Author Topic: Introduction to Ground Layer  (Read 3538 times)

BonsaiEngineer1493

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Introduction to Ground Layer
« on: October 31, 2014, 12:41 PM »
Guys,

I am really interested in the ground layer technique. I did notice a few articles online but they focused more on the result, not the overall procedure. Is there any good publications online that provide great detail that you would recommend? I would like to apply it on a trident maple.

Thank you,

Nick  
« Last Edit: October 31, 2014, 12:44 PM by BonsaiEngineer1493 »
 

Judy

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Re: Introduction to Ground Layer
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2014, 01:11 PM »
Take a look around this blog.  Not much more you can find better than the pictures and explanations here.  There are numerous articles.
http://bonsaial.wordpress.com/
 

bwaynef

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SHIMA1

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Re: Introduction to Ground Layer
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2014, 04:08 AM »
I don't know if this will help but this article was in GSBF's Golden Statements a few years ago but it only exists online on Marin Bonsai club's newsletter archive. Scroll down almost halfway.

http://www.marinbonsai.org/images/pdf/June2011_MBC_Newsletter.pdf

Metrosideros polymorpha, Ohi'a, are locked in lava just as juniper are in High Sierra granite. After losing one of the most interesting trunks I'd ever seen I knew there had to be a better way. A great advantage to ground/air layering is that the result can go directly into a container.
 

BonsaiEngineer1493

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Re: Introduction to Ground Layer
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2014, 11:36 AM »
Thanks everyone! I will definitely read up on everything you offered. My next question is when is the best time to preform a ground layer? Someone told me it's best to do it in the fall when the leaves are harden up. However, in Al's blog the trees look leafless so I assumed fall to winter.

I would like to do it on a trident I acquired from Don about a year ago.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2014, 11:39 AM by BonsaiEngineer1493 »
 

Judy

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Re: Introduction to Ground Layer
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2014, 04:30 PM »
keep in mind that everything that Al does is done in West coast long season climate.  You want to wait for your growing season around our colder climate.
 

Josh

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Re: Introduction to Ground Layer
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2014, 07:35 PM »
Ground layer is identical concept to air layer, just so low that there is no room for a bag, as you are at the soil line.  The breadth of bark you remove, the same, diameter or more as trunk.  Timing the same, before bud break has worked for me.  Only difference is how you create an environment for the emerging roots.  Obviously, not in a bag.

I have done several of these, successful on trident, maple, crab, hornbeam. Trident should be a snap  I have built a "perimeter fence", 3-6" radius 2-4" tall around trunk with something that let's water out, keeps soil in, such as screen for window, porch door, etc.  Fill with your intended soil medium, sphagnum, etc.  The bottom is on existing soil.  Water everything in spring and summer.  In time, you will see roots emerging thru your "fence."  Time to separate, late summer.

Most challenging aspect is separation, for me it has been an after thought one too many times.  Your new roots may grow down, into the pot soil below.  These roots are fragile, and may break when you try to tease them out.  In future, placing something like a plastic layer on soil, so new roots can't grow thru,and you have an easy separation plane may make separation easier.

Good luck
 

Sorce

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Re: Introduction to Ground Layer
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2014, 05:57 AM »
Something like this. Only in the ground.

Sorce
 

Judy

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Re: Introduction to Ground Layer
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2014, 07:34 AM »
If you place a plastic whatever under the layered section, how will water get down to the existing roots that the tree still needs until the new roots are ready? 
 

bwaynef

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Re: Introduction to Ground Layer
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2014, 01:53 PM »
In the thread I linked above of my ground layer, I had no problems NOT putting in a barrier between the old and new roots/soil.  (For that matter, different soil (consistency) is somewhat of a barrier to roots on its own.)
 

Josh

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Re: Introduction to Ground Layer
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2014, 04:49 PM »
About the separation, plastic on bottom, etc

Yes Judy, covering the whole soil surface would prevent water from getting through to the base soil.  If you image Source's picture above, a disc/plastic arround the trunk 2-3" will guide roots laterally, rather than down.  When time to separate, it is easier to stay below and not damage new roots, and cut the trunk. 

This point a potential suggestion, particularly when distance from layer to base roots is very small.  I have done this with mature trees with low branches and limited distance between layer and base roots.  There is very little space in which to work when you separate.  If your project has thin trunk and 2" or more to roots, no need.
 

SHIMA1

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Re: Introduction to Ground Layer
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2014, 02:00 AM »
In the thread I linked above of my ground layer, I had no problems NOT putting in a barrier between the old and new roots/soil.  (For that matter, different soil (consistency) is somewhat of a barrier to roots on its own.)
I too might have said something about a barrier, not solid but weed cloth to allow water to pass through,  but actually after trying it once, all layers are on top of the soil and there's been no problems. With maha root-makers like Acer b, cutting the odd root that found it's way down into the bonsai soil would be no great loss.
 

Sorce

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Re: Introduction to Ground Layer
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2014, 04:35 AM »
The other one I did that was more a "ground" layer had a 2 inch disc in a four inch pot. So not too big a problem.

Same one I put a container over the top of too though and had to water upside down.!

Either way if you allow the pot to fill up and drain a couple times they get water.