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Author Topic: Anyone see any potential in this one?  (Read 2923 times)
Adair M
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« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2012, 02:12 PM »

When I went to the bonsai shop, I wasn't expecting to come home with a JBP project.  I went to buy some tools.  But when I saw this one, and the taper in the trunk, AND all the little buds coming off the trunk, well, I had to get it.  Material like this just doesn't present itself every day.  Bonsai is funny that way... when you go looking for something in particular, you can't find it.  It's when you're not looking for something, that you find it.

I stopped by there again today, and they were down to only two left, and neither would be good for bonsai. They had about 8 when I picked this one out.  This one was so good I didn't really consider the others.  Maybe I should have.  No, one big project is enough.

John,

I have a large bonsai pot I bought about 25 years ago.  It was $100 then.  I wonder what it would be today?  It is a little wider than the current nursery tub, and almost as wide.  It's about 5 inches deep inside the pot.   It will work for it in the future.

Do you think I could go ahead and do the top root ball work you described, and reduce the root ball height by about half?  It's currently 14 inches tall.  I'm thinking of just sawing it straight across about halfway.  And putting a layer of boon mix across the bottom of the cut down nursery pot until next spring.  Then pot into the bonsai pot next spring.  Some of the candles are just beginning to develop needles.  Others are not quite that far along.  If you think it's risky, I won't.  This material is too nice to take a big risk.
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Adair M
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« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2012, 03:04 PM »

Well, I went ahead and did it.

I found that the roots were way worse than I thought.  Circles on top of circles.  In fact, the circling roots helped contribute to the taper in the lower trunk.  They so constricted the trunk that it bulged!  Also, some new little feeder roots formed above the circling ones!  The tree ground layered itself.  Not all the way around, unfortunately.  I'm guessing that when it was uppotted at the nursery, they plunked it in the new larger cans, and added more of the pine bark/sand mix on top.  So it rooted a little.

So, once I got in there enough to attempt to detangle roots, well, I might just as well pot it.  I tried to straighten out as many roots as I could, and used clips to hold them in place.

I really wasn't planning on doing a big job of it, just what John Kirby outlined above.  But once I got in there and saw the disaster, I knew that it had to be done.  If it survives this, NEXT repotting will be to go after the remaining bark/sand that's under the trunk.  Probably have to do the same thing to this as I did to my zelkova where I screwed the trunk to a board and splayed the roots out.  Next time.

I had a big 'ole bonsai pot from 1985, so I've got it in there.  Huge thing.  Sucked up all my prepared Boon Mix.
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Chrisl
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« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2012, 03:18 PM »

Good start, 10 years to good bonsai (may be faster in your climate). Next spring you can get this tree into a big bonsai pot, I might have done it this year when you did the cut down, but that is just one approach. The issue will be finding where the nebari is relative to the first few roots you see. I might suggest that you cut down the pot and take the surface soil down 2-3-4 inches, exposing the surface roots and "combing them out" away from the trunk. then replace the top soil with a medium coarse bonsai soil. place a little sphagnum around the trunk at the nebari line (like 1-2" from the trunk out). This will help with a couple of things, one it will get the nebari cleaned and starting to do some new growth, get you roots on the surface fixed and get you prepared for the root cut down and 50% barerooting that will need to occur next spring. Then find a big cheap pot to use next year. Looks like a fun, fun project. John

Good going Adair!  I hope it does ok now.  I'm anxious about how much some big bonsai pots are going to set me back when needed lol  I got my own JBP delivered yesterday from Brussels.  It's a beauty, I'll have to post some pics.

John, do you keep the sphagnum moss moist all the time?  I'm finding it drying out, yet the substrate is still moist. 
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Adair M
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« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2012, 06:50 PM »

Here are a couple pics.  Unfortunately, in the midst of the detangling, my hands were so messy, I didn't take a photo of the circling roots.  Or even my feeble attempt of straighening.  But, here's what I have.
aN
And really, that's not going to be the front.  I was so despirate to get it in the pot I put the "alternate" front in front.  Ah, no matter, it's gotta grow for a while.  (Assuming I didn't kill it.  Always a possibility.)

And I'll soak up some spaghnam moss and put around the lower trunk.

(I think John K knew I'd find a mess around that trunk!)
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John Kirby
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« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2012, 09:08 PM »

Ah, patience, Put the sphagnum up around the trunk. Water it and keep it moist. You took a lot of foliage off, you have taken roots off, let's see where it goes. I bare rooted 1/2 of a former monster like yours, this evening after work, when I got it 10 years ago it was in a 30+ gallon pot of muck. I wasted years getting back to it.

John
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Kajukid
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« Reply #20 on: October 15, 2012, 10:49 AM »

How is the tree doing? Got any pics?? Just wondering if it survived after the big cut and then the repot. Thanks
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Adair M
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« Reply #21 on: October 15, 2012, 02:08 PM »

It's doing fine. I pulled some needles from the strongest of two possible apex branches. Just I could see better what's going on.

No new photos.

I'm going to an intensive with Boon later this month, so I thought I'd wait until after I'm back to do anything major.

There is still one long branch. I'm sure I will cut it off, but I left it on so it wouldn't be totally shocked.

Warren Hill is coming to town this weekend, I may show it to him and get his opinion. 

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