Bonsai Basics: Repotting a Bonsai Tree

Hi in this episode we’re going to be talking about how to repot your bonsai tree. So let’s get started. Okay. The first thing you need to gather are your tools. Okay, so first thing I have is some plastic drainage brush a good shear you’ll, be using this to be cutting your roots and sometimes you’ll hit some dirt.

So thing is your best year just use a decent shear a root cutter. This tree is pretty small, so I don’t expect the risk to be too big, but a good-sized root cutter is good for that wire cutter. This will be used to cut the wire when you’re, using it to fasten the roots and also for cutting wire when you’re bringing the loops to attach the drain, the screens to the pot and we’ve got some 2 millimeter wire here and a root hook as well.

This will be used to loosen the roots and sort of remove the soil. This on the turntable and as you can see, this tree has pretty big root mass we’re going to have to remove about 70 to 80 % of the old soil.

What I’ve got here is a really organic soil, it’s actually a nursery soil, so it’s not the best, but we’re going to switch it to a mix of akadama and lava for its final soil and it’s pot and, as you can see, we have to remove quite A lot we’re essentially trying to fit this tree into this pot, so you can imagine okay, so I’m going to start taking my root up and I’m just going to slowly remove the soil using the root hook, just slowly pull away from the roots.

You don’t want to stab at it and bring all the roots you kind of want to loosen them and pull them away. Essentially. You’Re just trying to get dirt in between fall out, so you’ll be shaking the tree a lot with the Juniper Nana.

You don’t have to worry too much about the roots. It’S a pretty strong tree, I’m like some other Jennifer’s, like the Californian juniper, where you have to be very, very careful of roots, kept change.

The angle on the camera could be a better look at what I’m doing here, as you can see, there’s quite a lot of roots, and I just got slowly kind of work myself here with this river and move all this slow, alright, so just kind of pull Away another trick is sometimes people will go from underneath to get that that root ball in the center and loosen it from underneath that’s a good trick and just turn your tree.

Okay, at this point, you’re going to start seeing the tree pull away. You’Ll see quite a lot roots like this one right here. You see that okay, but I’ve got a very big rig right here. I’Ve got a lot roots over here too, that are not necessary.

The Juniper Nana you can cut you, don’t really have to worry too much with the Nana it’ll. Do fine, so take your root cutter and just cut that root like that: okay detach it that way do that for the other roots.

So I it’s good to have a good root. Cutter makes cutting these roots extremely easy. Okay, so I’ve got the mass most of it removed and we’ll go ahead and put this aside and I’m still not completely done with removing the soil.

So I got to keep on going at it. Okay, as you can see, I’ve removed quite a lot of soil, and now I’ve left with basically just a couple Vita roots, some bigger roots, that if they’re in the way I will cut but we’ll take my old shear.

Now my old chair and I’m will cut some of these feeder roots now. The reason we do this is because you want to promote new roots to grow once it goes into the new Pi, and by doing this, the new roots will sort of spread out from that point where it’s cut so don’t be too scared to cut here.

The feeder roots will grow back and they’ll grow back healthier, which is great for the tree. If you look at the color on some of these roots, you’ll notice that they are rotten already, it’s another good reason to cut the feeder roots, some of the the rotten roots won’t.

Do you any good? So if you cut them and promote a lot of new growth, okay, let’s see if this is gonna fit. Let me clear out this a little bit. Okay looks like I may have to go a bit more, actually know what I think, I’m okay, all right, yeah I’ll go a little bit more, so got ta, be able to get the new soil around all the roots.

So I want to give myself a little bit more space so now that we’ve gotten rid of the soil and cut back the roots. Here’S a good idea of how it’s going to look inside the pot a little bit like that. Now we just need to prepare the pot, so let’s work on the drainage screens.

So if you look on your pot every pot, it’s going to have drainage holes right there, we’re going to want to cut some drainage screens on there. So I’m using my plastic mesh and I’m just going to simply cut it.

Let’S simply cut it right there to the size over. You know, bigger than the actual actual hole and we’ll cut two of them, one for each hole. Okay, those we go just go over. It just like that inside the pot and that’ll keep the soil from falling out.

They also keep any bugs from coming in from the bottom as well. Okay, so we’ll grab my 2 millimeter wire use my wire cutter and cut a small strand. Maybe about this big I’d say that’s about six seven inches: okay, I’m going to create a loop, then we’ll create two loops.

Just like that see. If we can see clearly yeah see it kind of clearly, okay, then I’m going to push them down like this. It was a very simple way of securing your ear drainage screen to your pot. Let’S go look just like that.

You can see that okay, so I’m going to slip that into the drainage screen, just like so now position inside from the bottom, I’m just going to push those outwards and then your drainage screen will stick inside okay and then I’m going to repeat the process with The other one same way as I did the other one pull this out like that, and then this secured to the pot I mean, if you want, you can straighten them out just to look nice, but it’s not necessary and if you want you can cut the Excess here I cut it a little bit longer than I needed, but it’s better than coming up short we’re going to cut some of the excess perfect.

Then my drainage screens are inside the pot. Okay, I’m not done preparing my pot. Yet, though, I’ve got to feed wire through the bomb, because I need to fasten the roots to the pot. The reason we do so is so that the roots don’t loosen when it’s in the pot and sometimes if the roots listen inside the pot that’ll dry out.

The roots – and sometimes you lose your tree that way so I’m going to create two strands of wire. What I’m doing is measuring exactly how long I need the wire to be to sort of fish it through the pot.

