Repot a Japanese black pine

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Repot a Japanese black pine

I wanted to post an example of repoting a tree into a two hole pot – my small pine is a good candidate. Here is the rootball after removing it from the pot.

Before root-work – one year of growth

I was conservative with the root-work as I had yet to determine which pot would be best for the tree. I ended up with removing almost half of what you see below.

After the root work

I finally selected a 2 hole pot for the tree. Wiring a 2 hole pot is very simple. After securing the screens, I placed two wires through the edge of the drainage holes. Depending on the location of the holes, measuring tie-down wires for 2 hole pots is similar to measuring them for 4 hole pots. I begin by measuring the sum of two long sides and one short side.

Wired pot from below

Wired pot from above

It took some time to get the rootball to fit into the pot. In lieu of a full drainage layer, I placed a few tablespoons of pumice over each drainage hole, covered the bottom of the pot with a thin layer of bonsai soil, and left a small mound in the center of the pot.

When I set the tree, a root in back pushed the trunk to the front of the pot. To keep the tree centered, we added a little soil along the front of the pot and secured that side firstly.

Securing the front

The same thing I did for the back of the tree. The first step is connecting the two ends of the wire by hand. Once the connection is made, the wires are tightened with pliers.

Securing the back

Tightening the wire with pliers

You will notice that the wires are connected off-center. Securing the wires over a root helps to keep the tree snug in the pot. It also prevents over tightening the wires. When the connection is floating it is harder to tell when to stop tightening the wires.

You will also notice the tails of the wires are somewhat long. Because the holes on the bottom are fairly close together and the rootball is small, I could have saved wire by cutting shorter tie-wires

Tree secured

After securing the tree, I always like to check to make sure the tree didn’t shift in the pot while I tightened the wires. If it has moved, it is much easier to correct before filling the pot with soil.

Repotting complete

The tree has gone outisde. Once the soil was added and the tree watered, I finished the surface of the soil with moss.


Post a Comment