Root rake

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Root rake

Postby bonsaeen » January 8th, 2019, 5:51 pm

Hi All,

Recently I have purchased about 30 or so native tube stock and repotted most of them. They seem to be surviving but some look weak. I have noticed that when i use the root rake alot of the roots just come off even though I am trying to be gentle. Is this normal? It's like 50-60% of the roots just come off as they are tangled. Is this a mistake I am making? Don't think I have had this problem with some other trees I have repotted in past but natives have very fine roots and also as they are very young plants.

Should I get a single hook rake? or another better one? Or you think rake is probably not the problem here. Thanks
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Re: Root rake

Postby shibui » January 8th, 2019, 6:06 pm

It is hard to say. Such generalisations - native tube stock :lost: There are many thousands of native plants. Some tolerate severe root reduction without a care, some mange moderate root reduction and some species just don't seem to be able to manage even slight interference with the roots. Maybe it is not your technique, just the species you are working with?
However you mention that more roots came off than intended. I know that banksia roots are quite brittle and come off in chunks. In fact my preferred way to root prune banksias is to grab handfuls of root and break them off - no need for rake or shears with banksias. Can't say I have experienced the same with other natives though so maybe the problem is more to do with the way they have been grown or your technique :wave:
I actually prefer to cut most of the roots first and, if necessary, rake the remainder then do a final trim. Could never see the point in spending ages carefully raking out tangled roots only to cut them all off afterward :lost:
I also find the single hook far more effective than the ridiculous little rakes that come in bonsai kits. Not that the single hook does less damage, just easier and quicker to create the same sort of havoc. also works better with larger trees and thicker roots where the single tine can get into places the wider multi tine rakes cannot reach.

I'm sure I could be more help if I could actually see what you are trying to tell us.
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