So that’s one – and this is two and I’m just going to feed that through the bottom of the pot just like so then kind of like this, I’m kind of drape it along the edges like that, I’m going through the same with this one, the next one I’Ll feed it through through the holes in the drainage screen outside the top of the pot and then essentially what you’re going to end up with is kind of like a like an X like that and you’re going to use these to fasten the roots of the Tree to the pot okay, so now I’m going to go.

Look at my tree and I’ve cut enough roots. Let’S go Finn, they’re really nice, but I’m going to put a little base layer of soil. So what I’m using right here is some lava rock. It’S a little bit higher grade, it’s bigger, and what this will do is create a nice layer on the bottom so that the roots don’t rot and so that the soil is when it breaks down.

It won’t sort of compact in there. It’Ll also provide the tree with very, very good moisture. Sorry, we will provide the tree with very good drainage. Okay, so right now I’ve got the log right there. Okay, I’m ready to position my treat okay! So now we’ll pick my tree up this up a little bit and when I styled this already chose the front of the tree.

It’S going to be this side. This is the side of it, the best and the Bari. Then the biggest root base that you can see also has nice movement and the troop was actually styled for that to be the front.

So this is gonna be the front of the tree right there when you, when you potted it inside the pot, you want to make sure that you have more space in the front than on the back now. The reason for that is just aesthetically.

It’S going to be a little bit more pleasing to the eye, and it’s just going to look much better that way. So when you position it make sure you give a little bit more room in the front than in the back pot.

So, for example, I put this into the pot right here. You go see that there’s a lot more room in the front. You move my fingers a lot more room in the front as opposed to in the back. Okay. Now I’m going to take my mix taking my mix of sort of lava and akadama.

This is the sort that makes I use for my best trees, I’m going to put a little hill in the middle see if you can get a better look here. Okay, so I put a little hill in the middle like so oops, and that way the soil will go right into the middle, the roots.

So when I push this in, I want to push that in a little bit make sure the soil gets all the way inside the middle okay. Then I’m going to check the position of the tree now it looks like I’ve moved a little bit, so sometimes your branches will come out of position.

You’Ll need to rearrange them later. Let me get that position nicely. Just like that, and now I can go ahead and secure the wire at the back of the tree, so that’s not visible I’ll turn it around in a second.

So you can take a look so right there, I’m securing the tree with the wire and I’ve made sure that the roots that the wire was long enough. So that would reach all the way to the end and be able to tie easily.

Now, I’m going to check the position once more before I tighten it. Okay, some of these feeder roots on the top are going to get cut after it’s all done shut in a little bit more. That looks good to me so now we’ll take some pliers and secure this.

I’M going to secure this really well that way the roots won’t shake or shift and I’ll give the tree the best chance of being healthy. Okay. So I’m going to tighten the wire okay as the wire gets a little bit long and cut it back and then tighten again okay.

So now it’s position in there really well and it’s secure if I were to lift up on the streets, go bring the pot with it. Okay, it’s in the position that I want it when choosing the pot. Typically, you want to choose a pot, that’s about 80 % of them, the width of the foliage, so if this is 100 %, the pot width is about 80 %.

That sort of gives its best balance. So this pot is actually pretty ideal for this tree. Okay, okay, that looks pretty good so now we’ll take the remaining of the soil and fill the sides. This one I’m using here is a mixture of akadama and lava.

The lava creates great drainage because of the pores inside of the, because the pores that the lava has and the akadama is great for retaining moisture and also provide some nutrients as well. Okay, so then we’ll take my repotting stick right here and then we’ll search for air pockets, but air pockets you’ll want to make sure you get rid of all of them, because if there are air pockets left in your soil between the roots, the roots will dry Out that location and you could possibly lose the tree so go ahead and take your your potting stick and make sure you find all the air pockets there’s quite a lot, as I’m working in here, you’ll notice that the soil is disappearing as I’m shaking it around.

A lot of the soil is going into the side, as you can see mid position that a little bit better so we’ll keep on working in here. Don’T rush this part, but you’ve got air pockets. You might lose the tree so just make sure that you take the time to find all the fill in all the gaps in the soil and then add more mix as you need it.

Okay, so well continue to do this now. You’Ll notice that the tree wool as you do this the tree will get more and more stable inside the pot as well right now, it’s shaking a little bit but that’ll go away once I get this all completely stabilized.

Okay, I’m getting close to finishing here at the end and just use the the stick to push the sides downwards, and what this will do is will it’ll push the soil in place, the middle and sort of tight to the tree inside the pot.

Okay, now no you’re done if you try to shake your tree and it doesn’t move it off. Okay. So now I’ve got a few feet of roots on the top, so go ahead and cut those you don’t want to see them. So let’s cut them and the last step is to water, your tree, okay, so when you water it just water, the whole thing you can.

You know it’s good, you don’t have to water. The foliage, if you don’t want but make sure you thoroughly douse all the soil in here to make sure it runs, is all any any of the fines. It rinses all that out any of the dust rinse it rinse all out down the bottom and just watch as it drains down the bottom, and you can go ahead and and water it.

For you know, maybe I usually do about thirty seconds and that you know maybe I’ll stop in between and I’ll start again and make a few passes at it, but that’ll usually completely rinse the tree out. So I will be right back right after I water this.

Okay, so I just got back from watering the tree, some of us all washed away. That’S okay! I’Ll put some more on the top later I’ll. Also remove some of these feeder, which still looks like when I watered it.

Some of them came out a little bit. So we’ll just cut those off, but, as you can see, there’s a repotted bonsai tree. So those are the steps for repotting your bonsai tree, as you can see, it came up, came out, okay, after that, just water, as you would normally make a few passes at it.

Now that is in the good soil. It’S probably going to be extremely well. So thanks for watching and subscribe, if you’d like to see some more thanks,

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