Cedar training boxes?

Chris85

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So I found a great mulberry stump that I want to collect come the winter. I also would like to get my Japanese maple out of its nursery pot when the time comes.

I see a lot of people beginning training from collected trees and nursery pots into cedar boxes. I understand that these boxes are pest resistant and they hold up to the watering for some time.

My question is, if I am a ceramist, and I can make my own training pots, is there a reason why I should still use cedar or some comparable wood? What (if any) benefits to the tree does a wood frame box offer that ceramic clay potentially doesn’t? Is it just a cheap alternative for those that don’t do ceramics so that they can make whatever size box they need? Or am I missing something?

Thanks!
 

coh

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One nice thing about wooden boxes - you can make one in about an hour, tailored to the exact dimensions needed for the particular tree. So if I happen to have a good-sized pot sitting around, I'll use it. But if not, I can quickly put something together out of wood.
 

Chris85

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One nice thing about wooden boxes - you can make one in about an hour, tailored to the exact dimensions needed for the particular tree. So if I happen to have a good-sized pot sitting around, I'll use it. But if not, I can quickly put something together out of wood.
Speed is definitely a perk that ceramics does not afford haha
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Wood boxes are excellent for growing out trees. They handle moisture well, moderate temperature, and are easy to add holes, tie-downs, and build to size.
 

Gary McCarthy

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One of the nice things about cedar is that you can go to one of the big box home improvement stores and buy the cedar planks they make for fencing at a cheap price.
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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My wooden boxes are feeding the mycorrhizae as a bonus. It wasn't my intention, but it's happening.
I'm afraid they will not last a year at this pace..
 

KiwiPlantGuy

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Wooden boxes built for Bonsai are usually between 4-6 inches deep to promote a flat and radial root base. If you can build a ceramic pot which is flat like this above box and approx 8-15 inches square/circular, then you have made the everlasting growing pot. I think you guys call them “bulb pans”.
Anyway, your choice but remember the depth thing to encourage a flat base.
 

Chris85

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My wooden boxes are feeding the mycorrhizae as a bonus. It wasn't my intention, but it's happening.
I'm afraid they will not last a year at this pace..
Did you use cedar or another type of wood?
 

coh

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I've made boxes out of cedar and pine. I think the cedar holds up a little better, maybe an extra season or two...but usually the tree needs to be repotted before the box falls apart either way.
 

Anthony

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Get an over sized plastic bonsai pot.
Or a large plastic shape.
Make a plaster of paris copy.
Fire.
Plant tree needing refining - branchlets and so on.
For trunk, ground grow.

When you are feeling lazy, slip works well and we
use a formula that can be vitreous from 850 to 983 deg.C
So winter would not be a problem.
Good Day
Anthony

* Also needs no glaze.
 

jeanluc83

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My question is, if I am a ceramist, and I can make my own training pots, is there a reason why I should still use cedar or some comparable wood?
As others have said boxes are cheap and quick and if you are going to take time to make pots just make final pots. If you start selling your pots there is a good chance you can make your hobby self supporting.
 

Anthony

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Hee Hee, Jean,

if someone says they are a Ceramist, then they have announced
that this is their profession.

It is like saying one is a Potter or Sculptor.

Plus, with a kiln and slip/mould, the ceramist can turn out at least 8 to
10 pots. Mould work is easy.
If the clay body is designed for fast fire, that same day it is
fired, by tomorrow evening cooling for removal.

2 or 3 days ------- around 10 pots.

With the gas firing kiln here about 20 pots at 12 to 15 inches
length and 5 inches in depth.

It is not a slow process.
Good Day
Anthony

* What we found to be more efficient are the saucers for large
display pots - up to 24 inches and 3 to 4 inches of depth.
UV treated and the trees grow very evenly.

No more re-built onion crates for us.
 

jeanluc83

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@Anthony

I guess my point was if you are going to make pots, make show pots. Why waste your time making training pots. Boxes are quick to make, cheep and can be built in any size / shape you need to fit the tree.

This would be especially true if ceramics is your job. Why would you want to spend more time doing your job when you want to do bonsai!

I'll also point out that training boxes are generally used for larger trees. I do not do anything with ceramics but my understanding (and based on price) once you get into pots over 18" the risk goes up. A 18x24 grow box could be made in about 30 minutes for $10. How long would a clay pot the same size take?

2 or 3 days ------- around 10 pots.
Or, you could make one high quality pot in a day then sell it. Depending on the size it is not unreasonable to make enough to buy ~10 low end Chinese pots or material to make ~30 grow boxes or ~100 nursery pots.
 

Anthony

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Ah UV plastic makes life so easy.

@jeanluc83 ,

We hand make pots, when we need them. BUT our old age limits
are 15 to 18 inches with 3 to 4 inch trunks.
At 3 to 4 inches of pot depth, silica based gravel will kill, lifting.

Have one Japanese machine mould pressed pot.
Extremely even all around at a huh under 1/2 inch, you have to
make up your mind to lift it at 12 inches in length and just under
3 inches in depth.

An aside -
I am also not a great believer in the 1970's make your hobbies into
your profession.
One absolute, I have learned in business, is if what you are doing,
making is too easy to duplicate. It will be.

Pottery is too easy to duplicate.
For awhile in the late 70's until the early 90's everyone was into
moulds for ceramics.
Then we had years of kilns for sale as most went out of business.
Good Day
Anthony
 
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