Mesh baskets

DaveV

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Has anybody ever used mesh baskets ( these are plastic pots with mesh all along the sides and the bottom) to grow young trees (pre bonsai) in ? I've read alot about training pots - pros and cons with wood and plastic - and was told that the mesh pots are wounderful for developing fibrous root systems. I have some young JBPs, amur maples and american elms that need to go in training post this spring.

Thanks
 

bonsai barry

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Has anybody ever used mesh baskets ( these are plastic pots with mesh all along the sides and the bottom) to grow young trees (pre bonsai) in ? I've read alot about training pots - pros and cons with wood and plastic - and was told that the mesh pots are wounderful for developing fibrous root systems. I have some young JBPs, amur maples and american elms that need to go in training post this spring.

Thanks

I've used pond baskets for a couple of years. I have not seen the results in the fiberous roots that some others have. In some cases, with inorganic soil, I have difficulty keeping up with the watering since they dry out quickly.

If you're interested here is a place online that had a variety at sale prices:
http://www.4littlepets.com/pondbaskets.aspx
 
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capnk

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Dave,
We use several variations on the theme.
Rootmaker pots have holes in the side, but not as many as a mesh.
Anderson trays have a plastic grid bottom that is great for developing nebari.
See the pictures at www.telperionfarms.com
The Rootmaker pots don't have a lot of holes, but they do make a notable difference in water requirements. If you go with a mesh bag be prepared to keep up with the watering needs.
Some people also use collanders, if they can find cheap ones (IKEA is great).
Good luck,
Chris
 

Smoke

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You could make some for almost nothing by using plastic stichery canvas from the craft store. Just cut it into strips and lace several together with fine wire to make any size basket you want. I make mine to fit in a cut down five gallon nursery container. Leave an inch air space around and voila, air basket for about 26 cents.

Cheers, Al
 

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darrellw

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I've used several different kinds of these pots for a few years, the biggest benefit I see is that you eliminate the long, circling roots if you leave them in the container too long. I also rely on them somewhat to allow me to just water everything heavily all summer, though I use a very coarse, inorganic mix anyway, and do pretty much the same thing in more enclosed pots.
 

grouper52

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At large Asian supermarkets, if you have some in your area, they often sell these brightly colored colanders of various sizes up to 2' diameter. I find they work quite nicely, last for years, and are dirt cheap ($2-4 each).
 

DaveV

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Thanks everyone for the input. Will, thanks for the reference, I will read it.

DaveV.
 

digger714

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Ive heard different things about using these pond baskets, as far as in the ground. I had the thought that if you used one, you could dig the plants up every few years, trim the roots around the pot and replant. Although some have told me that using pots in the ground would cut off the air needed for the plant. Does anyone know about this?
 
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Ive heard different things about using these pond baskets, as far as in the ground. I had the thought that if you used one, you could dig the plants up every few years, trim the roots around the pot and replant. Although some have told me that using pots in the ground would cut off the air needed for the plant. Does anyone know about this?

Putting them in the ground defeats the usefulness of the pot.



Will
 

milehigh_7

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Nearly done repotting and as this is my first time repotting from mesh baskets I can report that to a plant all were completely filled with fibrous roots all were air-pruned just as claimed.
 

rockm

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Will is right.

The biggest issue with baskets in ground isn't really that the roots will rot--although that's a possibility since placing well-draining soil into less well draining topsoil, basically give the rain water/snow melt, whatever, no place to go very quickly.

A bigger problem over time, is if roots become established and begin growing outside the container and into surrounding soil, the mesh pot will become solidly embedded in a tangle mass of roots. It will be hard to remove once the root mass overgrows it. If you've ever had to remove plastic pots screens from containerized bonsai at repotting time, you have had a taste of what a pain it can be. Imagine that two inch square covering your entire root mass...
 

jamie11

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smoke,

you have probably explained what i am about to ask and if so could i get a link to it, but i am interested in your "air basket" idea, the pros and cons would be great :)


thanks.


jamie :)
 

Rick Moquin

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Which do you think is better Will? Ground or Pond Basket?

