Compost Tea for Japanese Maples?

Discussion in 'Maples' started by tjcher, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. tjcher

    tjcher Active Member

    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    United States
    Hi Everybody--- Hope all is well.

    A quick question for the experts: Do any of you make compost tea and use it on your japanese maples?

    Results?
    Tom
     
  2. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

    Messages:
    829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Philadelphia PA
    Hi TJ,

    I found that compost tea is good nutrition for JMs. I used it until I had too many trees and not enough space. I used a basic steeping method without aeration and it was successful. I won't say that it was any more effective than the nutricote I started using this year.
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,214
    Likes Received:
    331
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
  4. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

    Messages:
    829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Philadelphia PA
    After reading Ron's WSU link I should say I did not use the tea as foliar food or as a foliar disease control. I steeped compost and manure in hose water and applied it as a soak weekly. I used it exclusively on potted trees.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2009
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,214
    Likes Received:
    331
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    From the page linked to above:

    "Rather than spending time and
    money leaching materials out of compost,
    why not use the intact compost as part
    of an organic mulch layer?"
     
  6. maf

    maf Well-Known Member Maple Society

    Messages:
    1,352
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Northamptonshire, England
    When talking about potted Japanese maples there is not room in the container to apply an effective layer of compost mulch without it piling up against the bark of the trunk, a clear situation where a liquid compost tea would be a useful resource. (In ground is obviously a different matter as there is plenty of room to spread the mulch but leave a gap around the trunk.)

    Also, in order to make, for example, comfrey tea or nettle tea, you only need enough space for a bucket rather than a compost heap.

    I was pleased to hear Poetry to Burn's positive experience using compost tea, I am planning to experiment with using Comfrey tea on maples next year.
     
  7. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

    Messages:
    829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Philadelphia PA
    Maf,

    You're right that adding compost to pots can turn into a problem. I used tea for years with good success. But there is definitely something to be said for the prilled products that release slowly and contain minor nutrients. A few trees did seem to resent it a bit but a higher percentage did very well.

    First I heard of knitbone tea for fertilizer tea. Definitely looks like a good idea.
     
  8. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    459
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maine coast, USA, zone 5
    Very good links there, PtB. Thanks.
     
  9. winterhaven

    winterhaven Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    552
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Western Washington, USA
    I transplanted a large maple at the end of a hot day and didn't keep the roots as moist as I should have. The tree was more root bound than I had expected and I ended up spending more time freeing the roots than I had anticipated and I also ended up cutting out a lot more root than I had expected. Then we had a long horrible heat wave while I was busy and not as attentive as I should have been to my poor garden. This tree and a large bonsai tried to die. I hit them both with compost tea and the next day I saw improvement. Anecdotal evidence, I know, but for what it's worth...
     
  10. tjcher

    tjcher Active Member

    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    United States
    Thank you, everybody for your replies! Seems like overall, the compost is a good thing for Japanese Maples. I have a curious additional question: I know that Japanese Maples don't like a lot of nitrogen, so how do you balance the nitrogen in the compost? How do you make sure you'll not burn the maple?

    Tom
     
  11. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

    Messages:
    829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Philadelphia PA
    TJ,

    I'm pretty sure that even a potent batch of tea will be something like N3 P1 K2. I never worried about too high nitrogen content. Also the nutrients aren't availble until the compost tea ingredients are reduced by bacterial action. I thought of the whole process as rather gentle and therapeutic to the soil and the tree. I never saw burn.
     
  12. tjcher

    tjcher Active Member

    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    United States
    Great! Thank you all for the replies. I'll have to wait until next summer to try it out as I've just started my composting here.
    Thanks again,
    Tom
     
  13. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

    Messages:
    829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Philadelphia PA
    TJ,

    I came across a few articles saying that you can get a nitrogen burn from cncentrated tea that is nitrogen rich. If you google "burn from compost tea" you get info like this.

    The solution is dilution.
     
  14. tjcher

    tjcher Active Member

    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    United States
    1 part tea to 10 parts water. Got it. Will give a report, but it will have to wait until next year...
    Thanks again everybody!
    Tom
     

Share This Page