3 years ago, I bought a small forest planting of trident maples. I intended to separate them into individual pots, which I would then grow on to create my own shohin sized material.
The foreground of the first picture shows the saplings sitting on my benches, freshly separated and potted into 5 inch training pots, in the summer of 2012.
In the 2 and a half seasons that have past since the fist picture was taken, most of these trees have done very well. They all are considerably larger than they were at the start and are now ready for their third re-pot.
The next picture shows the three largest trees in the group earlier today. The roots are now filling the 12 inch wide pots and the trees are now ready to be planted into larger growing boxes. The oval pot in the foreground contained all of the saplings in 2012.
The shallow growing boxes are quickly made from any spare timber I have in the garden. Their purpose is to assist in the development of a good nebari by providing plenty of room for the lateral spread of the roots.
The first tree is tied into box which will house the roots for the next few years
2 Done, 8 more to go. The trees will stay in these boxes for a few years until I am happy with the thickness of the trunk and the root spread, at their base. At that point, the tops will be air layered off about 4 inches above the soil level and the work of creating shohin tridents can begin.
At the moment these trees have a thickness of 1 and a half inches at the soil level