, 07:35 PM by mc4mc44 »
 

Tony G

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Re: Pumice
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2012, 10:26 AM »
I happen to have a couple of the Ponderosas that Walter and Jim have in Harrisburg. They do great in pure pumice, drain well and only need 1 watering a day, sometimes they can get by on every other day if its been humid. just be sure to sift the pumice to remove the fines and your trees will be happy. I wouldn't add pine bark or anything organic that might decompose, it will block drainage after 2 or 3 years. The zeolite might be helpful for your location, but I don't think its needed.
[/quote)

     The Pumice I have is pre sifted. But I did notice a very, very small bit of dust in it. I mean very little, but I washed it in a collinder with a hose and then set it out to dry. I want to thank you all very much. It looks like Pumice all the way and a cover of Spagnum Moss when it gets hot out.