field growing

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field growing

Post  bucknbonsai on Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:57 pm

Is the fourth year the year that you really get the benefit of field growing? I have a bunch of stuff growing in the ground for the last 3 years but am unsure of the exact root position and how flat the root system is. Most of these are tridents and bald cypress so I figure they could tolerate hard pruning of the roots (if needed) in spring of 2012, that way I could get in that 4th summer of unrestricted growth first. Any thoughts on this?

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Re: field growing

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:18 am

Buck,

you can place the tree into a colander / rice strainer, the roots grow through the holes of the colander into the ground and the tree keeps a core of dense roots in the rice strainer. The soil can be freely draining bonsai mix by the way.

I am fattening a few hackberrys, and had to lift them for placing into the refrigerator, easily done and this year I should hit 3 to 4 inches [ 7.5 to 10 cm ] diameter trunks, when I replace the trees in the growing troughs.

Additionally you can grow in a colander and place that colander into a larger colander filled with coarse soil. This will also allow for larger trunks.

To keep the roots flat for replacing in a bonsai container, plant the trees on a tile, in the open ground.
The above works and cuts down the work.
Until.
Khaimraj

* I just lifted a yatsubusa elm from the growing trough and left behind 6 large roots, all about 1 inch [ 2.5 cm ] above the soil level. These will re-sprout and I will have new trees to go again.

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Re: field growing

Post  Guest on Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:37 am

you can use an oversize container with the tree sitting on a tile, place the tile 2/3 up the container filled with planting medium. place the tile, then the tree then fill the remaining space with planting medium you use. the tree roots will go sideways first then go under...and you'll have a good flat nebari in no time at all.


this is my acacia tree developing girth and nebari using the technique above.


you can move the tree/big pot any time you want unlike field growing.

regards,
jun

Smile

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Re: field growing

Post  bucknbonsai on Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:56 am

thanks for the information. Ive put some stuff on tiles already, I tend to tie the roots to the tile in a way that the roots head out in a 360degree fashion. Most of the trees Im growing are way to big to even fit on top of a commercially available tile, Im thinking of making them out of big sheets of heavy plastic and boards. I once dug some trees that had been planted as seedlings on a tile 9 years earlier and when I got them up I found out all roots had gone to one side only and even crossed under the main trunk, resulting in a flat but very ugly root system. Do you think you dont get benefit till the fourth year when field growing? These trees are far from any training, they are about 5-6" in diameter and Im wanting them to be closer to 8" trunks before any detail training.

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Re: field growing

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:48 am

Buck,

at 8 inches, what are your first 3 branches like in size or are these just poles ?

I will probably try for closer to 2.5 inches [ 6.5 cm ] with trunks, to heal the major chop and bring the first branch into proportionate size I could over shoot and end up with a trunk at 4 inches [ 10 cm] and trees at 2 feet [61 cm ] or over are a pain to repot, even if it is every 3 to 5 years.

AND I would have to make the pots for them to go into, during shipping, I am sure to get chipped or broken containers, not to mention cost of say Yixing or Tokoname wares.

In case your wondering I tend to follow the 1 to 6 or 1 to 5 rule for trunk to height.

Getting large trunks is very easy, getting old and having to hire hands to repot is a major pain.
Best to you.
Khaimraj

* Hee hee, I once watched a man start to defoliate a 3 foot tall Elm, it was too painful to look at after 10 minutes - Laughing

Jun, I like the bottomless pot bit, but I prefer to keep my cores, so I would always work with colanders.

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Re: field growing

Post  Guest on Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:56 am

Four years is too long at least in our zone/area.
you can develop some good branches in that time span while the tree is still on the ground. just keep the upper branches wild, you can even wire/clip and grow the lower branches.

regards,
jun Smile

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Re: field growing

Post  craigw on Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:17 am

I just lift my trees every year cut the roots back hard and clean up any growing directly under the trunk then re-plant, most of mine have been in the ground now for about 5 years, its important to develop a radial root system before you plant them out so that they will pull the trunk out as the tree develops and create a nice basal flare. I find with good soil and plenty of food the annual root prune hardly slows them down at all. I grow tridents,palmatums, corky elms,chinese quince,ash and beech.
I would prefer to keep the top of the trees pruned and allow the lower branches to run to develop good taper. Its my experience that if you let the upper branches run then the tree will not develop taper, but them I don't do any branch work while field growing
Craig

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Re: field growing

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:57 am

Craig,

it does my heart good to meet other folk who use the open ground techniques, on my island it does not exist. Can be a bit lonely.
Thanks Buck, Jun and Craig.
Later.
Khaimraj


Last edited by Khaimraj Seepersad on Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:58 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : poor english - macou)

