bonsai tree care

Bonsai Buying guide: check the surface roots

bonsai general - 4 views

Purchase bonsai can be a lot of fun. Because it can be difficult to find good material when you encounter something that has potential, it is easy to get excited.

How do you know when something has potential? For me, the best guide is the trunk.

When we buy bonsai, most of what you pay is the trunk. It is much easier to fix the branches or roots of what is to fix the trunk, so most of the value of the tree is in the trunk.

In many cases, trunk control is easier said than done. Some varieties grow very dense, so it is difficult to see beyond the foliage.

dense foliage – dwarf hinoki

Looking more closely reveals little. From this view, all we can see is that the tree is healthy.

hinoki healthy foliage

The easiest thing to do to get a better view is that of the foliage and look inside.

foliage separated – the trunk is revealed

This is where the little on the surface roots comes into play. Based on what I can see moving the branches, it seems that there is one good-sized trunk and several smaller outbreaks around him. I can not say is that these outbreaks come around. more research is needed.

Ideally, this is the time to scrape the soil surface and dig until the base of the trunk of the flares on the surface roots. If the person selling the tree says it’s OK, see if you can poke or dig down with your fingers until you find the shallow roots.

Read also:   A 'Cliff Bonsai'-Western Hemlock Styling

Sometimes the research approach will not be appropriate – other times it will be impossible. If the soil is hard or the root mass is solid, a serious effort is needed to find the surface roots.

This is fine for less expensive trees. I see often buried logs when purchasing material bonsai nursery and I do what I can to find out what is going on below the soil surface, but do not let that stop me if I can not make it all the way up to the shallow roots. In these cases, simply I take it into consideration when calculating the amount of tree worth to me.

Regarding this hinoki, suspected the trunk can be buried as the surface soil was soft and full of fine roots. I scrape and scrape and scrape, cut fine roots as he worked, until I found the superficial roots – Almost 2 inches below

After locating surface roots

What looked like a possible multi-trunk specimen turned out to be a tree with a single trunk.

trunk detail

In this case, I’m happy with what I found below the soil surface. The lower body has no scars and there are plenty of branches to work. And if I do not want the tree to rise up the pot, I can always replant at an angle.

future potential planting angle

As transplantation season is a couple of months, I dropped the plant back into the container. Now, the next time someone wants a closer look at the roots, which will be much easier to find look.

Back in the boat

Countdown to the US National Exhibition .: 35 days

Exposure EE. UU. National Bonsai in Rochester, New York, is a little over a month away. I’m excited about the event as it is the largest and best bonsai US year display and a great opportunity to catch up with friends around the world.

Read also:   Bay Island Bonsai exhibitions this weekend

‘ll have trees, tools, pots, books and materials available at the event, including some of the pines that I have been developing. I’m mounting for display trees now make the final decisions about what to wear. Here’s an example of one of the most developed trees that might be available.

black pine exposed root – pot Reiho

More updates coming soon!

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Bonsai Buying guide: check the surface roots

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