I have a few pots of nursery stock I bought recently to make into bonsai in the near future, but wanted to get some info on the transformation process. I have a few japanese maples (a few 5 and one 10 gallon) and a ginkgo (5 gallon) that need to be converted. I have been researching this for some time as i would like to fully prepared to do some or most of it in the coming spring.
First, is it better to bare-root the nursery stock and replant into a small container after pruning only the major/large roots leaving the feeder roots alone? Or do I remove most of the soil, leaving some of the original soil in the root ball again with major roots pruned and feeder roots left alone?
What percentage of the roots do I prune and do I have to sequentially remove only small portions of the roots over successive seasons to get the root ball into a small pot size? (Versus a more dramatic and less patient approach of removing a significant amount of roots next spring and then right into a bonsai pot)?
Do the roots need to be prepped before and after pruning (i.e. antifungal, superthrive, etc?)?
I'd love to hear from others and their experiences and suggestions as I would like to perform this transition with the minimal amount of error if possible.