This very well rendered drawing by Peter Adams is from his book ‘Bonsai with Japanese Maples.’ It appears in a section called ‘Creating Raft Trees’ and on the back cover of the book. Whether or not this drawing comes from a tree in Peter’s collection or is just from his imagination, we can’t say. But one thing we do know; a pot that big (I imagine it to be at least 40 inches) will most likely set you back several hundred dollars.
Rafting in Peter’s own words
The raft method… is formed by laying a tree on its side and encouraging it to root along the recumbent trunk. The branches on the underside of the old trunk are removed to facilitate it lying comfortably in the new posture. Other branches are left and are developed into trees.
Or better still, with his drawings
I think the drawings are more or less self explanatory, depending on your experience and native intelligence (no insult intended).
We’re just here to whet your appetite
If you’d like more detail, try the book. Or lacking that, there’s always research.
You can use a box while roots are developed along the trunk, and if you can’t afford a suitable pot, you can always leave it there.
The early steps: top to bottom. Notice how the upper limbs are wired to form interesting trunk shapes and how the lower limbs are removed before potting.
Interested in Japanese Maples?
Try the Pocket Guide to Japanese Maples. It is thoroughly excellent and a great value at $19.95.