When trying to grow trees for bonsai we only have a few options. First we can grow them in the ground; this results in the tree growing faster but the roots eventually growing in some undesirable configurations and thicknesses that have to be corrected later. This also leads to having a tap root or constantly removing the reforming tap roots during digs. Second we can grow them in pots; this results in a slower growth rate but more control over the root system. Even with pot grown trees we get circling roots and elongated roots not suited for bonsai. Another contributing factor is using soil not meant for container growing. Despite your views on soil, container growing requires a loose oxygen rich mix to grow plants.
The way in which air-pruning happens is pretty simple. The process is automatic and natural. Think about what happens when the top of a plant is pruned to promote lateral growth. When air-pruning happens, lateral growth of the roots is the result. Air-pruning occurs when a plant’s roots reach the side of the aeration container. In quality aeration containers, the root tip will come in contact with the air and the pruning occurs. This action will cause more roots to grow and the process will occur again and again, filling up the container with roots and root tips.
A few years ago I made some boxes to achieve this but to make them last the materials were expensive and took a while to build what I needed. I found these amazing pots that came out of the UK that solved all the problems that I ran into with the box. The Company Air-Pot was not really sold in America other than on Amazon and they where and still are overpriced.
Air pruning is the best of both worlds and air-pots is the best tool to achieve great results. I decided to bring them into the Bonsai Bardo Store as they are a high quality tool that is used for growing and air layering bonsai trees. They come in an array of sizes some better suited for seedling and developing great nebari on bigger trees. Pond Baskets were great and cheap but they are not reusable and they don’t create the root system that air-pots do. Disposable colanders also offer air pruning but the plastic cannot handle the sun and quickly becomes brittle and breaks. Air-Pots do cost more but are reusable year after year. When a part wears out you can replace just the worn parts making ongoing use cheaper.
Air-Pot ‘s also make a great air layer or ground layering tool for achieving more feeder root branching than traditional methods where new roots tend to elongate and wrap around the bag.
The Superoots Air-Pot is a recyclable, reusable plastic container that actively enhances the quality of the root systems of plants. This revolutionary approach to containerizing plants and trees produces fabulous, non-spiraling root systems that are impossible to develop in any other available container.
Made of recycled HDPE in the UK, the Superoots Air-Pot is circular in shape with a perforated sidewall. There are no flat surfaces due to the inward and outward pointed cones, which eliminates any chance of starting the spiraling process as well as dramatically increases growth rates for container grown plants.
I am very excited to be selling these pots. Almost as excited as I am to finally get to use them and grow better root systems. I am also very excited about exposed root plantings options as these can be cut down to make shorter pots or make much taller thinner pots for a dramatic exposed root piece.
Air-Pot benefits are simply as follows: Eliminates root circling, Reduces growing time in the garden, Increases fruiting and flowering, Simplifies production, Minimizes the need to transplant , Ensures Superior Performance in Extremes of Weather, The Air-Pot is made of recycled HDPE plastic, Reduces the chance for overwatering.