8-MONTH REPORT:  1:10 PROJECT SUMO
By Russ Mann, Journal contributing writer (Kalispell, Montana)

                  Aloha David and hello all, here is an update on my 1:10 Sumo, started about 8 months ago.  It seems to be doing very good,   (David- please give me some input).    I added a 600 watt grow light about 1 month ago, all the plants are responding very good!! The cost for electrical has not been bad at all, SO far!!

                 After moving to the 1:10 Project the care is pretty easy. I set an alarm on my phone for Thursday, that is bonsai day. I am so happy that i have found "True Indoor Bonsai."

                Just unwrapped my "sleepy" Sumo. The roots have developed good, the base seems bigger, with lots of new smaller roots.                  Aloha, Mahalo and thanks again!  Russ "Bonsai" Mann

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                 INTRODUCTION AND COMMENTS BY DAVID.     Russ was one of the first to try the 1:10 Project that features a shallow saucer that is 10 times as wide as it is deep. His original report was published in the May 2013 Journal issue and is posted at www.fukubonsai.com/1a6o.html. Back in May, Russ sent a photo showing a beautiful snow scene so I'm assuming that growing trees in Montana is slow going and you certainly cannot expect to get the kind of growth the Ryan Chang and I get in Hawaii.   

              But I am delighted to see that it is very possible to use the shallow 1:10 Project saucers there and the plant looks great in it!  If the plant was in a more common 2 1/2" to 3" deep bonsai pot, the pot would clearly visually overwhelm the tree! Russ began with a 4LL8-Sumo that had a nice trunk and at the time of potting, he cut all back fairly hard.  Regrowth is not as strong as I would like and with his new stronger light unit in the past month, Russ notices the difference. 

                I'm asking Russ to run some experiments to see the differences in growth that may be possible by moving the plants closer to the light.  This may create an interesting interior decorator concept of lowering the light or raising the plants.  With a stronger amount of light, it may be possible to reduce the number of hours the lights are on if the increased costs becomes noticeable. 

               The looser leaves are typical of lower light but what's interesting are the size of the roots.  In the high resolution photos that Russ sent, it's possible to enlarge the photos to study the roots and I believe that they are only slightly larger than the initial "hair roots" that we get here.

                   Upon brushing some of the more coarse pieces, this is what becomes visible.  Should the roots be protected with foil or will they grow better if they get light?  I don't know!  Russ,  how about  making two partial crumpled foils that will cover about 1/4 of the mound.  Tape one at the top,  leave about 25% of the mound open, then tape another foil at the top and loosely tape both to the bottom.  Let's see what happens.  It may be that the roots will like the light!   If the roots benefit from no foil, by all means let's see if moss will grow.  Look forward to your thoughts on getting more light on the plants and whether the roots like the light and if moss will grow! Is the material firmed up enough so you can water by submersion + using that turkey roaster baster?   ~~~David

Mid-Pacific Bonsai Foundation and Fuku-Bonsai, 2014