Saturday, 14 March 2015

Big pots experiment

Last week I dug up one of the Oaks that I was growing in a very large pot and had a good look at what was happening underground. I was becoming a little concerned about the type of roots developing and feared deep thick roots and growth up against the side of the pot.

I was really surprised at the quality of the roots that came out. A nice dense root ball with very few thicker roots. Clean and healthy too with no dead roots or an smell at all. There were plenty of choice surface roots to work with later as well.

I trimmed them back and decreased the depth of the root mass to make it easier to pot later. As I reduced the depth of the root ball I came across no thick deep roots that were going to be a problem later. Its gone into a large air pot now for finishing off over the next 2 years. 

Its going to be very interesting to see the growth rate in the air pot compare to the large container behind it.

So its maybe not as effective as field growing - but for now it easier to manage and gives very good roots. A lot easier to lift from the big pot and retain quality roots that digging up too. I will definitely continue to grow Oaks like this.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Wild Pear Tree

I have been wanting a nice fruit tree for a while - for the nice spring blossoms - I had been thinking of crab apples. I don't think this is it - although it can possibly have nice blossoms.

While researching native fruit trees and admiring the blossoms of an old pear tree in garden I discovered the pyrus pyraster which is close to being a native British pear tree. They were hard to obtain and I didn't want to compromise on nursery plant on grafted stock which was of mostly unknown origin.

While walking through the CLGA game fair a few years ago a nice lady from the woodland trust gave me a wild pear seeding. And so its been growing in various pots in my garden for a few years and getting more interesting.

Its trunk is now over an inch thick and I began to think of it in bonsai terms - which means i had to get it into a proper pot and start managing the roots.

The problem with using conventional pots for growing bonsai material is that when you get it out of the pot you inevitably find the bottom of the pot is a solid disk of roots like this.

A series of large thick roots had grown down to the bottom and started doing laps of the pot. This is similar behaviour to my oak roots.

I'm hoping to see roots coming out of the sides of the pot soon after buds break so that I know its working as it should.

Here is the increasingly large group of airpot material waiting for the summer. I have several more oaks to move into these pots to prepare their roots for a life of bonsai.