Root-over-rock Trident Maples

pjkatich

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For Brian and anyone else interested in growing root-over-rock Trident maples.

Here are a couple of Tridents that I am currently growing in the root-over-rock style.

Both of them were started from seed in 2007.

The first photo below shows the two trees as they looked in February of 2009.

They were planted into the plastic pipes in January of 2008.

For a more detailed explanation of this part of the process please refer to my root-over-ruin thread.

http://bonsainut.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1564

The second photo below shows Trident #1 after it's initial planting on the rock which occurred in February of 2009.

The third photo below shows Trident #2 after it's initial planting on the rock which was done at the same time as Trident #1.

Once again, specifics on this process can be found in the root-over-ruin thread.

So, at this point, we have two year old Trident seedlings which have been planted over stones and placed into over-sized containers which have been filled with Turface.

During the course of 2009, both trees were allowed to grow unchecked. They were fertilized regularly with high nitrogen fertilizers and encouraged to reach for the sky. The idea at this point is to get maximum growth from each plant before winter comes.
 

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pjkatich

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Fast forward now to 2010.

The first two photos below show each of the Tridents as the appeared in January of this year. As you can see, both trees put on over ten feet of growth during 2009. This is the type of growth that you need to produce a good root-over-rock bonsai.

The third photo is a close-up Trident #1, and the last photo is a close-up of Trident #2.
 

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pjkatich

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Like the rest of the country, we had a long, cold winter here in North Florida and the tridents did not start to push buds until last week.

That was the signal to re-pot, so both trees were removed from their containers for a through check out.

Below are a few photos of Trident #1's progress.

The first three photos show the tree after the top was trimmed back and it was removed from the pot and the turface cleaned away.

The last two show the tree after the plastic wrap was removed and before and root trimming took place.
 

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pjkatich

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Below are a few photos of Trident #2's progress.

The first photo show the tree after it's top was trimmed back and it was removed from the container and the turface cleaned off.

The next four show the tree after the plastic wrap was removed and before any root pruning was done.
 

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pjkatich

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Now that we have had a good look at the roots, it's time to do some selective root pruning.

Generally, I will cut back any large, dominant roots to a point where I want them to ramify.

The first two photos show the root pruning done to Trident #1.

The last three photos show the root pruning done to Trident #2.
 

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pjkatich

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At this point, the cut roots are cleaned up with a sharp knife, rooting hormone is applied to the cut roots, wet sphagnum moss is applied over the cut roots and down the rock to the future soil level, and the whole thing is once again wrapped up with plastic wrap and a bit of tape.

The two photos below show Trident #1 at this point of the process.

Unfortunately, I do not have a good photo of Trident #2 at this phase to share with you.
 

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pjkatich

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Lastly, each tree is examined closely and the trunk is cut back to an advantageous place. If any wiring is required it is done at this point and the tree/rock combination is put back into the container it came out of for another year. They only difference is that the tree is not planted as deeply as it was during the initial planting. This is done to start to harden off the roots.

The first photo below show Trident #1 back in it's pot and ready for a rest.

The other three photos show Trident #2 back in it's pot and brings this thread up to date with the progress of these two trees.

As always, your questions or comments are welcome.

Cheers,
Paul
 

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timhanson81

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Thanks for posting that. It's pretty impressive how much progress you have gotten in 3 years from seed!

-Tim
 

ml_work

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Thanks Paul, that is very interesting!

Keep LOOkin Up!
Michael
 

crhabq

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Paul,
Thanks for sharing the progress with your ror tridents. For me, this is very timely information as our club is having a ror workshop during our April meeting. I don't have a seedling but I do have a Naruta kaede trident that I got from Brent at evergreen gardenworks that I think will look good and "tell a story" when over a rock.

I've also read about cutting the pot down an inch or so to expose and harden the roots but the repotting method you've shown looks like it would result in better root ramification.

Thanks so much for sharing this Paul; I always look forward to and enjoy your postings.

Aside to ml work--when in the LOO, you should look down to aim, IMHO.

Ray
 
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pjkatich

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Paul,
Thanks for sharing the progress with your ror tridents. For me, this is very timely information as our club is having a ror workshop during our April meeting. I don't have a seedling but I do have a Naruta kaede trident that I got from Brent at evergreen gardenworks that I think will look good and "tell a story" when over a rock.

I've also read about cutting the pot down an inch or so to expose and harden the roots but the repotting method you've shown looks like it would result in better root ramification.

Thanks so much for sharing this Paul; I always look forward to and enjoy your postings.

Hi Ray,

You are most welcome, I'm glad this post came at a good time for you.

I started my first r-o-r maple in 1991 and have been refining my techniques ever since. This is a style that you don't see in many peoples collection and I enjoy the additional challenges that growing this style of bonsai present.

Feel free to give me a shout if you have any questions regarding my methods.

Cheers,
Paul
 
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Mojosan

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Having lived in South Florida I know how fast things can grow - but the size of these in less than 3 years is just ridiculous ! :eek:
 

pjkatich

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Having lived in South Florida I know how fast things can grow - but the size of these in less than 3 years is just ridiculous ! :eek:

Mojosan,

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Man, South Florida to North Idaho, that transition had to hurt a little bit.

We are blessed with a rather long growing season here. However, I do have a couple of secret weapons that help me get the kind of growth shown in these photos.

Have a great day.

Regards,
Paul
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Excellent documentation! Thank you for sharing! I can see now that I should have confined the roots much tighter in plastic wrap. Hopefully I won't uncover a big mess next year when I go to correct it...thanks again, great photos!
 

pjkatich

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Excellent documentation! Thank you for sharing! I can see now that I should have confined the roots much tighter in plastic wrap. Hopefully I won't uncover a big mess next year when I go to correct it...thanks again, great photos!

Brian,

You are most welcome.

I'm glad you found the information useful.

Keep us updated on the progress of your two trees.

Regards,
Paul
 

Mojosan

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Man, South Florida to North Idaho, that transition had to hurt a little bit.


I'm from this area, so it was coming home for me. But yeah, quite a culture shock.

I am eagerly following this thread, so don't forget to post your progress often!
 

Jrbrown4

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Inspiration

Paul as always good work. A composition that is coming together very quickly for you. It makes me see that I am not fertilizing my maples nearly enough. My only question is how much die back you expect at the cut points if any. I assume the maples are very strong with all the buds pushing but I didnt know if you still have to leave some room at cuts for potential die back.
 

pjkatich

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I am eagerly following this thread, so don't forget to post your progress often!

Mojosan,

I appreciate your enthusiasm.

I'll do my best to keep this thread updated with the progress of these two trees.

Regards,
Paul
 

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