Pruning and Repotting My Birds Nest Spruce, Part 2, The Bonsai Zone, March 2023

Here is what I took off the spruce tree Today So you can see the pile of foliage and All the buds that are just ready to Burst so Yeah the tree is definitely vigorous So I've reduced the top of the tree Quite a bit You can see how much foliage I've taken Off so I should be safe to kind of take Quite a bit of the root system off and It'll still support what foliage is left On the tree I've got the spruce on top of my tray so I'm ready to get the tree out of the pot So here I go I'm going to grab it Carefully here actually I'm going to Take away all my Stones first That would be a good first step Take a bit of weight off the root base Here Okay stones are gone okay now I'm ready To get the tree out of the pot so here I Go Just like that so I'm looking to see if The roots are active And maybe just a little bit on the tips I'll show you a close-up of it Here's a look at the roots so Very few Roots have like a white tip This one is just starting there's one Here and a couple here Nothing on the bottom There's my drainage screens I'll take

Those away Yeah so Definitely a good time for repotting This tree the root system is not active Yet So I'll get out my root break and begin Combing out the roots so here I go So these roots are fairly They're fairly fleshy you can see They're kind of thick they're not thin Watery Loop wiry roots They're a little more fleshy than like Use or Um Larch So you have to be fairly careful when You're combing them out I'd say they're a little more delicate This tree was started oh there's some Active Roots there see that Just starting to get active this tree Was started from Nursery stock over 25 years ago I bought the tree at a Nursery I stuck it in my front garden For I don't know maybe Seven years and then I dug it up and Began training it as a bonsai So it's an old tree I can see this root here it's totally Dead And you can see it's seen a lot of Hardships as trees Had sections of a die off and

Yeah it's uh It's seen the hardships of life that's For sure So I'm being very careful With the root system I'm going to try and keep the tree alive That's my goal So far that plan's working out so Continue to have success with the tree I can't believe it's been what 2017 I repotted it three four five years Ago Quite a long time So I'm taking my time with the roots Just uh Very carefully removing the soil Trying not to damage the roots Because some of these I may need Maybe not these longer ones but uh Definitely the ones closer to the trunk I'll need to go on the new pot You see there's some sand mixed in with The soil here from From my Landscaping [Applause] Once you remove the soil from these Spruce the wood on them is really really Light so it becomes a very lightweight Tree It's hardly any weight to them at all So I'm not seeing A whole lot of perlite in this soil what I do see is broken up into small pieces All right

This soil is definitely heavier than What I would want for a spruce I'll have to go back and look at that Video and just see what soil I used on It If it was my regular mixture And it's just kind of broken down over All the years I think I'm getting fairly Close to being able to wash the root System And it's just this one Clump here is Dense with roots and soil and I'm gonna Kind of sort out Okay I think I think this is good I'm going to wash The root system now All right here I go into the water Goes the spruce I've got the tree back on the bench here So I've got a live route here a live Route here Dead one here that one's dead these two Are alive That one's dead So I think the major problem is You can see This one's coming up here it's kind of Comes up out of the soil so I've got to Prune that one back I've got a root coming off of it here so I could prune the top off A little risky but here I go So that's gone

That helps There's one going up the top here I'll Get rid of that one too Another one here Another one here and here Just kind of growing up out of the soil So you can see here's a thick end this Is a live root it hasn't started growing Yet it's How thick and fleshy they get on the Ends here's one that is Turning white at the tip and it's just Starting to grow So a good time to repot Just as the roots are starting to become Active So now I've got to reduce the root System You can see my pot here Versus the root So I need to take a lot of these long Ones off So here I go cutting the back Here again Here This is a Basic haircut Getting rid of all those long roots Thank you To move my pot away So here I am now So I've got quite a tangled Mata Roots Here I'll have to comb that out I think there's still a bit of soil in

There oh that map just came right out Okay so I've got the roots combed out There You can see so now I've got to see my Pot size So I need to take some off them maybe Back to about here so I'll do a a prune Profile prune Like that taking all the ends off those Those roots So it's looking much more compact now Um I think on this side you can see Sticking out quite a bit I can take off Some of the roots On the edges here Kind of making it a little more compact Like that Let me see how the pot Goes with the tree now So you can see I'm getting closer I'm Not there yet but Definitely getting closer so I would say I need to take a bit more off this side Like that maybe a bit off the top here Like that that's fitting quite nicely Now I'm Looking at positioning the tree now So I kind of want it in this type of a Position I've got a dead root hanging out the Back here Which isn't so good I want to put that around you can see It's kind of this root is dead and it's

Sticking out So I need to take that back And I'm going to take it off On an angle quite short I think This Like that so it still looks kind of Natural when viewed from above oh there Goes the bark on it so Yeah it still looks natural I don't think I'll ever see it but it's There I think I need to take a bit more off Here I'm a little long here Just so I can move it over far enough in The pot And I think that's fitting quite nicely Now Look from the front here There's a look at the tree in the pot Yeah I think it suits it quite nicely That may not be the final angle on me Tilt it up just a bit more like that Somewhere in this ballpark anyway I think it's time to plant the tree I Think I've got the roots prune I've got The top pruned I've got positioned in The pot I think all is looking good I'll remove the tree And get My drainage screen in here I just need One big one in the middle

