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Posts by Brian VF

2019 ginkgo repot

I started this from seed in 1997, just a few years after I started the hobby. It’s definitely the tree that I’ve owned for the longest time, and I have been determined to train it only by pruning…no wiring.

The base is fattening up nicely, and I’ve repotted every year since it was dug from the ground around 2013. Each year the vigor has settled down a little more. For the first few years, the roots had pushed the tree up nearly twice the height of the original planting position.

Here is the starting point this year:

Unpotted

Combed out…

Reduced…

Combed out again, and any downward-growing roots were also removed.

Then roots combed outward…

Secured into the pot…

Akadama and lava worked in…

Watered in…

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2019 Prunus Mume vs Japanese Maple repot

I was taught to go easy on Ume roots, and once the large roots are reduced to the point where the tree can sit comfortably in the pot, look at repotting as a soil change. This s quite the opposite of Japanese Maple repots, where each root should be carefully arranged to create the spreading nebari. How does it look? Here are shots of this year’s Ume repot.

Combed out:

Placed back in the 14″ Sam Miller pot, new soil added, straight akadama:

Watered in.

Here is the Japanese Maple repot.

Prepare the pot, an 18.5″ wide, 2″ deep Yamaaki.

It took 30 minutes to get the soil combed out and the roots exposed to this point:

Once they’re combed out to this point, start to remove roots from the bottom, which are growing down or emerging from the bottom. This is absolutely essential to developing the spreading nebari becoming visible from above. Then, using the root hook, comb all remaining roots outward from the center:

View from above:

Then, trim all the way around the perimeter:

Finally, the heavy roots extending at the 6:00 position are shortened:

The tree is positioned back into the pot carefully, and the planting depth is decreased just a little, around 1/8″ to begin exposing a little more of the widening base. This will be evident by the dark ring showing just above the soil surface when repotting is complete. Over time, I will allow this to show more and more. However, doing this too soon will stall out the desirable widening.

Wired in tightly:

All akadama soil used, working into the roots carefully and thoroughly with a chopstick.

Watered in:

Chopped sphagnum moss added to the soil surface to retain a little moisture:

And a few days later…

Corkbark JBP, ‘Hachi-gen’

I’ve had problems with root pests in this tree over the years. Here is a post showing the last round of problems. This year it was time to repot, and I thought I’d check for any signs of trouble while I had it out of the pot.

Guess what? Signs of trouble. Not sure if they are aphids or nymph of something else, but quite a few of the creepy buggers started moving when I set it down onto a white sheet. They’re hard to photograph, but circled below.

So I dunked the tree in a Malathion soak for 30 minutes and cleaned up the pot.

Checking again, and finding no creepy crawlies…

I settled it into the pot, with a coarser mix of pumice, lava, and akadama.

And watered it in.