Taking the rock out of a root over rock elm

benw3790

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I have a Chinese elm that a friend bought from a bonsai nursery, repotted it and turned it into a root over rock style tree. He gave me the tree when he stopped practicing bonsai.. the rock it is planted on is way to big and it's just a regular dirty rock found in the woods. I remember seeing the tree when he first purchased it and it was almost showable. Now it only has 3 main branches. So when I repot it this weekend, I'm taking the rock out. The feeder roots will be so far away from the trunk and it'll have long thick hardened off roots. (See drawing) 20170210_230553.jpgWhat is the best way for me to repot the tree??? Put it in an oversized container and plant it on a flat piece of wood or tile?? I know the tree will end up being really nice again in a couple years and I know I can get the rock out with very little trouble. I just don't know what to do about the long roots. How it should be repotted with roots being how they're going to be. Have any of you done this? What the best method for a repotting like this? Thanks! -ben
 

M. Frary

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Either plant it in a colander in hopes of air pruning the roots back or in a container large enough to plant it in and ground layer it.
I would go for a ground layer and maybe do some propagation with the roots that are left over.
 

benw3790

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20161130_214035.jpg
Here is the tree when I got it from him. 2 main branches and a leader. When my buddy bought the tree it was well ramified with a good branch structure. it was really well on its way and he really neglected it. I'm pretty sure it came from Martin sweeny!! BTW saw you at the shilouette show man and didn't ecen realize that was you!
 

benw3790

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Either plant it in a colander in hopes of air pruning the roots back or in a container large enough to plant it in and ground layer it.
I would go for a ground layer and maybe do some propagation with the roots that are left over.
Ah, very great idea. I already have 2 root cuttings from it and a regular cutting from it. I might do the ground layer but man the nebar was great on that thing! I might put it in an oversized colander on top of a tile. See what happens. But I'll Def keep this in mind. Great idea, thanks man.
 

Microscopic

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I don't know how to say this but I'm having a hard time picturing the tree as one time almost show ready. Got a pic of it at its prime? I'm sure your friend have.

Where's the rock? Where's the root and awsome nebari?
 

benw3790

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I don't know how to say this but I'm having a hard time picturing the tree as one time almost show ready. Got a pic of it at its prime? I'm sure your friend have.

Where's the rock? Where's the root and awsome nebari?
Why are you being a dick? This is exactly why I left bonsainut. I should have never came back here. Yall would scare a begginer off in a heartbeat. What a great way to help improve bonsai and bonsai knowledge. It was in a decent pot with great nebari, good branch placement and ramification. It was in a really nice, shallow, burgundy glazed container and it had good ramification. He potted the roots and rock deep into potting soil and big pot because he didn't have bonsai substrate. He cut back all the branches for no reason except for the fact that he was "bored" I do not talk to him or associate with him anymore I don't think there was ever a picture of it. He's a drug addict and has a lot of personal problems. He gave me the tree twice. This is the second time I've had it. Everytime he got it back, he messed it up somehow.
 

benw3790

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I don't know how to say this but I'm having a hard time picturing the tree as one time almost show ready. Got a pic of it at its prime? I'm sure your friend have.

Where's the rock? Where's the root and awsome nebari?

I can also go outside and take pictures of all the branch wounds if thatll help you sleep tonight. I'll video the whole entire repot so you can see the AWESOME nebari and the rock... maybe that will make you feel better buddy. Or you can ask brad Russell of the bonsai learning center and president of the bonsai societies of the carolinas, if he remembers it or Martin sweeny. Martin sold it to brad and I went to brads with my friend when he bought it like 4 years ago.
 

Microscopic

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Slap me with a flying monkey Mary Jane!:confused:

Dude, I honestly thought this was a troll thread. The fact that you where a member for 4 years indicated you're not ad new to bonsai info as you say you are.

And I still DO stand behind my previous statement. Lack movements and taper. And quite frankly no real personality. But that is of course just my opinion.

Again, you, a member of 4 years pop that pic up and describing the tree as show ready once upon a time is a bit hard to take seriously.

