How much roots to cut off Nursery stock when planting in ground on a tile?

The Warm Canuck

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Good day all,

I just bought this Acer Ginnala that I plan on planting in my yard shortly, to develop. I'd like to plant it on a kitchen plate, to discourage lateral root growth and making it easier when digging it up.

My question is, how much of the root ball can I safely remove?

IMG_20210914_130410.jpg
 

just.wing.it

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If you're going Ebihara mode, you must anchor the trunk to the tile, I use a screw.
Therefore, you need to get as much root out of the way as you need to expose the underside of the trunk....which may require 90% root reduction.
20200315_160007_Burst01.jpg20210327_134431.jpg
 

penumbra

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to discourage lateral root growth
You actually mean to encourage lateral root growth.
Cute little person by the way.
If you're going Ebihara mode, you must anchor the trunk to the tile, I use a screw.
My maples were not screwed down. Perhaps they should have been, but the tile did what was required of it nonetheless.
 

The Warm Canuck

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If you're going Ebihara mode, you must anchor the trunk to the tile, I use a screw.
Therefore, you need to get as much root out of the way as you need to expose the underside of the trunk....which may require 90% root reduction.
90% root reduction scares me..haha, but I see the benefit of screwing the trunk to tile. What's Ebihara mode?
You actually mean to encourage lateral root growth.
Cute little person by the way.

My maples were not screwed down. Perhaps they should have been, but the tile did what was required of it nonetheless.
How deep did you bury the tiles?
 

just.wing.it

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90% root reduction scares me..haha, but I see the benefit of screwing the trunk to tile. What's Ebihara mode?

How deep did you bury the tiles?

Its the point of what you're thinking about doing.
 

The Warm Canuck

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Its the point of what you're thinking about doing.
Thanks for all the info.

Yes, this does look like something that I would like to accomplish at some point.

I'm a little weary of doing such invasive root work at this time of year, so I'm thinking maybe just chopping roughly 2/3 of the root ball off now, without bare rooting it and put a large kitchen plate under it and plan for the Ebihara method in the future.
 

Hack Yeah!

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It should layer easy enough and it looks like you've got a spare trunk to work with. I'd plant the whole thing and try layering one trunk in the spring and the other after it's as big as you want it to be.
 

just.wing.it

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Thanks for all the info.

Yes, this does look like something that I would like to accomplish at some point.

I'm a little weary of doing such invasive root work at this time of year, so I'm thinking maybe just chopping roughly 2/3 of the root ball off now, without bare rooting it and put a large kitchen plate under it and plan for the Ebihara method in the future.
Definitely not this time of year.
Springtime, when buds are swelling.
 

sorce

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If you're going Ebihara mode, you must anchor the trunk to the tile, I use a screw.
Therefore, you need to get as much root out of the way as you need to expose the underside of the trunk....which may require 90% root reduction.
View attachment 397753View attachment 397754

I think that amount of roots is a reasonable minimum to make this process worth while.
Before seeing it I was on some, "don't do it".

I appreciate that representation because most of what we see done is, IMO, too little roots left to carry on any benefit of the process anyway.
...........

There are plenty of folks who manage a well manicured and healthy surface roots without using any sort of plate, tile, wood....

Quite frankly, I think a lot of folks do it thinking there is an easy benefit, but I think, to do it properly, requires much more work, continued work, than most folks are willing to, or have the time to put in. Especially since it's generally viewed as an easy out in the first place.

The books have us so fearful of downward growing roots, we think they all must be cut off no matter what.

Everyone tries to make this plane of roots so shallow....yet no one ever uses pots so thin, they fear them.

So why bother cutting off anything supporting the tree that will fit in an appropriate sized pot?

Roots will grow down eventually anyway, with absolutely no detriment to design, and the tree is healthier for it, so it doesn't make much sense.

Walter talks of keeping as many roots as possible, he gets fabulous development and never loses points on nebari. I have allowed this idea to penetrate my work and it works.

Out of sight out of mind.

Except for when you cut off too many roots and the top reminds you you fu@ked up!

Consider the end goals, if you're not attempting a pancake, I think this process is useless.

+1 for layering. +1 for cute spawn.

Sorce
 

The Warm Canuck

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I think that amount of roots is a reasonable minimum to make this process worth while.
Before seeing it I was on some, "don't do it".

I appreciate that representation because most of what we see done is, IMO, too little roots left to carry on any benefit of the process anyway.
...........

There are plenty of folks who manage a well manicured and healthy surface roots without using any sort of plate, tile, wood....

Quite frankly, I think a lot of folks do it thinking there is an easy benefit, but I think, to do it properly, requires much more work, continued work, than most folks are willing to, or have the time to put in. Especially since it's generally viewed as an easy out in the first place.

The books have us so fearful of downward growing roots, we think they all must be cut off no matter what.

Everyone tries to make this plane of roots so shallow....yet no one ever uses pots so thin, they fear them.

So why bother cutting off anything supporting the tree that will fit in an appropriate sized pot?

Roots will grow down eventually anyway, with absolutely no detriment to design, and the tree is healthier for it, so it doesn't make much sense.

Walter talks of keeping as many roots as possible, he gets fabulous development and never loses points on nebari. I have allowed this idea to penetrate my work and it works.

Out of sight out of mind.

Except for when you cut off too many roots and the top reminds you you fu@ked up!

