First Steps with No Bai De ~ Elm roots   Leave a comment

A couple of weeks ago during repotting I showed a method for planting out elm roots for making new plants. It is simply a method of propagation that is popular with elms because the roots are very aggressive and they will grow on after removal no matter how large they are.

Just to refresh out memory lets look the process again then an update. This victim was hacked to death to allow it to be potted down. Even though the tree is small the roots were huge. It was in a huge can with open mix and it just grew large and obese.

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The roots are cut off using a large Japanese clever. The root sections are thrown into a bucket of water.

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After the repotting of the victim, I can attend to the bucket of roots. I just did a few, but I could have made over a hundred trees from this bucket. The roots can be cut into 1 inch long pieces and as long as you know which end was down, it will grow roots. It is fun to plant some upside down and they will grow all crooked trying to right itself, which it will do by mid summer.

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I used some of the larger roots since I wanted to work on some larger trunked sumo elm shohin. I have not seen any sumo elm trees and since they grow like tridents I will utilize my trunk fattening techniques to obtain a few of those.

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Root sections like this are fun because they can be utilized for future exposed root style trees and cascades. That is what this will be later down the road, an exposed root literati cascade.

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All the trees are planted in a large colander.

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The update as of today. The cambium ring which is in the ring dividing the darker ring from the lighter core. Now it is easy to see where the buds come from. They begin to expand and will turn purple, making a purple ring between the light and the dark. It is here that the small pin prick green buds will form. It will be a huge green ring in another week.

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In fact, this one shows some green buds already. You guys in the frigid east that have not started repotting yet, this is a good technique to try this year and grow some larger material for shohin in about 5 to 6 years. Keep the green side up.

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Posted March 4, 2015 by California Bonsai Art in First Steps with No Bai De

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