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Thread: Ground growing and wiring

  1. #1
    Bonsai Apprentice
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    Jan 2015
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    Ground growing and wiring

    I am planting a few trees this year (for the first time) in the ground to thicken up... Trident Maple, few Japanese Maples, and a flowering Apricot.

    My main question is do they literally need to be planted in the ground... or can I make a raised bed and planet them in that with near or the same result? I intend to plant them in collanders then hopefully raised bed. Is it ok to also overwinter them in the bed too? I am in Georgia, zone 7/7B.

    When I plant (either ground or bed) I will be using collanders as stated above. Should I fill these with container soil from the bed? (Same as in ground, natural soil)... or bonsai soil in the collander?

    Wiring... I am a bit confused. When is the time to wire a tree/branches? When they are green and growing, or after end of first years growth after hardening off?

    Thanks, Newbie here, but trying to learn.

    Ray

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
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    IMO planting to a raised bed is planting to ground. I would not bother with a colander perse.

    If you want your trees roots air pruned, then the colander has to be up out of the ground. This is one of those apple-or-orange things. Trees in colanders probably aught to be planted in the bonsai soil of your preference.

    Hm I'm going to stand on what I said even though (if I was guessing) that your urge to put a colander into a garden bed was to make sure your new trees did not dry out on a hot August day in Georgia.

    I find wiring well hard enough in pots or trays. I think planting to field would be doubly un-accessible.

    I have not found or bought much in the way of nursery stock that needs wiring right out of the pot. Grow a sacrifice branch or three first. And lash it-them so that it grows away from the trunk. for a year or six.
    Tom C
    Z6-b SE-OH USA

    Jesus is coming, try and look busy.

  3. #3
    Bonsai Apprentice
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    Jan 2015
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    Tom...

    Thanks for the reply. I keep hearing air-pruning with collanders... does that mean the roots stop when they hit the air?

    Yes... a few reasons for my line of thought.. the Georgia July-Sept summer can be downright brutal. I will only be able to water in the early morning (7:00AM), and not again until about 6:00PM. Add to that the only real place I could put containers/collanders is in full morning sun until roughly 2:00PM. In a bed I could supply more shade.

    I want these prebonsai subjects to grow as much as possible, I'm thinking in the ground (raised bed) would be twice what I would get from collanders/grow boxes. We do have a lot of rabbits, some squirrels, and a few deer in the neighborhood for which on the porch collanders would be better.

    I had thought to planet in the collanders (had seen a few guys do this in vids) to keep the roots slightly restrained (like container in ground planting, but shallower). Especially the trident with it taproot, but I guess I can put plates below the trees in the bed. How far below them should I do this?

    And lastly... we have heavy red clay soil. I have seen other plants in our area do much better in a heavily amended bed than in Goergia red clay. Not to mention it would be easier to make a 6'X6' raised bed than to dig 4-5 holes in the heavy clay.

    Found this online.. but is an Australian forum... http://www.ausbonsai.com.au/forum/vi...3ac89a32362428

    Thanks,
    Ray
    Last edited by RGodman; 02-05-2015 at 02:48 PM.

  4. #4
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    The trees need to be in the ground not in a collender, there would be no point in putting them in the ground if they are still in a pot which is what the collender is.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator
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    if you think your weather too severe for trees in shallow pots (or colanders) look to shade cloth or a ramada with enough wood on it to increase shade.

    I found for me only the very smallest bonsai did not have enough water to go from an AM watering to a afternoon watering. I killed too may mame sized trees. I'd swear off of them for a few years and go back and kill off another posse of them.

    If you water well and have a bit of shade, that 9 inch paper-white pan or colander will support your tree.

    If you are really nervous nest the posts July & August into some soil. That soil is only going to make the pot a few degrees cooler, it won't back wash & water them.
    Tom C
    Z6-b SE-OH USA

    Jesus is coming, try and look busy.

  6. #6
    Bonsai Apprentice
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    Apr 2017
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    Olympic Peninsula
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    A beginners guide to wiring bonsai~ https://youtu.be/904gzELuy9Y

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