Nebari correction approach

Hey Jonas,
I’m attaching a few pictures of a 6-year-old black pine. It is one off the first batches I’ve ever made. I made a mistake back then and planted the roots too flat resulting a nabari that grows upwards.
My question is what’s the best approach to fix this over time?
Thank you very much for your help!

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Hi Shay
I note your inquiry is directed to Jonas, but I thought I would throw in a couple of suggestions. When I have encountered this problem I have used a combination of techniques to address the overall situation. First and foremost the approach is one of patience. I remove the most obvious roots one at a time over a long period of time. Improving the situation slowly. Sometimes I will weaken a root by cutting part away, to lessen the reliance of the tree on that root before removing it entirely.This also gives the tree time to shift to reliance on remaining roots and create new roots, In other cases I will wire down a root similar to a branch to reposition the root instead of removing. In this case a board under the root ball may be helpful for anchoring wired branches. Small rocks are also useful for support of bend points to get a more downward movement.
In short it involves a slower process to gradually remove or reposition the roots as required and give the tree time to develop additional roots to replace the ones removed.
I do not have a lot of confidence in air layering pines to create new root structures. My experiences with that approach has usually resulted in dead pines.
One additional thought is that covering the roots between sessions will make the overall task easier as they will remain more supple and bark up less if covered. So I would plant the tree deeper for the time you are working on correcting the Nebari.
Hope these ideas help. I am sure Jonas will have more helpful tips.


Hi Frank,
Thank you very much for your help.
I was referring Jonas but any help is more than welcome :blush:
I don’t want to risk air layering as well although I have successfully layered sacrifice branches this year in multiple trees and done all through the season.
I appreciate your advice and will follow it. Hope to hear more ideas from Jonas and everyone else.

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The tree looks great and I’d guess you’ll be able to improve the roots without too much effort.

Like Frank said, the main thing isn’t very exciting but it’s the most helpful - make incremental improvements every time you repot.

In general, you’ll be removing the worst roots and repositioning or bending downward, as much as possible, the errant roots. I’m fairly aggressive with my young trees and will often remove quite a lot of roots in a given repotting. This slows the growth a bit but speeds up the root improvements - that’s the main trade-off.

It might take a bit longer to get where you want with the tree, but I think you can make significant improvements over the next few years. And the larger you let the trunk get, the easier it will be to encourage the tree to produce new roots where you want them.

Does this help?

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Sorry I missed out on this!
Thank you for your reply Jonas.
Yes, very helpful and ill start working on it next spring.
I’ll Update the progress.

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