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Re: field growing

Post  Oliver Muscio on Wed Feb 09, 2011 3:58 pm

craigw wrote:I would prefer to keep the top of the trees pruned and allow the lower branches to run to develop good taper. Its my experience that if you let the upper branches run then the tree will not develop taper, but them I don't do any branch work while field growing
Craig
I have learned this to my dismay with two winged elms I am growing in the ground: nice thick trunks, but little taper in the first 10 inches.
Oliver

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Re: field growing

Post  Randy_Davis on Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:35 pm

Oliver Muscio wrote:
craigw wrote:I would prefer to keep the top of the trees pruned and allow the lower branches to run to develop good taper. Its my experience that if you let the upper branches run then the tree will not develop taper, but them I don't do any branch work while field growing
Craig
I have learned this to my dismay with two winged elms I am growing in the ground: nice thick trunks, but little taper in the first 10 inches.
Oliver

Developing taper in field grown trees is a rather time comsuming process at best. I have found at least for Chinese Elm to leave them alone in the ground to grow freely for a number of years, then trunk chop them and let a new leader form and grow for another few years and then do another trunk chop a year or two before you take the trees out of the ground. Here is a couple of pictures of a tree that I took out of the ground recently.

fresh from the ground February 2010 (in the ground 9 years and trunk chopped 3 times)

After one summer of initial training - November 2010


Randy

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Re: field growing

Post  craigw on Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:00 am

I have an old trident which was imported from Japan in the late 80s, this tree was undoubtedly field grown and the scaring has taught me a great deal about this practice. The positioning of the sacrifice branches is crucial to developing taper, as with most things bonsai little is left to chance. Its clear to me the original growers of this tree have selected sacrifice branches as low down on the trunk as possible and allowed them to run for quite a few years as the scars are about 15cm across, they are also evenly spaced so as not to develop reverse taper by having too many growing from any one point. When I was in kinashi I noticed with the field grown pines the sacrifice branches were pulled away from the trees and the foliage near the trunk stripped off presumably to allow light into the areas required for future branches.
Its clear to me that field grown trees need to be managed carefully and not just planted out and forgotten for x number of years.
Craig

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Re: field growing

Post  bucknbonsai on Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:24 am

craig, I agree, I think its also important to try to keep as many of the sacrifice branches on the back of the trunk. thank you for your comment about to many sacrifice branches exiting from one spot on the trunk causing reverse taper, my biggest trident is starting to do that. I think a sacrifice above that would help hide the problem with time but once reverse taper is there, you are stuck with it. I have dozens of pencil thick to 1" thick branches all over up and down the trunk, do you think I should turn some into sacrifice branches and some into the permanent branches (they shouldnt get to big if there are sacrifice branches near them) and plus I could start getting at least some limbs with ramification.

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Re: field growing

Post  craigw on Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:53 am

Bucknbonsai, I wouldn't worry about the keeper branches until you have the trunk the required thickness, most times in Japan when you see freshly dug tridents for sale they are just a bare trunk. I reckon with the reverse taper problem you are better to grow a branch below the problem area.
Craig

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Re: field growing

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:52 am

Craig or anyone,

suggestions for other than formal upright trees and the root distribution ?

How do you handle informal uprights and twists in the trunk ?
Thanks in advance.
Khaimraj

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Re: field growing

Post  craigw on Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:03 am

Hi Khaimraj, I don,t grow any formal trees in the ground I think the large scars associated with field growing are incompatible with this style, I would say formal trees are best slow grown in a pot so you can achieve the perfection required.
As for twisted trunks you would need to establish the curves before you plant the trees out as the japanese are doing with their shohin shimpaku these days.
I always get a radial root system sorted before I plant the trees out any of my seedlings/cuttings which don't fit the bill get composted early in life. As I stated earlier a radial root system is essential to pull the base of the trunk out as the tree grows.
Hope that is some help
Craig

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Re: field growing

Post  Guest on Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:25 pm

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:Craig or anyone,

suggestions for other than formal upright trees and the root distribution ?

How do you handle informal uprights and twists in the trunk ?
Thanks in advance.
Khaimraj

Actually Khaimraj you can do twisting in the trunk while field growing... and it is faster to achieve.
One good specie that can handle twisting of the trunk is your favorite tamarind. young tamarind trunk can easily be twisted.
put a steel rod pole along side the young tamarind... make sure it (rod) wont twist too. then twist the young trunk and bend it if you will using the rod as the holding pole. wrap the tree trunk with electrical tape (its easier, cheaper and flexible) and secure the trunk on the pole with wire in the form you want.
you can also try a bended steel pole/rod as a guide and secure the trunk on it. following the bends of the rod.

then deal with the tapering issue in the second stage...

regards,
jun

Smile

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Re: field growing

Post  Guest on Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:37 pm

...and oh, how would you secure the guide rod. make a tripod peg and plunge it deep in the ground or use concrete as the rod footing and buried in the ground... mix concrete in a can and put the rod in it until the concrete settles. the next day you'll have a very stable rod.

regards,
jun
Smile

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Re: field growing

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