Root pruning question - technique and gritty mix
Hello All -
I have in the past root pruned fig trees that were in ~ 11 gallon plastic pots in miracle grow + peat moss + perlite. When I did the root pruning it was a bit past due but the plants came out fine.
I had read about a couple of methods of root pruning -
1) cut ~ 1/4 inch off the bottom and make a 1inch cut in 4 positions from the top to bottom i.e. cut at north, south, east, and west positions
2) remove all the dirt and then trim the roots removing roots that seem to be growing upwards or in a circular path around the base of the tree - removing I believe only about 1/3 of the overall root mass.
When I did the root pruning in the past I did method number 2 - removing all the dirt -- I have a bonsai root pick tool and once all potting mix is removed I sprayed the root mass with a bit of water from a hose to make sure all the potting mix was removed. I also lightly misted the root mass with a spray bottle of water while removing the mix and cutting the roots.
As I said before this method #2 worked well for me with the fig trees.
1. It seems to me that although method 2 is much more work --- especially when I have done it I was a bit past due and the root mass was really overgrown -- i.e. roots growing up into the center of the root system --- that it is a better method because more of the root system is addressed and the cut off roots totally removed.
However, am I wrong? Are both methods above equally efficient for producing strong new growth in a (fig) tree?
I would like to soon put a tree in ~ 11 gallon or larger pot (15 or 20 gallon) containing gritty mix. I recall seeing a picture of a bonsai tree Al Tapla had in gritty mix that I believe he had just root pruned or was getting ready to root prune. It seemed like it had a good amount of the gritty mix attached to the root system.
I am just thinking forward to the time when I would have to root prune a fig that is in such a pot of gritty mix. Obviously, the gritty mix is very heavy - I will use a two wheeler to move the pot around.
Should I expect a significant amount of the gritty mix to stick to the root system when I try to remove the plant from the pot? The entire potting mix mass containing miracle grow with a small amount of peat moss and perlite mixed in is removed from the container when I root pruned before.
I am just worried that if a lot of the gritty mix adheres or is not easily removed so that it can fall back into the pot then it will be far too hard to root prune a plant of this size that is in gritty mix because of the weight of the mix - i.e. I will not be able to lift the tree out of the pot if a significant amount of the gritty mix is attached to the root system due to the weight of the gritty mix.
I currently have a number of other plants in gritty mix in much smaller pots -- I have not yet had the need to root prune any of those so I don't have any direct experience root pruning something that has been growing in the gritty mix.