Another Colander/Pond Basket Question - Species Specific?

pstaboche

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So I recently have bought a bunch of 10x10 inch pond baskets that I plan to use for developing some of my trees. I have a black pine I will certainly put into one but my question is this. Do certain species do better than others in colander type containers? Is there any type of tree that does not belong in one at all?

I realize that some of my more water loving plants (willow, bald cypress, dawn redwood) probably wouldn't appreciate all the extra air flow, so I don't plan on using the baskets for them. But what about cherry trees, Japanese maples, ficus, serissa, boxwood, holly, juniper?

Is there any correlation between deciduous vs conifer vs tropical? I basically want to know if some species do better in nursery pots than baskets.

Also, I found some pavers that fit perfectly in the bottom of the pond basket and was planning on using them to encourage radial root development. They are made of concrete with iron oxide. I was somewhat concerned with concrete leaching alkalinity. If anyone has any experience with this please let me know!
 

M. Frary

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I've used colanders on just about every tree I own.
Conifer and deciduous.
Some say one isn't necessary for decidious because you're constantly hacking the roots back on them.
I believe all trees benefit from them healthwise when used. You can pump more oxygen through the soil because you're adding fresh water daily.
Just watch decidious trees. They will fill that colander in 2 years with so many feeder roots you're cutting them to shape with a saw. Too dense to work otherwise.
 

sorce

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Aye. All the "no's" you may get is just due to improper watering for the situation.

I'm not a large fan of the shape of a pond basket though, too deep to be used for more than only the first few years after collection.

Cutting them in half then resecuring them as double walled half as talls allows longer use, but still then, to keep soil from falling out you have to line them, window screen is small enough to negate air pruning enough to make all that a waste in of time, and using something else begs the question.....

Why not just use something better in the first place?

Forever!

Sorce
 

penumbra

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I like your baskets sorce, but I have at least 40-50 plants in pond baskets. I have no problem with the depth as I have complete control over how much I fill them. After 3 years I have had no problem with my mix leaking out and I have used several different mixes.
I also have some pond baskets that were in ponds for 20 years that I am now using for bonsai. Judging from the trees I planted in baskets 3 years ago, I expect them to last a long long time.
I think any pot will serve you but you need to treat like as like.
 

Paradox

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I've used pond basket type containers on most of my trees, both conifers and deciduous. The only difference is the ratios in the soil mix. They have worked just fine for me.

@penumbra is correct. You can always control how deep the soil is by how much you fill it.
 

Ohmy222

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I use them almost exclusively for growing stuff out. Not having to worry about circling roots is very convenient. I would just make certain to use the right size basket. Putting JBP seedling in a 10x10 pot is a bad idea. You can buy them from 2" to about 10" or 12". Above 6-8" I just build grow boxes with open bottoms of chicken wire/screen. Anderson Flats are nice too but only come in 15" x 15".
 
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BobbyLane

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unless youre a master carver like Kevin wilson or Will baddely, often dead wood work will look a bit raw initially, whether on a conifer or a deciduous tree. overtime the wood cracks and fissures, turns a lighter more silvery colour, gains patina and character.
i could show a few examples of this.

i see ive put this in the wrong place
 

pstaboche

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I use them almost exclusively for growing stuff out. Not having to worry about circling roots is very convenient. I would just make certain to use the right size basket. Putting JBP seedling in a 10x10 pot is a bad idea. You can buy them from 2" to about 10" or 12". Above 6-8" I just build grow boxes with open bottoms of chicken wire/screen. Anderson Flats are nice too but only come in 15" x 15".
Just to be clear. Why is 10x10 a bad idea? Too small?
 

Ohmy222

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Nothing against a 10x10. My point is don't put a small plant in a large pot. With something small, you want to use a small pot and slowly increase the size as it grows. I have no idea the size of what you are going to use so it was just a general callout.
 

