richm2778
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Wow

Wow guys-

Thanks for the information. I also appreciate the ideas. I have never grown a deciduous tree before, and it is very new to me. Bonsai in general is pretty new as well. I have spoken to people at several nurseries, and they have told me that although I will see the leaves change color in the fall, I should not expect a hibernation to occur because of the temperature down here. I asked if the tree would die and I was told that fertilizing on a regular basis will help to avoid that because a hibernation is a period of dormancy when the tree replenished its energy stores. The fertilizer will counteract the loss of energy. I will not be touching the tree for quite some time, and around here, in ground growing is simply not an option. The soil has high salinity and it is not fertile at all.

Big question:

What about repotting? I have roots coming through the bottom of the pot. Do I leave them be, or do I repot it soon?

Rich

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No pot rich; we would like to see this in the ground. Waddaya say?

HG
Scott Reil

richm2778
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Hmm....

I would love to say yes, but the ground here is very poor quality. I live in South Florida, and we have very coral rich ground soil and the salinity is quite high. I cannot even get regular grass to grow in my yard. I only have weeds that I try to groom and keep in control.

I am curious though, what do you guys think about a tremendous pot? Something like a huge Rubbermaid container? I can fill it with good quality soil and then I can replant the tree in it. Perhaps then it will have a lot more room to grow and become more stout? I am thinking something like a huge storage bin. Do you guys think that it is more important to be a deep pot, or that it has a lot of surface area, i.e. a wide and relatively shallow pot? I am thinking about something about 8 inches deep, 24 inches wide, and about 40 inches long. Waddaya think?

Rich

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Rich,
I am curious though, what do you guys think about a tremendous pot?
An oversized container is definitely a good compromise. The thing is that there is such a thing as too big. I know this sounds contradictory at first blush, how can the Earth, which is tremendously huge, be appropriate but a three foot square container be too big? Once again I will refer you to Brent's website.

https://www.evergreengardenworks.com/earthpot.htm

The short version is that the Earth has a huge amount of capacity to 'draw water' from a plant. That capacity is lacking in a pot. There is such a thing as too big. Grow boxes are indeed used for this purpose just don't overdo it. Here is a picture of one that I have used for several years now. I have it in mind for a Pine I intend to collect a little later this year.
[url=https://img508.imageshack.us/my.php?image=growboxsv9.jpg][img]https://img508.imageshack.us/img508/8238/growboxsv9.th.jpg[/img][/url]
Do you guys think that it is more important to be a deep pot, or that it has a lot of surface area, i.e. a wide and relatively shallow pot? I am thinking about something about 8 inches deep, 24 inches wide, and about 40 inches long. Waddaya think?
I think you are on the correct path but need to downsize. Definitely more shallow than wide but not so large that you end up with a large mass of soil that is not colonized with roots. This leads to a situation where the soil stays wet for extended periods of time which is not ideal.

Norm

richm2778
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OK. I will make it a compromise then. I will leave it for this coming week because I am going to be out of town, but upon returning I will get it into a more suitable container. If I am not able to locate one, I will make one. Thank you for the advice and the explanations. Any chance you could tell me some good dimensions for the grow pot?

Rich

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or a twenty five gallon tree pot; I used to grow inch and a half caliper in 15 gallons, so you should be able to do three inch caliper in a bigger container... the rubbermaid idea lacks the depth for this fast growing tree and you'll restrict growth in the first year, methinks...

But do us all a favor; plant on top of the piece of slate or bluestone like we talked about, and paint the inside of the container with cupric carbonate (mixed in latex paint), to restrict roots from circling the container. The slight loss in growth (not a big deal with a fast tree like this) will be more than compensated by the resulting root mass (far more fibrous; a very desirable trait when we finally go to a suitable finishing container... it's a old trick from container growing trees, which is basically what you are talking about...

[url]https://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/MNR_E001821.pdf[/url]

THEN I think you might pull this off

but expect a pretty big plant; 8 feet tall or better with a pretty good head on it while you are growing out. But don't worry; you will lose most of it in a few years...

Not what you were thinking initially, right? But it's the right thing to do...

HG
Scott Reil

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Ah the over-researched post took too long, but wanted to dig up the old growers trick; I think you could get to caliper in two seasons in a full container rather than restricting root mass. Norm this redirects rooting with little of the shock we see in pruning, roots just direct elsewhere in the container when they reach the side. Never seen dead spots in a container with this technique; the roots just grow everywhere and the chemical restriction (still organic though) causes the same sort of ramification you see in tip pruning, without the shock. If you are trying to put on caliper, more root mass is key...

Not to say Norm's thought was wrong; he was coming at it from a more traditional method for bonsai; I was just going at it from the perspective of a container grower (another past life....). Yet more proof that this is art and not science; there is usually only one answer to scientific questions...

