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Last week I wrote that it is important to look for shallow roots in the evaluation of bonsai (see “Check shallow roots”). What we are looking for?
We want to see the connection between the trunk and roots.
root surface corkbark elms
When we see the superficial roots – nebari in Japanese – can have an idea of how safe is the bonsai in their culture medium. The roots not only ensure bonsai in place, they are the vehicle through which the shaft can interact with the ground -. A key part of the existence of the tree
The paper surface roots game can differ from one variety to another. Often bonsai collected, particularly junipers arise between the cracks of the rocks. This leaves no opportunity for the tree to develop shallow roots. For this reason, it is acceptable that otherwise excellent shallow-rooted trees to lack.
No surface roots – Sierra juniper collected from the rocks
Sometimes the surface roots are a mess. In these cases, our best hope is that there is no evidence of inverted cone.
surface roots of the oaks
Many trees grown as bonsai long are planted repeatedly too high. In these cases, you may find the surface roots that look like they are sitting on top of the ground or floating in the air.
shallow roots above the soil surface
In these cases, you can improve the appearance of the surface roots planting the lowest tree in boat.
Sometimes, the roots can show the characteristics we value most in the tree trunk. By pines, this would be the fissured bark.
aged crust on the surface of the roots of a black pine
The appearance of lichen can also convey a sense of great age. This is often the case for white pine bonsai.
shallow roots with lichen in white pine
Generally, the surface roots are very important in bonsai deciduous. One reason for this is that it is easier to develop shallow roots of deciduous trees than it is to develop them in conifers. The appearance of these roots, however, can vary widely depending on the species.
A good example is not typical of the Stewartia bonsai. Over time, the old bonsai Stewartia develop knuckles where the roots penetrate the soil. We do not think of this as a default because Stewartia grow naturally in this way.
root surface Stewartia
big knuckles Stewartia bonsai
Maples, on the contrary, easily develop large surface roots. Because of this, our standards nebari maple bonsai are high.
Nebari Japanese maple
In many cases, the roots of the surface on deciduous varieties contribute greatly to the initial conicity of the log .
Japanese maple shallow roots contribute to the style of the trunk
The most extraordinary examples are spectacular.
trident maple shallow roots
This article was originally published on bonsaitonight.com