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.
Placed back in the 14″ Sam Miller pot, new soil added, straight akadama:
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.
Chopped sphagnum moss added to the soil surface to retain a little moisture:
And a few days later…