I started this hobby just last spring. A real newbie here also. And in that year, I read a lot on care and styling of trees. Watched a bunch of videos too. Going through my first winter was fun actually.

Sorry if I have offended you man. Didn't mean any harm. I misunderstood your intent on this thread. If you're truly interested in some pointers from the pros (not me for sure), post up a couple good pics and the direction you want to take it.

Again, although I stand by what I said, I apologize for being rude and crude. Was just having a little fun in a nutty way is all.
 

AZbonsai

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Holy Crap that Went Downhill Quickly!
 

j evans

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Real quick, why don't we start over and maybe just deal with what we have to work with?
 

benw3790

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Slap me with a flying monkey Mary Jane!:confused:

Dude, I honestly thought this was a troll thread. The fact that you where a member for 4 years indicated you're not ad new to bonsai info as you say you are.

And I still DO stand behind my previous statement. Lack movements and taper. And quite frankly no real personality. But that is of course just my opinion.

Again, you, a member of 4 years pop that pic up and describing the tree as show ready once upon a time is a bit hard to take seriously.

I started this hobby just last spring. A real newbie here also. And in that year, I read a lot on care and styling of trees. Watched a bunch of videos too. Going through my first winter was fun actually.

Sorry if I have offended you man. Didn't mean any harm. I misunderstood your intent on this thread. If you're truly interested in some pointers from the pros (not me for sure), post up a couple good pics and the direction you want to take it.

Again, although I stand by what I said, I apologize for being rude and crude. Was just having a little fun in a nutty way is all.
It's all good, I was looking from advice from more advanced members but I guess I respect your effort. They've seen nice trees like this go downhill. Mis care and neglection. It has a cool natural shari on it as well that gives it character. More advanced hobbies get that, even on deciduous trees. They also understand that when you make a ROR style tree, the nebari is going to change it. Sometimes it is wrapped in raffia and then buried up to the trunk, ensuring good root growth onto the rock. So more advanced hobbies would have understood the post a lot better than you did and it felt like you were trying to call my bluff on somethin I am being real and concerned about. Don't worry about it. I'm more intermediate now, rather than a begginer anymore but there's a wealth of knowledge on this forum. There are also a lot of stuck up, I'm better and more experienced than you pepole on this forum who are sometimes really hard to get along with. It's like the dark side of bonsai. All the egos.....
 

Adair M

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It's all good, I was looking from advice from more advanced members but I guess I respect your effort. They've seen nice trees like this go downhill. Mis care and neglection. It has a cool natural shari on it as well that gives it character. More advanced hobbies get that, even on deciduous trees. They also understand that when you make a ROR style tree, the nebari is going to change it. Sometimes it is wrapped in raffia and then buried up to the trunk, ensuring good root growth onto the rock. So more advanced hobbies would have understood the post a lot better than you did and it felt like you were trying to call my bluff on somethin I am being real and concerned about. Don't worry about it. I'm more intermediate now, rather than a begginer anymore but there's a wealth of knowledge on this forum. There are also a lot of stuck up, I'm better and more experienced than you pepole on this forum who are sometimes really hard to get along with. It's like the dark side of bonsai. All the egos.....

Don't use a colander for deciduous. Colanders are for Pines.

Chinese Elms are very strong, their roots vigorous, and they can take a strong cut back.

Go read MarkyScott's "Ebihara maples" thread about how to develop nebari. Yes, I know that thread is about maples, but elms work the same way for nebari.

On this forum, you have to develop some thick skin. You also have to understand that some are not native English speakers, so their posts can be a bit confusing. And some people, like myself, are fairly terse. I'll tell you straight on what I think. Some don't like that. I don't intend to insult anyone, but some don't like the way I write. All of that is trying to say that there are a lot of knowledgeable people here. If you get insulted easily and take things too personally, you'll miss out on a lot of good info. Most people here are usually trying to help. Sure, there are misunderstandings, that's the nature of forums. I for sure have been flamed. Several times. I've been called all sorts of names. If I had a delicate ego, I could have turned tail and gone away. But, I've stuck around, and I've made friends with many on this forum. I've met many in person that I'd conversed with anonymously on this forum. You were at the Silohette Show? I was there.

