June marks early winter here at Shibui Bonsai. The leaves have fallen off most of the trident maples and that means it’s time to start work on the developing trees. Most years I start with the Root over Rock plantings because it is always great to finally see what has happened over summer.
The box of potential shohin trident root over rock
After clearing fallen leaves you can now see the trees and rocks wrapped in alfoil.
I use aluminium foil because it conforms very closely to the shape of the rocks. even into crevices and hollows and holds the growing roots very close to the rocks.
Roots have grown through the bottom of the polystyrene box over the summer indicating good growth of at least some of these trees.
After cutting the roots under the box I gently ease each tree out of the soil. Breaking a few of the roots at this stage doesn’t matter as I intend to cut them back much further in the next step
Just a quick, rough trim of roots hanging out from the foil to make the trees easier to handle.
I won’t trim the tops at this stage. I really want to see the shape of both rocks and new roots before deciding where to prune the long trunks and branches.
Next time I open them up to see how the roots have developed.