Two years ago I started a number of crabapple from seed. They’re due for some wiring.
Two year-old crabapple seedlings
The variety, Malus sieboldii, or zumi, must like it cold because they have yet to lose more than a few leaves.
Before wiring, I removed the foliage.
After removing the leaves
One tip – I found that the leaves, including the petioles, come of much easier when pulling them backward, or toward the soil, instead of forward.
It’s also a good idea to remove young trees from the pot before wiring as the surface roots are often buried below the surface.
As seen from below
The pot is an Anderson cross-bottom band pot. Cross-bottom bands do a good job of keeping the soil from remaining too wet with the main caveat being that it’s not convenient to remove a single plant from the flat until it’s rooted in. These plants rooted in just fine after one year.
Well rooted-in seedling
I dug down and discovered that the roots emerged from the trunk near the bottom of the pot.
After finding the base of the trunk
I applied some wire and replanted the seedlings in larger Anderson Bands.
Seedlings planted in larger Anderson Bands
I planted the remaining seedlings in 4″ pots. Here’s one that was growing in straight kanuma.
Seedling in kanuma – the roots look great!
After planting in a 4″ pot with regular bonsai soil
The repotted trees were all planted in a mix of roughly 1 part each akadama, pumice and lava, though it appears that kanuma could be an acceptable alternative.
I’ll let these grow freely until the wire starts cutting in, likely sometime next spring. After that, I’ll either re-wire or let the trunks continue to thicken without wire through the growing season.
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