what i found most interesting at ryan neil's Dojo

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what i found most interesting at ryan neil's Dojo

Post  dick benbow on Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:55 pm

and that was his boxes built to place yamadori dug trees in the new position when it's time to be potted.The second photo shows the pummace/spagnum moss mix with circular holes built in "cover" to allow watering.
Photos show the angles and look of the boxes

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Re: what i found most interesting at ryan neil's Dojo

Post  drgonzo on Thu Dec 08, 2011 7:20 pm

Congatulations Dick you learned how to post pictures!
-Jay

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Re: what i found most interesting at ryan neil's Dojo

Post  dick benbow on Thu Dec 08, 2011 7:51 pm

LOL, Thnks Jay for the encouragement. Chris C was my phone mentor and i couldn't have done it without him! here's a picture of Ryan at His supplier of yamadori dug propects (Randy knight).


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Re: what i found most interesting at ryan neil's Dojo

Post  drgonzo on Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:26 pm

Dick,

I can understand why Ryan would go about creating a training box that is positioned as he has so that the tree is positioned in an orientation closer to what he would envision as the finished design, for wiring and such I can see the advantage

But is there any horticultural advantage to this approach? I've never seen this done and I'd like to know why Ryan does this. I'm sure he has a good reason Very Happy

-Jay

Ps, now that you've done it, Pics are easy aren't they?

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Re: what i found most interesting at ryan neil's Dojo

Post  dick benbow on Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:50 pm

Feel like a kid at christmas with a new toy..... Very Happy Most of the subjects found like this are ponderosa and rocky mountain juniper

my understanding why ryan does this is so that the tree has had time to position itself relative to it's new anticipated home in a pot.

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Re: what i found most interesting at ryan neil's Dojo

Post  bucknbonsai on Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:02 pm

I would obviously not try to question ryan neil but I am just wondering something and I apologize ahead of time for not being able to explain my thoughts in fewer words. Why go though wiring and training the top, if the rootball is staying in such a poor shape and might not be able to fit in a bonsai pot later anyways without having to tip the plant similar to how it was growing in nature? Is he using these boxes in a way to slowly drain out potting medium to make the rootball smaller? i think they look great how they are styled, but until they are in a normal bonsai/training pot that can be placed flat with no stilts and props. I would be hesitant to buy one because who knows if it would ever be able to be put flat into the pot without having to restyle the whole tree.

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Re: what i found most interesting at ryan neil's Dojo

Post  coh on Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:50 pm

Thanks for sharing! I wouldn't mind seeing some more photos, if you have them.

I would imagine that Ryan has evaluated the root systems on these trees and has concluded that it will eventually be possible to get them into a suitable pot. In the meantime, this method allows the top part of the tree to "equilibrate" (for lack of a better term) to the new position, and the covered box allows the original root system to get re-established in whatever soil mix is being used, without the soil falling out. It's a very nice solution. I would think there will be a subsequent step (or several) where the tree is moved to another grow box with a different shape, allowing a gradual transition of the root system.

Couple of questions that come to mind - how recently have these trees been collected, and has he started doing any styling of the tops? It's hard to tell from the photos, but that last tree certainly looks like it's had a fair amount of top work (is that raffia I see?).

Chris

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Re: what i found most interesting at ryan neil's Dojo

Post  Jesse McMahon on Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:27 pm

Definitely looks like there's some top work in progress in that last picture. Cool stuff! Thanks for sharing.

I'm curious about the horticultural aspects of this myself.

Jesse

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Re: what i found most interesting at ryan neil's Dojo

Post  drgonzo on Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:07 am

you know my only thought here is that perhaps he's using the natural tendency of roots to grow against gravity to help establish new roots in the correct orientation for what will become the new planting angle. Just a guess.
-Jay

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Re: what i found most interesting at ryan neil's Dojo

Post  bucknbonsai on Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:10 am

I would think it would have to be that. The tree in the first picture is planted almost perpindicular to the ground, It seems it would be almost impossible to put it in a horizontal/classical bonsai pot without completely reorienting the tree around at the time of repotting.

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Re: what i found most interesting at ryan neil's Dojo

Post  Ryan on Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:34 am

dick benbow wrote:Feel like a kid at christmas with a new toy..... Very Happy Most of the subjects found like this are ponderosa and rocky mountain juniper

my understanding why ryan does this is so that the tree has had time to position itself relative to it's new anticipated home in a pot.

Wow! Check out the size of that tree in comparison to the person next to it!! Razz

That is a really interesting technique though, thank you for sharing.

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Re: what i found most interesting at ryan neil's Dojo

Post  handy mick on Fri Dec 09, 2011 3:43 am

I would also hazard a guess that with this free draining mix and the angle it is sitting at that it is like the colander method.
It is also very interesting and people talk about it, like here, abra cadabra, free advertising, increased talk about Ryan Neil.

