Eastern Redbud Field test - Root work

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Root work Field test on 2 small Eastern Redbuds

Ok, I finally dug the 3 small Redbuds from last year out of cold storage. I received each from a TN nursery. After emptying two out of the pot, I recalled cutting the taproots off of each when I planted them up in pots.... 2 were in Boon mix, the other just in whatever I had around, bark, lava, pumice and some potting soil just for good measure. It was a trial to see if the species would take to bonsai soil. They loved to be watered and grew slowly all year. Medium sized sorta heart shaped leaves. Each survived the Puget Sound winter in a cold frame.

Both grew well above the surface, yet unpotting revealed that the Boon mix Redbud really put out more and bigger roots... about double the other mix... and stronger roots too. I don’t think these trees were markedly different in starting size.
View attachment 364619

As you can see, the Redbud puts out lots of fine fiberous roots, with fleshy feeder roots. They remind me of Chinese Elm roots In fleshiness and azalea roots in fiberousness (except not as tangled!).

I decided what the heck, since we’d rootworked over 60 maples, cherries etc a couple weeks ago, and there were plenty of smaller root plates around.... so I decided to see if these little guys could take to some full bore root work! Well, not as radical as the other trees we’d done as I got conservative and didn’t fully trim back the roots. I was a bit uncertain how this species would take to root work. Also I held one Redbud back in reserve just in case both test trials crashed and burned.

First image Boon mix etc, second poi puppy mix.
View attachment 364620 View attachment 364623

I cut back about 1/3 of the big roots on the Redbuds, just to to be able to get the tree down on the plate. Also I accidentally split the stem of the Boon mix one when screwing the tree down. Not so great technique! Yet it is a major hazard with fleshy roots and trunk trees though. I cut pasted the crack and buried it in small media. Hmm...

View attachment 364622

Both went in 1 gallon pots in Boon mix and were watered down, put in an open sky, low sun area of the yard. Now it’s wait to see what happens.

View attachment 364621
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Brian Van Fleet

Pretty Fly for a Bonsai Guy
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I dug one up yesterday too...what happened to your attachments?
 
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So sorry. Totally weird! Here’s the full post.

Root work Field test on 2 small Eastern Redbuds

Ok, I finally dug the 3 small Redbuds from last year out of cold storage. I received each from a TN nursery. After emptying two out of the pot, I recalled cutting the taproots off of each when I planted them up in pots.... 2 were in Boon mix, the other just in whatever I had around, bark, lava, pumice and some potting soil just for good measure. It was a trial to see if the species would take to bonsai soil. They loved to be watered and grew slowly all year. Medium sized sorta heart shaped leaves. Each survived the Puget Sound winter in a cold frame.

Both grew well above the surface, yet unpotting revealed that the Boon mix Redbud really put out more and bigger roots... about double the other mix... and stronger roots too. I don’t think these trees were markedly different in starting size.

6ECF589B-DDA2-4A88-97F4-72698F2B7213.jpeg

As you can see, the Redbud puts out lots of fine fiberous roots, with fleshy feeder roots. They remind me of Chinese Elm roots In fleshiness and azalea roots in fiberousness (except not as tangled!).

I decided what the heck, since we’d rootworked over 60 maples, cherries etc a couple weeks ago, and there were plenty of smaller root plates around.... so I decided to see if these little guys could take to some full bore root work! Well, not as radical as the other trees we’d done as I got conservative and didn’t fully trim back the roots. I was a bit uncertain how this species would take to root work. Also I held one Redbud back in reserve just in case both test trials crashed and burned.

0AFF76B2-9AAA-4EE3-AADA-A06CEFF875E9.jpeg

First image Boon mix etc, second poi puppy mix.

0DBC7848-89AF-456C-892F-F29F66580836.jpeg 2B3C97D5-355B-4C37-8370-5735C0BEC41E.jpeg

I cut back about 1/3 of the big roots on the Redbuds, just to to be able to get the tree down on the plate. Also I accidentally split the stem of the Boon mix one when screwing the tree down. Not so great technique! Yet it is a major hazard with fleshy roots and trunk trees though. I cut pasted the crack and buried it in small media. Hmm...

D73DD9F9-3016-4E16-9232-187F9542799E.jpeg

Both went in 1 gallon pots in Boon mix and were watered down, put in an open sky, low sun area of the yard. Now it’s wait to see what happens.

A7B2AFBD-5037-4E0E-9879-FF13969BF644.jpeg
cheers
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Forsoothe!

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Photos not accessible.
 
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Update: One month in each are slowly, progressively leafing out….fingers crossed
749A0EF1-4751-4D1C-A2B7-28F0FDDD4CEB.jpeg1E3DF74C-E3FD-45EC-B437-8C24F20BE236.jpeg
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….sadly, these were victim of the massive heat wave, along with its sister plant that wasn’t root worked. Although they were 100% in shade, watered, misted and also humidified by the wet ground beneath them, these just flat shriveled up when it temps rose to 105. Then the 111 the next day totally put them down. So far these three and a root worked crab are the only victims. All the other project trees are doing fine. It’s down to the 90’s today so I have all my fingers crossed

Will keep these trees in the inventory with the hope that they rebound….it’s a real long shot though.

cheers
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