The use of the colander is expanding.

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Re: The use of the colander is expanding.

Post  Ray M on Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:06 am

Hi everyone,
I have answered Chris on AusBonsai and thought I would post here as well.

coh wrote:I posted a follow-up question on the Australian forum but haven't got any responses...so I'll pose it here as well. Actually, I'll just cut and past most of my comment from that thread:
Hi Chris,
I am the member of AusBonsai that posted this thread.  I will try to answer your questions below.  I am away on holidays at present.  When I get back home I will take a photo of some of my trees lined up in colanders.

coh wrote:Hello all,

This is my first post on this forum. I found this discussion referenced on another forum (bonsainut.com) and wanted to ask a couple of questions. As you note, members on that forum in general believe that planting the colander in the ground defeats the purpose of using the colander. In their view, having the sides of the colander exposed to the air creates "air pruning". When the roots get near the side of the colander, instead of diving down and around like they do in a standard nursery pot, they die off (due to the dry air). The theory is that this maintains a desirable fibrous mass of mainly feeder roots within the pot.
I have been using colanders for well over 20 years.  I use them in two ways.
1/  I use them like ordinary pots.  These are placed on the ground, the same as you would for any growing pot, but not buried.  I have hundreds of trees in colanders and use colanders from 100mm diameter to 600mm diameter.  These are watered and fertilized as you would do for any tree you are growing on.  Because the colanders give very good drainage you may have to water a little more than ordinary pots.  When the roots come out through the sides of the colander they will die off.  You wont get root binding like in solid wall pots.
2/  Planting the colanders in the ground.  This is used for a totally different purpose.  When I want to grow trees on quicker I use this method.  As I mentioned earlier you plant the colander only as deep as the rim.  The roots will grow though the holes in the colander into the ground.  This gives the same effect as ground planting.  I raise the colander up to three times a year, depending on the species of tree, and do a root prune.  Place the colander back in the ground and let the tree take off again.  The great thing with this method is that you are not affecting the root ball.  Because you are only pruning the roots outside the colander the root ball is not affected.


My belief (and it seems to be backed up by this thread), is that if you plant the colander in the ground, the air pruning effect is obviously stopped and roots can grow out through the colander into the soil. I would also think that some of the roots would grow down and around within the colander, creating some circling roots. However, I've never tried this...so I'm wondering what you guys find when you examine the root systems inside the colanders after they've been buried for a while.

Has anyone done any side-by-side comparisons with colanders both above and in the ground? I would think planting the colanders in the ground and lifting periodically would result in faster growth but perhaps not as good of a close, fibrous root system. People posting on the other forum don't agree but haven't tried both methods, as far as I can tell.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can offer some additional insights.

Chris
New York/USA
Regards Ray

Ray M
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Re: The use of the colander is expanding.

Post  Ray M on Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:11 am

PeacefulAres wrote:Would I be right to say that this is a method for developing trees that have reached, or near to reaching the overall size that you want? It seems like letting the tree grow in the ground would result in coarser growth, and thus more size in the same time frame. Growing a tree in a colander placed in the ground seems like a way of developing a tree more rabidly, while retaining the better aspects of pot culture. Would you say this is true?
Hi PeacefulAres,
I have just responded to Chris.  This may answer your question.

Regards Ray

Ray M
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Re: The use of the colander is expanding.

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Sun Aug 25, 2013 12:11 pm

Chris as promised - ans have a laugh with me, I got the 3" [ 7.5 cm ] ----- on one side, 2" [ 5 cm ] for the rest - chuckle.
Now I haven't a clue as to what to do, all these wounds to make and heal - help!!
Khaimraj

Jan 27th or so, next year I will prepare the tree to be put into the fridge until around April 1st, then repotted etc.

These should be self explantory.






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Re: The use of the colander is expanding.

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Sun Aug 25, 2013 12:12 pm

I like your soil Yvonne.
Khaimraj

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Re: The use of the colander is expanding.

