Air Pots . . . what's the difference?

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So I'm looking to pick up a few one gallon air pots, mainly for experimental purposes.

I can't really tell what the difference (other than price) is between the different pots.

There is the Rootmaker pots: http://www.bghydro.com/BGH/itemdesc.asp?ic=COGCRM01R&eq=&Tp=

The Rootbuilder II pots: http://www.bghydro.com/BGH/itemdesc.asp?ic=COGCRBII01&eq=&Tp=

And the Roottrapper pots: http://www.bghydro.com/BGH/itemdesc.asp?ic=COGCRTII03&eq=&Tp=

The rootmaker pots are substantially cheaper than the rootbuilder and roottrapper pots. Additionally, the roottrapper is cloth, while the other two are hard plastic. But basically, which one is best? Or, which one is better for the different purposes?

Does anyone have personal experience, and would like to recommend one over the other?
 

darrellw

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I think they are all just different ways to achieve the same end.

One nice think about the RootBuilder II is that you can unwrap the side piece when repotting, so you don't damage the roots. Also, if you go that way, see if you can get an extra base for each pot, then cut the side in half, and you will have two shallower pots.
 
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That's a very interesting thought that I didn't think about Darrell.

In the photos that I have seen, the individuals use the Rootbuilder II pots. I thought about picking up about a dozen or so, but at the $5.09 + s/h each price, I immediately backed up. I understand why they are that way (research and development, production of superior quality with superior materials, patents, and all that), it's hard to swallow when you are just experimenting. One or two pots wouldn't likely give you a very reliable result, and 10-20 pots is more expensive than I can muster at the moment. Which is why the Rootmaker's $1.89 price tag was seeming a little better. But, with a drastic increase in price, I'm sure there is a reason behind it.

But, getting one 2 gallon pot would be about $6.09 a piece, and cutting it in half (and in the end getting two one gallon pots for $3.05 each) makes it a little more economical.

Do you know where you can get the extra bottoms? Or would I be better off just trying to "rig" something?
 

Bill S

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Buy 2, you can only nickle and dime things so much, the construction of these is what stops the roots, start sewing in your own bottoms, and you will be looking for failure. In the ground at full size I think you will be fine, cut it in half and I see slow down, or root escape. Root escape is possible without about 2'' of the pot in the air, if this collapses and isn't stood back up the roots can and will go over the top and root in the ground. I have seen this where the root is the same size as the trunk.
 

biglou13

Mame
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i have jpb in the first 2

they are high tech and produce every aspect as advertised, super dense fine rootmass. im very impressed with the pots performance.

different results

Fine, very dense root mass in rootmaker II pots. 5/gal ish (some brand name some knock off with same technology)

no circling roots in root builder/grounder however in ground, less water sensitive. and less temperamental.
above ground similar results. without escape roots less growth than in ground with escape.

i also pulled some field grown planted at same time while healthy fine root mass was no where near either rootmaker product.

im excited to see growth on trees from rootmaker pots with super dense fine root mass to field next..

re cut down. yes and no. there is a lip a few inches where there are no holes at top of pot. this allows water to build up and distribute down into pot, with cut pots most water will run out holes/ thus needing meticulous watering. i did cut down some (not easy) for shallow root system. worked fine but needed more watering. also there is a shelf of sorts molded into pot to hold bottom. but you can make it so that cut half will still hold bottom. i was surpised to see how open the bottoms were. i ended up putting 1 layer of newpaper in bottom of some.

i got a bunch for dirt cheap. so experimenting was not cost prohibitive. i'd offer to sell u some of mine but problem is with these pots shipping isn't cheap. (pm me)


another thing is depending on tree and your watering habits you may need to fine tune/formulate your own soil mix. for pines im at 2 parts pine fines, 1 part turface ill pot up mix with 20% compost. i water 1.5x a week. rootmaker gives a formula but i tinkered with my own.
you may want to check out the knit bags they make, seems like a less expensive version. i may order some. both above and in ground

make sure to down load catalog from rootmaker.com
 
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i have jpb in the first 2
You have JBP in both the Rootmaker, and the Rootbuilder pots, correct? Which one do you prefer?

very dense root mass in rootmaker II pots.
I see the "rootmaker" the "rootbuilder II" but I don't see the "rootmaker II." Is that a product I"m not aware of?

