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  #1  
Old 09-20-2021, 06:23 PM
Nicolasdperez Nicolasdperez is offline
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Default Wood for mounting

Question: Are there any types of wood (besides those which are chemically treated or decomposing) that should be avoided for mounting orchids? Or does it not matter as long as the orchid can fasten itself to it?

Context: I recently purchased a baby sedirea japonica and am thinking about mounting it. There is a trail near my house with a lot of old tree branches which I will probably use to mount it. I would plan to submerge the wood in boiling hot water to get rid of any insects or harmful bacteria; and I would mount the orchid with AAA sphagnum moss and fishing line.

Thank you once again for your time and help
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Old 09-20-2021, 06:43 PM
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yeah it does matter.

It needs to be good quality wood or it won't last long enough.

Wooden baskets are made out of teak because it lasts at least 10 years.

Xaxim, tree fern and cork are all popular because they last decades.

If you boil wood you are already taking one year off its lifespan. Boiling wood will degrade it very fast.

So if you use something that isn't teak or oak it will have a lifespan of 2-3 years, boil it and it will be degraded in a year.

Basically if you knock on the wood slat it should feel really hard and solid like a marble countertop.

Knock on some Ikea furniture and it will feel soft and light. This would be unsuitable as mold would grow on it much faster.

Last edited by Shadeflower; 09-20-2021 at 06:46 PM..
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Old 09-20-2021, 06:54 PM
Nicolasdperez Nicolasdperez is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadeflower View Post
So if you use something that isn't teak or oak it will have a lifespan of 2-3 years, boil it and it will be degraded in a year.
So Oak trees should suffice? There are plenty of those where I live.

Let's just forget the boiling then; Do you think isopropyl alcohol or hydrogen peroxide could do adequately sanitize the wood and rid of bugs while maintaining the wood's integrity?
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Old 09-20-2021, 07:39 PM
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Pests would be drowned if you soak it overnight in water with a tiny bit of detergent added. You can't eliminate the environmental fungus and bacterial spores unless you autoclave it, so don't bother with that.
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Old 09-20-2021, 10:26 PM
Nicolasdperez Nicolasdperez is offline
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Originally Posted by estación seca View Post
Pests would be drowned if you soak it overnight in water with a tiny bit of detergent added. You can't eliminate the environmental fungus and bacterial spores unless you autoclave it, so don't bother with that.
Ok thank you. I found a good piece and am soaking it right now.
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Old 09-20-2021, 10:56 PM
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A hint when you are mounting the plant - put the plant directly against the mount. Then if you need a bit of sphagnum to help keep it from drying out too fast until it gets established, put it OVER the roots. You don't want to have sphag between the roots and the plant, especially for one like that that needs to dry out, because you want it to attach to the mount not the moss. (I'll use a bit of sphag under the roots as well as on top for fine-rooted, moisture-loving orchids like Pleurothallids, but not for Catts, Vandaceous, Dendrobiums, etc.) I have a mounted Sedirea japonica that has no moss at all - and roots all over the bare mount. But a small plant could use just a bit of help until it grows a bit.

For tying plants in place, I take my cue from Andy Phillips (Andy's Orchids) - 12-pound-test monofilament fishing line is the sweet spot... 10 pound is thin and breaks too easily, 14 pound is too stiff, harder to work with.
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Old 09-21-2021, 12:33 AM
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Darryl Venable of Tezula Orchids recommends old panty hose cut into strips for tying Tolumnias to mounts.
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Old 09-21-2021, 12:38 AM
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I have tried the panty-hose approach, nice and soft against the plant. I have had trouble holding the plant firmly enough though (can't have it wobble) and the material doesn't stand up well to weather and watering. I've also had dental floss suggested. Another substance that is just too hard to work with. I keep going back to fishing line. One spool lasts me for several years, and I mount a lot of plants.
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Old 09-21-2021, 09:45 PM
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How about putting the wood in the oven at say 225 degrees for a couple of hours? I don't think there would be any risk of fire or any smoke at that temperature (wood smokes at over 500 degrees F), and it would be well sterilized all the way through.

Also, for affixing plants to mounts, I used some Gorilla Glue on some Cattleya seedlings a few months ago and it has worked great. It sets up like a hard foam, holds them *firmly* in place, and doesn't seem to affect the plant at all. You just have to be sure that the glue is only on one side of the rhizome, so that the new growths and roots can still push out.
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Old 09-22-2021, 12:10 AM
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I did bacteriology research as an undergrad, and work in surgical operating rooms now. 225 F / 121C of dry heat for any length of time won't kill spores on something like wood, with innumerable nooks and crannies. Even with smooth stainless steel surgical instruments, numerous studies demonstrate only high-pressure steam (15 pounds per square inch or 34.5kPa) will kill almost everything but prions. Note 15 psi can be reached in stovetop pressure cookers, but they don't hold much wood.

Anything with rubber, which also has numerous tiny pores, requires autoclaving as above, or even gas autoclaving with ethylene oxide.

Baking in the oven will just stink up your house.

I expect Camille to chime in. She likely uses autoclaves all the time.
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