Sorry about posting on top of you Norm... :oops:

HG
Scott Reil

richm2778
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I have neverbworked with that chemical before. I am wondering if it is safe for pets because I have a very curious pooch. Also, I would still love some dimensions so I can make full use of your experience and expertise. I have to build up enough courage to do the repot. Thanks guys!!!

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It would be on the inside of the pot under the soil, so no pet exposure, and the beauty of cupric carbonate is that the copper stays bonded to the carbon, so it doesn't get into soil or plant (that's in the white paper I attached).

They make a paper grow barrier impregnated with cupric carbonate that is just onto the market, and copper is still in the NOFA standards as organic... I suggest the cupric carbonate rather than copper sulphate, which doesn't have that carbon buffering, to minimize exposure to elemental copper (plus it is locked in the latex paint). We have been getting water from copper pipes for a long time; it's pretty safe...

HG
Scott Reil

richm2778
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It has been a while!!

Hey Everyone,

It has been a long time since my last post. Marriage, life, and Graduate School have taken up most of my time. Since my last pst, I repotted the Trident Maple in a larger pot. It is now about 2 feet tall above the soil, and I see a ton of buds getting ready to burst this season. I am very happy to report that repotting it last season was a success, and I repotted for this season last weekend. It is now in a larger tree pot (about 15 gallons I think) I planted it in a lot of soil, and I am not overly concerned at this point with the root growth (Downward) in the pot. I am still hopeful that I can get this puppy to about 5 inches of circumference on the trunk. At this point, there are many more branches than in my last picture. The leader is very tall, but the other branches seem to be all towards the bottom and the leader looks very lonely. I am hopeful that I will get some better growth this season, as I would really like it if the tree was ready to begin training next season. I will post updated pictures as soon as I am able to. As always, any advice that you guys can give me is greatly appreciated.

As far as the soil, I am using regular tree potting soil, and it is a very loosely packed mixture. I have about 2 inches of gravel at the bottom of the pot to facilitate better draining. I also have gravel on the top of the soil to hold a bit more moisture. It may be unrealistic, but I would like the trunk to triple in size and the height to at least double this season. Although I would love to see better ramification, I plan on doing an extreme trunk chop in the future, so I am not yet concerned about the look of the tree. I think that I would like to go with a broom style. I would eventually like to have a large canopy that finishes about 8 to 10 inches above the soil line. Ideally, the total height of the tree will be about 24 inches or so. I would like the canopy to be as wide and as full as possible. I will post pics soon.

Rich

[img]https://i429.photobucket.com/albums/qq11/richm2778/85c2b880.jpg[/img]

FLBonsai
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richm2778,

Nice tree you have there! Speaking with local experts I've heard that the trident maple can survive in Florida, specifically Dade City (a bonsai garden there has several). However you may be a little too far south to get away without freezing it. I know for certain Japanese Maples will not survive this far down south. A good alternative for a nice bonsai would be a Florida (or swamp) maple or an American Sycamore.

Good luck!

jason_mazzy
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If you can get a very large yet realitively shallow pot you can allow it to grow and grow. perhaps pure inorganics so you can bareroot it easily and refrigerate it. over potting is a problem generally because the water table is low. but if you plant a large wide pot or tree box you can keep the tree near the water table while encouraging horizontal type rot growth. Good luck!

richm2778
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Location: South Florida

Update!

Well, I repotted a week ago and I have not seen any buds break yet. The weather here has been erratic with highs near the mid 70's and lows in the 40's so it may still be a while. As I examined them this morning, I saw that the tips of some of the buds seem to be turning a healthy green, which I think happened prior to leafing out last season. Also, I have seen that some of the buds that were attached directly to the leader seem to be forming new branches now, and these little stubs are about an inch long or so.

As far as the freezing thing for the winter goes, I had it in a really shady outdoor spot through this past winter and it dropped its leaves and everything on its own. It has been leafless for quite some time now, and it has developed buds so I know it is not dead. I repotted later this season than I did last year, so I am sure it is alright. I chose to plant it in a deeper pot because I have had it in a shallow wide one for the past year. During that time, I have seen very slow growth and I am hoping that having a bit more room to develop roots will spur on some heavier development this season. Perhaps I am imagining things, but it seems that in the past week, the bottom of the trunk has gotten thicker.

As soon as the leaves burst, I will be thrilled. I have not decided whether to let it grow wild this season, or if I want to try to defoliate in order to get a bit of practice at it on a deciduous tree. I have not done this on my Trident before. I figure that I plan for a radical trunk chop when it gets to the desired caliper, so I might as well practice. Of course, I will do nothing if the tree is not incredibly healthy and growing at a very high rate of speed.

At this point, with as much development and growth as I am hoping for, I am not sure that pure inorganic soil and bare rooting is in the cards. I have read that growth can be slower, and the process can take much more time. I am not in a rush, per se, but I get very excited to see the growth this particular tree puts out because it has been a real challenge for me in the past with issues described earlier in this thread.

Rich



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