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Modern bonsai practice 501.
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Author:  richardb [ 15 Mar 2020, 12:33 ]
Post subject:  Modern bonsai practice 501.

Thanks Brendan. Hadn't seen this book before. It came in the post yesterday. I,ve just had a couple of weeks of work cancelled due to the virus so should have plenty of time to digest the book and do some work on the trees.
With the situation in the country I expect us all to have stunning looking gardens by the middle of the year.
:Big Thumb:

Author:  Brendan [ 16 Mar 2020, 13:04 ]
Post subject:  Re: Modern bonsai practice 501.

I refer to it all the time.

Author:  bluesky [ 16 Mar 2020, 22:09 ]
Post subject:  Re: Modern bonsai practice 501.

Me too.

But since this thread is specifically about the book... I will say there are one or two things I have to question.

Morton says there is no need for wound sealants because after a branch chop, as long as it is done "correctly", the tree heals itself best with its own sap. By correctly, he says leaving the underneath collar of the branch because that stores all the substances needed to heal over the wound. So, year 1, chop leaving that collar/stub then the next year clean up with a flush cut. All this makes good sense to me except for the wound sealant. At least on deciduous trees, with winter chops, the sealant protects the wounded cambium etc.. doesn't it? And at that time of year there's no natural sap emerging at the wound site.

Second, he strongly recommends controlled release fertilizer (CRF) in the form of those small spherical capsules. I've been using them for three years now and I must have a bad quality CRF because I haven't observed any difference from not using them! So for the last two years I have also used organic fert which has annoying disadvantages (smell, maggots, bird attacks). Liquid works well but is not continuous and is expensive in large quantities.

Brendan, I'm interested in your opinion on the above two questions?

Lastly, Morton sometimes refers to "movement of electrons around the plant" - his knowledge of horticulture is exemplary but his physics is a bit flawed, or maybe his ability to explain energy. He means the flow of chemical energy in the form of sugar molecules.

Author:  bluesky [ 16 Mar 2020, 22:17 ]
Post subject:  Re: Modern bonsai practice 501.

(But to be clear, these are only 3 things I am questioning in a book of 501 horticultural principles, so I would still totally recommend this book..)

Author:  Brendan [ 17 Mar 2020, 12:38 ]
Post subject:  Re: Modern bonsai practice 501.

Hi Dave

If I have a criticism of the book it is the lack of any form of indexing or useful cross-reference capability. The effect is that you have to sometimes work out from different parts of the book what he is getting at.

The "correctly" part of the branch chop is a case in point. Once you have read what he means by "correctly" taking into accont the difference between evergreen and deciduous, the time of the year, why you are making the cut and the nature of the cut, then you can see why a "correct" cut should be OK left unsealed. But you have to do a whole lot of reading to get there.

But I would never just assume that he means you can leave all cuts unsealed.

As for CRF, I read that and went Hmmm. Bonsai people fall broadly into two categories of belief about fertiliser. Those who think they do it right and agree with those who agree with them. And those who do it wrong.

So the book is not perfect. But for me it is a damn sight better than, with the exception of weetrees, the whole of tinternet.

Author:  richardb [ 17 Mar 2020, 20:44 ]
Post subject:  Re: Modern bonsai practice 501.

Still on the 1st chapter , so staying out of this one. It is not a simple read and you need to consider what he is saying. I think I have plenty of time as not expecting calls from customers for the next month at least.

Author:  bluesky [ 18 Mar 2020, 00:21 ]
Post subject:  Re: Modern bonsai practice 501.

That's a very good point about lack of index or cross references.

Enjoy it Richard!

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