Unique exposed/neagari trident...how did they do it


(Darlene ) #1

I felt…by the looks of the upper roots a tree with more mature roots than a sapling was used…for a neagari project. By the looks of the lower section of roots. The uniqueness intrigues me to be honest. I have a trident whip almost an inch thick which was ground grown I purchased for this project. Thinking they surely used something which had roots for them to be spaced as they were in the photo.

Any suggestions or tips of how one handles a trident for such a long period…assuming to use flexible drainage pipe to put movement into the roots. (Tip from a friend) but should one wire into a training pot…so eventually those fine roots in years to come…might be root pruned.
Will try to add photo later. It’s not loading. So be patient with me please.


(Darlene ) #2

Sorry double post…photos in beginning thread.


(Frank Corrigan) #3

If you go to BonsaiTonight.com and check the Post Archives by doing a search for exposed roots pines you will find a number of articles explaining process and details. Jonas has done an excellent job of documenting methods.
One of the methods shows a flexible tube anchored in a terra cotta pot as the basic setup. I know there are other methods for introducing bends or movement in the roots after as well.
I am sure this information will help.


(Darlene ) #4

Thanks…I had seen the one…didn’t realize there was more. Will check that out. much appreciated.


(Darlene ) #5

Thanks again @bonsaitonight / Jonas for your assistance in helping with pumice size for this project.

With the whip’s roots more mature…Assuming at some point I will need to uncover them while allowing the lower roots to catch up in size…maybe in say…5 years? Then an additional 5 for the lower roots to catch up in aize before revealing them.

Does this sound like a good time frame to go by? I do not know trident other than…they are fast growing.

Trying to locate a trident sapling as well…to do along with this project. To see end result differences.


(Jonas Dupuich) #6

I usually wait a couple years, then start removing the soil, just a bit near the top, to see how large the roots have become. If they’ve reached a good size, I keep going. If they’re still small, I leave the roots alone for another year or two before checking again.


(Darlene ) #7

@bonsaitonight…Thanks Jonas! That makes complete sense. So eventually a hint at roots revealing as the years go by.


(Darlene ) #8

My biggest hurdle…is imagining repotting the lower pot I will wire this into. I keep hearing trident are aggressive growers. Assuming allowing it to get pot bound will ensure the top staying in place when one goes to repot at some point the pot it’s wired into…am I on the right thought process? You surely don’t want your substrate falling out the drainage pipe during a repot.

I then think…that will be years before I reach that point…so…stop stressing the things that aren’t in my path at this time.


(Jonas Dupuich) #9

The repotting question is a good one. It’s actually no different than repotting any other bonsai. Until there are lots of fine roots in the bonsai soil below the large pumice there’s generally no need to repot.

And you’re right on about waiting for so many lower roots to grow before repotting. This ensures that the (future exposed) roots are strong enough to serve as a trunk and hold up the top of the tree. (And yes, this is likely years from now unless you’re aiming for a fairly delicate composition.)

As for the shape of the roots themselves, the straighter roots were likely relatively course before they were planted in a larger aggregate mix. The lower roots likely developed inside the aggregate as there’s more movement and root division.

Put another way, placing straight roots in aggregate will not make them crooked - for this, young roots need to develop among large soil particles where they are forced to grow around them.

Looking forward to seeing how this project goes!


(Darlene ) #10

Thanks @bonsaitonight…I think I have a grasp at long term for when and how to tackle the pot the drainage pipe will be wired to. Allowing to become almost root bound…which would ensure the aggregate being kept in place from those roots I would imagine. Something down the road a good ways.

You’re correct I want to mimic the photo. So no delicate composition for final goal. So…I have a ground grown whip shipped earlier this week…your aggregate I ordered, my tracking said arrived today. (Thanks for getting it out to me so quickly!) so your saying…those roots should be placed in the larger aggregate then? Since it’s not a sapling…and has more established roots I would imagine. Only using the smaller substrate in the pot only. This project is happening most likely…no later than the weekend so I need my ducks in a row on assembling this to get the best foot forward out of the gate. Appreciate your advice…will have to thank Scott again for deferring me to ask you on the process needed for this project. He didn’t steer me wrong…your direction is much appreciated. Thanks again!


(Jonas Dupuich) #11

I’d follow the basic approach here:
https://bonsaitonight.com/2017/11/28/how-to-create-exposed-root-pine-bonsai/

After adding the bonsai soil to the bottom of the pot and adding some of the large pumice, I’d hold the sapling in place and fill the rest of the pumice around it with just a little bonsai soil as a top layer.

Whatever shape the existing roots take when you plant them will be exactly what you see when you expose them after they’ve thickened. Planting time, in other words, is what sets the basic shape of what you’ll end up with.


(Darlene ) #13

Thanks Jonas @bonsaitonight…makes complete sense to me. So prepared to get this project started…just waiting on my whip to arrive.

So appreciate your direction. No second guessing myself.


(Darlene ) #14

@bonsaitonight…Jonas…your link shows you used I believe the x-large…will I get the desired look I am after using your large size as well then?


(Darlene ) #15

Upon close inspection of the desired tree I am trying to mimic…there is no wide gaps in the neagari…I presume why Large is best for this project! Thanks again…


(Jonas Dupuich) #16

I’d use particles between 3/8" - 3/4" for this project. The main thing is to decide whether or not you want to aim for roots like the top section (fairly straight, could develop in a smaller mix) or the bottom section (a bit curvier, could develop in a slightly larger mix).


(Darlene ) #17

Wishing for the bottom to be as in the photo. That was the reasoning behind the buying a ground grown whip…for more mature roots to come off the tree to begin with…and develop the base as shown in the photo of that exposed root maple.

So the extra large you say…for the lower look. What would you plant the whip roots in…on the upper half of the drainage pipe?


(Jonas Dupuich) #18

The big question is what the roots look like when they come in. If there are straight roots that grow in different directions, they’ll need to be bundled together. If the roots are thick, it won’t matter what soil is used in the top section as the roots will already have their shape.

If there are fine roots only, these roots will need to be situated in bonsai soil so they don’t dry out. The larger particles below will give shape to new roots that grow.


(Darlene ) #19

Thanks Jonas… @bonsaitonight…Makes total sense…so many variables one can’t grasp entirety until ones hands are in the task of the project. Your words have helped me with the direction. If they need bound…I hope tight raffia will work over wire. Will be a fun project indeed…thanks again for your time and knowledge.


(Darlene ) #20

So this thick drainage pipe a contractor friend gave me…since you can only buy it in ten foot sections…I find to thick. So…went to Ace hardware today…and was shown this 55" flexible spout! Totally perfect for this project to add movement to the roots.