Post  arihato on Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:00 am

I don't use colanders, I use pond baskets. They come in various sizes. I use them to grow my ShoHin Larches from seed.


CRW_7381 by Arihato, on Flickr

I have used them now for some 25 years with nice results this one has been sown in 1999.


IMG_2125 by Arihato, on Flickr

This one was started in 1994


IMG_1235 by Arihato, on Flickr

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Re: The use of the colander is expanding.

Post  Jkd2572 on Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:21 am

What tree is in the last pic. Simply wonderful.

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Re: The use of the colander is expanding.

Post  Xavier de Lapeyre on Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:00 am

Jkd2572 wrote:What tree is in the last pic. Simply wonderful.
This one ?
arihato wrote:

IMG_1235 by Arihato, on Flickr
Since its Arihato, I'd say its a Larix.
The full set is here : http://www.flickr.com/photos/arihatos_bonsai/sets/72157632774405301/with/8637879971/

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Re: The use of the colander is expanding.

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:57 am

Damn fine tree, Arihato, and now I must search for the tropical equivalent,
Thanks for taking the time to respond and show.
Later.
Khaimraj

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Re: The use of the colander is expanding.

Post  arihato on Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:21 am

Thank you JkD, and thank you Xavier for giving my Flickr page, I had forgotten.

I specialise in small Larches, mainly Larix kaempferi but I also have L laricina, L gmellii, L siberica, L decidua.

If you're interested my Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/arihatos_bonsai/sets

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Re: The use of the colander is expanding.

Post  PeacefulAres on Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:24 pm

Ray M wrote:
PeacefulAres wrote:Would I be right to say that this is a method for developing trees that have reached, or near to reaching the overall size that you want? It seems like letting the tree grow in the ground would result in coarser growth, and thus more size in the same time frame. Growing a tree in a colander placed in the ground seems like a way of developing a tree more rabidly, while retaining the better aspects of pot culture. Would you say this is true?
Hi PeacefulAres,
I have just responded to Chris.  This may answer your question.

Regards Ray
I'm a little skeptical about the claim that planting in the colander is the same as planting in the ground. I have no doubt that the added root growth does accumulate and increase the size of the tree's base. However, how can it really compare with growing directly in the ground? If you're lifting it several times per year, how does it have time to develop dedicated roots? One of the main functions of roots is to anchor and support the tree. In a colander, would the roots become as thick and power as those of a tree left in the ground?


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Re: The use of the colander is expanding.

Post  arihato on Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:45 pm

PeacefulAres wrote:
Ray M wrote:
PeacefulAres wrote:Would I be right to say that this is a method for developing trees that have reached, or near to reaching the overall size that you want? It seems like letting the tree grow in the ground would result in coarser growth, and thus more size in the same time frame. Growing a tree in a colander placed in the ground seems like a way of developing a tree more rabidly, while retaining the better aspects of pot culture. Would you say this is true?
Hi PeacefulAres,
I have just responded to Chris.  This may answer your question.

Regards Ray
I'm a little skeptical about the claim that planting in the colander is the same as planting in the ground. I have no doubt that the added root growth does accumulate and increase the size of the tree's base. However, how can it really compare with growing directly in the ground? If you're lifting it several times per year, how does it have time to develop dedicated roots? One of the main functions of roots is to anchor and support the tree. In a colander, would the roots become as thick and power as those of a tree left in the ground?


I found that growing in pond baskets or colanders creates a more fibrous root system. The overall growth rate is somewhat slower than in the ground but on the plus side you have more control, ease of handling, 360° sun exposure by turning and a better root system. As the tree develops a finer root system, the growth in the canopy is similarly finer and denser. I found this ideal for growing on seedlings to mature plants, in my case ShoHin.

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Re: The use of the colander is expanding.

Post  coh on Mon Aug 26, 2013 7:07 pm

I'll copy my reply to Ray from the Australian forum so people don't have to go back and forth...

Thanks for the reply, Ray!

