Aerial roots

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Aerial roots

Post  Storm on Sat Jan 09, 2010 4:25 pm

Hi! Back to a new year and more bonsai.
I havent posted much lately but im still reading up on everything that is going on here.
Now, its time for a question..
I have a couple of ficus' and have seen tons of images of beautiful ones with alott of aerial roots, and I was just wondering, is there any way to help trees grow these? The ones I have already got a few of these, but it doesnt show any sign of making new ones. I would like a tree that looks like its fused together. The trees Ive got I have bought from huge shops that carry everything in gardening, so the bonsai section is small, and the trees all have the stupid bends on the trunks. I would like to see if I could work around it and "hide" it more.
Any tip is appriciated.

Happy new years and and a good yamadori season to all!

-Cheers, Storm

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Aerial Roots

Post  bonsaisr on Sat Jan 09, 2010 4:37 pm

Sorry, not in Norway (or Central New York). Aerial roots only grow in areas of very high humidity & hot temperatures, as well as high light. The only way you could accomplish it would be to install the fluorescent light unit we have mentioned, and then put your tree in a terrarium (wardian case) under it. Even then, it would require a lot of fussing. If you really can't stand the pretzel bends, in spring, make a couple of air layers to avoid the sharp bends, & you will wind up with some respectable shohin Ficus.
Iris

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Re: Aerial roots

Post  Storm on Sat Jan 16, 2010 3:09 pm

Thanks for the tip!

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Re: Aerial roots

Post  Fuzzy on Sat Jan 16, 2010 6:53 pm

Hi Storm
I have no experience with this species but I’ve just had a thought (very rare for me) How about wrapping some wet sphagnum moss around one of the branches as if you were performing an air layer but obviously you don’t perform the ring bark cut. Perhaps this would stimulate rootlets to form and once they develop a bit of bulk you remove the sphagnum moss and see if they continue to grow? If you give it go I’d be very interested in your results. Smile

Russ.

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Re: Aerial roots

Post  Storm on Sat Jan 16, 2010 7:13 pm

Interesting thought indeed. I might try that, but Im a bit afraid of getting rot in the wood.. Its not a good tree, so its a perfect time to do some experiments. I had it standing outside last summer, and out of the blue it lost a few branches. One of them were low on the tree, so its unbalanced.
Ive also cut it hard back, and wired the brances. I can post a picture, and you can all see. Would be lovely to have a discussion with several ideas, and I can test it out during spring and summer, when the tree is a bit stronger. Atleast its starting to show some more growth.
Too bad its not many places in Norway that sells trees. Its kinda paying 100$ for a stick in a pot.

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Aerial Roots

Post  bonsaisr on Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:29 pm

Fuzzy wrote: How about wrapping some wet sphagnum moss around one of the branches as if you were performing an air layer but obviously you don’t perform the ring bark cut. Perhaps this would stimulate rootlets to form and once they develop a bit of bulk you remove the sphagnum moss and see if they continue to grow? Smile
Russ.

Jerry Meislik covers this in detail in his book. In the air of the house, and even in the average Zone 5 summer, they would stop growing. Some people have had success by training the roots to grow down through a soda straw. I hardly think it's worth the trouble. It would not help correct serious design flaws. In the spring, if you shorten the existing branches, it may cooperate & grow some new ones.
Iris

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Re: Aerial roots

Post  bisjoe on Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:46 am

Fuzzy wrote:Hi Storm
I have no experience with this species but I’ve just had a thought (very rare for me) How about wrapping some wet sphagnum moss around one of the branches as if you were performing an air layer but obviously you don’t perform the ring bark cut. Perhaps this would stimulate rootlets to form and once they develop a bit of bulk you remove the sphagnum moss and see if they continue to grow? If you give it go I’d be very interested in your results. Smile

Russ.
I should think it would work on Ficus as I am doing this now on one of my India Banyans. On two others that had straight stick like trunks I am using the same method for basal flare. Sphagnum is a versatile tool. No rot in 10 months, lots of new roots but still thin and white so too early to unwrap. I use clear food wrap around the sphagnum, water daily through it, and keep them in my sunniest window.


