Roots Question


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Louisville, KY
I got this poor poor japanese holly from work, it was going in the garbage after a class on pruning. There is no leaves at all. So I grabbed it and brought it home. I thought the roots were interesting but deffinately are not radial. Lets me know what you think, if this thing is worth anything or should I just plant it behind the garage. I've been babying it for about 2 weeks, and it started to bud again so it is still alive. I thought maybe they might have killed it.
Hi Bill, In my opinion you won't know till next spring. At that time when you repot and do root work all will reveal itself. I would say based on your teeny weenie picture ;) you don't have a whole lot to work with above the soil line. So all hope lies with whats below. I would do all I can right now to make sure that your holly is healthy and vigorous for a repot in '08
I will be honest with ya Bill....... the roots are worse than bad.....infact they make bad look good. I would plant it in the landscape if you have a place for it and forget about it ever trying to be bonsai. I would let it recoup in the container you have it in for now until it is healthy enough to be planted in the ground.

Or give it to a friend who needs a landscape shrub....

Sorry if that isn't what you wanted to hear :)

Sorry about the small pic. I'm still working on that quality vs. size thing.

I was thinking about trying to make it a root over rock as the trunk is almost at a 45 degree angle to the root mass. I wouldnt have even bothered with it but it was free. I work at Lowe's and they have classes on cutting back and pruning for landscape plants. this thing was really big to start off with and they cut back to nothing almost.

We have two extremely knowledgable women that have delt with plants/trees 20+ years each unfortunately neither know anything about bonsai. So I told them before they toss anything to let me know. My biggest issue with work stock is there has never been any root care given. and all the tree are like 1 inch in diameter and 6 foot tall with all the lower branches pruned off long ago.
You would think I could find a few bonsai places around but there is only one I have found and it is all the way across town and from my online research very over priced.

I am very seriously considering growing my own trees from seeds/seedlings to see what I can do. There are also some old maples and oaks in the yard I was thinking of air layering from.

Thanks for the constructive criticism looking forward to more insight from the members here.

Sorry if that isn't what you wanted to hear :)


It's exactly what I want to hear or I wouldnt have asked. As long as it is constructive and you can give reasons why. At least it wasnt a "Your tree sucks, throw it away."
just had another thought... if all else fails, I might just airlayer it above the roots. Will have to wait and see, gonna leave it alone until next spring and see what I can do with it...

thanks again,
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