Just my thought.
Mick

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boxes for yamadori

Post  abcd on Fri Dec 09, 2011 6:31 am

Here is a photograph of the boxes that I built for yamadory.
I think the boxes should be more ventilated because when you water, it is very important that the air between the grains must be replaced
[img][/img][img][/img]

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Re: what i found most interesting at ryan neil's Dojo

Post  Walter Pall on Fri Dec 09, 2011 9:15 am

I had the luck to be there three days ago. I took some pictures of Ryan and Randy Knight and some to see the place in general. No pictures of trees as they are all in winter storage and would look lousy. I can assure you that Ryan knows exactly what he is doing. What he has there at the moment is more top class material than I have seen in the whole world together in the past years. This is far beyond everybodyss imagination. These trees carry the highest hopes. I cannot imagine that anyone in the world will come even close.
Regarding the tilted boxes I forgot to ask Ryan. My take is that, of course, this is the new position and you can bet that he will get them in the right pot. And he has reduced the foliage mass which means that the trees could drown because they still have the soil from the original habitat. So he covers and tilts them to make sure there will not be a swamp in the box.





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Re: what i found most interesting at ryan neil's Dojo

Post  dick benbow on Fri Dec 09, 2011 3:19 pm


Mick

I post on three koi chat lines and get a similar response about commercialism. But the truth of the matter is that there should be a symbiotic relationship between those who have chosen to make a living teaching and those who wish to learn. I can assure you that i did not post this thread to create business. Only to share something i thought interesting for us to know about. trust me, Ryan is so busy now that his work speaks for itself. Talk to anyone who has attended a session of his. It was nice to see Walter Pall posting current pics. so different, as the benches were full then when i was down there this summer.

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Re: what i found most interesting at ryan neil's Dojo

Post  coh on Fri Dec 09, 2011 3:58 pm

Walter Pall wrote:Regarding the tilted boxes I forgot to ask Ryan. My take is that, of course, this is the new position and you can bet that he will get them in the right pot. And he has reduced the foliage mass which means that the trees could drown because they still have the soil from the original habitat. So he covers and tilts them to make sure there will not be a swamp in the box.

That makes sense. So most of those tilted-box trees have been so recently collected that they are still (at least partly) in the native soil? I know there are varying opinions as to how quickly the native soil should be replaced in collected trees.

Chris

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Re: what i found most interesting at ryan neil's Dojo

Post  Walter Pall on Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:16 pm

Chris,

everything in boxes or plastic cans there usually has native soil of the habitat at the roots and around that pure pumice as very free draining modern substrate. It is very important to remove the old soil from the roots as it can create great problems. This should happen about two to three years after collection when the tree is really established.

There are two general directions here:

1) Don't touch the tree for one year, only shorten some very long branches and clean the tree in the second year, then move to a reasonable bonsai pot. At that time you must have a pretty clear vision of where the tree is going because it will have to stay in this pot for many years. Such trees will stay ten to twenty and more years (no kidding and quite professoonal) without repotting. So the final position must be chosen at this time. This is tricky though.
2) As we see Ryan first styles the crown and then leaves the tree alone for as long as it take to make it look very healthy. Then he repots it into some sort of more or less final container, at least size wise. At that time he will remove most of the original soil.

BTW NEVER EVER wash the roots of such trees to get rid of old soil!

Ryan really does not need extra free advertising. He is booked out for years already.


Last edited by Walter Pall on Sat Dec 10, 2011 2:56 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: what i found most interesting at ryan neil's Dojo

Post  dick benbow on Sat Dec 10, 2011 12:58 am

just a few more shots of some of his trees in progress , the last one was a wonderful Chojubai quince. I was so impressed with the age of the bark


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Re: what i found most interesting at ryan neil's Dojo

Post  coh on Sat Dec 10, 2011 5:34 pm

Walter Pall wrote:
...BTW NEVER EVER wash the roots of such trees to get rid of old soil!

Walter, thanks for the additional information. I was curious about the above statement, and was wondering if you could elaborate a little. Do you mean that one should not use water to clean the rootball at all? Or just be careful to not forcefully wash off all the old soil? Or are you saying that one should just use manual methods (chopsticks, whatever) to remove as much soil as possible? That would seem like it could be more damaging to roots than using water (carefully).

And is it species-specific, i.e. you can wash ponderosa roots but not junipers, etc.

Curious because I have a couple of recently-collected ponderosas that will eventually need to go through the process...probably not for a couple of more years, though.

Chris

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Re: what i found most interesting at ryan neil's Dojo

Post  Walter Pall on Sat Dec 10, 2011 5:58 pm

Chris,

I mean collected conifers. All of them.
I know that Randy Knight and Ryan Neil share this opinion. Together we have worked with more than 5,000 collected trees. We believe that you will most probably kill a collected conifer by washing the roots. There will always be the person who did it and got away with it. Well, did he do it with 5,000 trees?
So how do we do it? Very carefully. With fingers as far as possible. Not even shaking of rootballs is a good idea. I work a lot with a metal hook or metal sticks. Metal is smoother than wood. Work like a surgeon.
The original soil around the roots MUST be removed as soon as posible. After that is done the tree should only be repotted when necessary. Horticulturally very old collected trees don't have to get repotted for ten, twenty or even thrity years. Most repotting is done for artistic reasons to get the tree fit the final pot. In this process a considerable percentage die.
So - take your time.

