Week 9: 30 Jan – 5 Feb

Sunday 30th January: I watered the trees (4 fluid ounces)

Monday 31st January: I increased the light hours to 13.5 hours a day (6 am – 7.30 pm)

The humidity in the propagator is 45% and temperature is 27 degrees Celsius (80.6 degrees Fahrenheit) at the soil surface level.

The study, the space the propagator occupies, has a humidity of 34% and a temperature of 19.4 degrees Celsius (67 degrees Fahrenheit)

Friday 4th February: I spent the day re-potting the trees. The Moringas had been in 18 cm (7 inch) plastic pots which I was replacing with 25 cm (9.75 inches) terracotta pots. I think the terracotta pots will be better for the trees growth as Moringa Oleifera trees do not like wet roots and are susceptible to root rot. The greater porosity afforded by the clay pots is preferable to the plastic. It is thought that Moringa Oleifera trees do have the capacity to sense the volume of soil they are in and grow to that volume. It is important to ensure that the volume of soil is increased in the early weeks of the trees growth. The trees were pot bound and I think this was the ideal time to plant in a greater volume of soil. That said there is always a risk of plant shock when re-potting. The trees seemed to take well to their new soils with little sign of plant shock.

Each tree was given approximately (6 – 8 fluid ounces). I added two height extensions to propagator to accommodate the new growth and the extra height of the pots.

Miracle tree installation 8

Miracle tree installation 8, John Newling

Saturday 5th February: I checked in to see how the trees were doing. The extra water from the day before had generated a micro climate of 80% humidity and the vents needed to be partially opened to drop this high humidity. That aside the trees looked very healthy with no signs of plant shock.

I am learning to read the leaves of these amazing trees. The leaves are very delicate and very expressive. When anything happens, light hours changing, temperature alterations, watering and feeding the leaves almost instantaneously display a reaction. I want the trees to relax into their environment. In leaf terms this means a very smooth surface and a consistent colouration running through it. The branch structure also gives clear signs of wellbeing or otherwise. I am interested in how this reading is learnt.

Approximately 5 cm (2 inches) of growth during this week

The tallest tree is now 46 cm (18 inches)

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Week 8: 23 – 29 January

The propagator is set at a temperature of 27 degrees Celsius (80.6 degrees Fahrenheit) at the soil surface level.

Sunday 23rd January: The grow lights are switched on. In the installation I am using 2 x 200 w white/blue grow lights. These lights are set at 11.5 hours a day (7 am – 6.30 pm)

Monday 24th January: The plants are watered (4 fluid ounces)

Wednesday 26th January: Due to the tree’s welfare, I removed 5 trees from the propagator leaving a total of 12 trees in the installation. The problem was overcrowding where some of the trees were shading the smaller trees from the light. This resulted in a few trees struggling with leaf growth.

Approximately 6.5 cm (2.5 inches) of growth during this week

The tallest trees at the end of week 8 are 41 cm (16 inches)

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Week 7: 16 – 22 January 2011

The propagator is set at a temperature of 28 degrees Celsius (82.4 degrees Fahrenheit) at the soil surface level.

Sunday 16th January: The trees are re-potted into 18 cm (7 inch) diameter pots

Tuesday 18th January: 17 trees are moved to Nottingham Contemporary’s study for installation

The environment of the study has a pretty constant humidity varying between 28% and 34% and a temperature of 19.4 degrees Celsius (67 degrees Fahrenheit) In this environment the propagator has much larger variations of humidity (between 34 and 74 % and a temperature range between 25 – 29 degrees Celsius (77 degrees to 84 degrees Fahrenheit) at the soil surface level.

John Newling, Miracle Trees

John Newling, Miracle Trees. Photo by Andy Keate

Thursday 20th January: I add a height extension to the heated propagator.

Saturday 22nd January: The installation opened to the public.

Approximately 5 cm (2 inches) of growth during this week

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Week 6: 9 – 15 January 2011

The propagator is set at a temperature of 29 degrees Celsius (84.2 degrees Fahrenheit) at the soil surface level.

Approximately 6.5 cm (2.5 inches) of growth during this week

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Week 5: 2 – 8 January 2011

The propagator is set at a temperature of 28 degrees Celsius (82.4 degrees Fahrenheit) at the soil surface level.

Approximately 6.5 cm (2.5 inches) of growth during this week

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Week 4: 26 Dec – 4 Jan

First of 3 shoots (out of 9 seeds) seen on Tuesday 28th of December 2010

This is a much lower % of success and I suspect the seed quality was not as good as the first batch. When the seeds are collected from the seed pods it is best to try and sow them within six months of collection. Old seeds will sometimes germinate but with less frequency.

The propagator is set at a temperature of 28 degrees Celsius (82.4 degrees Fahrenheit) at the soil surface level.

Approximately 6.5 cm (2.5 inches) of growth during this week

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Week 3: 19 – 25 December 2010

The propagator is set at a temperature of 27 degrees Celsius (80.6 degrees Fahrenheit) at the soil surface level.

Second set of seeds sown on Monday 20th December 2010

Approximately 5 cm (2 inches) of growth during this week

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