Creating surface roots?

rwhipple08December 13, 2006

So I'm getting ready to take a ficus I've had growing for 2 years and start developing the roots. From what I understand, I need to uncover the topmost roots and lay them out on top of the soil, partially pressed into the surface. Will they harden off and survive like this, or am I missing something?

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I don't know where you got that info. but it's not quite the thing... What you should have done originally (even before buying the tree), or can do at any time, is uncover any roots that have hardened off, to see what they're like before deciding to buy, and once bought, you can always choose to leave any or none of them exposed to any extent that doesn't affect unhardened off parts. Any time you repot you can very carefully untangle whatever roots you can without breaking them and arrange them (not press!) around the trunk, within reason - better a crooked root (which you may choose to 'sacrifice' if you think the tree can take it) or leave on, than a broken one that may be feeding a major branch. Plus VERY few trees come with perfectly placed roots to begin with, and you can only (be expected to) do so much yourself. Don't leave unhardened roots exposed at any time though.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 4:16PM
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gnome_in_pa(Zone 6)


Every re-pot is an opportunity to improve the arrangement of the nebari. More important than trying to uncover roots at an early age is encouraging their proper radial arrangement. Also roots that are deemed to high or too low are removed (as is the taproot if it has not been already removed) favoring the ones that will become the finished nebari.

Also be aware that thick lignified roots do not absorb moisture and nutrients that is done by the fine feeder roots. So root pruning must balance the strong visible roots with the finer root hairs.



Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 6:25PM
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