Archive for the ‘Re-potting’ Category

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.

It has been a while since I posted anything, for which I’m sorry but I have busy as always.

A while ago we were cleaning up the white pines on the nursery. This entailed removing old needles from 2 years ago on weaker/not so dense tree’s. These could be easily pulled gently with your hands, as they were turning yellow and going to fall in a while. The reason for doing this was to take them off before they turn brown, just to keep them looking nice.
On stronger/very dense tree’s we were cutting needles from two years ago and cutting the previous years needles. The reasoning behind this is to let some light in into the inner branches/thin them out. By cutting the previous years needles instead of pulling, it means that any cluster of needles with a bud in it that will potentially grow, will hold, the others will fall off, thus preserving any potential buds.

The two tree’s here, were just case of pulling the old needles from two years ago.

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It is a simple process but, just to clarify here’s some examples of what I did.

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A shoot untouched.

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The same shoot after needle removal.

Some of the shoots had old needles and hadn’t grown. The shoots of these that the needles came off easily, I cut off as they were going to die anyway.

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This was the tree after it’s clean up.

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This is the second pine, with the same process.

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Whilst I was working on it Oyakata took a look at and chopped off about three branches, which saved me some work and he explained how he wanted to change the angle of the tree making it an informal upright instead of cascade. The branches were too long as it was.

I made some jin’s were they were cut off.

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The tree after.

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A little while later Oyakata re-potted the tree and used the existing wiring to re-style the tree.

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The tree was then exhibited at the recent Nagoya castle show and was sold their to collector Kito-San.

Thanks for reading.

In between preparing one of my tree’s for the up and coming shohin show I mixed up some smaller grade substrate for re-potting some of my shohin. The substrate I’ve made is based on a mix that my mentor formalized a few years ago or more.
I know in japan that pure akadama is use a lot and there are several people here that use it as well. Personally I don’t think that it’s the best substrate to use here in the UK because our weather is very different from Japan’s. We generally have a lot wetter winter and harder frosts. This leads to akadama breaking down quickly and in the space of 2-3 years it’s a complete mush. The trees soon starts to go down hill and is in dire need of a re-pot. If I were to keep all my trees under cover and keep them on the dry side I think pure akadama would be ok. I’m unfortunately not in that position.
The mix contains small grade akadama, sharp horticultural grit, coarse sand, peat, small washed grade pumice, round Cornish grit, heat-treated fine bark and kyodama (a man-made absorbent grit supplied by Kyoto bonsai here in the UK).

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I’m please with the mix and I think my tree’s should do well in it.