Newish in Oregon

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Nothing against a 10x10. My point is don't put a small plant in a large pot. With something small, you want to use a small pot and slowly increase the size as it grows. I have no idea the size of what you are going to use so it was just a general callout.
I've often seen the advice not to put a small plant in a large pot but haven't fully understood why. After all, some advise planting in the ground for grow-out if possible. Can someone explain?
 

pstaboche

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Nothing against a 10x10. My point is don't put a small plant in a large pot. With something small, you want to use a small pot and slowly increase the size as it grows. I have no idea the size of what you are going to use so it was just a general callout.
Word. It's a good size pine, a few inches across at the base
 
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I've often seen the advice not to put a small plant in a large pot but haven't fully understood why. After all, some advise planting in the ground for grow-out if possible. Can someone explain?
Here is a good article from Evergreen Gardenworks (much credits to Brent): https://www.evergreengardenworks.com/overpot.htm

"Water will drain from a pot until the lowest level of saturated soil (that can be supported) is reached. At this point drainage stops and this saturated layer remains saturated, no more water will drain out, ever. The height of this column of soil depends on the nature of the mix. A coarser soil will have a lower (shallower) column or layer of saturated soil than a finer mix. The total retained amount of water is less for a coarser soil.
Water can be removed from this saturated layer in two ways: evaporation (the water will be wicked upward as water evaporates from the surface), or by the absorption of water by the roots (powered by foliage transpiration). Of these two, removal by transpiration is by far the most effective. To prove this to yourself, just place two pots of identical soil next to each other, one with an established plant in it, the other with no plant. Water them thoroughly and then compare the weight of the pots over the period of one hot summer day.

If the plant is not root established, it cannot remove very much water by transpiration. This leaves too much water in the parts of soil without roots. In the short run, this is not much of a problem. In a proper environment, the plant will grow and will root establish quickly so that the saturated level is wicked dry in a day or two after a few weeks or months of growth.

However, if the pot is so large that the saturated level cannot be removed by normal root colonization, problems begin. This is not dependent on the soil type. With coarse soils a larger pot could be tolerated, but there are still limits to the space that can be quickly root colonized."
 

BarkLeafTrees

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I’ve got a trident maple & two acer rubrum’s in pond baskets they all sit in full sun everyday here in the UK. All in the same mix of akadama and grit at a 70/30 ratio the rate of root growth is unbelievable.

When it comes to repotting the trident again I will probably try cutting down the height of the basket like said above. But haven’t had any problems with particles falling through the basket holes.

May 2021 just after cutback
D8808E55-D074-491F-A7A3-BD9E80FCFEC2.jpeg

July 2021
822CF9EB-7051-4136-8CD3-6C8D86B7D6A2.jpeg167F2471-8345-4F16-9A1B-2028C06E89FA.jpeg

July 2021 Crazy root growth
F62D9ADF-D881-44F9-8333-8608FF5001DE.jpeg
 

Newish in Oregon

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Here is a good article from Evergreen Gardenworks (much credits to Brent): https://www.evergreengardenworks.com/overpot.htm

"Water will drain from a pot until the lowest level of saturated soil (that can be supported) is reached. At this point drainage stops and this saturated layer remains saturated, no more water will drain out, ever. The height of this column of soil depends on the nature of the mix. A coarser soil will have a lower (shallower) column or layer of saturated soil than a finer mix. The total retained amount of water is less for a coarser soil.
Water can be removed from this saturated layer in two ways: evaporation (the water will be wicked upward as water evaporates from the surface), or by the absorption of water by the roots (powered by foliage transpiration). Of these two, removal by transpiration is by far the most effective. To prove this to yourself, just place two pots of identical soil next to each other, one with an established plant in it, the other with no plant. Water them thoroughly and then compare the weight of the pots over the period of one hot summer day.

If the plant is not root established, it cannot remove very much water by transpiration. This leaves too much water in the parts of soil without roots. In the short run, this is not much of a problem. In a proper environment, the plant will grow and will root establish quickly so that the saturated level is wicked dry in a day or two after a few weeks or months of growth.

However, if the pot is so large that the saturated level cannot be removed by normal root colonization, problems begin. This is not dependent on the soil type. With coarse soils a larger pot could be tolerated, but there are still limits to the space that can be quickly root colonized."
Thanks for the information and clear explanation
 

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