Brazilian Rain Tree Issue

Mike423

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I have a Brazilian Rain tree I acquired last summer and just repotted it to get an idea of the root system and its health. When I got a look at the root system I was unsure if I was amused by the unusual look of the root ball and or how I wanted to work on it. I have to admit even though I have worked with similarly entangled rootballs this one for some reason seems to have me stumped. Fist off I was surprised on how small the root mass was to begin with (4th picture) compared to the trees size and therefore was reluctant to do any actual root pruning. It seems like two or three of the thickened main roots are encircling the bottom of the rootball as shown in the pictures I attached. Like I said before I am unsure if this would be a neat attraction to the nebari I can work on in the future or if It may hinder the root system (seeing as they are all entangled) and should be removed.

Upon closer inspection of the rootball I noticed that the root hairs have little bulbous balls. The first thing that came to mind when I saw this was nematodes (picture 3). I am wondering now how damaging this can/will be to the tree and how I should go about treating it.

Even more troublesome was the fact that I didn't have a pot with an appropriate depth so I ended up having to mound it on the deepest one on hand that was adequate in size. I guess I made the classic mistake of not checking to making sure I had a pot deeper in case of a situation like this.

Any input as far as the root situation as well as the possible nematode infestation would be appreciated. Thanks

-Mike
 

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treebeard55

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Mike, aren't raintrees legumes? If so (and it's easy to check,) I think those nodules on the roots are where the nitrogen-fixing bacteria live.
 

Mike423

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Mike, aren't raintrees legumes? If so (and it's easy to check,) I think those nodules on the roots are where the nitrogen-fixing bacteria live.

Yes they are, I never really knew Legumes had this feature (its near impossible to find any good info on Rain trees). Thanks Treebeard
 

ml_work

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Mike, it looks like you are finished with the potting now so this may not be any help.
I have a couple RT, one maybe in the size of your picture. Just got last September, never worked with it yet. The other is much smaller trunk than yours, I think it was 5 yro when purchased 4 years ago. So it is between 8-10 years old. I have re potted 2 times since I have it, as the roots fill the pot each year. When I did the potting last year I cut the roots way back, almost nothing to wire to the pot. Really did not mean to cut that hard but did before I realized it. Put it back in the pot with new soil, fertilized with 18-18-20 weekly for the first couple of months, it was slow starting but once it did it grew like crazy. I continue to cut the new shoots back in hope of back budding. I got pretty full through the summer, but has thinned out this winter. I keep it in sun room year round. The pot is full of roots now, cannot get a stick in to check moisture, will re-pot in a couple of weeks. I have found the BRT seems to shed/lose almost all its leaves about every 3 months. While leaves are dropping new ones are coming out but do not open until most of the old fall. then all new come out for about another 3-4 months. I don't know if this is normal or just something that I cause, but my new one seems to be following the same pattern. Although the new one did not get any new buds while the old were falling, looked rough. The past 2 weeks it has filled out full.
I have not found much information on the BRT either, from what I see they are not very popular. I think I like them because they do something everyday, open leaves...get too hot close leaves...rain, close leaves...night close leaves, look dead...sun shines..open leaves. Sounds simple, but maybe that is my speed.
Have A Great Day!
Michael
 

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