Tag Archives: Microbes


(Thanks to Dr. Karen O’Hanlon of Probio Carbon for answering some of my questions about biochar). Biochar is a product which has been advertised as a beneficial component of bonsai soil over recent years. So what exactly is it? Biochar is basically charcoal which has been “produced from organic waste using pyrolysis technology under temperatures […] Read more… >

Bonsai Tree Growth Stages

Most bonsai trees progress through stages of development, each with a different objective. In general the progression is thicken trunk -> achieve branch & root structure -> achieve branch, foliage & root ramification -> reduce leaf size -> evolve as branches grow/fall off. The faster we can move through the first few development stages, the […] Read more… >

Root Exudates

I had never heard of root exudates before creating this website, but in fact their production is so important to plants that they “invest up to 20–40% of their photosynthetically fixed C”ref in this process. Root exudates are basically substances created by root cells and sent out into the nearby environment – known as the […] Read more… >

The Rhizosphere

Roots exist in a their own ecosystem along with soil, chemical compounds, microorganisms and variations in pH, humidity and temperature. This environment is known as the ‘rhizosphere’, a term created by Lorenz Hiltner in 1904, using the greek word for root ‘rhiza’. The term refers to the area around the roots, and is broken into […] Read more… >


The roots of your tree are *just* as important as the above-ground parts, with a lot of responsibilities which aren’t immediately obvious. I’ve summarised the main ones here but there is a lot more detail in separate posts with links provided below. So why are roots so important? Points 1 and 2 are fundamental to […] Read more… >

The Microbiome and Symbiotic Microbes

It has been known for over a century that tree roots are colonised with microbes, particularly fungi, but it’s only in the last twenty-five years or so that this idea has captured the public imagination, with Suzanne Simard’s discovery that trees can actually communicate and share resources via their fungal networks.ref Of course, our knowledge […] Read more… >