This cultivar, ‘hachi gen’ is on its own roots, and is a flaky bark corker, as contrasted with the winged corkers. These two facts make creeping moss a mortal enemy.
So with an hour to sit with the patient mindset necessary for this tedious chore, I and my tweezers got to work on this Shohin-sized JBP.
And after the work:
Clean, but not tidy. I don’t do summer candle-cutting on this tree, because it has never responded with a reliable and balanced second flush of growth. So, instead, I remove some of the new long needles, and over the winter, lightly prune to open it up a bit.
Here it is with some of the new linger needles pulled:
The pot, Suzuki Syuzan. A little gem. Stamped on the front, back, and bottom.
I have had this tree for close to 20 years now, and this is probably the smallest it’s ever been. Deciding to make it into a “sumo” Shohin later meant challenges to finding a suitable pot because the base had gotten wide. It’s been in this 12″ wide Ino pot for the last few years, which is visually too big. Most Shohin pots are around 6″, which are too small. Fortunately, I found this Ikkou at 7 3/8″, that I thought would work.
The current planting:
I only had to remove a little from the heavy roots to make it work, and I tried to leave some live feeder roots on each cut to prevent dieback.
I also potted it a little deeper this time to encourage fine roots. Over time I can raise the planting depth and expose more flare. For now, here is the result.