Friday, 26 June 2009

Stop talking rot... pleeze??!

OK - so the Internet allows freedom of speech and circulation of information. Fine, I accept that.

Ergo, my freedom of speech presumably also allows me to call a spade a spade when I see a spade, right?

Via Twitter, I see a lot of links to sites that promote bonsai in some way, shape or form; some of these sites are (thinly) veiled commercial sites, others can be more overtly so. Whatever. That isn't my beef. I have no problems with capitalism whatsoever.

What I do have a problem with is when statements are made that are erroneous, misleading or just plain crap that has never been verified for accuracy.

For example, this statement:
Temperate bonsai trees are able to hold out in freezing temperatures because they have a shallow root system.

So I check with a friend who has a horticultural degree, here is the reply:
Your intuition is correct the statement is tosh.

Cold hardiness and separately, Cold dormancy, are dependent on a number of factors which does not include shallow roots.

I will take it that the author is commenting about Cold hardiness rather than dormancy.
Trees have a number of physiological and morphological adaptations to cope with winter; shedding leaves, cell wall hardening, wood substructure as an insulator, morphology of vascular system, morphology of evergreen leaves, storage of nutrients, movement of solutes into/out of cells and probably others that I cannot recall.

One interesting adaptation is that of pines. These have a tracheid vascular system (long and narrow cells) as opposed to vessel elements in deciduous trees.
These cell help reduce transpiration losses as well as being structurally stronger in cold conditions.

So, if you are a newbie to bonsai looking for help/advice/whatever - be warned. Find a reputable source of information and, even then, check your facts.

So I'm not the equable, tolerant person I should be. And apparently it doesn't take a lot to wind me up (so you've noticed??). But, sheesh, give me a break. In fact, give the rest of the world a break.


No comments:

Post a Comment