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Re: what i found most interesting at ryan neil's Dojo

Post  coh on Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:20 pm

Great info - thanks Walter!

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Re: what i found most interesting at ryan neil's Dojo

Post  marcus watts on Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:36 pm

i think that is one of the most usefull bits of information i've read in years, thankyou.

marcus

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Re: what i found most interesting at ryan neil's Dojo

Post  theBalance on Sun Dec 11, 2011 10:52 am

Hi Walter,
10x so much for this info…it is so vital that we minimize the depth of collected trees due to lack of knowledge !
I would like to ask the following to verify I’ve understood correctly :

  1. At your first feedback you wrote : “It is very important to remove the old soil from the roots as it can create great problems. This should happen about two to three years after collection” and in your second feedback you wrote : “The original soil around the roots MUST be removed as soon as posible” – do you mean that “as soon as possible” = two to three years after collection ? or can it be removed before ?
  2. In your second feedback you wrote : “Most repotting is done for artistic reasons to get the tree fit the final pot. In this process a considerable percentage die.” – can you elaborate what causes the tree to die ? is it because there is no sufficient roots left ? and how can one ( who still needs to repot the tree Smile ) lower the chance of the tree to die ?
  3. What about other evergreen trees ? can we immediately after collection remove the original soil ? if so should we use a metal hook or can we just wash it with water ?
Once again thanks very much for your help,
alon

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Re: what i found most interesting at ryan neil's Dojo

Post  Walter Pall on Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:20 am

theBalance wrote:
  1. At your first feedback you wrote : “It is very important to remove the old soil from the roots as it can create great problems. This should happen about two to three years after collection” and in your second feedback you wrote : “The original soil around the roots MUST be removed as soon as possible” – do you mean that “as soon as possible” = two to three years after collection ? or can it be removed before ?

This is a balance act. It is true that basically it should be removed immediately right after collecting. But most of the time the tree is highly in danger of dying from loosing too many fine roots. Taking off the old soil would even remove more fine roots. However, leaving the soil means that we will create watering problems. With old soil in the root ball over watering is a big problem. Removing the old soil and replacing with modern substrate would mean over watering is almost not possible in the future. But right after collecting plain survival is more important than problems with over watering. So the old soil stays and is only removed after the tree looks like it has created new roots. This usually happens after two to three years.

theBalance wrote:
  • In your second feedback you wrote : “Most repotting is done for artistic reasons to get the tree fit the final pot. In this process a considerable percentage die.” – can you elaborate what causes the tree to die ? is it because there is no sufficient roots left ? and how can one ( who still needs to repot the tree Smile ) lower the chance of the tree to die ?
  • Collected trees very often have most awkward roots. It makes it very difficult to almost impossible to get them into a reasonable pot. So often folks will take off roots or bend them until they brake. Thus trees might die.
    Another thing is to style the tree first and find the right pot later. This is what Ryan Neil does. I do the opposite. Since getting a tree into the final pot is so difficult I FIRST get a tree into a container small enough to resemble the final pot. When it is established then I then style the tree. This might be many years later than others do it. But my tree then will never have the problem of dying when getting into the final pot. When getting the tree into the 'final' pot before styling one must already have a very good vision of what the tree will be like. This is why I said its tricky and too much for most.
    theBalance wrote:
  • What about other evergreen trees ? can we immediately after collection remove the original soil ? if so should we use a metal hook or can we just wash it with water ?
  • Once again thanks very much for your help,

    Well, If you really feel save, get off the old soil as soon as possible. Nursery trees are very young , even if they are 50 years old. The collected trees we speak of here are 100 to over 1000 years old. Young trees are much tougher and thus it may well be OK to wash their roots. Unfortunately people learn with nursery trees and then apply their knowledge to collected trees and kill them. I wish to point out here that all this applies to collected CONIFERS. With broadleaved trees we usually have much less problems. Washing out the soil of collected trees immediately is fine. Also cutting roots right away and at every repotting is fine with them One exception is hawthorn, I found. I rather treat them like I do conifers, leaving old soil and never cut a root if I don't really have to.

    A main mistake is also to cut roots of collected trees unnecessarily. I never ever cut any root of a collected conifer conifer unless I have to. It is a myth that roots have to be cut on every repotting.
    In Israel you will often work with olives. Good news is that you can take off the soil on them immediately and cut roots as you like.

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    Re: what i found most interesting at ryan neil's Dojo

    Post  Todd Ellis on Sun Dec 11, 2011 3:08 pm

    I agree with Marcus; this is very valuable information. Everything that Walter said "not to do", I have done, with "predictable" results ... my collected conifers died. Thank you all!
    Best,
    Todd

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