That time again..

Posted: April 6, 2014 in Aichi-en tree's, Bonsai, Japan, Re-potting, Tree maintenance
Tags: , , ,

It will come to no surprise to here that we have been very busy re-potting recently, as many people have been.
The other day we were finishing some of the last deciduous, of which included this (on the large side) Japanese Seigen maple.

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The tree was originally was bought by Oyakata’s farther and he believes that it probably was started as a garden tree. It’s age is somewhere in the region of 100-150 years old.

It was a standard practice re-pot but, with a few extra things to address.

It’s a pain to move being big, heavy and long sweeping branches but, just about doable with two super deshi!

First job after moving it was for Oyakata to trim back the root grafts.

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Next we cut round the outside to get it out of the pot.

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The tree out of the pot

The tree out of the pot

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The bottom substrate was raked away and all roots growing down were cut.

Don't worry, I did go and help hold after I took the picture.

Don’t worry, I did go and help hold after I took the picture.

The tree with the bottom done.

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Next we started on the surface, removing substrate from the outside and trimming the roots back.

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Me trying to avoid getting a face full of akadama, whilst Oyakata used the air compressor.

Me trying to avoid getting a face full of akadama, whilst Oyakata used the air compressor.

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Cutting back thick roots

Cutting back thick roots

Oyakata used the next moment to address some of the root grafts which were done 4-5 years ago.

Here the graft had taken but the union still could be better so Oyakata cut in-between them hoping that the clauses will form both sides and join together better.

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This is a graft that didn’t take so, bark was cut away on both the tree and the sapling an it was attached with a screw to the side of it.

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After they were sealed with some wound sealant.

Pot ready.

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Oyakata said there was no need to secure it in the pot so, we didn’t use any wires to tie it down. We aren’t going to be moving it for quite a while.

Next a drainage layer and some substrate was added to the pot.

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Tree back in the pot and Oyakata making some fine adjustments, to get it in the right position.

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Filling in with substrate and chopstick round, to fill any gaps round the roots.

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Finally a darn good watering.

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The tree done, at least for a couple of years.

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After that me, Juan-San and Oyakata did the Ume which featured in the CBC post.

Just two, after shots of this one as I didn’t want to repeat myself but, it was nice to re-pot a tree with such heritage at Aichi-en.

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Probably best to be weary if you ever see these two suspicious looking characters…

Thanks for reading.

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Comments
  1. Wonderful job but what was the purpose of the air compressor?

  2. John Trott says:

    Good photo’s
    Interesting to see repotting a maple so full in leaf, in the UK we tend to only repot when buds are just opening. Is this common practice
    Continue with the info and photos…..well done
    Cheers
    John

    • Thanks John. I wouldn’t say it’s the most ideal time to do it but, it doesn’t seem to bother the tree much, here at least. If we did a harder re-pot and completely cleaned the tree out at this time it wouldn’t be such a good idea. Though we have done it here before on large boke/Japanese quince (last year). Oyakata washed the roots completely on it (one I was re-potting). At this point it was in full leaf, extending and I cut it back at the time. The leaves slumped a few days later and it was put in the shade for the rest of the year but, it’s completely fine now. I’m thinking now that sometimes doing nothing can be more dangerous than a late re-potting.

  3. shah786786 says:

    That’s a big tree john how long did it take to repot. seigen is one of my favourite bonsai love the the colours
    Of the leaves.

  4. ofergru says:

    Nice post John! Massive tree – good thing Juan’s been eating well lately 🙂

  5. dave.G says:

    Great post,thank you for taking the time and effort the photos were super,its very interesting to see what you have been working on.
    all the best from a not so sunny shepton mallet.

  6. Marija says:

    What is that tree at last two photos? Prunus? Looks great!!!

    • Yes it’s a prunus mume/japanese flowering apricot. This tree is 1 of 1,000 that were planted in 1896 by Oyakata’s great grandfather when he started Aichi-en nursery and is the only remaining one here.

  7. Nice job John (and Juan) . Good to see a relatively soft repot of an old momiji just coming into leaf, and the use of compressed air to clear away old substrate. Interesting pot too 🙂

  8. backcountrydan says:

    Beautiful tree! If you get a chance, please share a few more pictures as the tree continues to full leaf.

  9. Chián says:

    I have just discovered your blog, I like much, I will follow it

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