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After the initial pruning and shaping, the tree is ready for planting in its container, which has been selected carefully to frame it. The drainage holes in the bottom of the pot are covered with plastic screen to prevent the soil from falling through. But before the soil is put in, several lengths of copper wire are looped U-shape through the drainage holes with both ends sticking up in the pot. They will eventually hold the plant in its place in the container. If the pot is small and has only one hole, the wire can be first looped around a stick slightly larger than the hole. Then the bottom is covered to a shallow depth with very coarse sifted soil to provide good drainage. The main potting soil, which is also sifted, is spread over this - and the container is ready for the tree.
Root pruning is necessary to compensate for the pruning in the upper parts of the plant and to encourage growth of fine, fibrous roots. Remove one third of the soil from the root ball with a blunt tool. Cut back the long, loose roots, but retain fine rootlets that grow out of large roots near the trunk; they will sustain the plant while the new roots form.
Place the tree in its container, and settle it into place with a twisting motion. Pull the wire around the root ball, and twist it tightly until the tree is held firmly in position. Cut off excess wire, and
push the ends into the soil. Now fill in potting soil around the ball of roots so that no air spaces are left. After the potting soil has settled, any excess may be brushed away and sifted topsoil sprinkled over the entire surface.
A cover of moss is grown on the topsoil to imitate nature and make the tree look more aged; it also serves the very practical purpose of preventing the soil in the container from being washed out during watering. Fresh, wet mosses and lichens give the grower the chance to arrange a natural underplanting with different shades and textures which enhance the composition. However, dried, powdered moss can also be used. It is sprinkled on and then pressed down with a small trowel.
Now that the tree has been planted, it should be watered by placing the container in a basin and spraying from the top with a fine garden spray. Be sure that enough water is given so that it flows from the drainage holes. The bonsai should be placed in a protected spot away from wind and strong sun for a period of three weeks until new growth begins to appear. The tree may then be placed in the sunshine and treated as any other.