In ground growout containment

wade

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Hello all,

I've been trying to come up with methods for "containing" in-ground growout plantings. Specifically, I have a couple of Carolina hornbeams and oaks that I pulled up from a future home-site that seem to have done well with the cutting back. I would like to grow them out in-ground to accelerate their nebari and girth growth.

Do you have a way to prevent a giant taproot (oak) or the massize horizontal spread (hornbeam) of these trees while allowing them to benefit from being in the ground for a few years?

Can a strainer/basket type container be used under them?

Any ideas would be wonderful as I need to get them into the ground as soon as it thaws enough!

Thanks,
Wade
 

Rick Moquin

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Do you have a way to prevent a giant taproot (oak)

Yup! cut the sucker off before you plant it out

or the massive horizontal spread (hornbeam) of these trees while allowing them to benefit from being in the ground for a few years?

Yup! Its is called a spade. Every spring you trench at the drip line trimming all radial growth, do the same to the oak. This in turn will force finer roots up the main ones. This is a chore to be done every spring regardless to turn your trees around, so they grow evenly (sunlight).

BTW cut the tap root off the hornbeam as well if it is still there. Most of the time nurseries take care of that for you when they move their saplings to 4 inch pots.
 

jamie11

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you can use things like pond baskets, big collanders and similar that will keep a tight root mass while allowing roots to go out of the basket and it will be easier to dig up as it all you need to do is spade around the basket/collander.

you can also ground grow with a seedling tray as a divider where the roots can go down out into the soil and it can be lifted easily same as above.
i have seen some great trees grown this way, including sumo style stock of different species.

jamie :)
 

Smoke

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Don't plant a tree in a colander or basket and then put it in the ground. This would be suicide for the plant. It will grow hideous and you would never get the basket off the roots once they grow thru. Besides planting in the ground defeats the purpose of a basket by not recieving the air which is it's main purpose anyway.

Ground or basket, those are your choices.
 

capnk

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The nursery industry's answer to your question is Root Control Bags. Google that. There are actually a couple of different manufacturers.
You can see info on the bags at http://www.treebag.com/

You can buy them at http://www.hort-enterprises.com/pricelist.htm#Root Control Bags

I'm not sure if any place sells them in small numbers (less than 100).

You can see the results of the bags at www.telperionfarms.com. They work better for some species than others. If you only need a few bags, and can't find a retailer, email me and we'll see what we can work out.

Good luck,
Chris
 

wade

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Don't plant a tree in a colander or basket and then put it in the ground. This would be suicide for the plant. It will grow hideous and you would never get the basket off the roots once they grow thru. Besides planting in the ground defeats the purpose of a basket by not recieving the air which is it's main purpose anyway.

Ground or basket, those are your choices.

Really? I find it interesting that most traditional bonsai material came from mountainous regions where root growth was highly impeded. Never thought that throwing a partial barrier in the developing roots' way would cause any sort of real problems so long as it didn't retain moisture in any significant way. Have you tried it and know from experience?

Would placing a plate/board/flat rock under the tree a few inches to prevent deep penetration work? I've seen the "plate" method in Bonsai mags as a method for potted plants, but not heard if it would function in the ground.
 

rockm

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The whole idea of in-ground planting is UN-restricted root growth. If you limit the root run, prune them too much, make a big fuss, you defeat your purpose, or at least double or triple the time.

The more root run, the greater root flare, diameter increase and top growth. You WANT the roots to escape into the soil, if you don't you might as well leave the trees in pots.

The practice is mostly one of plant--wait five years--root prune (and this has to be done selectively) replant--repeat until the trunk/roots are where you want them to be--there are variations, but that's the basic approach.

For what it's worth, carolina hornbeam are extremely tough--I've collected large 5-6 inch diameter trunks severing 95 percent of the root mass and topping them at the same time. I've planted them in ground or even directly into a larger development container. They usually backbud like crazy. I've never had to replant them to develop root spread or nebari though. That;s usually already there...
 

wade

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Thanks for the clarification.

As to the hornbeams, both of these were on what appears to be a very old driveway pad and the roots both radiated outward... there was no tap root. But because they were in a pretty densely grown area, they were tall and lanky and the nebari are not great. The smaller of the two (~3" diameter) looks good - it is in a 2'x2' training box. The large is very bland atm and I wanted to put it back into the ground.

Its funny. When you try to read about these trees, the only information I often find is "these are very hard to transplant!". And yet, when I find folks who have actually tried, they seem to work just fine.
 

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