OK, two different approaches for two different situations. The question that still remains in my mind - when you finally remove the tree from the colander (the ones that have been in the ground), do you find circling/binding roots at all, or do the root systems remain good/fibrous. Reading between the lines, I would guess that the root systems inside the pots stay in better shape than those that would have been in nursery pots. (this question is addressed to Khaimraj and anyone else using the method, as well - I'm interested in what's inside the container, not what is outside)

Some other questions come to mind. I would think you'd want to establish the tree within the colander for a while before planting the colander in the ground? In order to establish that dense, fibrous root system with lots of feeder roots inside the colander. And regarding the frequency of lifting...do you find that certain species require lifting more often than others? I know that some plants, when first planted in the ground, take quite a while to establish roots before beginning significant top growth. Others seem to take off right away. I would think trees in the former category would benefit from being left in the ground longer.

I'm thinking of experimenting with this process next season. I've got a couple of semi-hardy plants that have been growing in containers, but slowly. Perhaps placing them in colanders and then putting the colanders in the ground for the growing season (lifting before winter) would allow faster growth. (PeacefulAres, this is one application of the technique that I can see...though I think lifting once at the end of the growing season would give the greatest benefit. Will have to do some experimenting...but in any case, I don't think there's much doubt that planting in the ground would yield the most overall growth for a given time period...but possibly coarse growth of both top and roots)

Thanks again, enjoy the vacation!

Chris

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Re: The use of the colander is expanding.

Post  Ray M on Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:27 am

I'm a little skeptical about the claim that planting in the colander is the same as planting in the ground. I have no doubt that the added root growth does accumulate and increase the size of the tree's base. However, how can it really compare with growing directly in the ground? If you're lifting it several times per year, how does it have time to develop dedicated roots? One of the main functions of roots is to anchor and support the tree. In a colander, would the roots become as thick and power as those of a tree left in the ground?
Hi PeacefulAres,
Have a look at Khaimraj Seepersad photos in the above post. If you leave the tree and colander in the ground the roots will certainly enlarge.

Most of the time I don't want my roots to get that large, hence the reason for lifting and pruning the roots.

Regards Ray

Ray M
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Re: The use of the colander is expanding.

Post  Ray M on Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:54 am

coh wrote:I'll copy my reply to Ray from the Australian forum so people don't have to go back and forth...

Thanks for the reply, Ray!

OK, two different approaches for two different situations. The question that still remains in my mind - when you finally remove the tree from the colander (the ones that have been in the ground), do you find circling/binding roots at all, or do the root systems remain good/fibrous. Reading between the lines, I would guess that the root systems inside the pots stay in better shape than those that would have been in nursery pots. (this question is addressed to Khaimraj and anyone else using the method, as well - I'm interested in what's inside the container, not what is outside)
As I mentioned before, I have been using colanders for a long time.  I never find root binding using the colanders.  Let me qualify this statement.  If the tree is growing in a colander above ground you will get good fine roots.  If the colander is placed in the ground, and you leave it there for a long period you will get thick roots both outside and inside the colander.

Some other questions come to mind. I would think you'd want to establish the tree within the colander for a while before planting the colander in the ground? In order to establish that dense, fibrous root system with lots of feeder roots inside the colander. And regarding the frequency of lifting...do you find that certain species require lifting more often than others? I know that some plants, when first planted in the ground, take quite a while to establish roots before beginning significant top growth. Others seem to take off right away. I would think trees in the former category would benefit from being left in the ground longer.
If the tree is slow to establish roots, lifting the colander out of the ground will not hurt the tree.  This is one of the advantages of not disturbing the root ball.

Depending on what I want to do with a tree I will plant the colander in the ground no matter what age the tree is.


