Hidden Problems

Bonsai Iterate

For all the content out there about bonsai, we continue to have limited access to information about root work. Let’s call it poetic irony that the unseen content aligns with the unseen part of our trees.

When we select a plant for bonsai, the roots are the one area we (usually) can’t inspect. Sure, we can check out the ever important nebari. Some of us have even been known to dig down into nursery pots with our bare hands to try to find the root base, but what can we really know about the root structure before we actually have the plant out of the pot and start working into the root mass?

Here’s a fir that I knew needed some root work when I got it. Visible above the soil surface was a root circling the trunk. This tree came into my care a year ago and I let…

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