Not sure if this Pom is worth the time?

What to do?

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Fresno, CA. Were all the food comes from if we ha
I got this tree for $8 at an auction out in Hanford. I didn't realize it was rotted. All the wood below the soil and at the soil line was gone. I was told after I bought it, that it was a massive cutting. About 3".
Today I pulled it out of the grow pot and took a look. My plan was to carve a lot of the wood to try and get rid of the rot and add some taper. As I started cutting I realized most of the wood below the soil was like cork! You could just peal if off with hardly any effort. I put my new Harbor Freight long shaft grinder to work and cut all the bad stuff off. Here is what I am left with. No taper!

I'm wondering it if this is needs to be tossed or if maybe a ground layer on the back side might bring it the roots up the the right height (last photo). But then again will the wood just rot away? I did treat it with wood hardener while I was at it and just put it back in the pot. I think the best front is the second to last photo?

Whats the vote?

A. Toss it/sell it
B. Ground layer
C. Carve some more!
D. Other


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It's hard to advise about airlayering or carving if one does not see the backside... tossing it out isn't a great option, because it's not a bad tree really. The worst thing that would happen is that you could experiment with it, and learn on it... the best thing is that you could succeed with something some people wouldn't give a chance.

Yes wood rot is always a problem when wood is exposed into the soil. I'm pleased you had so much left really. What kind of wood hardener did you use?

I'm likely to vote for carving and additional treatment to help preserve the wood, along with planting it in largely inorganic soil so that it does not stay so wet against it. But more photos would help in that assessment.

Kindest regards,

Another way to help slow the rot, when you repot wrap the roots in a wet towel and heavily burn the deadwood that will be in contact with soil with a butane torch or similar (you might have to let the deadwood dry out a bit first).
Let it grow for a few years in some good bonsai soil, develop a good lifeline and more roots.
This tree had a ton of roots. It grows like a weed. That's why I cut it back so hard.

Here is a photo of the back side. It has a nice thick healthy vein. (second photo vein is in between red lines)

It was in all inorganic soil. Lava, pumice, etc. I just used the home depot Minwax Wood hardener.

Does burning it do the same thing?


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burning it creates charcoal ... which won't rot as fast

strangely I might consider taking this tree in a whole new direction.... you have the potential here for a really gnarly looking raft the tree is already predominantly one sided and the branchining on that one side is quite agred and gnarled... with some more roots growing from the sides of the fallen log etc it might be pretty interesting.. It's not something you usually see in Poms but that is ok i think.... remember living tissue will not rot on the tree (neither will constantly submerged wood either but that's a different matter [ok not as fast at least])

It's something to think about and consider... I believe a raft style might really make this tree stand out amongst several other less dramatic options.
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