Maple pre-bonsai from nursery - how to repot

I purchased 8 dwarf maples from a nursery in northern California. They are 1-gallon size. The nursery grew them in a mix that included lots of shredded redwood and they arrived with the root ball (sans pot) wrapped in plastic.

I would like to grow them on to sell at a future club show, but I’m not sure what type of pot and medium to use. If they were for myself, I would put them in a large Anderson flat, potted in a mixture of bark, lava, garden soil and some bonsai mix, so that the trunks could enlarge. I don’t have enough flats to do this, though. I think it is too soon to put them in a bonsai pot with akadama. Should I find large shallow pots, put them in growing boxes, or something else?

The grower recommends planting them in a bark heavy growing medium, but I’m not sure this is the best strategy.

Thanks in advance,

I grow similar sized maples for further development in about 8" (20 cm) diameter plastic bulb pans using a mix of sieved bark and pumice with some added manure mix. The bulb pans are a bit larger volume than the 1 gallon pots, but about 1/2 the depth.

Thanks, Marty. I’m not sure if I can find bulb pans, but maybe there is something similar locally.

Cutting down larger nursery pots and custom wooden boxes also work well. 1/6 nominal fence boards are a good source for boxes.

I have no affiliation but this could be a low investment choice of you didn’t want to build boxes

The HC Companies 12 Inch Round Plastic Classic Plant Saucer - Indoor Outdoor Plant Trays for Pots - 12.5"x12.5"x2.13" Slate Blue

For growing out maples I have been using coarse perlite and a good potting soil like Fox Farms and use these plastic pots similar to bulb pots which range from 8” to 14” with a height of 3-5”. They come in a ten pack

Both the bowls and the saucers look good. I use a series saucers like these to grow some of my maples once I have started to develop the spreading root system needed for a good nebari. The biggest issue is that you have to add drainage holes. I like to melt 1" (2.5 cm) diameter holes in the plastic saucers. You can drill them, but they tend to be a bit brittle and can form cracks starting at the hole.

Those look nice. I’m going to try to make some ceramic unglazed bowls that are that size and shape, but it’s nice to have the Panterra bowls as another option.

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They work pretty well and don’t shatter like terra cotta pots when they blow off the benches! The plastic is durable. I believe I drilled a few extra holes in the bottom for tie downs?