‘Patience is a virtue’

It’s that time of the year for some to commence their bonsai horticulture labours, but for others snow still remains, the north of Scandinavia is still going through the remnants of winter and just when the ground was beginning to thaw, along comes more snow Monday 05/04/2021. Nonetheless, buds are beginning to break on some of the trees in the collection; Birch (Betula) and Sea buckthorn (Hippophae) and progress in re-potting some trees that need it is underway, but that is the sum total thus far.

The main reason for the slow progress is the dreaded affects of (MgC12) magnesium chloride that was discussed in the last post ‘It’s an ill Wind’. Until the snow has completely dissipated the machines cannot sweep the roads, hence any attempt to prepare and prune is futile; work that will become a set back therefore, one has to be patient till at least the end of April, but much depends on the weather because as stated it is unpredictable.

Once the highways, roads and pavements have been swept and the dust particles have settled, the area where the trees are housed can be cleaned to remove all residue, then attention can be focussed on the plants. The container or pot in which the tree is housed is placed in a plastic bag (cling film or plastic wrap is an alternative) and sealed around the trunk with electrical tape, this is to avoid any water containing (MgC12) particles from entering the bag and contaminating the soil when the trunk/s and branches are washed. It is important to do this because if the soil is contaminated, the possibility of necrosis appearing is greatly improved.

Having just read the above paragraph you are now thinking “hold on a minute, if (MgC12) is on the branches and trunk will it not be also in the soil?” – a good question and you are correct in assuming this and the answer is yes it will. Magnesium and chloride are essential chemicals needed for healthy growth and the soil medium will already contain these but, a balance has to be maintained, it is the amount induced or exposed to or lack thereof which is the problem.

The previous post ‘It’s an ill Wind’ explains the symptoms and results of excessive exposure to (MgC12) resulting in necrosis, which is the degeneration of cellular tissue, that weakens the plant making it susceptible to attack from Biotic diseases; insects and fungi. Necrosis is an Abiotic infection caused by human activity and the excessive use of chemicals, the dried out particles become airborne, transmitted via the wind and can effect plants at any time anywhere.

As a result foliage is covered in dust reducing the plant or tree’s ability to photosynthesise properly affecting the transportation of sugars from the leaves to the roots retarding the plants health, hence it is prudent to check on a plant’s condition. A useful tool in cleaning foliage, branches and trunks is a pressure sprayer (shown below) use distilled water with the sprayer’s nozzle set to medium fine and medium pressure, until next time, BW, Nik.

Pressure sprayer

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