And then start planting the tree All right there's my drainage screen in Place and I'll add a base layer of soil So here I go Okay Description Now I'm ready to plant the tree so I'll Position it So I wanted it coming forward a little Bit like that Make sure all the roots are safely in The soil that looks good I think the position in the pot is good Yes All is looking good I think I'm ready to fill it in with Soil So here I go The roots are arranged And now Again Working that soil into the root system Make sure there's no way your pockets Now I don't know how stable the tree Will be in the pot I may have to put a stone on the one Side So find out shortly Any big pieces of that fur bark I just Pull out You stand up by itself Oh it kind of does Springs a little bit which means there's Air gaps underneath the roots

If it's springing like that so I'm going To Work that soil in more Close it's close Before I get too far I'm just going to Step back and have a look at the tree in The pot I'm stepping back now having a look at The tree Yeah I I'm liking it i I really like the Position I think the design is looking Good And I think the pot is a big Improvement On this tree I think it's uh Yeah a big step forward for this tree All right I'll continue work I'm happy With the positioning in the pot I think it's just the weight of the tree Just wants to Kind of lift it up in the corner there a Bit So what I will do Is I'll definitely You know place a stone there to hold it In place And the Moss will definitely hold it in Place too it'll help So let me find a stone that I can put On that side of the tree I've got one stone I could put this one Back here That helps kinda Weigh it down but I think I still need Something in this corner maybe something

A little shallower I'm not such a high Rock I can't find any other Stones they're All buried under the snow out there Hmm Well I think it'll do I I think I'll just Moss it up keep it well watered and I Think it'll be just fine I don't even know if this Stone does Anything Be better on this side but I don't like It visually on that side I think I'll Just leave it off The tree up I think it'll be fine I'm just picking out these big pieces of Pine bark Maybe I should just kind of Comb them Off the surface here Okay I'm going to add a layer of sand And then put the moss on top of the sand I think that'll Be good it'll hold the moisture in the Pot really nicely Now let me just prune off that one root Sticking up here [Applause] The Roots sticking up out of the soil Okay The sand will be next Before I add the sand I better give the Tree a water Keep the roots hydrated

While I'm doing the sand and Moss work The top of the tree of watering too Okay I should do it Now I've got my sand so I'm going to Apply that to the surface of the soil Again this kind of acts like a Barrier To help keep the soil underneath the Sand moist It doesn't dry out quite as fast on Hot windy days It's like having a layer of moss on top Of your soil And it's a good indicator of when the Tree needs watering when the sand goes a Light color You know the soil is dry But this one I'll be coating with a Layer of moss So you won't see the sand Way too much sand but it'll wash away The excess Okay that is ready for watering once Again Here I go with the water Kind of washing away all the excess Okay now I'm ready to apply the Moss So this is a like a bonus step you don't Have to apply Moss the layer of sand Will Do just fine but I'm going to make this look As nice as I can for today I'm just putting Moss around the base of

The tree Now I'll be careful if that starts Climbing up the wood I'll peel it off But it's nice to have That Moss between your roots makes it Look really old and ancient And I just get this Moss from The sidewalk out front of the house that Grows between the cracks of the sidewalk And I just Peel it off and use it I've got a bit of a thick clump of moss Here and I think it'll look good kind of Underneath the tree out front here Right a bit of variety in the terrain So I'm running out of my fine Moss you Know I've got This is fairly thin I think that'll do for you know some of The areas It's a little coarser than the sidewalk Moss but it's not bad especially if you Prune it with the scissors Turns out okay I think This Moss came off of my Juniper It's the layer I peeled off so I'll use That it's fine Moss it's quite nice Just getting rid of some of that Pearlite here So let me rotate this around and I'll do That The back of the planting here I'll put That layer right there I find the Moss

Also helps Hold the weeds down in the planting All right It doesn't work 100 but it certainly Helps If you have a Malay or Moss the weeds Have a harder time getting established Which is always good Weeds don't need any encouragement Okay I'm getting Getting down to the The end here I'm going to completely Moss it And I think that's got it I think it's Nicely moist up So again I'll have to give it another Water and just to Kind of wash the Moss and uh Settle it in so it's going to grow Nicely Sure it's all Push down firmly that looks good okay Time to water the tree once again All right here I go with the watering to Wash the Moss Kind of get the mud out of the Moss so It Goes a bit of a brighter green color Rinse my pot off so there's no sand or Soil on it And that will do My work on the Bird's Nest Spruce is all Completed for today let's fly in now and Have a final look at the tree

Foreign [Music] [Music] [Music] Foreign [Music] I'm very happy with the progress on my Bird's Nest Spruce I think I not only Took it up a level but maybe two levels Today Yeah it's a an awesome little tree it's A a bit of a gem I think in my Collection anyway it's uh it's one of The trees in my collection that really Shows age And maturity I think once you know the New growth comes out this spring it'll Look even better I hope I I um I have good confidence That my repotting will be successful I Think I took about a third of the roots Off and The Roots weren't active yet so I think it was perfect timing for the Repotting and I'm really happy with the Pot by Sophie too I think it matches the Tree really nicely I think if I had to Try and get it into a smaller pot I Think the health of the tree would Suffer so I think I think this is a good Sized part of the tree I think the pot And the tree look really good together That is all for today I'm Nigel Saunders Thanks for joining me in the Bonsai Zone Foreign


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