Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Acer Palmetum "Bloodgood" Pt II
I wasn't supposed to dig this tree up for another couple of years. I am glad I did. When this tree came home from the nursery in 2007 it was merely slip potted in the ground. It had a decent nebari and I never thought much more of it. The tree responded well and put out allot of new growth.
The tree was pruned in the fall and ready to go for another vegetative season. The following summer it was pretty much left to its own device with the exception of the odd directional prune.
For some reason this spring an uncontrollable urge possessed me to dig it up. I am not referring to and impatient urge but rather a nagging urge (something telling me insistently). So I did, and I am glad I did.
As you know when possible to do so I always bare root my trees, for good reasons, you know what you have to work with. This one as stated was slip potted into the ground, so I didn't really know what lied beneath the soil with the exception of what could readily be seen.
There were 2 problems with this tree: one there appeared to be rodent damage around the buttress last spring, I checked things out and wasn't alarmed so I basically ignored it. 2008 was not a good bonsai year for me; and two, the nebari is in three levels below the soil line with approximately 2 inches in between each level. As this is not conducive to bonsai cultivation let alone ever getting this tree in a pot, something needed to be done about it.
The damaged root was not rodent damage but somehow the root had died and rotted and the base of the tree as well. I was discouraged as this tree has a 2 1/2 base. I got the die grinder out and removed all the pith I could and carefully cleaned out the wound. I then sealed the cavity with cut paste for the time being. More will need to be done here in years to come.
I cut off a good portion of roots from this tree and reduced it to 2 levels. The roots are not around the periphery of the tree as of yet. The tree was planted out in a screen sided container to help develop the fine feeder roots.
It was a little slow out of the gate this spring, but I wasn't too worried as my other acers were slow as well. The tree seems to have responded favourably with the work carried out.
The tree was roughly wired and styled during this process. It will now rest in its new home until the spring of '11, where once again I will re-visit the root mass. Outside of selective pruining development, no other major work will be conducted on this tree.