2022 grafting and repotting of the ‘Chishio Improved’ Japanese Maple

As a creature of habit, I tend to stick with things that work. I really worked hard to score this light blue Yamaaki pot years ago, and think it’s a great fit for the tree…probably will continue to be for years to come. But I’ve been really bored with my collection lately and decided to shake things up quite a bit. So far, in normal repotting conditions, I’ve repotted trees into different containers a little over half the time this year.

This tree has been in only 3 different pots since about 2005

2006, Houtoku pot purchased at the monastery
2012, Yamafusa pot, also from the monastery
2018, Yamaaki bought from Yorozu-en a few years prior.

Bringing us to current.

In late winter, I added some thread grafts. The tree is losing vigor and needs to have new growth pushed back closer to the trunk. Either through hard pruning or some strategic grafting.

See the long shoots allowed to grow last year?
Drilled hole
Threaded through
Sealed
Second graft
Second one sealed
Finished

Now, to the repotting. This one always takes a while because I’m working to improve the nebari a little at a time.

Unpotted

Confirming the Suishoen is the same size as the Yamaaki…

The underside needs to be cleaned of all these new and crossing roots so the base can rest on the bottom of the pot.
Small roots removed from the underside, leaving fine roots around the edge.
Settled into the pot, pruned to a good fit.
As luck as it, the backside of the nebari is better than the front!
Soil added, watered and topped with a layer of chopped sphagnum.

This should look nice when those bright red leaves emerge. Not a bad 4th pot.

A few weeks later and the characteristic bright red leaves are covering the tree.

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