Five Trees on a Plate Update   2 comments

Last year in Feb the five trees was placed thru a large terra cotta water saucer. The rim was cut off and five holes were drilled into it. The hole saw I used made an 1 1/4 inch hole. The trees I placed into the holes were trees grown out from cuttings I struck in 2010. The trees were about 5/8 to 3/4 inch across at the base.

This planting was grown out this year in grow stones only. No other planting medium was used. The grow stones are a synthetic pumice made from recycled glass. The medium worked good, and was a successful planting medium. I also planted a California juniper into the same mix so that I could compare which trees do better in the mix. Article coming soon on the results so far.

Here is the plate all prepared with the holes. The outsides of the holes form a circle about 5 inches in diameter. I plan to have a circle of roots with a fused base of about 8 to 9 inches or cover this saucer.

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In this shot we can see that there is quite a bit of room for the trees in the holes.

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This is what the whole thing looked like in the grow stones. The entire top of the planting was covered with an inch layer of long fiber moss.

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This is what it looked like today. The trees have grown to about 6 feet tall.

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This tree is the only one that grew large enough to start the girdle process. Once the tree is larger than the hole, the trunk begins to swell really fast.

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The trunk is a full 1.75 inch across.

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The other trees have some catching up to do, but that will be accomplished next year easy.

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The pumice was piled above the plate as well as the inch of moss. The moss was successful in keeping the trunk wet during the day. The trunk is still wet after pushing back the top layer of pumice. What this did was cause some of the roots to sprout much too high on the trunk. I have taken the liberty to remove those now. I wish the roots to be right at the plate and start knitting there.

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Whats cool about baskets is that if you set them on the ground, you get all the benifit of growun growing, but can still be lifted awy to take to a workshop if necessary. These roots will just be pruned away in spring.

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It is my contention that I did not see the rampet growth from the pumice product that I wanted. The tree needed much more long lasting hydration than the fast drying pumice could produce. In spring, the entire planting will be changed out for a traditional ALP mix. The addition of akadama will get me the hydration reserve I need to keep the plant growing all day. This tree was in full sun all year 105 temps for weeks at a time. Next year will be no different except that the planting will stay cooler and wetter longer. I should see a huge improvement in the way the planting performs.

 

 

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2 responses to “Five Trees on a Plate Update

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  1. Thanks for the update. I attempted something similar this year with smaller seedlings. I drilled 1/4″ holes in ceramic tiles. After reading this, I will have to push the pumice aside to see if there’s much swelling yet.

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