Chamaecyparis Obtusa "Golden Aurea"

Rick Moquin

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This tree was acquired as nursery stock, with a specific purpose in mind and that was to replace a Hinoki in my Zen garden.

This tree IMO demonstrates that judicial selection of nursery material can indeed render suitable bonsai. This tree will not become a bonsai perse, but rather a landscape tree in my Zen garden.

This was acquired and style in the same day. IMO it goes to show that proper material can be styled with some credibility in a short period of time whilst maintaining the trees health.

This tree is planted out in a 20 gal container for ease of removal IOT conduct maintenance. This was but an initial styling to get the tree in the garden, much more work will need to be conducted in years to come: e.g foliage reduction, rewiring, crown work etc.... This is as far as I felt I could push this tree without affecting its health.

Although this will not become a bonsai, what I chose to call Japanese gardening techniques will be applied in the future as the tree develops to maintain its scale and style in the garden. Enjoy!
 

bonsai barry

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Quite a drastic change, I'd say. I haven't had luck keeping t his species alive. Rick, is this the original container the tree came in? If so, I imagine you didn't work on the roots. Will drainage be an issue?
 
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Rick,

Did you set the 20 gal pot in the hole on top of gravel or just resting on the soil at the bottom of the hole? The reason I ask is that I have discovered that if a drainage layer is not put down under a pot buried like this, the container will not be able to drain and the hole it is in will eventually do what holes do best, collect water.

I like what you did with this Hinoki, what a great idea and it looks good in that location.

Nursery material and instant bonsai? Good work!



Will
 

Rick Moquin

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Thanks guys! This is not the original container, similar but not the same. That square in the garden is a miniature Japanese flag. The red circle is in scale with the flag dimensions. The red brick chips will need to be broken down to about 3/8" when I get around to it, as the originals were lost when transplanting.

Great tip on the drainage layer. The answer is no, as I was concerned for the perched water table more than anything else. Having said that, this particular bed was designed for having trees in them and does not hold water, it is sort of bonsai soil on a large scale. Now whether it will because of the "hole" I'll have to be diligent with this aspect, but I don't believe it will flood. The tree was repotted with it's original decomposted bark and grit added. The root pad was 3 inches thick, minus a 1 1/2" top layer of brick chips in a 15" inch pot.

Does anyone still believe I will have a problem in this situation, based on the information provided? I pose the question because of a valid comment provided in response to this thread. This tree is in the landscape and as such mother nature will look after its watering needs. Because of the climate in the Maritimes, I do not believe I will need to supplement, based on my schedule and periods of absence.

Adding a drainage layer should no pose a problem, but the perched water table occurs in the pot vice the hole. I welcome all feedback and ideas with regards to the latter.
 
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You can always run a thin dowel down the soil in the pot to the bottom and use it as a gage from time to time to see if water is draining completely out of the pot. The good news is that if you notice the pot is not draining as needed, it would not be a hard task to lift the pot out, dig the hole deeper, and then add a few inches of gravel on the bottom. So it is not a life or death situation and if needed, can be easily corrected.

Great job on the first styling.


Will
 
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I wouldn't worry too much about a perched water table in your pot. I believe this is a bonsai myth, and that in these artificial situations, one would have to provide a constant source of gallons of water for it to happen.

Dave DeGroot has done some research on this, and this one he scoffs at. Here are also a couple of links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perched_water_table
http://www.turfdiag.com/perched_water_table.htm


That's not to say that burying a pot directly into garden soil is a good idea. But with a three inch root pad in a 20 gallon pot, your garden would have to be flooded for the water table to reach that high!
 

agraham

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It depends somewhat on the native soil,but I can see a problem with out some kind of drainage layer under the pot.The perched water table will not be a problem if you use large enough gravel or even rocks.Something to hold the pot away from the bottom of the hole.

Down here,in some locations,a hole like that would fill with water and not drain at all.Clay soils.

andy
 

Rick Moquin

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this particular bed was designed for having trees in them and does not hold water, it is sort of bonsai soil on a large scale.

As mentioned earlier this bed is free draining, more or less. The clay is well below the box so to speak and at least 6 inches from the pot. What the pot is burried in is a mixture of sand, gravel (3/8"), peat and composted bark. A point to note not too much peat. Should I still be concerned? And if so no biggie, I'll dig it back up and set it on bricks.

I do like the idea of the jumbo chopstick, I have used a miniature version indoors for the longest time.
 

Rick Moquin

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I wouldn't worry too much about a perched water table in your pot. I believe this is a bonsai myth, and that in these artificial situations, one would have to provide a constant source of gallons of water for it to happen.

Dave DeGroot has done some research on this, and this one he scoffs at. Here are also a couple of links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perched_water_table
http://www.turfdiag.com/perched_water_table.htm


That's not to say that burying a pot directly into garden soil is a good idea. But with a three inch root pad in a 20 gallon pot, your garden would have to be flooded for the water table to reach that high!

Sorry Chris,

The link I like to believe is this one. Your specific links deal with earth, we are talking a pot/container here. Towards the bottom of the link there's a section that deals with a sponge as a metaphore, this I know is fact. Furthermore, to coroborate Brent's theory, after watering your bonsai and the pot has stopped draining, tilt it and see how much more water comes out of the pot, regardless if the pot is flat or not. Not many enthusiast tip there pots after watering. I know many do after a heavy rainfall but should do it all the time.
 

imholte

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I have put in numerous drainfields for shop sinks, which are no more that a 55 gallon drum with the top and bottom removed and filled with river rock and placed on dirt/clay underground. The drain pipe flows into the drum and exits out the bottom through the dirt with no problems of backing up water.

I would assume with high flow you could probably fill up thebarrel before it will drain, but with just shop use of water/watering of tree i dont think that it would be a problem.

That is what I think, but that doesnt say alot sometimes. :)
 

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