Seedling roots escaping pot

dtreesj

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Some of my Japanese black pine roots are coming out of the drainage holes. I'm pretty sure the pots are nowhere near full, the roots are just long. Is this something I need to worry about?
 

0soyoung

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Sitting on a bench, they will die via 'air pruning' and cause branching of the roots back in the pot. Or, you can simply cut them off as the roots find their way out the drain holes. I think this is the way to go if you are aiming for shohin, ultimately.

On the ground, they will grow into the ground which eventually becomes the same as ground planting. Some fine roots remain in the pot (as long as you continue to water it. Then you'll have the problem of cutting off the 'escape roots' to get your tree back. This approximates how Telperion Farms grow their JBP (Telperion actually has trees in grow bags with the bags planted in holes). It is the way to go, IMHO, if your objective is a big beefy tree with a wide base and good taper.
 

dtreesj

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So, I was thinking about sinking one or two pots into the ground. What kind of location should I put them in? I don't remember exactly when I started them but I think they're about 5 months old.
 

Shibui

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There's no problem with roots growing out the drain holes. Roots head out to the sides and down so they end up at the drain holes way before the pot is root bound so no need to worry. You could consider slip potting some into larger pots. That will usually give better growth and is rarely detrimental if done well before the pot is full of roots because those growing roots will quickly colonize a larger pot.

Allowing escape roots to get into the ground will usually also increase growth rates quite a lot. There are a couple of potential drawbacks:
If only one or 2 roots escape they will end up much thicker than the others and can lead to very uneven nebari.
Eventually the roots will thicken enough to block the drain holes and the pot can fill with water. Not good for the tree so keep watch. Emergency drain holes can be drilled in the sides if required but far better to avoid the problem in the first place.
 

Bonsai Nut

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So, I was thinking about sinking one or two pots into the ground. What kind of location should I put them in? I don't remember exactly when I started them but I think they're about 5 months old.
If you plant them in the ground, make sure to plant them on top of a large floor tile 12" or larger. That way the roots will grow horizontally instead of vertically. Otherwise JBP in Michigan will benefit from the most direct sun you can give it. The first winter in the ground you might have to mulch them in to protect the roots from freezing and drying out. I'm not sure how hardy they will be in the ground in Michigan - perhaps others can chime in here.
 

sorce

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Watch em grow during the Waning Moon.

Sorce
 
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