Return to the Bonsai Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Nursery Stock in too-tall Pot, Roots too brittle; Graft?

Posted by ThatAdeniumGuy (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 31, 14 at 16:47

Ok so I have a couple of nursery-stock trees assorted and I want to repot them in a few months to bonsai pots. Their is a good chance of death if I try and force the brittle roots to fit in such a thin (depth) pot. I've read about grafting, and hear you can graft roots too. How exactly does this work? Must the tree be dormant at the time? What about evergreen? Do you just pull out the plant tie the two root securely and then immediately cover it with soil again and stick it back? Or expose the graft bareroot for a few days in a bucket of water? If you graft roots, then before they heal, the plant essentially lost all the roots you removed before to graft,how does this not kill the tree? Is their a rule of thumb, like never disable more than 50% of the root-stock with a graft?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Nursery Stock in too-tall Pot, Roots too brittle; Graft?

Hi - Depending on the trees in question and their size, there are a 1,000 different pots out there of differing quality and material... many of which can be called 'bonsai' pots, many of which may not be, but may be suitable for early training of your trees. It is not necessary to stuff a narrow rootball immediately into a shallow pot, but such things are done over time (years) and how to do it requires some learning about root pruning, etc.... not something you would normally do in a day. Please try to provide more info on the type of trees, their size and the pots in question... I'm not sure root grafting (which you've never done in any case) is the way to go in the circumstances. One thing you might consider, depending on the type of tree and how it normally grows, is a 'cascade' pot that's tall and narrow, and part of the tree (e.g. juniper procumbens) is trained over time to hang down over the edge of the pot.

This post was edited by moochinka on Thu, Jul 31, 14 at 18:00

RE: Nursery Stock in too-tall Pot, Roots too brittle; Graft?

I have a couple of different potential pots. I have some glazed 14 x 8 x3.25 (high). Some plastic 6 x 8 x 4 oval, etc, would a gradual transition more and more shallow over time work? like a yearly 2" height reduction/exposure? at 8" becomes 1"/year?

The trees, some viburnum, contorted filbert, black pine, wisteria, bougainvillea, black walnut, cork oak, ribes sanguinum, grape vine, chinese elm, weeping mulberry, hydrangea, coastal redwood, dawn redwood, decid. magnolia, zelkova, jasmine sambac, holly, I'm drawing a blank on the rest.

Most are in 'grow bags' not rigid black nursery pot. Very flexible, shape can be molded like water in a glass. Easy to 'cut' 2" of height off of pots. Thus gradual transition = easy w/o stress of repotting.

containerized in assorted 5g, 2g, 3g, qt, 1g, 1g eextra tall (4x4x10 (high)), most pots >10" tall, up to 2 ft.

RE: Nursery Stock in too-tall Pot, Roots too brittle; Graft?

That's some variety you have there :-), and all have diff. requirements, roots (growth habit and fibrous vs snakey) and I seriously suggest you contact a local bonsai club asap to advise you about potting because there's just no way here to begin... bonsai is not something you do in steps 1,2,3 but over a lifetime, and starting out wrong won't help anything but discourage you very quickly. There's a lot to learn about soil mixes, climate, temps, when to repot and do rootwork (which season) and when not to, how much sun and whether and how to protect what in winter, and how to water (how often is most important. I understand the trees are all living outdoors now which is good, but once potted, trees need particular care and knowledge, so please don't just wing it... but DO come back and post some pix on the gallery when things are in place. Please don't randomly squish , cut or graft any roots til you know what you're doing. Good luck!

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Bonsai Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here