With the ( very big) chance of opening up all hell's gates and pandora's box, i'd like to list the garden myths concerning bonsai that i know of that are debunked but keep on existing and even are teached still . Feel free to add and/or comment.
- misting a tree ( that is spraying it once or twice a day)
- humidity trays
- wound paste
- a drainage layer on te bottom of the pot
- sunshine focused through water droplets will burn leaves
leatherback wrote: interesting topic, but just 2 words do not make a myth.
I could deduce from your post that using cut paste is a myth. Yet I know it isa not, because I use it a lot. Same with misting trees, which is being done, it is not a myth. So.. What are the myths?
Well... i wanted to start up a discussion, but on an empiric base, not on a " i and my father and his father have been doing it all our lives " ,or " they do it in Japan" base, if you understand what i mean.
My own "research" about myths is the list i posted. I'm open for arguements pro or contra, always interested in valid arguements.
As for cut paste.. Go look for the scientific studies. One important thing it DOES do, it reduces die-back from wounds byt stopping the callus from directly drying out. Particularly when trimming beyond the branch collar.
It is tricky to extrapolate horticultural techniques from field-grown shrubs and branches to bonsai where other considerations come to play than just good botany.
I inherited a yew tree which had been growing for a long time. I cut a huge piece of the trunk off and then let it sit out in the wind and rain for maybe 10-15 years. This year I finally started doing something with it, and chopped off a whole lot more - there was some discussion about this tree a couple of months ago.
Water had seeped down into the open cut on the trunk, rotted a little, then more fell in from rain, watering, etc. I don't know if it is coincidence or not, but there was a huge chunk of bark dead and gone down the side. I have spent several hours digging out the wood trying to get to the bottom of the rotted dead spot so that water won't collect there and keep on rotting. I haven't reached the bottom yet. The chunk I have cut out is about 6"/15 cm.
I think the rotten part is actually going to look real good, probably better than I could carve, but I don't know that this is what I would count on.
Locally, our group mostly uses Elmer's wood glue for cut paste, some full strength and some cut 50% with water. It looks ugly the first time it rains, but after a couple of weeks goes transparent. I don't know what would be a similar product in Europe or elsewhere.
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I think the usefulness of misting depends on your climate. Excessive heat can kill anything, and I think the point of misting trees in hot climate is more to cool them down than to increase humidity. On a hot day in direct sunlight, the water on the tree (trunk, branches, leaves) evaporates immediately, cooling down the tree very efficiently.
persimmon wrote: I think the usefulness of misting depends on your climate. Excessive heat can kill anything, and I think the point of misting trees in hot climate is more to cool them down than to increase humidity. On a hot day in direct sunlight, the water on the tree (trunk, branches, leaves) evaporates immediately, cooling down the tree very efficiently.
Does it? And let’s say it does, will that one time very short cooling down moment help at all, or will it make things worse?
My point here with my initial question was that lots of “ I think that” actions are performed in the gardening world, our bonsai world in particular. Lately I am questioning some of the things/ actions / customs that you “need” to do because of this or that, but there is seldom an empiric explanation followed.
Ok, let’s continue with misting then.
Of course, people do mist, that is not a myth, but the fact that it increases humidity around a tree is.
We could include humidity trays , which is basically the same thing .