I'm thinking of experimenting with this process next season. I've got a couple of semi-hardy plants that have been growing in containers, but slowly. Perhaps placing them in colanders and then putting the colanders in the ground for the growing season (lifting before winter) would allow faster growth. (PeacefulAres, this is one application of the technique that I can see...though I think lifting once at the end of the growing season would give the greatest benefit. Will have to do some experimenting...but in any case, I don't think there's much doubt that planting in the ground would yield the most overall growth for a given time period...but possibly coarse growth of both top and roots)

Thanks again, enjoy the vacation!

Chris
Regards Ray

Ray M
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Re: The use of the colander is expanding.

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:31 pm

Chris,

the moment the colander comes out of the ground, it goes back to the function it had before, air pruning.

For the hackberry, growth will stop just before Christmas, so I have just around 3 months for the tree to re-develop fine roots. In spring, I will repot, cut out the large roots and start over for the next stage of branches and healing,in a colander, within a colander.
Later.
Khaimraj

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Re: The use of the colander is expanding.

Post  PeacefulAres on Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:14 pm

Ray M wrote:
I'm a little skeptical about the claim that planting in the colander is the same as planting in the ground. I have no doubt that the added root growth does accumulate and increase the size of the tree's base. However, how can it really compare with growing directly in the ground? If you're lifting it several times per year, how does it have time to develop dedicated roots? One of the main functions of roots is to anchor and support the tree. In a colander, would the roots become as thick and power as those of a tree left in the ground?
Hi PeacefulAres,
Have a look at Khaimraj Seepersad photos in the above post.  If you leave the tree and colander in the ground the roots will certainly enlarge.

Most of the time I don't want my roots to get that large, hence the reason for lifting and pruning the roots.

Regards Ray
That makes me wonder... if you're going to leave the tree in the ground for 2 years, why put it in the colander at all? It seems like the colander would be acting as an artificial barrier that prevents the tree from growing unimpeded.


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Re: The use of the colander is expanding.

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:54 pm

Peaceful,

I went from less than 1/2 " [ 1.25 cm ] to 3" [ 7.5 cm ] in two years [ mind you as I said, it only did the 3" on one side ]

I was able to cut three roots and remove the colander, with no fear of the tree going into shock, and the time left for growing will return the fine roots.
So I lose nothing.

Plus, I am using the 1 to 5 proportion here. Even if you wanted to go to a say 5" [ 12.5 cm ] trunk that would be a 25" [ 63.5 cm ] tall tree, and most folks prefer the 1 to 6.
In under 5 years you would have a tree big enough to satisfy most folks, and if your are clever all the main branches / radial rooting, in place.

All I plan to do is set the branches and just enjoy the tree as it grows and is trained.

Perhaps you have a case of ------- too much theorisng and not enough doing?

I will keep the group inform on the tree's training.
Just try it, please.
Later.
Khaimraj

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Re: The use of the colander is expanding.

Post  fabrice B on Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:43 am

Hi everybody,

I'm also putting most of my trees after collecting them in colander. (I found some nice black one for pond which are not breaking on the sun..)

The result are very interesting for growing branches and roots in the same time.

fabrice B
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Re: The use of the colander is expanding.

Post  PeacefulAres on Wed Aug 28, 2013 3:34 am

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:Peaceful,

I went from less than 1/2 " [ 1.25 cm ] to 3" [ 7.5 cm ]  in two years [ mind you as I said, it only did the 3" on one side ]

I was able to cut three roots and remove the colander, with no fear of the tree going into shock, and the time left for growing will return the fine roots.
So I lose nothing.

Plus, I am using the 1 to 5 proportion here. Even if you wanted to go to a say 5" [ 12.5 cm ] trunk that would be a 25" [ 63.5 cm ] tall tree, and most folks prefer the 1 to 6.
In under 5 years you would have a tree big enough to satisfy most folks, and if your are clever all the main branches / radial rooting, in place.

All I plan to do is set the branches and just enjoy the tree as it grows and is trained.

Perhaps you have a case of ------- too much theorisng and not enough doing?

