Kushida Matsuo's growing techniques

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I have heard about Kushida Matsuo's growing techniques, involving a colander, raising seedlings to trees in a few years.

Unfortunately, I haven't read his article, and even more I don't know where to find his article. Can anyone point me in the right direction, so I can read about his techniques myself?

From my understanding, he uses the techniques solely on pines. I understand their use in more advanced bonsai gardens, but the length of time that is involved in raising them means it's hard to put off learning from them for too long. As such, I was hoping to start a few seedlings using his methods (if they seem reasonable). This way, in about seven years I should be at the point where I'm ready to attempt to manipulate the trees, while using those seven years to get a better grasp on other deciduous trees.

Any help?
 

Pine Barron

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I agree with everyones favorite Outlaw that this is a great tutorial and cray needs to update it.
 

grog

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I see tons of pics, maybe you need to register?
 
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I couldn't see the pictures until I registered.

I havn't gone all the way through it yet, but I don't really understand why you "graft" them at 4 weeks old . . .

I do have two 3 year old seedlings (about 8" tall) that I think I'm going to transport into airpots. I also have about 8 seedlings in the ground, planted at the same time, that are only about 3" tall. I don't think the ground is working out for them, and I might dig them up this weekend.

Do you think the "grafting" techniques are suitable to use on these seedlings? Or is it more reserved for younger and smaller types?
 

bwaynef

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As for finding the article, the Stone Lanterns _Pines_ book has (at least 1 of) the Kusida Matsuo article(s). As a last resort, its better than nothing, but you'd do well to find one of the old Bonsai Today back issues, I'd start looking w/ BT 20, but I'm not sure which ones specifically have Matsuo's work. Bonsaibark.com and StoneLantern.com would be instrumental for either.
 

woodguy

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I havn't gone all the way through it yet, but I don't really understand why you "graft" them at 4 weeks old . . .

This cutting of the roots and replanting is done to get a nice radial root system started where all the roots are at the same level.
 

Jason

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Damn....Pine Barron. That little bug gets me every time. I even tried to squash it once.
 

Pine Barron

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I know what you mean..in an alcohol induced stupor I too tried to kill it once and I am the one who put it there...
 
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This cutting of the roots and replanting is done to get a nice radial root system started where all the roots are at the same level.
So is this method intended to be used solely for very young seedlings?

The reason why I ask, is that I purchased a number of red, white, and black pine seedlings a few years ago. 20 to be exact. All were approximately 3-4" tall (not counting rootmass). I put 10 in quart sized pots, and 10 in the ground to grow out. I all but ignored the 10 that were in the ground. Six made it (I think some didn't transplant very well due to shipping, and at least one or two got eaten by something much bigger, I'm assuming my golden retriever :)). Some didn't make it that were in pots (again, due to transplant issues, drought issues, and some I gave away).

I basically have 2 in pots, and six in the ground. The ones in the ground don't appear to have grown nearly at all in the past two years (by now I think they are 4-5" tall, at max), while the two in pots are now between 6-8" tall, and are progressing quite well. I would, however, attempt to accelerate their growth, as well as their bonsai training. I thought this method might work well, but I'm not sure if the seedlings are too old to use this method, and if they would survive or not.

FWIW, I would like to try this method on fresh seeds (soon to turn into seedlings) as well.
 

Bill S

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Pines don't take off like gang busters as soon as you plant them, unless you have totally crap for dirt in the yard, the ground should give you a certain sized tree far ahead of one in a pot.
 
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I understand that pines are slow growers, and I'm not discounting the overall growth. I had heard that it is nearly impossible to match the growth that exists in the ground, and the fastest growth rate for any tree will be in the ground.

To me though, the disparity in growth rates between the two was alarming. The trees in pots took off much faster than the ones in the ground. This may be because the ones in the ground needed to establish a more extensive root system, but even at that I was surprised. Granted, they were not treated identically. The pines in the ground were put at tree line (full sun about half the day) while the ones in pots were given a little bit more sun (full sun probably 3/4 of the day), and the ones in the ground weren't watered regularly (they were left to their own devices).

I tried to attach photos, but the computer isn't cooperating.

I'll try later.
 
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I found the one "troublesome" photo. I wasn't able to get all of them, but here are the ones I could get on here.

These are the two that I put in pots.



Unfortunately, I don't know what type of pine they are. Either red, white, or black. The labels got destroyed last year.

Here's a close up of the left one, with my hand as a reference.



And of course, the right.

 
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The ones that are in the ground I do know what they are.

Here are the two white pines, as they appear in the ground.



With corresponding photos, again with my hand as a reference.





Here are the two red pines, as they appear in the ground.



And close ups of each, not that they look too different.





And lastly, the sole Black Pine survivor.





If my memory serves me, I started out with three of each, and one white, one red, and two blacks didn't make it.

So what do you think, too old to start them on their Kushida Matsuo training?

Since I havn't seen much growth (nearly any) in the past year and a half since I planted them, I'm assuming the soil is crap, they arn't getting enough light, or something similar. Would you move the ones in the ground to pots, especially after seeing the growth of the two in pots?
 

Brian Van Fleet

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The black pines in pots are much stronger than those in the ground, you might get them all into pots, and it's not too late to start Mr. Matsua's method. Contrary to what you hear/read, black pines grow very fast after they have a few years to get established. In a big pot, you can get candle growth of 18"-24" in a season, which thickens the trunk considerably and quickly.

The challenges are:
1. Using this growth to thicken the trunk without creating reverse taper and a bunch of scars along the way...meaning you need to have a plan for the finished tree's design pretty early.

2. "Assigning" branches to be either sacrifice or final branches early, and remembering which is which. Start to build ramification with the final branches to keep their growth close to the trunk and keep them from being shaded out by the sacrifice branches.

The colander-growing article you're looking for is in Bonsai Today #20, and it is very good. Best of luck.
 

bwaynef

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... and it's not too late to start Mr. Matsua's method.
I think the OP has specifcally asked about the seedling-cutting method (erroneously described as grafting) ...and at this stage, I'd worry that severing all roots from trees pictured would result in their death.
 
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