I can't believe I can get all I want!!!!! Here's a photo.

meyermike_1micha(5)April 21, 2009

I just found out today, that after all these years living here, there is a lumber grinding and bark mulch producing company less that a half mile from my house!!

This is what I can get....

What even makes it more special, is that my frineds father has owned this company for years, so I can get all the uncomposted pine bark I want!! I don't know why this never came up in any of our conversations till now... Unbelievable...

I have a few questions though.

Which size would you use?

And can I just mix both sizes together to get even more different sizes?

I can also get maple fines, birch fines, oak fines and so on.

Why is pine used more than these other woods? Can any of these other wood fines be better than pine?

My frined told me it takes alot longer for maple to decompose.

And will I have to use higher amounts of nitrogyn, since decomposing wood can deplete it out of the soiless mix, or will just a good fertilzer such as FP do fine?

I hope you all find a good source, don't give up...I feel bad for anyone struggling to find uncomposted pine bark..

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Where's the bark?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 3:08PM
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What do you mean??

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 4:05PM
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Mike, the stuff in the pics looks like the inner wood, not bark. You want only the bark of conifers, not the inner wood.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 5:21PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Sorry, Mike - It's all sapwood & not suitable for use as a container soil component.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 5:30PM
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:-(....Thanks guys....

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 5:33PM
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sprtsguy76(Santa Clara Ca. 9b)

What a bummer dude, keep looking, you will find it.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 6:22PM
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Mike, I'm sorry for your disappointment, really. What a bummer. At first I was going to jokingly mock you, like thanks Mike just rub it in our face. LOL Maybe they have bark supplies there as well?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 12:25AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Mike, be sure to ask if they have processed PINE BARK batches. Most such operations will separate the conifers (pines and related plants) from the hardwoods (maple, birch, and pretty much everything that is NOT a conifer) because there is a demand for the bark. Ask if they double or triple grind pine bark. The double grind material is great for use in a potting mix; sometimes the triple is too fine textured.

The (always the outermost layer of the tree (or other woody plant) bark is the only portion of the tree suitable for our particular use. And only the bark of CONIFERS (cone-bearing trees) has the right structure, and chemical components. Conifer bark is exceedingly slow to decompose (which is why we like it so much). We use pine bark so much because it is so plentiful. Pines are THE lumber trees in the country. Bark is peeled off and processed into mulch since it's not suitable in the construction and paper businesses. I used to be able to get all of the fresh pine bark I wanted from a sawmill....until they decided to bag it up and sell it retail.

I'm thinking that you still have alot to be excited about, but just haven't asked the right person (at the company) the right questions.

In the attached illustration, you can see that the outer bark is the hard, protective barrier...it keeps the good stuff in and the bad stuff out. If you would like to know more about the basics of tree biology, you just let me know. We can have a Trees 101 lesson!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 1:04PM
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It is my understanding that you can still use the woodchips as mulch, as long as you do not mix them into the soil. I am not aware if there is any difference in wood species when the chips are used for mulch. I REALLY wish I could get my hands on a supply like you have!!!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 1:58PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

oosh, we are not talking about using fresh wood chips as mulch....but as a primary component in home-made potting mix.

However, you are correct that we can mulch with this product as long as we stay aware of the possibility of nitrogen tie-up. I use mixed wood chips frequently in my planting beds, but never in close proximity to our home or where vehicles may be parked. Artillery fungi can be a real problem in fresh hardwood mulch. (But not pine bark.)

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 4:11PM
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Though you cant use that in the mix my friend, take heart in the fact that those chips are still worth their weight. They're excellent in composting high nitrogen components such as past prime fish, old veggies or use it as animal bedding.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 8:03AM
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I just wanted to say thanks everyone!!

Very informative articles and so much knew stuff you learn each day comming here...I never understood this about bark and wood..
All I can say is thanks!

