Japanese Maple repotting

This is about the 13th annual repotting for this one. It can’t make it two years between, but last year, I went easy on it due to a new graft that I didn’t want to ruin after 2 years of growing out the scion. That meant this years work would take some time. In fact, it took some time to just get it out of the pot!

Best to prepare the pot first, with a single course of medium akadama:

Then, through several rounds of combing out, spraying out, and cutting back, the roots started to become orderly:

Notice how it’s been planted deeper than would show off the widening base? The reason is to continue the widening, which happens underground. So, once a year I get to admire the progress…for now. Eventually it will be above grade.

Flip it over, and remove anything growing downward out of the base and, heavy roots, and swelling. This helps widen the base and also allows planting into a shallower pot.

With a new haircut, and roots arranged radially, it was wired back into the pot for another year:

And ready for the year…

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A little Shohin trimming

First up, just after leaf-fall in early December, a mini Japanese Maple clump in an Ikkou pot, Before:

After:

Next, Crabapple in a Roy Minerai pot, Before:

After:

Night shots:

And, repotted…due to an early warm snap. The maple was planted into a loud yellow Koyo this time around.

And this crab was reduced from a pot-bound 1-gal can last spring, and quickly filled the new Shohin pot in a year. So after another root reduction, it fit nicely back into this Roy Minerai pot:

Winter pruning of a Chishio Japanese Maple

Continuing to develop density and fighting it from becoming too leggy is a challenge. Before:

In March, I made a thread graft through the trunk to replace the second branch on the left (highlighted in yellow; the thread graft is green):

From various angles, it is apparent why it needs to go:

So, with the thread graft well underway, the offending branch can be removed.

Not exactly a twig…

And after a little wiring, and some light pruning, it is done for the winter. Next spring, I will wire a little movement into the thread grafted branch, and hopefully it will be ready to separate by mid summer.

For fun, here is a shot from 11 years earlier, almost to the day.