Sharp's Pygmy future bonsai candidate terrible graft...

swalker

Seed
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Location
Knoxville TN
USDA Zone
7a
Hey guys. Long time lurker, first time poster :)

I picked up a Sharp's Pygmy online the other day and it arrived today. This little guy will be container (sort of container any way but more on that in a bit) grown for the next few years to beef up. I knew when I bought the tree that it was a graft...I didn't know the graft was so high up the trunk (see attached). So my question is probably a pretty quick one to answer. Should I wait until I get my trunk where I want size wise to perform a layer, or should I look at doing it sooner while its still small? I've never done a full layering of a trunk before and just don't know how well it will respond at this phase verses the next.

Container thought and experiment...
I've read through a number of things on container growing verses ground growing. Given the house we live in is a rental and the entire back yard consists mostly of whats in the attached picture (small table and a massive old tree), ground growing isn't an excellent option for me at the mo. I've had pretty good success in the past when comparing the growth of a tomato plant in a large pot versus the same species in an equal volume burlap sack. My plan for this Sharp's is to plant him up in one to see where that gets me. The theory being a woven burlap sack should help to minimize or avoid altogether many of the large planter based issues such as water column problems and lack of air circulation while still giving me the option to go a bit bigger than the next size up pot would permit. Naturally this might mean adjusting the soil composition somewhat to make up for the relative open-ness of the container... but I like the general idea and want to see where it goes.
 

Attachments

Stan Kengai

Omono
Messages
1,064
Reaction score
1,115
Location
North Georgia
USDA Zone
7a
Sharp's pygmies do very good on their own roots and their trunks thicken pretty quickly. They are also pretty easy to layer. I would layer it next spring, if you are confident in your layering abilities.

A burlap sack would be the same in theory as colanders and pond baskets.
 
Messages
46
Reaction score
0
Location
usa
USDA Zone
5a
As far as container growing plant in a 10-15 gallon tree planter (or tote of similar size) with the bottom cut off. This way you get both the benefits of container and ground grown. If one day the tree needs to be moved cut the roots at the bottom of the pot. The ones left inside will keep said tree alive and provide a base for reestablishment after the move.
 
Last edited:

Adair M

Pinus Envy
Messages
10,487
Reaction score
20,955
Location
NEGeorgia
USDA Zone
7a
With all due respect, I would not do what slowmovingwaters suggested. That would encourage downward growing roots. With maples, the most prized nebari are the flat plate style nebari where the trunk appears to melt into the soil. You get that by working the root system to grow out flat, not down.

The best way to start is with an airlayer. Then, once the layer is established, screw the trunk onto a board, from the bottom, and spread the roots out across the board. Then bury it a couple inches deep, and let the roots thicken.
 

RKatzin

Chumono
Messages
741
Reaction score
812
Location
Grants Pass, Oregon, USA
USDA Zone
7
Hi Adair, I have done similar planting as suggested by SMW and seen many escaped nursery trees (three mugo come to mind).

Instead of cans I simply scalp the ground and lay down a layer of good soil. I put the tree on this and then build a 2'x2' box around it out of 2x6 boards and back fill with good soil. This gives a nice broad base to spread the roots out.

I have found that very few roots will opt to leave that good bed of soil and dive into the hardpan below. They will stay where the food and water are.

I will be digging one such tree in the near future and will get some pics. I planted an experimental bed just to see the difference. One tree on a mound, one in the ground, and one boxed above ground. (I love experiments!)

Trees in nursery cans that escape into the ground, OMG! What a mess! At least those I've come across. The roots are a hideous knot/ball/clump. I've picked up some nice trunks, but nothing to do but grow all new roots, 4-5yrs, we'll see.

I have a question on the board tech. I can't tell if you're drilling up through the board into the bottom of the trunk with one screw or down through the trunk into the board with a few small screws.

swalker- your idea is ok, but burlap will not last long. You can get large gro-bags, 25-30gal, or bigger, nylon(spendy) or plastic(cheap). These will last a good many years and can be reused. You can roll the tops down for a nice wide, low-profile container.

One more thing while I've got your attention, why not air-layer right now?
 

fore

Omono
Messages
1,842
Reaction score
237
Location
Portland, OR
With all due respect, I would not do what slowmovingwaters suggested. That would encourage downward growing roots. With maples, the most prized nebari are the flat plate style nebari where the trunk appears to melt into the soil. You get that by working the root system to grow out flat, not down.

The best way to start is with an airlayer. Then, once the layer is established, screw the trunk onto a board, from the bottom, and spread the roots out across the board. Then bury it a couple inches deep, and let the roots thicken.
I've done this sev. times Adair. The ones dug up this spring nevertheless still had thick chicken clawed roots. I've been wondering if you leave something like this on a board, will this eventually lead to a 'melting nebari', or do I have to clear the bark b/w the claws, dress with spagnum and put back in ground? The latter is what I did (only 3 y/o seedlings) but I've been wondering if I"m doing the correct thing.
 

Dav4

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
10,000
Reaction score
16,761
Location
North Georgia/lived in MA until 2009
USDA Zone
7b
With all due respect, I would not do what slowmovingwaters suggested. That would encourage downward growing roots. With maples, the most prized nebari are the flat plate style nebari where the trunk appears to melt into the soil. You get that by working the root system to grow out flat, not down.

The best way to start is with an airlayer. Then, once the layer is established, screw the trunk onto a board, from the bottom, and spread the roots out across the board. Then bury it a couple inches deep, and let the roots thicken.
Exhibit A

 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
rank78 Maples 2
B Maples 11
bonsairxmd Maples 5
MACH5 Maples 299
Colorado Slim Maples 7

Similar threads


Top Bottom