This project is what lead to the five hole on the plate project. When I started these it was my wish to have some material to work with that I could never buy, these are just projects that one just has to do for yourself. So far this project is really coming along. I started this project one year before those on the plate, which is a larger project and will make a larger tree. This project will be a small tree as it was simply an experiment to get my feet wet. This tree was planted on an inverted terra cotta water saucer. This tree was planted in my regular ALP (akadama, lava, pumice) mix and watered and fertilized profusely.
As I was getting close to fall of 2013 I took a peek of what I had. Looked pretty damn good to me. I had never did this so this was pretty exciting.
In winter of 2014 around Feb. I do my repotting. This was what it looked like after washing off all the gravel. I paid special attention to getting as much embedded rock out of the trunk as I could. I didn’t want embedded stones in the growth.
Two of the shoots were cut back to a low bud in an attempt to change direction of a couple as well as give some taper to two of what would be larger trees later. Study this picture becuae what happens is paramount to growing a base.
This is the tree now, Fall 2014. Pay attention to the scar at the base. Notice how it is part of the base now. The stubs were left close to an inch long above the base I had last year. Now the trunk has used the condensed energy of the cut short shoots so close to the base to cause it to swell more than it would naturaly. This is the same technique I used to build the trunks on the three little pig trident sumo shohin maples. It is a grow all year, cut back to a short stub in spring and grow out again. Scarring at the base will add girth quickly. This year at repot I will pick two from the opposite side and cut them back short and do it all over again. I have roots beginning to fuse in only two years.
When the repot is done the top plate of roots will be cut back very short to maintain a small size suitable for a shohin pot. The tree at this time still has its base under the plate and can sustain a pretty good cut back to the roots and still have enough energy to sprout at all the cut tips. The red lines on the two trunks show which two will be cut this next season. Make sure a cut is made above a suitable node so it will bud, other wise you may loose the trunk in that spot.