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A Newbie Question

Posted: Mon May 16, 2011 7:14 pm
by deanna2
I hope this works as I'm also new to photobucket. I just received my first bonsai a couple of days ago and it has a root on the surface. Does this mean it needs to be repotted. If the picture works, you can see it on the right edge.

Thanks for any and all advice. This is a great forum!

[img]https://i1178.photobucket.com/albums/x372/dhanco/bonsai.jpg[/img]


Deanna

Posted: Mon May 16, 2011 7:34 pm
by linlaoboo
I don't know since I don't grow Junipers. I guess it's probably not a good thing with bosais in general to have a fat root sticking out far away from the base of the trunk where you want a nabari with roots spreading in all directions unless the root that sticks out can be converted into a secondary trunk as in a multi-trunked bonsai.

Junipers are outdoor only trees, just FYI.

Posted: Mon May 16, 2011 8:32 pm
by deanna2
Thanks for your quick response. This Juniper was sold as an indoor plant, but after some reading I've found it must go outside. Our weather in Idaho has been cold and windy, but I do plan to get it out soon.

I'm uploading a new image from a different angle. It looks to me like this has had some shaping, etc., done to it. However, being new to this, I'm not sure in which direction they were going.

Again, any insight on how I should proceed would be greatly appreciated.

[img]https://i1178.photobucket.com/albums/x372/dhanco/bonsai_root.jpg[/img]

Thanks ..
Deanna[/quote]

Re: A Newbie Question

Posted: Mon May 16, 2011 9:26 pm
by tomc
deanna2 wrote:I hope this works as I'm also new to photobucket. I just received my first bonsai a couple of days ago and it has a root on the surface. Does this mean it needs to be repotted. If the picture works, you can see it on the right edge. Deanna
There are many examples of 'barefooted' and 'root over rock' trees in bonsai photo galleries, and books.

I can't recall a juniper being grown in either style, but untill somebody else reccomends against it, and you like the looks of it. I can't think of a compelling reason to repot it right now.

Posted: Mon May 16, 2011 11:14 pm
by kdodds
I can. Think of a reason that is. This is a "mallsai" and a very busy one at that. Aesthetics aside, mall "bonsai" are usually poorly potted in poor soil. They're also *usually* fresh dug out of the ground and shoved in a pot, then filled with soil. The mass production isn't always perfect and sometimes you have mispotted plants, like this one. Junipers can grow with exposed roots, absolutely, I've seen plenty of examples of this. But the fact that this trees roots "didn't fit" leads me to believe that there may be more to the story beneath the soil. The soil looks too find and sandy too me, but that's besides the point. It looks like the tree's roots just didn't fit. Rather than suggest a root pruning for someone just starting, I'd suggest removing and seeing if it can be moved lower down in the pot and, if not, moved to a trainer.

Posted: Tue May 17, 2011 1:02 am
by deanna2
Thank you both for your responses. I think I will do the repotting thing. I kind of like the look of the root on top, but it does look crowded the way it is. Do you have suggestions for appropriate soil for conifers? I've seen some that says it's specifically for those and have seen others as well. It just depends on what site I'm reading. :(

I will check when I pull the plant if the roots will fit, otherwise I will use a trainer pot for now. There is not a lot of room in this container with all the decorations that have been added.

Thanks again, appreciate all of your inputs!

Deanna

Posted: Tue May 17, 2011 1:11 am
by kdodds
With soil, a lot depends on you, and the tree type. Most conifers (as bonsai) do better with more aggregate and less organics. But, organics hold moisture longer, and provide nutrients, less watering, less fertilizing. I would stay away from any kind of potting soil, or any mix that contains a largish amount of sand (compacts). I'd look for something like lava rock/akadama/pumice mixed with pine bark and maybe a bit of compost/loam. Just about any commercial conifer mix from a bonsai seller will work. But, try to stay away from sites that also offer "mallsai" type trees for sale as well as any mixes that are mostly loam/compost type mixes.