Large Bonsai Training Table
This is a view of our large bonsai training table. Welker’s Grove Nursery produces hundreds of landscape trees each year for sale to retail nurseries. Our landscape trees have to be tall and symmetrical to show well for retail sales. There is the occasional tree in our grow yards that does not grow tall but does grow wide in the trunk. These dwarf trees are not suitable for landscape trees but are useful for bonsai. The trick is to get the 15 inches tall by 15 inches in diameter root-ball to fit into a shallow pot without killing the tree. The bottom of the root-ball is removed with a sharp knife during the dormancy period. The shortened root-balls are then planted in the specially constructed wooden shallow planter boxes.
The top of the tree is then heavily pruned to equal the loss of roots being careful to leave enough new foliage to nourish the tree. The specially constructed boxes will contain a root-ball of 4 inches in height. You can see that, in these newly planted bonsais, the root-balls extend about 4 inches above the rim of the boxes. That excess material will be removed during the next dormancy. The time required to turn the dwarf landscape trees into bonsai trees is measured in years. Joe has to be confident that the tree is properly rooted, healthy, and stable before he will release it for sale. Even though these are bonsais, they are quite large. The world’s largest tree makes the world’s largest bonsai. They will be complete at a height of 3 to 4 feet and have trunk diameters of 5 to 6 inches.