Barerooting during repots

Music4cash

Yamadori
Messages
67
Reaction score
59
Location
Virginia
USDA Zone
7
Can someone explain to me why some plants can be barerooted with no problems and others will die. How does the plant "know" it's been barerooted? Is it just the roots are very fragile and they are damaged in the process or is something else going on maybe exposure to light? Is it possible to successfully bareroot conifers if you are just very careful with them?
 

leatherback

Masterpiece
Messages
2,413
Reaction score
3,550
Location
Northern Germany
USDA Zone
7
Barerooting means something else for everyone. Some take a hose and wash everything off. Others let the subtrate dry out wuote a bit and gently shake and tease the soil out.

You can imagine these have differrnt effects. I find that junipers can take quite a bit of the tease and shake, especially on young strong plants. This means you get some 80-90% of the old soil out in one go.

I could imagine the main challenge has to do with mycchoriza and to what extend they are removed/damaged in the process. But knowing I do not.
 

Bonsai Nut

Nuttier than your average Nut
Messages
8,126
Reaction score
13,290
Location
OC, CA
USDA Zone
10A
Also, there is a huge difference between if you are repotting a tree that has already been growing in a container / bonsai-pot, versus a tree that you are potting up from collection, or that has been root-bound in a large nursery pot (for example). If a conifer has been growing for years in a bonsai pot, and is planted in a loose bonsai mix, you can bare-root with relatively high confidence. But if the same conifer is root-bound in pottery soil in a 5 gallon black plastic nursery pot - proceed with extreme caution.
 

Maloghurst

Shohin
Messages
387
Reaction score
383
Location
Seattle WA
USDA Zone
8b
Also, there is a huge difference between if you are repotting a tree that has already been growing in a container / bonsai-pot, versus a tree that you are potting up from collection, or that has been root-bound in a large nursery pot (for example). If a conifer has been growing for years in a bonsai pot, and is planted in a loose bonsai mix, you can bare-root with relatively high confidence. But if the same conifer is root-bound in pottery soil in a 5 gallon black plastic nursery pot - proceed with extreme caution.
How would you proceed with a JBP that has been in a nursery can for 13 years? 1/4” circling roots etc ?
6014AC88-3785-4371-BFE1-79BAF32F6D2D.jpeg5DE82C06-E77D-4EB7-84FE-42CD92B379AA.jpeg
 

Soldano666

Omono
Messages
1,365
Reaction score
2,623
Location
Augusta Maine
USDA Zone
5
How would you proceed with a JBP that has been in a nursery can for 13 years? 1/4” circling roots etc ?
View attachment 223169View attachment 223170
I have a couple of these. (Scots and jwp) and I can't even scrape away the soil on the surface, water stays on the surface, etc.. they are extremely rootbound. I have a feeling its going to be quite a job. I will be seeking the guidance of Colin Lewis who is nearby me. I kind of have forced my way into his inner circle.... Or still forcing haha Nothing beats the hand holding of someone who knows way more than i. Much like yours I've made the mistake of cutting back and styling the past 4 or 5 years, should have gone for the repot first thing.
 

Shibui

Chumono
Messages
602
Reaction score
994
Location
Yackandandah, Australia
USDA Zone
9?
As mentioned, bare root can mean different things so maybe that's where the confusion started but more likely people just have different preferences and experiences and draw conclusions, sometimes without all the facts.
I have not had any adverse reaction to my 'bare root' procedure where I shake off the loose soil and/or rake out most of the remainder.
Note that I'm in a far different climate from most of you and don't have the luxury of collecting old, wild grown trees. Junipers and black pines grown in my grow beds are lifted, most of the soil removed, roots shortened and potted up. Container grown pines and junipers can have the majority of the soil replaced in one go. Maples and other deciduous species are all bare rooted when transplanted.
The idea that fungi and other microbes are retained when field soil is left seems strange. There is almost always some micro life left on the particles adhering to the roots and they will respond to fresh mix and food by breeding up. It does not take a truckload of soil to transplant root fungi or other soil life.
I see lots of reports of trees not doing well because they have old field soil around the roots. Field soil does not drain well in pots and can lead to root problems unless it is managed extremely well so why not remove it sooner before it causes problems so you can get on with growing good trees?

As I said, it seems to work for me but you are all free to follow whatever belief seems right to you.
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
Messages
20,234
Reaction score
26,969
Location
Berwyn, Il
USDA Zone
6.2
Add on, Science is now saying Auxin production is local and not only at Growing Shoot tips...

And what humans say will now be even more different and arguable.

Don't listen to people and their BS just listen to the tree!

Take this Human BS for example! Lol!

bareroot conifers
Yeah you wrote it but that's not the BS!

The BS is the Fact that there are facts yet unwritten.

Juniper.
Bald Cypress.
Spruce.
Pine.

All Conifers.

Their similarities pretty much end at the cones.

Problem see....when the tip of Educational Iceberg is covered in feces....you just shittily slide down the side of it till you fall off and.....you gotta freeze to death in the frigid water cuz not even the orca's are gonna eat your stankin ass! In the mean time your tree dies too!

