This may be old news, but I haven’t seen it addressed on this blog. I have a JBP 11" tall with good branch placement. From my reading, I see that planting it in the ground and leaving sacrifical branches low on the tree will encouragement trunk diameter growth. Why am I not seeing more of your people growing their JBP in the ground? I plan to plant it on the southern side of my house along with a Parsoni juniper that is trying to be a cascade. It also has four base sacrificial branches growing. Same question for the juniper Why aren’t people putting their potensai in the ground?
First off, although there is truth in your comments, the information is not complete. Trunk diameter is increased more effectively by elongation of trunk or apical sacrifice leader, rather than lower sacrificial branches.
Secondly, growing in the ground has benefits as well as drawbacks. Some of the drawbacks are the difficulty of maintaining root ball, pruning at that level, maintaining all round development when the plant cannot be turned.
Many Bonsai growers have opted for a more balanced approach of larger grow boxes on the bench rather than planting trees in the ground. Both methods can be effective.
I have found combining apical leaders for trunk growth with grow box development to be very effective.
Here is a sample of what i am describing!! IMG_0458|499x499
I am in receipt of your truth. To further complete the information, the leader sacrificial branch increases the diameter of the ENTIRE TRUNK. I was negligent in my comments. I am not looking for a sausage shaped tree. Taper for trunks is desirable in my world Have not had any experience with placing in a larger box. How much faster does the trunk thicken in a large box, compared to in ground placement? Turning the tree for sun exposure has not been a problem for me. I grew an Austrian pine with its back facing south. The entire tree grew just great. The sun rose in the east and set in the west for me. The front face of the tree toward the north made very nice branch formation all up and down the tree. Of course, I must spell out every nuance of what I am implying here. Many ways to skin the cat. The tree only need be in the ground for 4-5 years, according to what you are trying to accomplish. The low base sacrificial branches thicken the trunk below it, such as my understanding is, which is, again, my objective. GRANDE NEBARI.
And for a more complete expression, changing the sacrificial leader is the best way to create taper if that is desireable after establishing a basic diameter to trunk thickness. Sacrificial branches do increase thickness below the point they come off the trunk but ever so slowly.Nebari develops well either in the ground or in a grow box but is dependant on proper root work moreso than chance growth by just planting.
It sounds like you prefer one approach and that is great. For me the difficulty of working with trees in the ground even for 4 or five years is less desireable with my advancing age and infirmities.
“The low base sacrificial branches thicken the trunk below it, such as my understanding is, which is, again, my objective. GRANDE NEBARI.”
I agree, Thats the point
Okay. Let’s talk about root balls. In my world, it is acceptable to prune the root ball, attach a tile under the base of the tree, and plant it all in the ground. This accomplishes whatever you said about having the tree in a larger box. In both cases, the tree can be extracted from the medium and root pruned at appropriate times. Again, how ever so slowly does the trunk thicken with your method, as opposed to the method that I am espousing? Is it 1 cm per year faster? Do you have double blind studies with statistical confidence levels of 95+%? I would like to see your studies. I am only 74 and have many years to go b4 heading to that great bonsai garden in the sky. Giggle
Your post seems to feel like a debate. Please understand that you or anyone else is free to choose your own approach.
My approach is that i operate a Bonsai nursery that specializes in growing JBP and JRP. No blind studies and laboratory statistics. Although i have several university degrees and understand the terms you are referencing. During and after considerable training with various professionals i started my nursery and experimented with various growing techniques to get the best results for the types of tree’s i like to grow. The methods used are a combination of Nursery practices observed and discussed with practitioners in Japan, Washington, Oregon and California. I have modified some of the practices to suit my climate and choice of media. At age 71 i have enough back issues that growing in the ground is not my choice. I find it easier to manage the watering,fertilizing,pruning and spraying. I am happy with the growth rate, JBP reach three inch trunks at seven years of age easily. They could reach greater but i prefer to focus on having lower branching as a priority earlier on in the developmental stage. The techniques used to promote more lower branching slows the trunk growth some.
The initial JBP that i obtained from ground growing Bonsai farms were very challenging to sort out the roots properly and tended to have fewer branches available for design lower on the trunk. I developed my approach to try and avoid those common difficulties that take a long time to correct after growing in the ground.
Sure you can graft branches and i often do.
I believe i clearly stated there are many approaches. If you ever wish to visit i would be happy to show you the nursery and my pines.
You guys are talking over my 82 year old head. Here’s my experience in South Texas:
I planted a few JBP in my vegetable garden, which gets a lot of attention and has good soil. Here’s what I found:
- Nothing especially good happened to the trunks that didn’t happen to similar trees in bonsai pots
- What did grow well was the tap root, which made them very hard to dig up.
- All the trees are now in bonsai pots and appear to be growing stronger than in the ground
Conclusion - growing JBP’s in the ground is a waste of time.
Just saying, based upon a very unscientific trial. Large wooden grow box or colanders seem to work much better.