Last edited by bisjoe on Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:47 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : sp)

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Aerial Roots

Post  bonsaisr on Sun Jan 17, 2010 4:08 pm

According to the USDA, the plant hardiness zone for Sammamish, WA is: 7b-8b
At 47 degrees N, it is farther north than Central NY, but much warmer. Dunno how much difference it would make in this technique. Show us some pictures when you are done. Also, Storm was talking about aerial roots, not basal roots. I have been thinking about trying sphagnum moss on my piddling Fukien tea, which has inverse taper, among other defects.
Iris

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Re: Aerial roots

Post  bisjoe on Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:10 pm

bonsaisr wrote:According to the USDA, the plant hardiness zone for Sammamish, WA is: 7b-8b
At 47 degrees N, it is farther north than Central NY, but much warmer. Dunno how much difference it would make in this technique. Show us some pictures when you are done. Also, Storm was talking about aerial roots, not basal roots. I have been thinking about trying sphagnum moss on my piddling Fukien tea, which has inverse taper, among other defects.
Iris
At the highest elevation in the city we are actually colder in winter than the USDA zone, but our summer is so short that all my tropicals stay indoors all year anyway. This is one that's growing new roots for nebari:



This one for aerial roots, the moss goes above the lowest branches:


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Re: Aerial roots

Post  bonsaisr on Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:13 pm

bisjoe wrote:
At the highest elevation in the city we are actually colder in winter than the USDA zone, but our summer is so short that all my tropicals stay indoors all year anyway.
Sounds strange. Is your climate like Whitefish, Montana? What is the length of your growing season (last frost in spring to first frost in fall)? Most tropicals will stand a few days in the forties with no problem. There is a definite advantage to even a couple of months outdoors, in shorter internodes & smaller leaves. Exposure to gentle wind toughens the wood.
Iris

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Re: Aerial roots

Post  bisjoe on Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:04 am

bonsaisr wrote:
bisjoe wrote:
At the highest elevation in the city we are actually colder in winter than the USDA zone, but our summer is so short that all my tropicals stay indoors all year anyway.
Sounds strange. Is your climate like Whitefish, Montana? What is the length of your growing season (last frost in spring to first frost in fall)? Most tropicals will stand a few days in the forties with no problem. There is a definite advantage to even a couple of months outdoors, in shorter internodes & smaller leaves. Exposure to gentle wind toughens the wood.
Iris
I agree with you, but when I have tried it in the past I barely got them hardened off before they had to come in.

We have gotten snow as late as mid-April. We cannot plant tomatoes and other vegetables until about the second week of May, to ensure no more frost. This year my tomatoes were fine until early October, but normally even mid-September we could get frost. With all the rain, the actual sunny days start about July 5th and last only through August. As dismal as that may sound, it's green here year round, and the temperate trees love it. Since I have a greenhouse window my tropicals get light from above and 3 sides, and I rotate them regularly.

Compared to Whitefish Montana, we get double the precipitation, though most of their's is snow, ours rain. Our spring and fall are cooler, our winter slightly warmer.

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Re: Aerial roots

Post  OscarIndigo on Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:46 pm

yeah man, i was just experimenting with a microcarpa, wanted aerial roots Wink. So, i just replanted it only this time i filled the bottom of the pot with some orange volcano gravel stuff, put a thin layer of ordinary potting-soil for the roots that are ment to be in the ground eventually, and filled that volcanogravel all the way up to the foliage(din't want to use plastic or aluminumfoil because of the risk of mildew) and after a year i just repotted it and there were a LOT of aerial roots everywhere on the stalk!! cheers you can try that if you want to, worked really well thumbs up

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Aerial Roots

Post  bonsaisr on Fri Sep 16, 2011 3:58 pm

Let's see how long they last when exposed to the air.
Iris

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Re: Aerial roots

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