Trident maple root over rock repotting

Published on 28 February 2024 at 08:43
Trident maple Acer buergerianum bonsai root over rock

This trident maple was grown from seed about 4 years ago. At an early stage, the roots were left to grow long for one year. The following year, the seedling was attached to a piece of rock. For this, I used a combination of hemp and aluminum wire.
After it was planted grasping the rock, it was left to grow freely for 2 growing seasons.

Roots of the trident maple bonsai
Roots of the bonsai tree grasping the rock

You can see one root was relatively big in size compared to the others. This is probably the result of letting one branch grow uninhibited without pruning it. As below, so above: if branches don't rammify, neaither will the roots!

Luckily, most of the roots were following the contours of the rock, and grasping it firmly! I removed a lot of the finer feeder roots and rearranged some of the roots that had started lignifying. I had to make sure the didn't cross over each other.

Root over rock trident maple bonsai after cleaning the roots
Root over rock trident maple bonsai before repotting

After pruning the finer roots and rearranging the larger ones, I used some aluminium wire to hold the roots in place. The wire will probably be checked over the course of the growing seasons, as to make sure it doesn't bite and cause scars!

The tree was then planted in a plastic training pot, in a 50/50 mix of akadama and pumice. You can still see a large wound from where a big cut was made. I'll reopen this wound in the summer so it can heal better. It'd best if this wound will be on the back of the tree in the final design. This is something you can try to take in account when growing bonsai from seed.


So what's next? Heavy fertilizing and building the trunk! I'll probably let it grow and cut it back at least twice this growing season.

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