So, slow down, give people a chance to get to know you here, post pictures, etc.

Good luck with your elm!
 

sorce

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Back uphill eh!

For real for real...
but I'm having a hard time picturing the tree as one time almost show ready.

I was thinking that same thing...

Now I'm just wondering if I could have put it a way that wouldn't seem dickish.

But that didn't seem dickish to me anyway.

Anyway.

Oh wait....
Back downhill....

Put it in a colander!;)

Sorce
 

Gregory DeNinno

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Don't know... if it were mine, I'd just trim the roots and put it in a training pot for a few years while I grew out some better branches.
 

Adair M

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Back uphill eh!

For real for real...


I was thinking that same thing...

Now I'm just wondering if I could have put it a way that wouldn't seem dickish.

But that didn't seem dickish to me anyway.

Anyway.

Oh wait....
Back downhill....

Put it in a colander!;)

Sorce
Sorce... really, get over the colander thing! Deciduous do better in wider, flatter containers. Circling roots are not a bad thing for deciduous! Since you can repot every year, just cut off the circling roots!

Go read the Ebihara thread! Lol!!!
 

M. Frary

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Don't use a colander for deciduous. Colanders are for Pines.
I use them for all trees. They are great for developing straight fine roots on deciduous trees. Just like on pines.
Plus the trees grow like crazy in them.
Smoke uses colanders for his deciduous trees too. So there must be something beneficial in their use.
 

benw3790

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Don't use a colander for deciduous. Colanders are for Pines.

Chinese Elms are very strong, their roots vigorous, and they can take a strong cut back.

Go read MarkyScott's "Ebihara maples" thread about how to develop nebari. Yes, I know that thread is about maples, but elms work the same way for nebari.

On this forum, you have to develop some thick skin. You also have to understand that some are not native English speakers, so their posts can be a bit confusing. And some people, like myself, are fairly terse. I'll tell you straight on what I think. Some don't like that. I don't intend to insult anyone, but some don't like the way I write. All of that is trying to say that there are a lot of knowledgeable people here. If you get insulted easily and take things too personally, you'll miss out on a lot of good info. Most people here are usually trying to help. Sure, there are misunderstandings, that's the nature of forums. I for sure have been flamed. Several times. I've been called all sorts of names. If I had a delicate ego, I could have turned tail and gone away. But, I've stuck around, and I've made friends with many on this forum. I've met many in person that I'd conversed with anonymously on this forum. You were at the Silohette Show? I was there.

So, slow down, give people a chance to get to know you here, post pictures, etc.

Good luck with your elm!


Thank you. Yea I was there! And I was on the forum for like 3 years and I met people here and I've met people through instagram and at shows, that I've developed friendships with. I use to just sit back and watch everyone go at it on here and thought to myself, this is nuts!! I couldn't believe the flaming on this forum, being a forum for bonsai. I've axtually developed a very thick skin over the years for certain reasons but it really gets me with bonsai. I just have a certain opinion about it and I think that in this small community it should all be love and help. No (serious) shit talking. I was just saying, to beginners, this forum would be quite intimidating at times because of certain people on here! I've never witnessed that with you, adair. But I really appreciate your input and I see what you're saying! Wish we couldve met in kannapolis. But anyways.... HERE'S THE TREE, REPOTTED AND ALL DONE!! LOL

Too bad I decided to change the front AFTER repotting. But that can be corrected. There is a natural shari on the left that used to be apart of the front until this tree was destroyed. But the potting position can always be changed!


IMG_20170219_145832.jpg
 

benw3790

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I still may ground layer the tree next year or I may leave it. There are the two strong roots on the front there and then two nice ones on the back but not really on the sides. I'll Def take it back out and score the bottom of the trunk to try and encourage roots up closer to the base, rather than having them just on the tips of the roots that have hardened off. I've also managed to grab 4 root cuttings from this tree, over the times I've had it. Just made 2 from this repot. And I managed to get a cutting from it before my friend took it back last summer. It struck and is already growing like a weed this year! I also took another cutting from it this year and it seems to be doing good so far! Chinese elms are super tough and are super easy to propagate.
 

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