Repotting Chinese Quince

While I love the oval Koyo and think it’s a great fit for showtime, it is a bit too small for daily use.

This year, it was reported into a wider, shallower vintage Heian Kouso pot.

Minor root work; simply combed out the very fuzzy roots (which grew up and into the fertilizer cakes used this year), and removed some large downward-facing roots from the bottom.

Fresh soil (akadama and lava 2:1) was worked in, and top-dressed with some small grain akadama.

Since it has started growing already (work done on Feb 10), it will need to be protected from the inevitable sub-freezing nights we will have over the next 3-5 weeks. It is also time to apply lime-sulfur to fight against aphid and cedar-Apple fungus which plagues this tree.

Late Summer Repotting experiment

As an experiment to test the viability of repotting in the summer, when leaves aren’t growing, and roots are, I repotted a Japanese Black Pine, and a Japanese Maple. The pine had been in that pot for a few years, and was building a good head of steam. It did not need to be repotted this year, much less in the summer. The Japanese Maple had been repotted this spring, aggressively root-pruned, and I was surprised how little the roots had grown when I unpotted it.

Just for an added degree of difficulty, here is the almanac of weather for the next couple months following the repotting, done on 8/11/19. Nearly every day was over 90 degrees, all the way until 10/5/19; 55 days over 90, 7 days in the 80s, and even a couple days over 100.

One month later, 9/15/19:

Two months later, 10/6/19:

It’s looking pale, but the buds are still doing ok. Here is a comparison of this pine next to another JBP:

4 months later, December 22…winter hue, or trouble? We have had several nights down in the mid-20s f, and none of the pines received protection.

Mid-March 2020. I’m reasonably confident the tree will live. Buds are swelling, but the color is pale:

Compared to another JBP from the same batch of seeds:

Late May, 2020. The dominant candle has failed, and a few other candles are opening.

Compared to the JBP from the same batch of seeds, which was dug from the ground this spring, and essentially bare-rooted. It is clear to me that March is a safer and healthier time to repot JBP:

Likewise, a Japanese Maple which also didn’t need to be repotted, and was, in fact repotted earlier in the spring of 2019:

Root pruned:

Wired in:

Watered in, 8/11/19:








10/27, new growth is promising:

December 1, After leaf-fall:

In Mid-March 2020, after spending all winter on the bench with other J Maples, I was a bit surprised to find this tree was dead…



Late May, 2020. A few shoots have emerged from the trunk. The top half of the trunk is dead, so I lost 2 sections of trunk which had taper and movement.

Conclusion: I will not be doing August repotting again.

Ginkgo pot selection

Just for fun, thought I’d try a few different pots for this 23-year old ginkgo from seed.

The current pot is a vintage Tokoname pot by Heian Kouso. It’s a good quality pot, fitting, but slightly small, and at times maybe a bit bright.

Left to right, yellow vintage Chinese, namako Tokoname by Shuho, unglazed rectangle Tokoname by Sanpo.

I went with the unglazed pot because I like how the strength compliments the trunk, and the unglazed container is more subdued to contrast with the chunky trunk and increasingly busy branch structure. Additionally, the roots grow remarkably strong each year, and this pot is slightly bigger.

Soil added:


And growing just a couple weeks later: