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
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.
Now, to the repotting. This one always takes a while because I’m working to improve the nebari a little at a time.
Confirming the Suishoen is the same size as the Yamaaki…
This should look nice when those bright red leaves emerge. Not a bad 4th pot.
So in early November I checked the tree and saw the lower wire digging into the trunk slightly. This indicated it was time to remove it to reduce damage to the lower trunk.
A shot back to March before and after the bend:
And fast-forward through 7.5 months of uninhibited growth:
The tree grew well, and I probably should have checked this a little sooner.
And after the hardware was removed. I can see changing the planting angle to get something more dramatic out of the tree.
I took this tree to Bjorn’s in mid-November to start working on it. Since the cultivar is rare, I wanted to leave long runners in place to use for cuttings in the spring…an added degree of difficulty. we agreed on this front:
Drew some Shari locations, and did a little light carving to add the appearance of movement. This is the front:
I’ll share thoughts on the growth characteristics of the Kiyozuru after 2 growing seasons in an upcoming post. What I can share so far is that I have been unsuccessful in getting any cuttings to survive, where Itoigawa cuttings are nearly automatic. This may contribute to the rarity of the cultivar.