Birch Seedlings --> Potensai

emk

Mame
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Columbus, OH
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I've got a few two-year-old birch seedlings and I'm wondering about what the next step is for developing them into potensai. (Most books talk about how to get them through the first year or two, but leave the rest to your imagination.) I planted them in a tray the spring of 2007, let them grow unhindered until the next spring. At that time I cut the tap roots, spread the rest of the roots out radially from the trunks, and potted them in these little pots. I'm not sure what to do with them this spring. Leave them in the pots another year? Trim the roots but return to the same pots? Slip-pot them into larger (or wider) pots without disturbing the roots? Root trim and place in larger/wider pots?

By the way, the reason I'm not putting them in the ground is because the soil in this area is especially bad and there are precious few sunny spots in my yard. Next year or the year after I'm planning to make a planting bed in a nice sunny spot to support these kind of projects, but in the meantime...
 

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Bonsai Nut

Nuttier than your average Nut
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Don't know how many you have there, but I would consider a group planting. Birches look great as a stand or mini-forest. They don't lend themselves (as well) to a solo tree display.
 

emk

Mame
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Columbus, OH
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Don't know how many you have there, but I would consider a group planting. Birches look great as a stand or mini-forest. They don't lend themselves (as well) to a solo tree display.
Yes, I'd been thinking of using them as a group planting too. At the moment I've only got the four I'm showing, but next spring I'm planning on starting another batch, so I should have a nice assortment of sizes for a group planting down the road.
 
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