Pre-bonsai air pruning pots and grow bags opinions?

Antony82

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What are your opinions on growing tree seedlings, pre-bonsai or mature bonsai’s in air pruning pots and grow bags, are you for or against, negative or positive, cons or pros, biases, any and all air-pruning comments welcome.
 

JeffS73

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For my pre-bonsai I'm currently using fabric pots that are supposed to be good for air/entrapment pruning but I am finding roots like to run down the inside of them.

Think I'll move across to pond baskets, some apparently have a 10yr lifespan, much better than colanders.
 

sorce

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Best way to go IMO.

Welcome to Crazy!

It presents more of a growth lag in the beginning, which is ok, slow growth is tight, strong and easy to control.

Top growth isn't the point anyway, it's a tool to build an unkillable, both hort and design, root system.

Sorce
 

Antony82

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Best way to go IMO.

Welcome to Crazy!

It presents more of a growth lag in the beginning, which is ok, slow growth is tight, strong and easy to control.

Top growth isn't the point anyway, it's a tool to build an unkillable, both hort and design, root system.

Sorce
Thanks, I joined right now I had joined a few groups on Facebook but not getting much of a response, seems like everyone is on here Google has directed my questions to this forum multiple times.
 

Firstflush

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I want to like grow bags made from fabric that induces root air pruning. I have a bunch. The problem is that they do not have any structure. You move them, bump them, rotate them and the entire soil root column/strata shifts and moves. Roots must break with shifting/settling soil. Could likely mess up an intended planting angle as well. Wouldn't be a problem with the grow bag staying stationary 100% of the time. Am I missing something here?

I‘ll use them for peppers.
 

Mr GeaRbOx

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My opinion is "it depends". Pond baskets and (relatively short) grow bags are better than black nursery cans at making or maintaining a smaller ramified root ball. But often times I find that isn't the goal. For instance, when developing deciduous roots you want them in a radial plane and thick near the trunk. This is better achieved in something like a grow box or a poly flat where the vertical growth potential is limited and the horizontal is exaggerated.

I use them but not extensively. They're probably best for something like shohin pines.
 

Antony82

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I want to like grow bags made from fabric that induces root air pruning. I have a bunch. The problem is that they do not have any structure. You move them, bump them, rotate them and the entire soil root column/strata shifts and moves. Roots must break with shifting/settling soil. Could likely mess up an intended planting angle as well. Wouldn't be a problem with the grow bag staying stationary 100% of the time. Am I missing something here?

I‘ll use them for peppers.
Yes, I understand what you’re saying fabric by itself doesn’t support the roots. I just getting opinions is all, before I act. I’m very new to bonsai and trying not to fail too hard there is a a lot that can go wrong cause of ignorance. I’m still probably going to do what I’m gonna do but at least I can be more educated decision.
 

Bingobango21

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What are your opinions on growing tree seedlings, pre-bonsai or mature bonsai’s in air pruning pots and grow bags, are you for or against, negative or positive, cons or pros, biases, any and all air-pruning comments welcome.
I am currently experimenting with some brazilian rain tree cuttings that I successfully propagated. I have two, each in 5 inch root maker pots for now. They already had surprisingly fibrous roots when I separated them from the container I used, so I just popped them in to the pots see how they look next repot. Too soon to tell but I will create a post of any interesting happens.
 

Wulfskaar

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Thanks, I joined right now I had joined a few groups on Facebook but not getting much of a response, seems like everyone is on here Google has directed my questions to this forum multiple times.
This is the place you want to be. The community is super active and helpful.
 

James W.

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I like using the RootMaker pots (also available from American Bonsai called "root hogs"). They seem to work as advertised. When buried in mulch some roots escape, but that's not a bad thing. Repotting is easy because the pot can be taken apart easily. I use zip ties to assemble them, not the included twisty connectors.
 

MrWunderful

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I've got a bunch planted in a grow bed, I'm keen to see the difference it makes.
In my experience I found a good balance between accelerated top growth and root growth.

A growing bag will never 100% replicate the growth that you can get when you let a tree run rampant in open ground,, but I’ve actually had some aggressive species that I’ve ground grown had otherwise good Nebari ruined by allowing the roots to get too large and lopsided.

