What should I do for bark?

Discussion in 'Maples' started by richardbeasley@comcast.net, Feb 24, 2007.

  1. richardbeasley@comcast.net

    richardbeasley@comcast.net Active Member Maple Society

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    I have been using Rex fir bark as a big part of my potting medium but I live in Virginia where it is hard to find and very expensive if I do. I am wondering if there are any major difference between fir bark and regular old pine bark. The quality of pine bark that I have found here is absolutely horrible in my opinion, it is either way to large of a nugget or it is just shredded to bits with a lot of wood in it to include cambium. To sterilize as much as I need is almost crazy to consider. What do you think I should do?
     
  2. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Why sterilize?
     
  3. Andy

    Andy Member

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    What else are you using in your mix? it may not be necessary to include bark if you potting medium is free-draining, use a coarser grade compost and include grit.
    Do you get Vermiculite (coarse) over there which is an excellent addition as it holds vast amounts of oxygen and moisture, it is very light, whereas grit only adds weight to the pots to help prevent them blowing over.
     
  4. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Get a dog?

    I'd have thought that pine bark, if properly composted before use, should not need sterilising. The composting will degrade the cambium to a point where it no longer attracts bark beetles, longhorn beetles, etc.
     
  5. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I only use pine bark, the only one available here. No sterilisation.

    Gomero
     
  6. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    Are there any locations where yard / landscape debris is taken to be shredded and composted, in your area?
     
  7. richardbeasley@comcast.net

    richardbeasley@comcast.net Active Member Maple Society

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  8. richardbeasley@comcast.net

    richardbeasley@comcast.net Active Member Maple Society

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    Cambium can host some bad fungi and deceased and diseased trees are quickly cut and sent to processing. What is the dog for to piss on my trees? a Joke ok
     
  9. richardbeasley@comcast.net

    richardbeasley@comcast.net Active Member Maple Society

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    The local dump gives shredded yard waste away some call it mulch some call it a lot worst. It is good for amending clay soil if use in the extreme.
     
  10. richardbeasley@comcast.net

    richardbeasley@comcast.net Active Member Maple Society

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    The bark is a good aerator and keeps the weight down of the growing medium. It also improves drainage and stores a bit of water. Fir is slow to break down pine is not.
     
  11. richardbeasley@comcast.net

    richardbeasley@comcast.net Active Member Maple Society

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    To much compost = to much water = dead maple (each maple is different, the ones I am potting needs excellent drainage)
     
  12. richardbeasley@comcast.net

    richardbeasley@comcast.net Active Member Maple Society

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    Vermiculite holds tons of water and it breaks down very fast, unless you are in a very aired condition like California Vermiculite is not too good. Pearlite has superseded vermiculite in almost all cases. Permatill has exceeded everything when it come to vast amounts of oxygen.
     
  13. richardbeasley@comcast.net

    richardbeasley@comcast.net Active Member Maple Society

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    Vermiculite would surly kill the trees I am planting, way too much water in the same place for way too long.
     
  14. richardbeasley@comcast.net

    richardbeasley@comcast.net Active Member Maple Society

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    I guess I will just pack it in the oven with pine bark and cut it on ? Just kidding again.
     
  15. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Yep, but composting the bark for a few months kills them.
     
  16. richardbeasley@comcast.net

    richardbeasley@comcast.net Active Member Maple Society

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    I wish I had a few months to do that, it is February and it will not be warm enough until May to compost anything and then the three months puts us into the end of July. Excellent suggestion for the future however thanks.
     
  17. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Check with the supplier, it may already have been composted
     
  18. richardbeasley@comcast.net

    richardbeasley@comcast.net Active Member Maple Society

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  19. alex66

    alex66 Rising Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi I use pine bark is very good but the good conditions of umidity attraction the earthworm and sometime their attraction the mole ,the mole are killer roots my dog is killer mole and he is a tunnelling machine ,after this circus my garden is similar to cheese Swiss whit hole!
    alex66
     
  20. Andy

    Andy Member

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    That all depends, Maples require copious amounts of water during the summer and if allowed to dry out will soon let you know, I also said that vermiculite holds vast amounts of oxygen which is also very important, too much water plus not enough oxygen equals stagnant compost equals root rot.
    Your maples should be left dry, almost to the point of dessication, during winter, some of mine are now starting to leaf out and still have not been watered since November.
     
  21. Andy

    Andy Member

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    Then if Permatill is available (cost comes into isuue here) then use it, the amount of water required by Maples during the summer months dictates that some form of aereating medium be included, the italian nurseries use crushed Pumice, the Australian nurseries suggest 40% bark 40% Pumice and only 20% Peat, seems a little excessive but compost which drains to that extent will be able to cope with the volumes of water required without causing root problems. What I am trying to say is; the compost must be moisture retentive but at the same time be free draining. Hope you are not using garden soil!!
     
  22. Andy

    Andy Member

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    One other suggestion, are there any large wholesale growers near you who use bark and are able to sell you a few bags??
     
  23. richardbeasley@comcast.net

    richardbeasley@comcast.net Active Member Maple Society

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    I am sorry but I don't understand the vermiculite it break down fast and it is a water hog. How about periite it will not brake down and is hight in O2 as well. Also my maple are in pots so I will not have a mole problem I have never even seen one here in ten years. Voles have never been here, worms yes a plenty, slug are controlled by Iron P. something bate, I have already put out 2 lb. I hit them early last year and that put the shet to them all summer, now it my time to hit them for the fist time. I am going to sterilize the bark with H2O3 I have the 35% form. Thanks for writing not if I could find some good sand which seem impossible too.

    Giesha need a very dry mix. I am not worrying about spelling sorry for that to.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2007

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