Manipulation of root mass for nebari development?

darrellw

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I couldn't find an appropriate forum for this, so I guess "General Discussion" will do.

Has anyone tried to balance the nebari by selective pruning of the root mass? For example, I have a field maple with very one-sided nebari. I'm going to thread graft some seedlings on the empty side to fill in, but given that the rest of the nebari formed during years in the ground, I know it will take time for the new roots to approach the current ones. So I'm thinking once the grafts are well established that I would keep the feeder roots on the current nebari well trimmed, and let the new ones go crazy for a few years. This is what we can do with the tops (of course, we usually get more than one shot at it in a year!), but I've never seen a discussion of doing the same with the roots.

Thoughts?

-Darrell
 
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This is SOP for working on nebari. Strong roots are held back, weaker ones are let grow to a greater extent until the whole is more balanced.
 

darrellw

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Thanks, Chris. It seemed to make sense, but that isn't always the right thing to do. I've just never seen any mention of it, but then there is seldom any mention of root development.

-Darrell
 

grouper52

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Thanks, Chris. It seemed to make sense, but that isn't always the right thing to do. I've just never seen any mention of it, but then there is seldom any mention of root development.

-Darrell
It has occured to me several times lately that it would be a real boon to the bonsai community if one of the masters sat down and wrote a definitive book devoted solely to roots and root development, all things roots. Considering the importance, both horticulturally and artistically, it has always seemed under-emphasized to me.

grouper52
 
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It has occured to me several times lately that it would be a real boon to the bonsai community if one of the masters sat down and wrote a definitive book devoted solely to roots and root development, all things roots. Considering the importance, both horticulturally and artistically, it has always seemed under-emphasized to me.

grouper52
For more information about roots, there are a couple of articles at bonsaitalk concerning root pruning scenarios.
Funny thing about roots, as with almost all things bonsai: writing a book about it might help, but won't get the job done. As with the answer to any question, there are as many permutations as there are trees. Every specimen has different needs and receives different treatment. One-on-one teacher/student relationships are what will make the difference.
 
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It has occured to me several times lately that it would be a real boon to the bonsai community if one of the masters sat down and wrote a definitive book devoted solely to roots and root development, all things roots. Considering the importance, both horticulturally and artistically, it has always seemed under-emphasized to me.

grouper52
Chris is correct that Bt has a couple articles on roots, one or two of them is by Vance Wood, Vance has recently completely rewrote those articles and has added much more information. It needs a few more pictures and it will be published soon. Having had the honor of reading it, I can say that it is a really good article and will no doubt lend quite a bit of knowledge to this subject for all to reference.


Will
 

darrellw

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I think Will meant Bonsai Talk forum. If I recall correctly, at least part of the focus of those articles is how to take overgrown nursery stock and get some nice roots (like you see in the books). Very worth reading, and I'm looking forward to any updated articles!
 
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Yes I did mean bonsaitalk is where the old outdated articles are at....I am sure Vance will update you on where the new ones will be published soon.


Will
 

JasonG

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Hey Darrell,

Field/Hedge maples are by far the toughest of the maples, even over tridents. They grow the fastest of the maples as well. Having just done a ton of root work to my hedge maples I can tell you that cutting the old heavy roots back hard is ok. As you know I dig a ton of these every year and they readily sprout new feeders from the end of the large cuts. What I did with mine was cut the thick roots back to the closest feeder near the trunk. This will elp to balance the nebari on the other side that I did not cut back that hard.

Check out Walters blog on the 2 huge ones he just root prunned and potted up. You can see just how much he cut off.
IMO this species is under utilized in the states..... after seeing Walters huge field maples I am planting some of mine back in the ground. I should be able to get that size tree in another 10 yrs of field growing.... good thing I am still young :)

See Ya, Jason
 

DanS

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Though I have little experience in developing bonsai, much less nebari, I've read two techniques that could be used together which I am looking forward to trying. I've read about using a tourniquet above the roots to cause swelling of roots to be used as nebari and wiring roots to develop nebari that are pleasing in form. Are there any other methods for more hands-on development of nebari?
 

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Any other info out there on this?

Bumping this thread to see if anyone has a source/link for info on this topic?
I searched "nebari" on the site and came up with it the word being mentioned in 500 threads but not much on what can be done to do this.

I've got a couple of small (@ 1 inch diameter) mugos and would like to know if its even possiblle to develop/encourage larger surface roots on them and some of my other trees.

So can it be done or no?
 

Ang3lfir3

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Bumping this thread to see if anyone has a source/link for info on this topic?
I searched "nebari" on the site and came up with it the word being mentioned in 500 threads but not much on what can be done to do this.

I've got a couple of small (@ 1 inch diameter) mugos and would like to know if its even possiblle to develop/encourage larger surface roots on them and some of my other trees.

So can it be done or no?
of course you can develop nebari ... we spend a lot of effort doing it ... not exactly sure what you are asking ... the best techniques for developing nebari would be selective root pruning and controlled growth .....

what specifically do you want to know?

to answer the "can you develop/encourage larger roots on bonsai" the answer is "Yes"
 

Paradox

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Sorry I was not clearer in my request. I'm aware that nebari can be encouraged in young trees. I am guessing that the same techniques would apply to larger trees? Maybe if I think about it enough I should know the answer? Lol?

I have some trees with trunk diameters that are 1 inch and greater. They all have roots obviously, but they are all small roots. How would you go about encouraging some of those roots to thicken into good nebari? My limited education in bonsai tells me you would treat them like a branch you want to thicken and just not prune those roots? Is that correct or is there another way of doing it?
 
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Bill S

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Just like the top of the tree it has to grow. During the process the roots underneath are removed as well as a lot of small ones between what you use for the "nebari" as in branch pruning you shift the sap flow to those left, so they get bigger.
 

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