The below work was completed on January 1, 2011.
I didn’t want to use a soiless mix on this “tree,” as I wanted more water rentention for a couple reasons. First, the clay pot was rather small, and with 50 or so saplings growing in there, I wanted to make sure there was enough moisture to last a while after watering. I also wanted to place the tree in direct sunlight to accelerate growth and fusing, and in Southern California this could cook trees in soiless mix.
I placed the “tree” on a mound of soil and then raised the level around it.
So here it is, with a 2011 New Year’s resolution to grow and fuse: