cryptomeria starters

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cryptomeria starters

Post  kingbean on Wed Aug 11, 2010 6:22 pm

hi, ive just purchased some cryptomeria japonica and a hinoki cypress they are just seedlings what i would like to know is when do i start to train them ? I want them to become medium to large bonsai.

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Re: cryptomeria starters

Post  Kev Bailey on Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:21 pm

Plant them in the ground and leave them alone, apart from watering during any dry spells, for a year. Next year you can start selecting which branches you want to keep and pruning out the others. Then regular pinching of both will help to encourage more density and start building pads.

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Re: cryptomeria starters

Post  kingbean on Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:05 pm

by doing this wont the branches thicken up to much ? can you not pot them in to larger pots each year until they reach the desired height

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Re: cryptomeria starters

Post  Todd Ellis on Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:18 pm

Trees will always grow faster (get bigger) in the ground. However, I often pot up small material, like you are describing, into one gallon nursery pots for their first year. My reasons are usually root related. Often, the small material (often referred to as "starters") are root bound. If the season is right, I will comb out the roots to see what they look like, and then plant in a proper bonsai soil in the gallon container. If you don't arrange the "pot bound" roots at that time, it may create problems later on which will be harder to correct when the tree has grown larger. If you discover that the person who grew the starter has already worked onthe roots, then planting directly into the ground can be done almost anytime of the year. I reiterate what Kev suggestes - don't let them dry out. Good luck! Salut, Todd

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Re: cryptomeria starters

Post  kingbean on Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:39 pm

so i should plant them in the ground and leave alone until desired height is reached or start training sooner ?

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Re: cryptomeria starters

Post  craigw on Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:48 pm

I always spend a year or two preparing my trees before I plant them out, I think this process is particularly important with conifers which may not shoot back on old wood. First get the roots sorted out make sure they are nicely spread and there is no heavy roots heading down or crossed roots. Then with the top of the tree work out which branches you want to use as sacrifice branches, they should be low down on the tree to create taper, and which branches you want to keep leaving yourself plenty of options. If you want to grow informal trees then you could also wire the trunks for movement especially at the base of the tree, you can make the curves quite sharp as they will soften as the tree thickens With the sacrifice branches I strip the foliage off them close into the trunk so the tree is not shaded by that foliage. While the trees are in the ground you will need to prune the branches you are wanting to keep but allow the sacrifice branches to grow freely. Depending on the amount of time you intend to field grow you may need to reduce the height of the trees and take up a new leader from time to time. I lift my field grown trees every year to prune the roots if you don't do this then at least cut around them with a spade so the root system remains compact.
I would have thought if you want reasonable sized trees you are looking at a 5-10 year project.
Craig

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Re: cryptomeria starters

Post  kingbean on Thu Aug 12, 2010 5:50 am

many thanks sounds like a good bit of advice

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