I FINALLY found some! Fir bark...
I remebered buying orchards from someone I met in my area over 5 years ago that was growing beautiful and citrus back then, and I remembered him saying someday he was going to sellevery good supply he could think of for orchards and tropicals, to help people be sucessful at these plants. It was a dream of his.

I saved his number from then.

I called him, and come to find out, he is a big supplier of YES!! "fir bark"...We were both happy to hear from each other besides.
He has fine and or small and medium grade...He says it's real real good stuff. He specializes in this bark..NICE ha. Now I am excited.
I get a FREE delivery of three bags within the next couple of days...
I will take a pic, and you can see if it as nice as he says when I get to using it....
If it is, then I would be willing to tell you where I got it privately, since it can be VERY difficult to obtain this hard to find good stuff..:-)

A secret he shared. I asked him how his plants were doing. He said better than ever before, since he waters his plants once a month with, ready? Seltzer water, sodium free....
He explained the benefits in detail, hard to remember...Hummm..
As anyone ever heard of this, watering container plants with seltzer water?

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 4:14PM
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Hi meyermike,
Seltzer is gassified/carbonated water - so oxygen bubbles aerating his roots.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 5:06PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

No - CO2 bubbles (carbon dioxide) ..... not O2 (oxygen). Carbon dioxide in the rhizosphere impairs root function and is counter-productive. Invite him to the forum to explain the 'benefits'. ;o)

Remember not to believe everything you hear, Mike.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 5:24PM
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I am glad I didn't Al..

Thanks for sparing my plants problems, once again..:-)

A million thanks!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 6:01PM
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You can google soda water and plants. I tried to post links but were blocked because of spam concerns.

I have seen it discussed on 'pot' growing sites and these guys take their container growing methods SERIOUS. Some swear by it--most do not of what little I have read.

I have also seen it suggested that you use soda water as a foliar spray to increase carbon dioxide around the plant where it could be taken up by the leaves. At least that is the idea behind it whether it works or not.

And of course there may be other factors working in experiments where plants do do better with seltzer water
but the general concensus from what I have seen is that it wouldn't be a benefit and it is also expensive.

I am , however, always interested in someone who is in the hort. business and swears by stuff like this. I wouldn't think he would be wasting his money unless he saw a noticeable difference.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 10:00AM
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That is why I am going to do as Al suggested.

I am going to invite him to our forums if that is alright with everyone!!!

He has been in the buisness for dozen of years. Knows is stuff well, and has the most beautiful plants, especially lady slipper orchards I have ever seen.
He has also gotten a christmass cactus to grow at lease 4 feet wide and many other tropicals including citrus to abound in fruit.

So if he doesn't join, I will try to get the benefits and facts if they are really truthful, and really making a difference in his plants...He has been using selzter water well over a year and say there's absolutely never any stress or signs of displeasure with them . Just great results...We'll see

I still to side with Al though, until this guy proves its benefits...Al has never let anyone here down...He knows his stuff!!

As Al says, don't always believe what you hear...If I had, I would of failed at growing such beautiful plants!!

Let's see if this beneficial selzter watering benefits can be backed up....:-0)

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 10:34AM
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Hi Mike,

The thread has already changed topic, but when I saw the pic I also said "awww". I felt bad because I also drove 1 hour to a local wood processing plant that advertised "P/F Fines" and my discussion with the "clerk" (yes, not the actual expert) was they were the bark portion and were ONLY $12 per cubic yard. I was paying $10 cubic foot before I found them.

When I arrived, the entire supply looked very much like your picture. "Yeah, those are Pine/Fir fines -- we recycle old 2x4 lumber construction boards here" the owner said. I felt pretty foolish, but their site didn't have a picture and the clerk didn't know what she was talking about.

It wasn't a wasted trip though, because in their back lot was a supply of.... Hemlock Fir Bark, sifted in various sizes even down to 0-1/4" inch. I reviewed some former Al posts and this sounds like it was it.

Glad you found yourself a good source.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 11:31AM
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