Processing a stock plant

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I got this tree from Rob Addonizio. I’m sure he grew it from a cutting.
I’ve had it for awhile now so I figured it was time to process it and start it on its way towards being a bonsai. 20120805-180230.jpg

here’s the trunk. It’s busting out of the pot. 20120805-180408.jpg

another view. It’s in a ten inch wide container.
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Real healthy growth. What I do to this today will not kill the tree, promise. 20120805-180615.jpg
If I wanted to spend a lot of time I probably could rake this out. But I don’t. Plus, there is an opportunity here to share a secret with you. 20120805-180759.jpg

saw saw saw
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There we go 20120805-180921.jpg
The sawn off bottom I will save and20120805-181004.jpg
put here.

From those cut root ends a forest of shoots will grow. And that is the first secret I will share. This will grow into a small clump; all the best salicaria clumps are started this way. It was a technique discovered by Jim Smith. He would toss the “waste” roots into a pile.

Then they began to grow Jim, being the smart man he is, let them grow.

And turned them into art. 20120805-181840.jpg
You end up, after a few years, with clumps like this.
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Good roots. This was planted in bonsai soil so,instead of just some big chunky roots,there are nice fine roots. Good job Rob, you proved a point I’ve been making about soil.

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Cut back all the larger roots and save the feeder roots.

 

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This has a good base and good taper. This is superior stock. All I have to grow now are branches. I wish Japanese black pines were this easy. (There’s a question for everyone. If a JBP was this easy would people still value them as much as they do? Think about it. I think I would.You? )

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Tie it in and add some good soil.

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Water, fertiliser, and sunshine. I’ll do an update in a couple of months.

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I cut off here and here. These will make good cuttings.
Here’s my second secret.

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How to have better bonsai from cuttings.

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First trick. Take cutting. Split with scissor, wedge something in between cut (I use something organic but you can use a stone)
The roots will emerge from the cut ends and the base will automatically be spread out.
I have not tried this with other species but I know it works amazingly with ficus.

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So…..cut…..

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Wedge….
Now, here’s an idea for non ficus species to get a bigger base.
The heel cutting

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Now, instead of roots emerging from one or two spots they have the opportunity to emerge from almost anywhere. Where a branch splits off from another spot is called a node. The tree has the ability, from this node, to grow either a root or a branch, depending on light. When you do a cutting, it is best to have the cut end close to a node. This will increase your success rate.

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This is a good cutting.

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Here they are ready for soil.

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And plant them. In a free draining mix.
Someone told me I use too expensive a soil in my nursery pots.
My thought is, if it works better and grows the trees better I will have less years growing, therefore less labor in a tree.and less overall soil use. I think, in the long run, it’s cheaper.

About adamaskwhy

Visual artist specializing in bonsai, mostly.
This entry was posted in Advanced basics and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Processing a stock plant

  1. nickalpin says:

    How about to prevent the cuttings from drying out? I’ve used the grocery store produce bags with good success. A lot of people write about moisture loss and the leaves being the only way to take in water until new roots are pushed.

    Just found a humidity some to try with one of my cloners, I’ll have a side-to-side test.

    • adamaskwhy says:

      Forgot to mention that. Next post on cuttings I’ll go more in depth.
      LSS- I tend to cut the leaves off. They help get moisture but they also cause moisture loss.
      The tree will draw up water from the stem in the same way as a bunch of flowers will. Or old celery (good trick that)
      I don’t use clear domes or greenhouses either. I find I don’t need them. Shade works well in my yard. I’m sure I’ll do a post more in depth as to the whys.

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