Large Maple Groundlayer

A couple of months ago I managed to have a look at the new roots growing on this very large Japanese Maple garden tree that I had ground layered two years ago here.


 autumn 2017


March 2018


Evidence of new roots


Wooden box removed and rootball undercut



Plenty of new root beginning to thicken.  These were spread and left to extend and thicken.


No new roots on this side.  Older thicker roots were trimmed around the whole tree.


The bare side was cut again and pasted with rooting hormone.  Tree replanted with free draining soil mix and covered.


Back in the flower bed for another two years.

Amur Maples Root Pruning

These hardwood cuttings are a few years old now and as usual are first to bud out.  Mixed results when inspecting the roots for each tree.  The first one was growing in a plant pot.


360 root spread



Long, thick roots shortened.



Ready to go in the ground

The next tree was less impressive and has never really flourished even though it has been in the ground since rooting as a cutting.


Before work – great lower trunk



Before pruning – a lot of awkwardly growing roots.


After – not much good left! All one sided.


In the ground with a tourniquet



Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) root prune

Four  years ago I took a hardwood cutting from Dawn Redwood pre bonsai  in the hope of obtaining better material for training as bonsai.  The cutting took root in the ground and after one year I planted in a pot then after another year into a shallow seed tray with a free draining mix.  Two years on and not many branches have formed but the roots have been busy, in fact the root mass had been pushed up so that it was exposed.  Some extra care over the winter and the buds have been swelling – time for a root check.


redwood cutting 2011


may 12

3 cuttin oct 12

oct 12

5 sep 13

sep 13

6 sep 13

sep 13


March 2015


Packed roots

I removed a lot of the thicker roots that you can see encircling the root mass.  It was already pretty shallow because of the seed tray so I didn’t need to remove much from the bottom or surface.


View 1


view 2


view 3

Plenty of fine root was left and I discovered fantastic nebari, consisting of four main, thick roots and lots of other smaller ones between.  I could take any of the above photos as a front for the future tree but I think it’ll depend on the branching which is yet to develop.  I trimmed the height of the tree and hopefully this will promote branching as up to now I have just let the leader grow without pruning as I’m aiming for a formal upright image as it would be found in the wild.  The unsuitable surface roots were trimmed off, thicker roots were shortened considerably and the tree placed in a growing bed to help thicken the trunk and grow branches.  Because it grew so strongly over the last two years I may inspect the root ball each year from now on as I don’t want extra roots growing over or spoiling the covered nebari.  If anyone has any tips regarding Dawn Redwoods, I’d love to hear them!