I would like to know the way you manage the black pine roots, in its very early development, in order to obtain the fused roots (at the base) shown in some of your trees and mainly useful for shohin bonsai. I find difficult to train the roots in a semi vertical way (or conical way) in order to obtain that effect since, left at its own, the roots will move in different directions.
Here’s the basic process for creating lots of roots:
And here are some articles about training pines as exposed root bonsai:
Fusing happens naturally when the trees are left to grow freely for several years.
Thank you Jonas for your answer. However, I thought that it would be interesting to count with more detailed information on the way you arrange the roots of a young black pine. We usually hear that the superficial roots have to be arrange in a “radial way”. But then what? Radial horizontal or radial vertical/down? It may be a matter of personal taste, but probably not in the case of the shohin style, since you have little space for the superficial roots. In addition it may also be convenient to take advantage of fused roots in the lower part of the trunk in order to improve its tapper. So if, at least for the shohin style, it is convenient to train the roots in a vertical way up to some level, the question is how do you do that. I haven´t seen any material about it and your personal experience will surely help. Thanks and regards.
Very good question. I primarily arrange the roots horizontally, but I don’t know that the arrangement is the key element. If there are a lot of roots and they spread out radially that will be enough to create the flare or taper we look for in smaller trees.
The main thing I’ve learned is that for shohin, more than for larger pines, it’s important to cut back the larger roots as they develop and encourage as many fine roots as possible that emerge from the base of the trunk, not unlike what we’d expect on a trident maple. As you noted, there’s little room between the base of the trunk and the edge of the pot on shohin so the transition from trunk to fine roots happens quickly.
I’ll look to post more on how I work on this going forward, but in the meantime, here are two articles that show why letting horizontal roots get bigger and fuse together over time is counterproductive.
Thanks Jonas for your dedication to support us. The two references remarked by you above are a good indicator that the roots need permanent follow up and work.