Improving Nebari on Radiata Pine

Share your success stories about defoliation, bare rooting and anything else relating to maintaining healthy bonsai.
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Improving Nebari on Radiata Pine

Post by Patmet »

Hi all,

I’m hoping to get some advice on improving/fixing the surface roots on my young radiata pines.

I bought five of these radiata pine seedlings from the local tip for $1 each about two years ago. I was pretty new to bonsai then and I just wired some movement into them and then slip potted into much larger pots with regular potting mix. I didn’t look at, or expose the roots at all until now.

They have grown quite a bit since then and the problem I have found now is that the roots have circled the pot and become a mess. I’m thinking I should probably try and get on top of this problem sooner rather than later.

What I am unsure of is;
- When, and is there a good time to bare root a radiata
- How should I go about correcting the roots (layer new ones or try and untangle existing)

I’ll attach some pictures below of what I’m dealing with. Cheers!
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Re: Improving Nebari on Radiata Pine

Post by Stu »

I have been playing with Radiata as well. I'm not very experienced with pines but I would not bare root a pine so I don't lose the mycorrizal fungi associated with the roots. I would rake them out a bit to see what roots are below surface level. You may be able to cut away those circling roots at the top or at least trim to create a straighter root. I would do it in August assuming your growth patterns are similar over in the West. I don't know how successful layering pines would be. I will be interested in other's responses.
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