Choosing the right size pots

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Choosing the right size pots

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:26 pm

I have several larger trees that have yet to be transplanted to suitable bonsai pots. In looking through the books I have I really haven't found a consistent guideline for choosing the length/width/depth of the pot based on the size of the tree.

Is there a quasi-mathematical equation for making the right call? (Ex. Trunk girth, tree height, canopy depth and width)

I have two Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Boulevard' that I like the size and shape, but they are in 1 gallon plastic nursery pots. I will tke photos, measurements and add some items to the photos for comparison over the day or two.

Thanks,

Jay

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Re: Choosing the right size pots

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:02 pm

Jay,

guidelines - pot = 2/3 [0.66 ] to 3/4 [ 0.75 ] of height or greatest length of tree [ can be width ] and sometimes it just looks right.

Trunk diameter to side of pot, give or take a 1/2 inch or so, and if it just looks right.
Hope that helps.
Khaimraj

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Re: Choosing the right size pots

Post  JimLewis on Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:13 pm

From Degroot's Basic Bonsai Design and from Koreshoff, and finally from Naka:

1. Visual mass of the container is about 30% of visual mass of the tree.
2. Tall tree -- pot width 2/3 to 3/4 the height; wide spreading tree, pot 2/3 to 3/4 the spread.
3. Depth of the tree is sometimes chosen to be about the thickness of the base; others suggst 1/2 to 2 1/2 times the thickness of the trunk. (Personally, I'd rather a deeper pot to ensure the long-term health of the plant over its looks. Naka agreed.). Cascades get narrower, deeper pots.
4. Pot shape is based on the strength of the tree. Strong, masculine, trees get rugged pots with sharper corners. Lighter trees get runder corners. Coler of pot depends on species AND strength of tree as well as kind of tree.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Choosing the right size pots

Post  Guest on Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:24 pm

Hello Jay. To simplify things, I tell people, Widthof the trunk= depth of the pot and width of the pot= the line at 2/3 of the canopy height.

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Re: Choosing the right size pots

Post  Dave Murphy on Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:38 pm

What about cascades?

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Re: Choosing the right size pots

Post  Guest on Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:47 pm

More important is visual judgement - you can´t always measure things.

Regards
Morten

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Choosing the Right Size pots.

Post  bonsaisr on Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:27 pm

Another mathematical formula which you may find more helpful than the Golden Mean 2/3 rule, is the Fibonacci series. Each number is the sum of the last two numbers:
1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, etc. (1 is not really used.)
This is Mother Nature's formula for all botanical structures, such as the center of a sunflower. It is very pleasing to the human eye. For example, if your tree is 13 inches tall, it goes in an 8 inch pot. Of course, 2:3 is the same as the Golden Mean.
Iris

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Re: Choosing the right size pots

Post  Guest on Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:30 pm

morten albek wrote:More important is visual judgement - you can´t always measure things.

Regards
Morten


I agree!
Sometimes I follow the scientific formula on sizes but after the combination was done, I got the feeling that that final visual harmony is not there.
I think the formula is a useful guideline but it is not a guarantee of a perfect match.

regards,
jun Smile

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Re: Choosing the right size pots

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Mon Mar 14, 2011 1:20 am

At some point it will become obvious as to why with a well finished tree, you have the pot custom made.
Khaimraj Laughing

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Re: Choosing the right size pots

Post  Guest on Mon Mar 14, 2011 1:08 pm

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:At some point it will become obvious as to why with a well finished tree, you have the pot custom made.
Khaimraj Laughing


Who? Me?

regards,
jun scratch

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Re: Choosing the right size pots

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:02 pm

It was a general response Jun.

When trees reach their high point in design, you seldom find a commercial made pot, that will really work with the tree. With high end oil painting, you go to a frame manufacturer, and work out with the craftsmen, which design would work best.
So with a tree, you go to a Bonsai pot potter.
Later.
Khaimraj

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Re: Choosing the right size pots

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:41 pm

Here is one of the Chaemaciparis p 'Boulevard' trees:



And here is the other:



Sizes to follow. Both are photos from last summer. Still need lots of work, but I like how they are progressing.

Jay

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Sizes of Pots

Post  bonsaisr on Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:54 pm

Since these trees don't have any exaggerated measurements, the 2/3 rule or Fibonacci series will work. The heavy trunks and the type of tree tell you to have a generous depth to the pots. Since they are conifers, consider unglazed pots. But the soft foliage & gentle curves suggest an oval rather than rectangular shape. What do you think?
Iris

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Re: Choosing the right size pots

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:06 pm

bonsaisr wrote:Since these trees don't have any exaggerated measurements, the 2/3 rule or Fibonacci series will work. The heavy trunks and the type of tree tell you to have a generous depth to the pots. Since they are conifers, consider unglazed pots. But the soft foliage & gentle curves suggest an oval rather than rectangular shape. What do you think?
Iris

Sounds great to me. The hunt for pots begins!

Thank you!

Jay

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Re: Choosing the right size pots

Post  Stone Monkey on Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:04 am

Jay

Don't be in too much of a rush to get the tree in its final pot. Work on the image of the tree and its design. By all means go for a shallower training pot and when you are achieving your image that you have worked on then start to consider its final home. Your image may change as the tree develops and this will have an impact on the style/shape of the pot

Regards

Andy

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