I found the root pouch brand bags strike a solid medium between keeping the roots from getting too crazy, but also allowing a few here and there to sneak out and then be tourniqueted by the bag.
 

penumbra

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I suggest you look in the archives. I have personally responded several times to this or similar questions. This has come up several times before.
Not that there is anything wrong with asking the questions, but you will find a lot there already.
 
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Shibui

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I suggest you look in the archives. I have personally responded several times to this or similar questions. This has come up several times before.
Not that there is anything wrong with asking the questions, but you will find a lot there already.
Agree. This topic is debated regularly and fully. A search should find relevant threads.

A growing bag will never 100% replicate the growth that you can get when you let a tree run rampant in open ground,, but I’ve actually had some aggressive species that I’ve ground grown had otherwise good Nebari ruined by allowing the roots to get too large and lopsided.
I've also experienced this with trident maples but moving to more regular dig and root pruning gives me a much better root system. Planting in bags may equalize roots but still no control over direction, circling or evenness. Regular root pruning allows much better control of developing roots. Even Ebihara recommended regular control and adjustment in his roots on board methods.

I have not seen any benefit on root ramification from any of the root control containers I've tried. The vast majority of root ramification occurs right at the edge of the pot but bonsai root ramification looks far better when it starts close to the trunk.
So far nothing has produced nebari as good and consistent for me as regular root pruning.
 

penumbra

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Planting in bags may equalize roots but still no control over direction, circling or evenness
I have used root bags many times over a period of my than 30 years and always developed a radial root system that I do not always get in open ground growing. Also these roots have developed evenness to an extreme point and circling has not occurred at all.
The vast majority of root ramification occurs right at the edge of the pot but bonsai root ramification looks far better when it starts close to the trunk.
This is true and why small bags should be used for early development. I think the problem a lot of people have with root bags is that they are under the delusion that the bags need to be large, and they absolutely do not need to be and should not be for young plants. Also I think that many times people use root bags that are not developed for in ground growing but for above ground growing. Or root bags are used that are of dubious quality. When I started using root bags over 30 years ago this was not a problem. Root bags were originally developed for in ground growing of nursery stock. That is no longer true.

I have said too much already, and I've said all this and more before on this site. Please look in the archives.
 

cmeg1

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I use air-pruning now over the entrapment pruning/air pruning of the fabric…….very good in early stages for me…..close to trunk etc.
Extra vigor early on.

For starters the Stonewool is fantastic as it very often makes a great nebari for a starter seedling from instant ( editing) of the tap-root that most usually forms.I noticed this on Siberian Elm starters I grew…….deemed the air/layering unneccesary,really.The 1.5” mini-block lets the roots start only 1/2 way into the block so quite a dense and airpruned rootball at the bottom of the block on most of them……especially if I make sure to remove any escaping tap roots that find mousture on the grow bench.

Ok,ok the stonewool is very hydroponic……..a fabric pouch of quality is awesome for starters.
As can see in the photo…….

DC01CEC1-CCDF-408C-84BC-5D48182265AF.jpeg
 

Rowbow

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I find square pond baskets better than round ones, the bags should be placed on a grid/wire for drainage or put in the ground, moving them around does disturb the soil and roots
 

19Mateo83

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I use air-pruning now over the entrapment pruning/air pruning of the fabric…….very good in early stages for me…..close to trunk etc.
Extra vigor early on.

For starters the Stonewool is fantastic as it very often makes a great nebari for a starter seedling from instant ( editing) of the tap-root that most usually forms.I noticed this on Siberian Elm starters I grew…….deemed the air/layering unneccesary,really.The 1.5” mini-block lets the roots start only 1/2 way into the block so quite a dense and airpruned rootball at the bottom of the block on most of them……especially if I make sure to remove any escaping tap roots that find mousture on the grow bench.

Ok,ok the stonewool is very hydroponic……..a fabric pouch of quality is awesome for starters.
As can see in the photo…….

View attachment 420982
What brands/material do you consider to be high quality for these grow bags?
 
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I never have used grow bags before. I just got 5 gal root pouches to grow in the ground using a tile. Excited to try!
I’ll probably do an experiment with it, an anderson flat on the ground, and regular in ground growing.
 

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