Work-in-progress! This area of the website also needs a major update. Perhaps in 2023 it will get it...

          As a scientist by day,  I place a special significance on rigorously tested knowledge that I can see or duplicate when it comes to what we accept for horticultural practices in bonsai. As we all do, I want my bonsai to be as healthy as possible, to survive transplants during collection, and to save money on products that claim to be helpful if they are not actually. I hope in the future to use my scientific background to create as rigorous experiments as possible to answer questions that I have or that others have about where helpful data may be lacking. A few examples of causes for investigation are currently listed below - many of the topics I currently have desire to investigate relate to survival rates of transplanted specimen, however some are new technologies, and some are old questions with many mixed ideas out there (see soil). If you have any topics you would like to see some experiments for, let me know!

Seed Germination Experiments

Two experiments I have in the works this year are
  1. Experiment to determine the best storage condition of early-germinating seeds.
    1. Input variable: 3 storage condition types on 12 acorns that germinated in December at the beginning of winter.
    2. Output variable: What are the germination rate and long-term (1-year) survival rate?
  2. Experiment to determine the best storage condition for seeds of different species.
    1. Goal: Lowest effort, highest germination rate. Should set aside sample to test in later years as well for long-term viability.

Wilt proof experiments

Are Wilt-Pruf (and other antitranspirants like it) effective for helping transplanted plants (as Michael Ryan Bell and others propose), or is it harmful (as horticulturalist Larry Morton states in  his book "Modern Bonsai Practice")?

          Q: Does spraying wilt proof increase growth rates for equal water amounts?
               Method: 1 year old seedlings - duplicate for conifer and deciduous. Spray seedlings with wilt proof at different frequencies. Some get Wilt proof, wilt proof + water, water, no spray.

Nammah, Hassan A., "The Effect of Wilt-Pruf, Antitranspirant on Reducing Water Loss of Apple Trees" (1979). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 3422. 




Root hormone experiments

Can root hormone applications help a tree that has been recently transplanted to increase its root mass faster?
Esp interested in the product "Rhizotone" as Michael Ryan Bell and others are strong advocates for its abilities.

Superthrive experiments

Is this product actually useful for literally anything, or is it a waste of money? Owen Reich believes it may be useful for transplant shock - that will be my priority to investigate.

Drainage container experiments

Colander vs same volume, no holes - which species benefit from each?

Substrate experiments (Soil optimization)

Many soils work, but I hope to find mixtures that work best. As any soil discussion should be prefaced with, these studies will pertain only to the Seattle climate mild winters with heavy rain and mild-medium hot summers.

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