I will keep the group inform on the tree's training.
Just try it, please.
Later.
Khaimraj

My skepticism in mainly as whether a colander is a great method for rapidly producing a thick base/nebari. If it's no better than planting in the ground, I'm not entirely sure what the advantage would be. On the other hand, I believe it's probably a really good way to speed up the development of the trees top growth.

I've head some really good results from growing trees in the ground. Mind you, the mix I use in my raised bed is a little bit coarse, but the trees I've put in them have developed considerable roots. I've had several trees put out several half inch thick branches in six months, and produce a plethora of roots. I've also recently planted some trees by method described in this thread, so we will see how that goes.



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Re: The use of the colander is expanding.

Post  Ray M on Wed Sep 04, 2013 12:59 am

Hi all,
Here are a few photos I promised.  This is just some of my trees in colanders.  As you can see I use them for training.









Regards Ray

Ray M
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Re: The use of the colander is expanding.

Post  fabrice B on Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:57 am

Hi everyone,

because this topic is very interesting, it gave me an idea to do my own small experiment with some young plants of Punica granatum.

I had a dozen of seed in a pot, so I decide to separate them and put some in a bonsaï pot, some in colander and some in the ground. I did it last week so the experiment is just on the level 0 phase. I hope it will be interesting in the future. All the one in container are in the same mix soil and I will treat them equally in water and fertilizer (15 15 15 every week like all my plants). I put some in colander which were smaller that some in bonsai pot also to check if they will be a difference, we will see and observe :-) I have now to label them to be sure next stop on level 1 after few month.

Here is my link on my blog.

http://bonsaiguadeloupe.blogspot.com/

Thank you. Kind Regard.

fabrice B
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Update

Post  Ray M on Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:57 am

fabrice B wrote:Hi everyone,

because this topic is very interesting, it gave me an idea to do my own small experiment with some young plants of Punica granatum.

I had a dozen of seed in a pot, so I decide to separate them and put some in a bonsaï pot, some in colander and some in the ground. I did it last week so the experiment is just on the level 0 phase. I hope it will be interesting in the future. All the one in container are in the same mix soil and I will treat them equally in water and fertilizer (15 15 15 every week like all my plants). I put some in colander which were smaller that some in bonsai pot also to check if they will be a difference, we will see and observe :-) I have now to label them to be sure next stop on level 1 after few month.

Here is my link on my blog.

http://bonsaiguadeloupe.blogspot.com/

Thank you. Kind Regard.
Hi fabrice B,
Have you any updated photos on how this project is going?

Regards Ray

Ray M
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Re: The use of the colander is expanding.

Post  fabrice B on Sat Nov 23, 2013 1:58 am

Hi Ray,

I will take some pictures soon, for the moment I have the feeling that there is not much growing but i'm sure if I measure it.

In fact I also doing a small experiment according to this post (sorry it's in french on a french forum). his work is estonishing in 1year and an half

http://www.parlonsbonsai.com/forums/index.php/topic/55677-ahura-mazdaun-orme-du-japon/#entry771976

There is also almost the same experiment on another forum. In fact the common point with this guys it's that they have access to a professionnal device controled by computer, analysing CEC and ph and so on...

http://espritsdegoshin.fr/forum-bonsai/topic.html?id=5079&p=5

So i don't have professionnal material to advance as fast as i want (dosatron http://www.dosatronusa.com/blog/?p=79 etc...), I'm trying to put a small amount of fertilizer everyday. So in fact now I have differente experiment

One in the ground, fertiziled a litte bit once a month week with a 15 15 15
some in conlander basket fertilized every day
some in bonsai pot, fertilized every day
some in colander fertilized every week
some in bonsai pot, some in bonsai pot

I will take some picture soon. The problem will be of course that its not relevant on a statistic point of view because my sample is too small...
But it's an experiment :-)

Regards.


fabrice B
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Re: The use of the colander is expanding.

Post  Ray M on Sat Nov 23, 2013 3:22 am

Hi fabrice B,
Thanks for replying and sharing the links and information.

Regards Ray

Ray M
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Re: The use of the colander is expanding.

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