I'm going to play devil's advocate here: Did you take the time to read the article on the subject although it was addressed to someone else? or did you merely jump in at the end of the thread.

It gets frustrating posting the information over and over again. This is understandable as folks arrive on the bonsai scene weekly. However, a lot and time and effort goes towards putting these articles together so all can benefit down the road. It becomes an avenue to answer enthusiasts questions without having to type "the entire answer" all over again. What is appreciated is when folks take the time and read the info and then, request clarification on the subject if needed.

From cradle to grave...

The tree starts out as a seedling, gets potted to a 2 inch pot, then the following year gets placed in the ground until the desired trunk thickness is achieved:5, 10, 15 years plus. During this time judicious pruning is carried out to developing branches to basically design/shape the tree. After the initial 5 years the tree gets uprooted and repositioned in the grow bed, so that it gets even distribution of sunlight (more on that later). Here, the tap root is removed (if not already done) and some root work can be carried out.

Once the trunk has reached the size wanted, and depending if the root work is complete, the tree gets planted out in a grow box for further refinement. The advantage of this method (a continuation method) is that the grow box can be rotated rather easily to ensure sunlight gets to all parts of the tree. A further benefit of the boxes because they are made of wood is it is easy to use guy wires with them as they have multiple anchor points (basically the entire box). This also permits the tree to become accustomed to life in a pot.

IN order to proceed (most times) to a bonsai training pot (larger than necessary bonsai pot) the tree gets placed in a pond basket, screen sided container etc... to develop the small feeder roots necessary for life in a bonsai pot. The tree remains there until sufficient fine feeder/radially growing roots are available to permit sustainability in a bonsai pot. You can develop roots in a bonsai pot by chasing back on subsequent repottings, but air pruning a la pond basket gets you there quicker.

Depending on the care the tree has received in the ground (roots), grow box, and pond basket. The tree's root pad may be reduced sufficiently to fit in a bonsai pot of appropriate size. However, this is never really the case and the size of the pot will need to be reduced over time to the "correct" size pot.

It takes roughly 2 years for a tree to (root colonize) in it's environment (regardless of that environment), the 3rd year they really take off. The longer you can leave them be, the faster you can get there. Bonsai pots are used for the "final" stages of development "refinement". It is at this time that the characteristics of slower growth are desirable in order that the bonsai becomes more manageable.
 

Rick Moquin

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smoke,

you have probably explained what i am about to ask and if so could i get a link to it, but i am interested in your "air basket" idea, the pros and cons would be great :)


thanks.


jamie :)

I'm not Al, but I'll give it a whirl.

They serve the same purpose as a pond basket with the advantage of not drying out as quickly as a pond baskets. Used for trees that like to remain moist e.g maples to name a few.
 

mcpesq817

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Which do you think is better Will? Ground or Pond Basket?

Ground will be faster, but like others have said, it depends what you're going for.

One thing I'd mention is that there are people who grow out pines using the colander method, rather than putting them in the ground. The convenient thing about colanders is that you can move a tree to a larger colander without disturbing the rootball to help continue the tree's growth. I'm using pond baskets on some pine seedlings I have, and so far I've gotten pretty good growth.
 

grouper52

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Rick, I must protest. Your old monkey avatar was, perhaps, less handsome, but still very dear to my heart. I shall miss him. :( It's hard to read what is probably a fine post of yours through my tears.

Will
 

Rick Moquin

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The convenient thing about colanders is that you can move a tree to a larger colander without disturbing the rootball to help continue the tree's growth.

... only partially correct. The subsequent transfer into larger colanders requires the smaller one to be removed prior to the move etc... Although the root ball remains intact, all new growth into the larger colander is lost but:-- doing this forces back budding along the roots.
 

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