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Author Topic: Wacky idea for a weakened ponderosa  (Read 1472 times)
Treebeard55
Steve Moore
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« on: June 27, 2013, 04:43 PM »

The needles on my yamadori ponderosa are looking poorly, and not many new ones emerged this spring. I suspect I let the roots get too cold last winter.

Now the issue is to nurse the tree thru, and the following idea occurred to me. Compromised foliage=less photosynthesis=less fuel for the tree's metabolism and internal processes. So might a foliar feeding of sugar water help? (Yes, I said sugar water.) I understand that ponderosas absorb nutrients well thru their foliage.

Does this sound like it might work? Or am I in my usual place in far left field?
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John Kirby
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2013, 05:50 PM »

Trust me the roots didn't get too cold. Maybe too dry. Foliar feed, put ingood sun , water if to keep it from getting dry, otherwise, leave ig alone.
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mc4mc44
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« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2013, 11:12 PM »

I don't have too much experience in bonsai altogether, only 5 years worth of knowledge. One of the things i've learned in that time though, is that ponderosa are cold hardy to the extremes. Just as hardy as RMJ, if not, more cold hardy.

I leave my ponderosas on their benches throughout the entire winter, never moving them once. It got cold this winter, to -15 degrees a few nights, not including the wind chill. The ponderosa were sitting frozen to their benches, blasted by the icy wind as usual, and they grew fine this year. I'm amazed by them, i can't believe it when they sprout in the spring. Every winter there are nights where i say "my trees are dead, every one is gone, it's just too cold." But in the spring, they grow. Every time.

Im sorry, i don't have enough experience to find your problem from the short description, but the cold is definitely not what caused it. I'd say just give it lots of sun/water and wait it out.
Unless it's a root issue, I've found ponderosa to be almost bullet-proof. Just give it time...

Good luck,
MC
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Owen Reich
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« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2013, 11:29 PM »

I've foliar fed pines. (not ponderosa) with a product called Monty's Joy Juice.  No particular reason other than access to a 50 gallon drum of it.  It's an organic liquid fertilizer.  Think there are a number of different formulations but I used the original type.
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Treebeard55
Steve Moore
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« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2013, 01:20 PM »

Thanks for the replies. But there's nothing good to report, I'm afraid, on this tree.

I did try the foliar spray, tho on Al Keppler's suggestion I used a weak solution of water and molasses. (Lots more goodies in molasses. Really got the interest of the Hymenoptera insects, I'll say that.) But it appears to have been too little, too late. No healthy needles are left, at all. Browning and dying started at the needle base, all over the tree, which indicates serious root damage.

Thinking back, I remembered that the "tired" look to the needles was there last fall. We had unusual drought last summer, and I was sometimes hard pressed to keep everything watered. I remember one time in particular when I was in a hurry for something and let this tree wait an extra day for water, thinking, "Pondys are known for their drought resistance."   Angry Angry (at myself)

I talked to Andy Smith in Chicago, and he thought my guess was probably right. He told me, too, that he lost about a dozen trees after last summer's heat and drought, and now thinks he didn't adjust his watering in time. At least I didn't feel entirely alone!
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Chrisl
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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2013, 10:03 AM »

Sorry to hear about the death, always a bummer at a loss, but as long as you learned something...sorry for the pat reply, but I'm in the same boat this yr.  I didn't keep the heavily rooted side of a JBP wet last summer and lost every branch on nearly on one side of the tree.  A real shame as this was an awesome find. 
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