Potting Up My Birch, Part 2, The Bonsai Zone, March 2023

And this type of work just takes Patience I've had trees where it takes Over an hour to get the roots sorted out Washed and ready for root pruning Especially on collected trees Can be very a very long process So wherever you see caked soil just kind Of get in there with a root rake or the Chopstick or something and try and Loosen that up See what roots are there Because you don't want that soil all Congested in there All right I think I've got enough soil removed that I can Start the root pruning and I may have to Go in and re-wash it once I've got Some of the You know Crossing roots in that removed As I get this root base reduced to Something a little nicer All right here I go with the root Pruning There's a root growing instead of radial It's kinked over so let's get rid of That one Bye bye And again we're looking for Our Roots to Flow down from the trunk into the soil So there's some roots that are too high They're sticking up here They're kind of growing up out of the Soil so I've got to print those back Scissors can make a good root rake too

Here's some more sticking up here get Rid of those This one's sticking up we'll get rid of That one Here's another one you can see it's Sticking up out of the soil Rid of that There's one here sticking up That This one's growing Absolutely horizontal so I don't want That so I'm taking it off I want them going down into the soil Now This is where you can use a toothbrush To kind of help you Brush the soil away as you work on the Roots Get a little bit of water Here's another one sticking up And you know I'm pruning it off but I'm not sure where it comes from we'll See that later on I made Do more pruning on them Comes at a funny angle here It comes off This one's sticking up it's got to come Off This one's sticking up it's coming off Too I got some I got a big I don't know if you can see that this Big red root here It's uh oh kind of horizontal and then

Curves upwards I think that's going to be one for Removal Or at least you know reduce back So I'll come in here and I'll just Cut that part that sticks up off So that takes a lot of roots off with it Because it was it was a very thick root That root will regrow I'm sure Back here I've got more Roots sticking Up They've got to come off This one sticks up Comes That one this one's cranked over Off it comes A bit more brushing here So you can see now the basic Overall look of the roots is Flowing Down into the soil now At least most of them Picking up I'll get rid of it Sticking up Too long here Sticking up okay here's another one Sticking up Okay I'm going to rewash The Roots I'm Going to get the soil out here and get a Better look at what's going on I have rewashed the root system And I noticed that over here You can see this root was really thick Part of it's dead here I'll just prune That off

But it's very There's at least one and maybe two Really thick roots in this region and I Can't really get in there very well Um You can see this one was pruned off here It's regrown underneath here It's it's not the worst route in the World but it is getting thick compared To all the others and especially in this Section of the tree I've got at least You know two really thick roots that are Getting out of proportion so I need to prune off At least this part here Like that And I'm going to take the top of this Root off Like that That dead part off And try and sort this area out so it's Not so Thick Otherwise you know you might get these Roots fusing into one root This might become too thick or root in That area Okay so I'm going to prune this off here There I'm gonna bring this off here Really reducing these thick Roots back That's looking better Gotta do some cleanup here Sorry

Concentrating on the root pruning not my Camera work here I always do that Take a lot of concentration doing this So I'm just pruning away getting rid of The Or the long ones now Just trying but striving for a balanced Root system This one's a bit of a funny angle here I'm going to cut it and redirected Get right back here Something I've grown a bit of A bit more of a radial pattern there I Hope You can see all this Probably not Probably going too high there now There's a route here that kind of is a Wrapping root I've got to get rid of That Wrapping around the trunk Strangler you don't want those I think I'm getting fairly close I'm debating whether I should take that One right off It's too thick Okay let's go underneath now There's a root Going right across the bottom of the Root base Between it flat on the bottom You might be saying this is quite a Severe reduction Nigel

Yes it is I thought I would have a better root System on this tree Apparently not Okay That is root pruned Am I too heavy here still Yes I am That's better It's a good looking root system now Okay I think I'm ready to plant the trees Before I plant the main tree I'm Wondering if I should reduce it in Height also It's getting to be quite a large tree I think the root base looks pretty good From almost any angle so I don't really I'm not limited to a specific front I could you know take it back to here Should be a nice sight I think I will so I'm going to cut the top of the tree off Yeah oh two Yes I'm going to cut the top of the tree Off to Right here Okay big big cut coming up Here I go Always cutting you know a flat cut on These Birch So there's another cutting I can try and Root and then I'll just take this Apex Back a bit here

Okay Drastic work to The Birches today I'll put the Birch in water until I've Got the pot all ready for planting So this pot uh I saw Jay from Blue Jay bolts I bought One of these pots And he got it at Kim's nature where Wayne sells his pots and I said oh if You're up that way and you see one like This If you could buy one for me so Jay did So that was a nice of Jay to get me this Pot So I'll get drainage screens in here Base layover soil and then we're ready For planting Kind of level it up a bit And then I can try the trees out in the pot So here are the two trees You know severe reduction on them today Severe root pruning So I'm putting two trees in the pot and I need to match you can see there's a Curvature to each tree this one curves Up One Direction so does the seedling it Has a curve from the root base So I would say generally you would want Those curves to match so right now They're both curving in the same Direction You don't want Some curving towards each other like

That Or I you could have them curving away From each other Sort of like that But I find when they curve away from Each other it's like Gives me the feeling that the trees are Trying to get away from each other that They're not happy with each other so I Kind of like them curving the same Direction it gives them a wind-blown Feel so I think this will be the front Of both trees just like that So I'll plant the larger tree in the Front and the other one slightly behind So here I go I'll place them in the pot Well they don't look together It looks like one tree over here and one Tree over there you've got to make them Look like a unit so I have to get them Closer together And you can actually overlap The Roots Let me show you from above Here's a look at the two root bases you Know quite far apart so what you can do Is you can overlap them so the one rib Base Goes here and the other one on top like That and the two root base will become Intertwined in the future And you repot it as one tree So there's a look getting the trees Closer together So now I'll have a look and see how the

