Kishu Mother Stock Soil Composition and Care?

bonsaianak

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Was wondering what everybody grows their mother trees in? I have a few kishu that I want to grow as mother stock for cuttings, grafts, air layers, etc. What soil composition should I use to promote strong, fast growth assuming I am growing it above ground (I don't have the option to grow it in the ground unfortunately). And what container should be used - colanders? grow boxes? plastic nursery containers?

For those who have experience growing kishu stock or any other stock trees in general, do you perform the same maintenance on your mother stock as you do on your actual bonsai trees or do you let them grow wild and untouched? I know kishu like to shed their interior growth and wanted to know if you would also aid in removing weaker growth to promote stronger growth on kishu mother trees?
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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I have two motherplant junipers that I keep in large nursery containers. I let them grow unchecked. Weak foliage contributes to the whole and since I'm not using these plants themselves for bonsai, I leave everything on.
I need the strong runners for scions and cuttings. Once I have taken those, it's effectively pruned for the season.
I shake out dead interior foliage three times a year.

One tree is in bonsai soil. The other is in nursery soil with a fair amount of pumice and cocopeat/coco choir. The latter seems to be performing better, but that might be cultivar related. Because I make air layers, there's some dead weight on the branches sometimes and the bonsai-soil-plant tends to shift a lot because of that.
I'm growing itoigawa in black peat with sand and some potting soil, they seem to like it. But watering adjustments were necesary because of the slower drainage and poor drying.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Was wondering what everybody grows their mother trees in? I have a few kishu that I want to grow as mother stock for cuttings, grafts, air layers, etc. What soil composition should I use to promote strong, fast growth assuming I am growing it above ground (I don't have the option to grow it in the ground unfortunately). And what container should be used - colanders? grow boxes? plastic nursery containers?

For those who have experience growing kishu stock or any other stock trees in general, do you perform the same maintenance on your mother stock as you do on your actual bonsai trees or do you let them grow wild and untouched? I know kishu like to shed their interior growth and wanted to know if you would also aid in removing weaker growth to promote stronger growth on kishu mother trees?
Slightly oversized wooden box, or Anderson flats would work. No colendars. Junipers need to put on a lot of foliage before they start to thicken up, so let them grow unchecked except for taking your cuttings. If they’re growing well, they won’t shed a whole lot of interior growth.
 

Bonsai Nut

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The more space you have for your mother plant (and in particular, the roots), the faster it will grow. If you can't plant it in the ground, can you put it in a raised bed planter? Otherwise build the largest wooden box that you can manage, and since you live in San Diego, fill it with pumice with perhaps 10% pine bark mini-nuggets or sifted pine bark fines. I use Anderson flats a lot, but I don't think they are large enough to grow out a kishu for grafting or cutting stock. You might be able to maintain a 24" kishu in one, but maintaining is very different from trying to grow it aggressively.

I have a large number of kishu and itoigawa cuttings, and I grow them a couple of years in 6" pond baskets of pumice (6 per pond basket) until the roots are well-established, and then I move them into 10" pond baskets (one per basket) until they are about 12". Make sure to wire in some movement when they are small. Otherwise let them grow untouched if you are trying to maximize trunk caliper development. Importantly - do not prune back the extending branch tips.
 

Colorado

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I am using 50/50 pumice/lava for growing out a kishu juniper for mother stock. Works great.
 
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