(some brand name some knock off with same technology)
Which "knock off" do you have? Have you noticed any difference between the original and the knock off?

there is a lip a few inches where there are no holes at top of pot.
I see the lip in the rootmaker, but the rootbuilder appears to just be a constant string that you put together, then hold together with a zip tie. Correct? If so, does the rootbuilder have a lip?

you may want to check out the knit bags they make, seems like a less expensive version.
That's the third link. It appears to be just as expensive as the Rootbuilder II.

make sure to down load catalog from rootmaker.com
I'm on it.

Thanks Lou.
 

biglou13

Mame
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so far i like the "air pot" the rootmaker the ones i have are not the the ones with new bottom.
its all about the root tips seeing air then producing finer roots further back. also the air exchange is swift stimulating growth and nutrient/water uptake.

however i haven't seen results from "grounder" for any decent period of time.

cant recall the knock off name ill check them tommorow, however results are same, again its allabout the hole(y) pot.

both have lips which aids in watering.

what u need to look a is
http://www.rootmaker.com/products_inground.php#jump
 

crhabq

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Specialkayme,

When useing air pots, consider your wintertime low temps. These perforated pot are great in the summer as they let plenty of O2 into the root zone. But in winter they also let plenty of cold freezing air into the root zone. If you have spells of sub-freezing weather you will need to insulate these pots well.
I may be mistaken, but I do not see the point of burying an air pot in the ground as this will restrain gas exchange to the roots, reduce free root-run (to produce a bigger trunk faster) that simply ground planting would incourage.
I've used pond pots in the past, but I've come to the conclusion that in my climate that they are not a good choice for d-trees in the wintertime. I've continued to use them with junis and pines with out seeing winter death sentences for these.
I believe that there is a thread about this on this forum and you should research this and come to your own conclusions. These pots may work great for you if you consider what you put into them and how cold (and windy) your winter are.

Hope this helps,
Ray
 

darrellw

Mame
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Do you know where you can get the extra bottoms? Or would I be better off just trying to "rig" something?
I've not used them myself, but know a local guy who does. He got the extra bottoms from where ever he got the pots. It was a local distributor, if I recall correctly.
 

Nunovsky

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Hi!
You can achieve the same result with less money if you use a plastic colander.
Those pots are high tech, but I've been using plastic colanders and it acheives the same result. You can even put them inside a bigger pot if you want to fatten the tree and you don't have a terrain to do so on open soil.
 

treebeard55

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I've used Rootmakers (TM) for years; in fact, mine are old enough that they are of the old cubical design.

I've found they do as advertised: promote fibrous-root growth close to the trunk. :) They don't work quite as well with very vigorous growers like Ficus microcarpa, because the fig's roots grow so fast that they sometimes clog the holes in the side. That, of course, when it does happen, stops the air-pruning which is the basis of how they work. Still, I find them better for Ficus than regular nursery pots.

I've never had any problem with them in winter. Yes, a little more cold air can reach the root ends at a dozen different spots, but I've never noticed any problems with the trees as a result.

They do wear out eventually, with handling, winter, and UV exposure. But in my experience, that comes after several years of repeated use. Usually wear shows up first as cracks at the rim. When that happens, I cut the tops down by a few inches, and use them for smaller stock!
 

Driftwood

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So I'm looking to pick up a few one gallon air pots, mainly for experimental purposes.

I can't really tell what the difference (other than price) is between the different pots.

There is the Rootmaker pots: http://www.bghydro.com/BGH/itemdesc.asp?ic=COGCRM01R&eq=&Tp=

The Rootbuilder II pots: http://www.bghydro.com/BGH/itemdesc.asp?ic=COGCRBII01&eq=&Tp=

And the Roottrapper pots: http://www.bghydro.com/BGH/itemdesc.asp?ic=COGCRTII03&eq=&Tp=

The rootmaker pots are substantially cheaper than the rootbuilder and roottrapper pots. Additionally, the roottrapper is cloth, while the other two are hard plastic. But basically, which one is best? Or, which one is better for the different purposes?

Does anyone have personal experience, and would like to recommend one over the other?
So how is your experiment going? Please update. ?
 
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