Composition looks from the distance So there's a look at the composition now And you can see the two trees Look a little bit connected they look Closer together but the whole planting Is too far to the left it's got all the Space in the pot here that looks like I'm not using it much so I think I'm going to move the entire Planting a little pity The other thing I can do to get these Trees tighter together is you can rotate Them so If I rotate it more This one goes more to the background This one more to the foreground and it Closes that distance between the two Trees So now you can see there Definitely look connected to each other It doesn't look like Two trees plopped in a pot just randomly So I think that composition is looking Better Now when you plant two trees close Together like this It starts you've got to integrate them The branches on them you can't have a Branch in the smaller tree growing Towards the larger tree so the two trees Will get styled together they're Branch Placement and that So you basically have Like one top to the composition with two

Trunks you won't style each tree to be a Separate tree like a forest planting They'll be styled as one kind of unit Or one composition So I think it's getting better I I'm Going to try and get My trees even closer If that's possible Like that See that makes the trees even more Connected now When they're closer together at the base So I think that's going to be a good Composition there I could come Just a little bit more Central to the Pot here I just noticed by rotating this main Tree like that I've got a branch coming Out the front now Which isn't looking so hot I need to I think my front Yeah my front got turned around here There's the angle And the angle of this one is like that More like That is better Yeah I don't know how they got so Messed up there but let's have a look at That from the distance Before we do that let's look at the root Base here so you can see the big tree The little tree and how close they are

How the root bases are intertwined And how in the future you know they'll Grow into a single tree with twin trunks Here's a look at the composition again Yeah I think once I get the angles of The trees better I think that'll look Quite nice I may in the future have to remove this Branch or Directed more out the back to give the Other ceiling more room than that spot I could do that now I guess I don't think it would hurt to take that Branch off entirely actually So I'll do that I'll uh take it off Give this Little Seedling a bit of room So here I go Like that Now the seedling has room to grow up Beside the main tree here it gets its Own light here the main tree gets its Own light here Before I add my bolt size soil I'm just Going to comb these roots out Try and get them As radial as possible That's actually pretty good Okay I can begin adding soil now You know a lot of people would think you Know why are you fussing with The positioning of these seedlings so Much You know just let them grow and Worry about the composition later on but

When you're fusing the two trees Together like this Uh it's important because you don't get A second chance it's it you can still Separate the tree in the future but it Would be very very hard So that's why I'm getting this Composition Looking good now and then it'll just get Better and better into the future Rather than the other way around So now I'm going to adjust the angles of The trees So I think I don't want them parallel that would Look terrible So I guess right how they are is pretty Good So I'm going to work the soil into the Roots now Trying you can see how they're bouncing Around that's because there's air Pockets under the roots Once you get that soil worked in they Stop bouncing around Settle in and become firm in the pot All right here goes more soil So I'm bringing it up to the base of the The root base where it begins to flare Out so I'm making sure all my roots are Safely buried in the soil They'll be time to expose the nice Roots Later on in this tree's life Now is not the time now I want those

Roots to recover and grow And this tree to have a good summer So after care will be critical I'll keep It in the greenhouse here out of the Wind out of the direct sunlight I'll Keep it on the floor of the greenhouse And I'll keep it well watered if you let It dry out your tree can be in a lot of Trouble I didn't know I was going to be making a A twin trunk Birch Planting today But I'm happy with the result I think It's a good use for these Birch Birch You often see them growing in clumps Like this People's Lawns up north In the woods everywhere they they Generally sucker up from the roots and Grown clumps So it's not unusual to see Birches birch trees growing like this It would be probably more unusual to see A single one Okay so that's ready for watering All right here I go fresh rain water Or melted snow water You can see it's draining really really Well the soil Maybe my tools out of the way Water the top of the trees now another Thing you can do is Mist the trees to Keep the leaves kind of moist While they recover

You don't want the leaves drying out and Going crispy or You've probably lost your trees Okay that's good watering Check out all the water coming from here It really flushed all the dust out of The soil too which is important to keep All those nice air spaces open in the Soil Here is a look at the composition now I think it's a big Improvement I think I've taken Two kind of seedlings or you know this One was starting to get a little more Mature and given them a theme uh you Know a twin trunk Birch like this I think it's something that You know the style will go on into the Future I think they're both in a good sized pot Now fresh soil those roots can grow over The summer the trees can grow recover I think They'll have an exciting future ahead Maybe the more important question is How confident am I that these trees are Going to live I think fairly confident uh The Roots Weren't active at all so I definitely Got to the root pruning and repotting in Time before The Roots Began to grow Which is always good Uh I've reduced the top of the trees Not in proportion with the root base but

Definitely took some of that load off The top of the tree so that's going to Help them too And the trees the first tree the smaller One had a very good root base on it the Second one There was a good root base hidden in There amongst all those Twisted roots I kind of exposed it reduced that root Base down but there's still a lot of Root mass in there uh I think it's going to recover fine I Think both trees are going to live into The future and I'm looking forward to Hopefully giving you an update on this Twin trunk birch tree in the future So that's all for today I'm Nigel Saunders thanks for joining me in the Bullseye Zone foreign Foreign

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