Consider the end goals, if you're not attempting a pancake, I think this process is useless.

+1 for layering. +1 for cute spawn.

Sorce
Thanks, excellent info!

What appeals to me most about the tile is for when the tree is dug up. It seems like it would make it easier, for no other reason than that.

I'm hoping to make a Sokan style out of this tree. I was thinking of waiting a few years before layering, I want to get some more girth on the bottom trunk where the two meet first, just by letting it grow, but, I really have no experience, so maybe I'm off the mark.

and Thanks, she is a cutie!
 

just.wing.it

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I think that amount of roots is a reasonable minimum to make this process worth while.
Before seeing it I was on some, "don't do it".

I appreciate that representation because most of what we see done is, IMO, too little roots left to carry on any benefit of the process anyway.
...........

There are plenty of folks who manage a well manicured and healthy surface roots without using any sort of plate, tile, wood....

Quite frankly, I think a lot of folks do it thinking there is an easy benefit, but I think, to do it properly, requires much more work, continued work, than most folks are willing to, or have the time to put in. Especially since it's generally viewed as an easy out in the first place.

The books have us so fearful of downward growing roots, we think they all must be cut off no matter what.

Everyone tries to make this plane of roots so shallow....yet no one ever uses pots so thin, they fear them.

So why bother cutting off anything supporting the tree that will fit in an appropriate sized pot?

Roots will grow down eventually anyway, with absolutely no detriment to design, and the tree is healthier for it, so it doesn't make much sense.

Walter talks of keeping as many roots as possible, he gets fabulous development and never loses points on nebari. I have allowed this idea to penetrate my work and it works.

Out of sight out of mind.

Except for when you cut off too many roots and the top reminds you you fu@ked up!

Consider the end goals, if you're not attempting a pancake, I think this process is useless.

+1 for layering. +1 for cute spawn.

Sorce
I think there is another reason I do it.

Firstly, I do like shallow pots, and I strive to get my trees comfortably in the most shallow pots I can, in due time.

I think that forcing the roots out, ebihara mode, actually makes the basal flare at the nebari fatter, faster than it would be otherwise.
Increased taper in the lower portion of the trunk, in less time.

You're right that it requires more work too, because if you allow it to go for too long, some roots may take over, get too fat, ruin the desired image.
 

sorce

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For me, proportion is everything, I think this gets lost on folks a lot when it comes to roots. Born possibly out of, "bigger is better"?

We know that the smaller the branches are, the bigger the trunk seems, but we never talk about how it's the same for roots

This is why I'm so pro-airlayer, you have the ability to be in full control of it's development on something worth developing.

So!.........

I wouldn't treat something like this in the ground.

The very growth we seek In the ground is most likely to make these roots grow too big too fast.

I propose ground growing should be done, with the surface roots kept small by a basket above ground, with all the downward growing roots left growing all the way till they find water, powering the growth we seek, directly through the center of the trunk.

20210719_165216~2.jpg

(Lost some stuff from flipping pages)

Anything that fills a good basket can be cut without worry.

Reference.

Sorce
 

Shibui

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No point in putting a plate under until you are able to reduce the roots as shown in above picture.
IMHO there is no point in putting a tile or plate under it AFTER reducing the roots. Tile/plate seems to be the current trend but why? Do people really expect the roots to move in the soil? Roots that are placed lateral and horizontal will still be so in a year or 2 or more, just thicker. Some new roots will grow down but in my experience they will be few and are easily chopped at the next repot.
Plates do not enhance trunk flare - strong lateral roots do that and if you start with strong lateral roots they will still be strong lateral roots for years to come - plate or no plate.
Plates do not encourage more lateral roots. They may redirect a few that would otherwise have grown down but do not directly make the tree grow more laterals - root pruning or layering are the only sure ways to achieve more lateral roots. Roots that start down and are forced outward by tiles simply lift the rest of the tree up as they thicken and, in my experience, can actually cause more trouble than they are worth.

I think that forcing the roots out, ebihara mode, actually makes the basal flare at the nebari fatter, faster than it would be otherwise.
Increased taper in the lower portion of the trunk, in less time.
Strong lateral roots enhance basal flare. Ebihara is just one possible way to enhance lateral roots. Good root pruning is another that requires less work and less materials.

3 to 4 inches in my case.
Know your species. Trident or Japanese maple buried 3-4 inches will just grow a whole new set of roots at surface level and negate any good work and roots below. You can get away with burying deeper with some species but not all. i don't grow A. ginala so cannot say how they respond to deeper burial. My advice is just cover the surface roots for safety and best results but exactly how deep depends on how you can manage watering.

I'm a little weary of doing such invasive root work at this time of year, so I'm thinking maybe just chopping roughly 2/3 of the root ball off now, without bare rooting it and put a large kitchen plate under it and plan for the Ebihara method in the future.
There is no point in doing a half hearted root reduction and planting on a plate now. Nothing good can come of that. Learn to think long term for bonsai and reign in enthusiasm. Feed and water well this summer in preparation to do a proper job next spring. Doing it right first will more than make up for the few months delay.
 

The Warm Canuck

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There is no point in doing a half hearted root reduction and planting on a plate now. Nothing good can come of that. Learn to think long term for bonsai and reign in enthusiasm. Feed and water well this summer in preparation to do a proper job next spring. Doing it right first will more than make up for the few months delay.
I like this. I'll just plant it as is, and do the root work in the spring.
 

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