Bonsai - Anchoring Trees in Pots

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Bonsai - Anchoring Trees in Pots

Post  bilbo on Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:32 am

Hi All,

There are a few things that confuse me about anchoring our trees in our pots and would appreciate greatly any experienced insights:

1. Do you anchor every tree, all the time?
1a. If not, why not?

2. If pot manufacturers know we like to anchor our trees, setting aside the observation there are techniques for anchoring with no anchor holes, why do they make pots sans anchor wire holes?

3. On the topic of anchoring in pots where there are no anchor holes, I've seen some pretty interesting techniques, but I'm exceedingly curious why you don't just whip out a $5 tile bit and drill holes in any pot that doesn't already have them?

4. When buying pots, I understand aesthetics is important, but is the presence (or lack thereof) of anchor holes a factor in your buying decisions?
(if you had the choice between two unglazed pots, each the same size and shape, but one has anchor holes and the other does not, which pot do you buy?)

5. In the case of a fresh air layer, where the roots were far to young and delicate to anchor, I saw a video where the owner took a small, thin rectangle of wall paneling and attached it to the bottom of the tree trunk with a stainless steel screw and then anchored the paneling to the pot. It seemed to work fine in the video but is this a bad practice?

6. I also saw a video where an owner had an older tree, with great root mass, had semi permanently attached a mounting ring with a screw to the underside of the trunk. Whenever he repotted the tree, it was a quick and easy task with no special techniques to secure the mounting ring to the pot exactly where he wanted it.
Similar to number 4 above, is there something dangerous or unhealthy about this semi permanent method?

bilbo
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Re: Bonsai - Anchoring Trees in Pots

Post  Richard S on Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:22 am

Interesting questions, some of which I think I can reasonably answer (although some of this is rather subjective).

1) Yes, I anchor every tree that I pot up in a "bonsai pot". This is because bonsai pots are shallow, I use a coarse inorganic substrate and even a flat bottomed tree could easily be blown or knocked out of the pot.

1a) The only exception would be where the tree is naturally stable, the pot is unusually deep and where I'm using organic soil. I only have one tree that qualifies and that's a wisteria which is potted in a non-bonsai typical pot (if that makes sense).

2) Because A) they are dim or B) wiring the tree in is less of an issue in climates where growers typically use heavier organic soils. I'm guessing here on the basis that imported Chinese Elms and Ficus etc never seem to be wired in.

3) You don't usually need to drill wire holes because you can just loop the wire through the drain holes. Of course the exception to this is when the pot only has one hole. In this case I have drilled my own wire holes. Obviously you have to be careful but it does work.

4) Yes anchor holes is a bonus but as long as the pot has at least two drain hole it's not essential.

5) I would put a new air layer into a deep plastic plant pot until the root mass had increased enough to pot it up in the normal fashion so this issue shouldn't arise.

6) Not quite sure what you mean by this but I have put a screw into the base of an air layered trunk to help and that didn't seem to do any harm. I've also used bits of wood as wedges and seen videos where people push chop sticks or such through the root mass and secure to them although I've never felt the need to do this myself.

Anyway, that's just me. Others may disagree of course but I hope that helps.

Cheers

Richard
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Re: Bonsai - Anchoring Trees in Pots

Post  Marty Weiser on Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:33 am

For #4 trees can be easily wired into single drain hole pots. Wrap your anchor wire around a piece of heavy wire that is long enough to span the drain hole and feed the anchor wires up through the drain hole past your screen or mesh covering the hole.

For trees with small or weak root systems I bring the wires up and wrap them around the trunk as if I was going to bend it. Seems to work fairly well, particularly when I have 3 or 4 wires. Just need to watch out for the wire cutting into the trunk.

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Re: Bonsai - Anchoring Trees in Pots

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:47 am

Trees in Bonsai pots are there for ---- Refinement ----- which means that the eagles claw / root spread should be finished and
you are just cutting off say 2/5 cm [ 1" ] around and under as the soil mass goes.

So the root mass would have weight.

Plus depending on the weight of the soil mix [ my own is mostly silica based 5 mm gravel and has weight ] you may not need to
tie anything down.
I also, if I have too leave a large flat weight [ a rock ] or two on the surface of the soil for say 3 weeks or so.

It is very windy when I transplant 2nd Jan to say mid February, and I haven't used the tie down technique ever.

