Putting in ground

paddles

Yamadori
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I have noticed in passing that a lot of people recomend putting trees in the ground for a year or10, now I have several that I was considering turfing in a major cull, but I have an area, about 4mtrs by 1.5 along a fence (Full sun) and I was thinking, what if instead of turfing, I put them in the ground? My query is, should I do anything special with them before I put them in the ground, does it matter the time of year, (It would not be necessary to root prune any of these trees) and how many would I fit into this area? (I'm mainly thinking, a liquidamber, some Japanese maples, some trident maples and maybe some wisteria, I'm con cerned that the wisteria could get out of hand.) Generally my good trees can not go in the ground as hubby has in the past moved us with less than a weeks notice. but some of these tree's I'm thinking the benifits would outwiegh the risks?
 

Bonsai Nut

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I have several that I was considering turfing in a major cull
I'm not sure I understand what you mean by this statement :)

Aside from planting in the ground, one thing that we do down here in the Southwest (where the soil sucks) is create raised-bed planters. This is sometimes nothing more sophisticated than placed a rectangle of 6" x 6" landscape timbers (double height if you want a deep bed) and filling with a good soil mix containing a lot of pumice. If you want for bonsai, you can layer the bottom of the bed with weed barrier, which reduces weeds as well as forces bonsai roots to spread more laterally.
 

paddles

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So, in theory, I could just plant them straight into the ground, no prep (Othere than soil preparation which I do as a matter of course. What about pines? will they tollerate the major root prune required if just planted in the ground? I have some 2yrold black pines that I'm considering putting in, but am concerned about how they would tolerate the root lift when required.
 

zelk

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sometimes it is good to place a flat stone,tile or brick under the base of a tree to help in getting more lateral roots going but this might require the need to untangle roots and maybe cut them back, if you are going to do this then it would be better to do this during spring or when root work can be done the safest.
 

Ashbarns

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I'm not sure I understand what you mean by this statement :)

Aside from planting in the ground, one thing that we do down here in the Southwest (where the soil sucks) is create raised-bed planters.

I do agree about raised beds, it certainly makes things easier to style the tree inground and makes it easier to lift the tree when required. The part that intriques me the most is you are Southwest of where exactly???

Ash :confused:
 

paddles

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I do agree about raised beds, it certainly makes things easier to style the tree inground and makes it easier to lift the tree when required. The part that intriques me the most is you are Southwest of where exactly???

Ash
It's an american forum ash, most of it's members are american.

Not me tho. Where in Vic?
 

Tachigi

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Hi Paddles, Here is my 2 cents worth. To preface I have a small bonsai business. I grow field stock but I also, for my personal collection, have a growing ground. I have raised beds that work well. They help keep the weeding down and enhance water run off and drainage. Which for me is a big deal since I live on the shores off the Chesapeake Bay. As my growing ground grew I wanted to keep the cost down. So I found an alternative that was inexpensive and gave me the best of both worlds, in ground growing while training for pot culture. I use sonotube. This is the forms that concrete workers use to build foundations/ bases for things like decks. The "tube" allows you to use your own soil, train the roots, and trick the tree into thinking it is in the ground unhampered. I cut a piece of tubing off to the depth I need, dig my hole and place the tube in the ground. I then place some of my own soil in the bottom of the tube and place a flat piece of tile or tiles (note that I have used birch plywood venner for short term projects that the tree roots love)that is slightly smaller than the tube. Fill the tube with the rest of the soil and work like you would when re-potting. Viola, a in ground bonsai pot that allows the roots to run. The roots will work out across the tile and when they hit the sonotube they will turn down and make a break for it. When the time comes to pull those babies up out of the ground. Lift the sonotube and flush cut the bottom of the tube. Now your ready to transport the tree given a moments notice. This will not disturb it as much as you would be by yanking it up and out of the ground, aiding in minimizing shock, or take the tree to its permenant home a new bonsai pot. Sonotube or what ever the construction trade calls it down under. Can be found at large retail construction supply stores. In our case it would be home depot or lowes. I will give you one more tip that will help with your in ground growing. I reference bonsai soil to put in the tube. Well, that could get expensive in some peoples cases including my own. I have been using mushroom soil mixed with other bonsai components like grit composted pine bark and even old bonsai soil. Mushroom soil is the old soil from mushroom growers beds. Its chock full of good stuff and you will see a noted difference in development time. It is easy to obtain (at least here in the states) and cheap. Hope some of this helps.
 
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paddles

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Do you not find the muchroom compost (As it's called here) very alkaline?

What sort of spacing should I have between tree's? and for the ones that I don't want to put into the ground, would a larger pot do?
 
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Gnome

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Paddles,

and for the ones that I don't want to put into the ground, would a larger pot do?
The simple answer is yes, within reason. More information can be found here.

Norm
 
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You could say I have a few pines in the ground. (See attachment). I use a section of some property I own that was burned and tilled some time ago. I don't worry much about the soil as the area has been supporting pines long before any of us were born. I recently have added some deciduous trees to the mix as well.

Putting a flat board (which is cheaper when you have dozens) or a tile under the tree is really not an effort, simply remove the tap root and do some minor rearranging of the roots, no need to trim them at all.

The major hassle is digging them all up every two or three years to prune the roots. The hack back of the tops is not as bad. Of course, lugging fertilizer out there is a chore, but thankfully the fallows they are planted in helps with water is all but the driest times. Grass and other surprise species are allowed to grow as long as they don't get too close.


At home I have a few small growing beds that I discard all my used bonsai soil into, as well as a fresh batch of humus or peat, or mulch whenever needed.

It is not as simple as plant and forget, they need pruning, chops, heavy feeding, and constant checking for rodent or insect infestations.


Will Heath
 

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Bonsai Nut

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It is not as simple as plant and forget, they need pruning, chops, heavy feeding, and constant checking for rodent or insect infestations.
I'd be curious to hear more about your pruning on pines while they are in the ground. Do you trim candles, eliminate extra buds, and do rough ramification work on parts of the tree that you are planning to keep? (Which I would think would take a lot of time) Or do you just selectively trim branches and cut back the apex to select new leaders every now and then?
 
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With the pines, I basically leave them alone for three to four years, then cut back the leader, maybe cut back select branches but most are left to grow and thicken the trunk, root prune and wait some more. Then every two or three after that. I'll worry about creating some back budding and ramification when the time for moving them into a box is closer, a couple years away or so.

Deciduous trees will have almost all the branches removed anyhow when they are lifted, so they are just allowed to grow. It is a slow process, when they reach about 10' I chop them back to about 9 1/2 feet or more and start again.

I have master class rabbits and deer in the area that occasionally trim and prune for me, we seldom agree on design, but they are hard workers.

I still have years with the pines shown above. This spring I will be hacking back about half of them for shohin and will post pics then. Maybe in another 5 or 8 years I'll be stock rich, hopefully by then I'll know what to do with all of them. ;)


Will Heath
 
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Bonsai Nut

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I was reading an article about field grown JBP in Japan - they basically let the low branches grow like crazy and keep the apex tightly constrained. When the trunk is ready, they pull the tree and place it in a box. The next Spring they started grafting new branches. They basically graft the entire tree as they remove the old sacrifice branches.
 

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