The Benefits of Scrubbing Wooden Benches
Since deadwood is all the rage in the bonsai world, here’s quite a bit of it. Amazing we could find so much that was nice and straight, right?
Scrubbing benches with a bristle brush removes the buildup of algae and mold, helping to resist the decomposition of the wood. You will likely find the undersides of most wooden benches to be quite fresh looking. There is rarely a need to flip the bench and scrub the other side.
If you look closely, small lumps, clots, and mounds of recently scrubbed off algae cover the boards, soon to be washed off with a hose. Bobby sporting stripes, as usual. His stripy wardrobe has migrated to headgear, too.
And not just algae is removed. When we scrub, minute loose, decomposed wood particles are taken off that otherwise with a hard rain end up attached to the sides of our pots, like spackling. So this aerobic activity has an aesthetic benefit as well. Blasting with some Freddie Mercury or Maria Callas might help to loosen dirt, too. (We didn’t, just a suggestion.)
Try doing this during a wet week in the late fall or early spring, when trees are in winter quarters and already off the benches. A rain will loosen the organic buildup and make it easier to brush off. Mostly this is mechanical, although some may prefer the addition of Chlorox. Be sure to wash off with a strong hose blast before the scrubbed areas have dried…otherwise, rescrubbing commences. Which might be just another opportunity to play Callas, for some.