In fact even if I used Leca pebbles [ hydroponics ] I have never had a tree uproot in a breeze.

NOW if you are bare root repotting, you probably have to tie.
BUT then why would you be using a bonsai pot --------? ---------- and not a colander / pond basket / or other ?

Note also - I am in the Tropics ----------- root regeneration is much faster.
Laters.
Khaimraj
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Re: Bonsai - Anchoring Trees in Pots

Post  M. Frary on Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:32 am

I were my trees in everything I have them in.
Pots,colanders and buckets. It doesn't take that much time so why not be safe than sorry.

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Re: Bonsai - Anchoring Trees in Pots

Post  kevin stoeveken on Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:07 am

and here is this:

a little more help with tie down techniques...

http://arborartscollective.blogspot.com/2017/03/tie-down-demo.html

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Re: Bonsai - Anchoring Trees in Pots

Post  bilbo on Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:09 am

Marty Weiser wrote:For #4 trees can be easily wired into single drain hole pots. Wrap your anchor wire around a piece of heavy wire that is long enough to span the drain hole and feed the anchor wires up through the drain hole past your screen or mesh covering the hole.

Thanks Marty!

Yes, I've seen several videos and done a couple, (before it dawned on me to whip out my drill).
I just can't see all that effort unless it's a really small pot and not enough room to drill holes.
I don't know if you've ever tried it, but a decent tile bit is <$5 and goes through a ceramic pot like it is soft wood.
2-3 minutes and boom, you're done.

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Re: Bonsai - Anchoring Trees in Pots

Post  bilbo on Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:19 am

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:Trees in Bonsai pots are there for ---- Refinement ----- which means that the eagles claw / root spread should be finished and
you are just cutting off say 2/5 cm [ 1" ] around and under as the soil mass goes.

So the root mass would have weight.

Plus depending on the weight of the soil mix [ my own is mostly silica based 5 mm gravel and has weight ] you may not need to
tie anything down.
I also, if I have too leave a large flat weight [ a rock ] or two on the surface of the soil for say 3 weeks or so.

It is very windy when I transplant 2nd Jan to say mid February, and I haven't used the tie down technique ever.

In fact even if I used Leca pebbles [ hydroponics ] I have never had a tree uproot in a breeze.

NOW if you are bare root repotting, you probably have to tie.
BUT then why would you be using a bonsai pot --------? ---------- and not a colander / pond basket / or other ?

Note also - I am in the Tropics ----------- root regeneration is much faster.
Laters.
Khaimraj

Thanks, but if your premise is I/we should only be putting our trees in bonsai pots as a final step, I'll respectfully disagree (albeit with small experience).
I can see a few reasons why a person could/would use a bonsai pot other than the final step.
There is, however, a very strong chance, perhaps even a likelihood I'm a bohemian though so thanks for your insights and the time you shared with me to write them!

bilbo
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Re: Bonsai - Anchoring Trees in Pots

Post  bilbo on Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:24 am

kevin stoeveken wrote:and here is this:

a little more help with tie down techniques...

http://arborartscollective.blogspot.com/2017/03/tie-down-demo.html

Yes, Kevin, thank, I saw that when you posted it earlier.
It is in fact what prompted me to post the questions.

Some interesting tips to getting the tree positioned just right.
I guess I'm just a skeptic (or a non-conformist) about rigging for wiring where there are no holes.
It just seems too easy to drill them out (unless there is some critical reason not to drill them out).

bilbo
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Re: Bonsai - Anchoring Trees in Pots

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:13 am

No sweat Bilbo,

just sharing. ]

On our side, what kills bonsai is - Wife [ new or old ], Children [ babies are often the most efficient ]
and cost factors, such as buying unneeded pots, breaking concave pruners [ using them on larger than
matchstick / toothpick twigs and not knowing that even a 12$ Chinese Cheapo from Amazon can do that
efficiently.]

So we have learnt to do for ourselves - make pots, make soil, grow from seed or seedling, and so on.

Wishing you well.
Laters
Khaimraj - named on some of the old game playing lists as -------- The Valar.

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Re: Bonsai - Anchoring Trees in Pots

Post  kevin stoeveken on Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:22 am

yeah B - I am all for drilling holes where none exist... i do it all the time, but not everyone is so cavalier with their pots...

and i do have a few that i absolutely will not risk putting under the drill bit, but all the cheap ones are fair game.

but try doing that for a forest planting Razz

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