Don't let people shove you down the shit slick.

Your tree never will.

So having a close relationship with it is mutually safe.

Sorce
 

Maloghurst

Shohin
Messages
387
Reaction score
383
Location
Seattle WA
USDA Zone
8b
Half bare root this spring. The other half in 2020 or 2021, based on how it grows this year.
By half bare root do you mean
Add on, Science is now saying Auxin production is local and not only at Growing Shoot tips...

And what humans say will now be even more different and arguable.

Don't listen to people and their BS just listen to the tree!

Take this Human BS for example! Lol!



Yeah you wrote it but that's not the BS!

The BS is the Fact that there are facts yet unwritten.

Juniper.
Bald Cypress.
Spruce.
Pine.

All Conifers.

Their similarities pretty much end at the cones.

Problem see....when the tip of Educational Iceberg is covered in feces....you just shittily slide down the side of it till you fall off and.....you gotta freeze to death in the frigid water cuz not even the orca's are gonna eat your stankin ass! In the mean time your tree dies too!

Don't let people shove you down the shit slick.

Your tree never will.

So having a close relationship with it is mutually safe.

Sorce
I agree which is why my quote is “ everything we know is subject to revision, especially what we know about the truth”.
But I believe there is probably a least dangerous way to repot this tree. My tree has about 3 concentric circles on top of the soil that are pencil thick roots. After at least 12 years in this pot. Strangely it still drains nicely. I feel a little like I’m in a movie where the hero is trying to disarm a bomb and doesn’t know which wire(root)(will kill a branch) or blow up the bomb?
By half barerooting are people halving it vertical or horizontally?
 

AlainK

Masterpiece
Messages
2,955
Reaction score
4,962
Location
Orléans, France, Europe
USDA Zone
8A
From my "experience" :rolleyes: , a lot of deciduous can be bare-rooted when repotted at the right time, and no conifer can.

I think that conifers are more dependent on mycorrhyzae, that's why I always add a little of the old soil when I repot my few conifers. I may be wrong, these mycorrhyzae are perhaps inside the roots to some extent, but i've lost fewer trees since I did that.
 

just.wing.it

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
8,382
Reaction score
10,164
Location
Blips and Chitz (Northern MD, 6b...ish)
USDA Zone
6B
I've successfully bare-rooted with a water jet....several yews, one juniper, bald cypress....and several deciduous broadleaf species, elm, maple, crape myrtle.

One thing that I often think of when repotting, that I don't hear anyone talking about, is the amount of time the roots spend spend drying out.

I always mist the roots while working.
I also try to work quickly, which requires good prep work.
Be ready with all your tools and materials to do the job beforehand, so you don't end up having to sift and mix soil while your barerooted tree sits on a table.

Working quickly also once the roots touch the new soil....the new soil is dry and will rob your roots of miosture quickly.
 

KiwiPlantGuy

Chumono
Messages
606
Reaction score
615
Location
New Zealand
USDA Zone
9a
By half bare root do you mean

I agree which is why my quote is “ everything we know is subject to revision, especially what we know about the truth”.
But I believe there is probably a least dangerous way to repot this tree. My tree has about 3 concentric circles on top of the soil that are pencil thick roots. After at least 12 years in this pot. Strangely it still drains nicely. I feel a little like I’m in a movie where the hero is trying to disarm a bomb and doesn’t know which wire(root)(will kill a branch) or blow up the bomb?
By half barerooting are people halving it vertical or horizontally?
Hi,
HBR = vertical one or two years apart. But as you have said it is the big circling roots which is your main problem. My best guess is you would have to cut all these off at 1st repot and leaving all the old soil you can on the one side you don’t touch. Bit tricky, and the good fungi (mycorrhiza ) - there should be loads on the side you don’t touch.
Hope that is vaguely clear, and early Spring or Summer longest day etc for repotting pines.
Charles
 
Messages
1,386
Reaction score
1,910
Location
Netherlands
Back to the original question:
Can someone explain to me why some plants can be barerooted with no problems and others will die?
Why do some die? Because the roots are damaged too much and these species don't have the energy/force/capacity to regrow them.
Why do some live? Because the roots are damaged and they do have the energy/force/capacity to regrow them.

How does the plant "know" it's been barerooted?
Because it loses nearly 50% of all fine hairy roots, it loses close to 90% of all connections to mycorrhizae (and they'll make sure to inform the plant by hostage takeover, they might be symbiotic, but they'll still choose their own survival over that of the plant.. Law abiding citizen gone rogue). Suddenly there's more air, a different environment. It's like having a pack of functional gills slapped to your back and being thrown in the water. That's quite a drastic change of environment! I can imagine a tree coming from nusery soil to a aerated bonsai soil will feel the same way. How do you respond to being underwater? Do you unzip your pants if you have to pee underwater? Nobody taught me this! All kind of new questions arise and some plants need time to answer them. Others know the drill and just go with it. And some don't even care and just do what they always did.

