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Repotting the Hawthorn

This hawthorn is repotted almost every year. As a collected tree, the nebari is decent, but requires continuous work to begin to show that quiet age. In ’10, I whacked back several of the heavy roots in an attempt make the base shallower, start to chase some root ramification closer to the trunk, and develop a more mature base.


Packed with sphagnum moss:


Skip ahead three years and 2 repottings; let’s pop the tree out of the pot and see how things are coming along.

Comb through and reduce the first course of roots. The growth can be surprising in just one year!




The cream oval was 10 cm deep, and it has been worked down into a 6 cm pot over the last three transplantings, though 6cm is just a touch too shallow. But, that is success already! With each transplanting, it is important to flip the tree over and remove all downward-facing roots, and as much wood as possible from the underside. Constantly reducing the wood under the trunk creates tremendous flare over time; and encourages the roots to grow radially.


The heavy roots have callused, and have developed some fine roots.

As they begin to thicken, I selectively prune and carve the transition to make it a little smoother. With time, chaos becomes order.

Prepare the pot:
Plastic canvas as screen over the drain holes, and run tie-down wires:

Coarse drain layer:

Place the tree. Double check that the pot’s best front is forward. Check planting depth, plumb, and secure it into the pot:

Work in new soil (here, akadama and lava 2:1). Water well and crumble sphagnum moss over the soil to help retain moisture for the next few weeks. I’m out at the moment, so I replaced the green moss.


One Comment Post a comment
  1. ron heinen #

    excellent tutorial, as usual. Thanks, rh

    March 9, 2013

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