Species Specific > Japanese Black Pine Bonsai Discussion

When to cut back JBP for backbudding

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Unrestricted growth in the field = good.

Field soil in a pot = bad.

JBP do best in freely draining inorganic soil.

Adair M:
Oso, when the tree was in the ground, it had a lot more roots. Most of the feeder roots were cut off when it was removed from the ground and put in the pot.

Let's face it: growing trees in a pot is not "natural". Trees evolved to grow in the ground, where the roots could grow wherever and however they wanted. In a pot, they can't. Every cubic inch matters. So, the roots on a pot have to perform the same task in a very limited space as a tree in the ground with virtually no limits.

So, if a tree in the ground finds itself in an area of poor soil, if some roots find a rich area, they'll extend and grow there. In a pot, they can't. The tree tries, but can only produce circling roots.

John Kirby:
What works in the ground doesn't necessarily work in the pot. Adair has covered many of the points. Being in a limited space with controlled/potentially limited inputs requires optimization of conditions.

I was going to post a detailed response, go read past postings on bonsai soil (aka planting media) and come bsck if you have any wuestions.


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