Why is there a grey area in between?
Because nobody writes down if they snipped off all root tips during their raking/shaking/washing procedure. They don't count the couple of thousand roots they damaged, it would take a few days. They can't see the fine hair roots, so they can't see how much they are damaged. Our eyes aren't good enough to do so.
Also, because people have different visions of what a bare root is. Others snip off large portions of roots while others don't.
That's where science comes in. Scientists are weird people, they seem to like counting and logging this kind of stuff. They then produce literature for the world to read. Awesome! We should use it.

Now the actual question is, how do you get out of the grey unknown zone? Not all information is easily available. Well, it is easily available.. Someone just has to type a bunch of words and press 'Post Reply'. But information is not always correct AND easily available. We kind of want both, right?
This is quick guide I tend to follow in all plant settings. The amount of information is like an upside down pyramid, starting with a bunch and leading to a single answer at the end.

Look up strain specific information about cuttings or propagated plants to begin with. Do they change with age? Do they root easily? -> google scholar, keywords: propagation, vegetative, reproduction, auxin, micropropagation, multiplication, cutting, and so on.
Look up strain specific information about general growth habits. Do they change with age? How do damaged parts respond? -> google scholar.
Look up strain specific experiences about timing, repotting and related techniques. Did others have success? Why (not)? -> bonsai nut and other resources.
Look up after treatment and results of those techniques. Was there something special that the person did, or just regular watering after? How did this increase/decrease survival? How much was removed and HOW was it removed? -> bonsai nut and other resources.
Look up the pitfalls, the deaths and the survivors. Is there something you should or shouldn't do? -> bonsai nut and other resources.
Is there a general thing to do that increases overall survival of rootwork on any species? Yes, yes there is. Many things. Gardening guides are full of them. Use that information, hybridize it to bonsai. Other things sound so logical, we sometimes forget about them.. Like leaving as much roots as possible, or doing a HBR instead. -> bonsai nut and other resources.
Look at your plant: Is the plant healthy and is it the right time? -> garden.
Go with the safest technique and report back to the world so they can copy your doings. -> bonsai nut and other resources.

In general, I tend to use heuristics to see if a technique can be done. Heuristics suck, but they're easier to work with than statistics! One person doing 1 technique on 50 maples, counts as 1. Twenty persons doing 1 technique on twenty pines, counts as 20. It filters out the 'professional influence' factor quite fast.
If deaths < 5 AND survivors > 5 THEN go ahead.
If deaths > 5 AND survivors < 5 THEN stop and research why or look for another technique from start.
If deaths = survivors THEN hybridize with other techniques in a logical sense to improve rates OR pick one and go for it. This takes a body of knowledge or a body of guts.

If you use that schematic nothing can be overlooked this way. Assuming at least, that your heuristics are based on different people.

There might be adaptations possible, you can raise your heuristics range to 10 or 100 if you want. Or use statistics.
But a plan has to be solid, no matter what. If you can't explain to yourself why you're doing what you're doing and why you're doing it like you are doing it, then you shouldn't be doing it. Unless, of course, if you're the first one ever to do it. Then you should do it on one plant, and not on another. Write down the difference and report. This adds up to our numbers, which we can use in our heuristic analysis. Everybody gets better.

"I want to take a risk" or "I couldn't control myself" are solid reasons to do something in my book, but be honest about it at least. ;-)
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
Messages
20,234
Reaction score
26,969
Location
Berwyn, Il
USDA Zone
6.2
By half barerooting are people halving it vertical or horizontally?
Lolololol! This'll be revised too!

This thing where...the folks recommending HBR have no Idea what it is like to use the method in a situation of many circling roots...those camps really haven't crossed paths yet.

I like your bomb analogy. I have had good luck just snipping a few surface circlers in spring, maybe a couple more in the same season if I'm feeling froggy....

But when we talk about final aesthetics...

I am seriously doubting using this type of shit at all.

Realistically taking into account the # of years it will take to make those roots presentable, and if you cant just start a damn seed!

I'm still 50/50 with effrooting young mugos.

5050 and the aesthetics I'm looking for instantly....
Beats fucking with bloodooodooodoodoodoo roots for years...

Just to find out that last one was the wrong wire! Boom!

maxresdefault.jpg

Sorce
 

bwaynef

Chumono
Messages
564
Reaction score
310
Location
Upstate SC
USDA Zone
7
I'll admit that I don't exactly follow everything you're saying ...and probably not going to do the mental gymnastics to try to figure it out.

the folks recommending HBR have no Idea what it is like to use the method in a situation of many circling roots...those camps really haven't crossed paths yet.
...or maybe you're not aware of how to do the HBR properly.
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
Messages
20,234
Reaction score
26,969
Location
Berwyn, Il
USDA Zone
6.2
I'll admit that I don't exactly follow everything you're saying ...and probably not going to do the mental gymnastics to try to figure it out.


...or maybe you're not aware of how to do the HBR properly.
I have never seen it done properly on a circler.

My thing is It's not, and never will be appropriate for a circler.

Even if it "works"...
The end product is either too long out, or too ugly for me.

Pretty sure there is no evidence of it used on a circler, both sides, with a living tree that now looks good at the base.

FTR...ANY Basal evidence of Nursery Pot is not good enough to show IMO.

Sorce
 

Top Bottom