Repotting Large Deciduous Bonsai

Today is the first of February and we Are at the start of the repotting month In the south of England we like to do All our deciduous trees in the month of February that's when the buds begin to Swell and especially that the maples and Other deciduous trees we feel that this Is the best time to do the trees so I Have a customer here who has brought Four quite nice trees for us to repot This is a mountain Maple these are all Trees that have come from our nursery And we do them regularly for Ray who I Will ask to say something about the Trees that's a lovely tried in Maple About 60 centimeter tall and you can see This has already been done that is our Standard compost which is uh I would say About 40 academic very lovely Bonsai Compost that we do So these have all been done with our Standard Bonsai compost that compost is Suitable for both deciduous trees and Evergreen trees and we also did a large We've just taken a tree out of the pot This is quite a large pot it's almost About I would say 60 centimeter long and Look at the size of that tree that's a Sizable tree Chinese Elm so let me ask Where to say something about it so Ray Has been coming here for quite a few Years yeah can you tell us something About this Adam please yeah I had it From a birthday um

Oh quite quite a number of years ago Um yeah the first time we've had this Problem with it but as you say that's Yeah it's like the palm trees they feel The bark peels beautiful feature it it Always has come out really well each um Spring yeah I would say truly like that Would be at least 60 years old maybe a Little more uh so it's a lot seem to Remember you saying that would probably Come off the top of a tree would it Originally no I don't think so this Would have been grown intensively in China oh really yeah from China with Lovely exposed route that's the way the Chinese grow their trees but the trunk Must be every bit six to eight inches at The best there yeah it wouldn't been Something I would have chosen but in Actual fact now yeah it's a beautiful Tree beautiful tree you don't get mature Elms like this easily nowadays so we've Taken it out of the pot and we've had a Quick look at the roots generally Speaking Race told me that I repotted this about Eight years ago and eight years is a Long time but I'm surprised that it's Not more pot bound than this because Chinese arms are quite vigorous trees so That was down to the pot of them No I don't know see a lovely soil that's Lovely akadama mix in there so If you saw a tree with this sort of

Condition I wouldn't rush to repot it Because it's not really pot bound it's Not really potpouring it's still quite Soft in there it's been loose in the pot For over yeah But since Ray has come about a hundred Miles from Oxford to have the trees done We might as well do it and considering That I haven't done it for eight years I Think it's time we did it so we're set About doing it so we'll show you how we Do these major trees so I have Steve and Joe here and they will show you how we Go about doing the streets so we're Going to tease the roots first Just go around the edge And when you do re-potting that is a Very good tool that single hook uh with Major trees that hook is better than This three-prong thing this is okay for Smaller trees you can do it with this But that single Hook is a really Powerful tool really powerful tool okay So we are teasing around the edges Good time to take the wheels out It's also a good idea to remove some of That moss and then start again because If there are any defective roots or we Want to improve the nibari this is a Very good time to do it But again Rhea has been keeping these trees very Healthy Excellent conditions

So let's look for surface root anything Which is crossing we will take out So when you repot that is the best time To deal with this surface root situation Tease more over there we can see some of Those Crossing Roots see now when we're Doing the surface we use a different Tool Foreign [Music] This is where if you want Perfection You've got to go to Great Lengths let me Just explain the situation here Now looking at this thing here that Route here is really a fault because It's Crossing there you want the root to Go in there even that is a faulty route But again because it's quite a major Route I wouldn't rush to take it off but This I would take off because this Spoils the look of the tree because There's some very nice radial Roots There this also is crossing over this One so this one can be cut off so either With branch cutter root cutter you can Cut this one off this dog Pull it out Together can be pulled out Now this one I suggest we take it or cut It there and we take that off that's Very very badly you agree Ray or you you Like your roots It make it look better I'll let him cut it and I'll complain

I don't know the rule give refunds Laughs Like when you go to the doctor he makes You sign a piece of paper I don't know What you're signing yet if he kills me He's not responsible Disclaimer Even with trees now even with the Dentist I went to the dentist on Monday To have a tooth taken out and he made me Sign a piece of paper So you see we've taken that ugly route Out see which was crossing there You see it was crossing there you see How much nicer it is yeah with that There now if I can suggest something Else right It's like a doctor really you see that Is also Crossing can you see Yep this is A very niceness so this doesn't need to Be there so we can cut that off and cut It there take it off so that will go Nicely there yeah that is also like a Crossing route so we're taking a chance Taking the opportunity to make it look Better Okay so this can be taken off If you cut that off please Put it towards the next car okay We've cut that off so that route was Like that As you can see now when we take it away Can you see how much better it is yeah It's not Crossing now it's not Crossing

And the other Crossing route are these Two little ones that one and that one Can be taken out and that will improve At no end All right yep In fact the more you look the more you Can find but I think we've removed the Worst ones we've removed the worst of The ones so these two little ones they Can become a problem when they get older So if we remove those then we have Done a good job It's like cosmetic surgery this is all Cosmetic synergy oh Bonsai is all about Cosmetics I take it you use this side as the front I have your preferred front well I I Let's turn the tree around and have a Look because it's near a fence where I Normally I turn it around on a regular Basis this is also a very nice one this Is also a very nice front except that This is jutting in the way if you use This as a fun you would take this off But if you're not exhibiting it and Putting in an exhibition I wouldn't Bother you know I wouldn't bother So this side you can't see any of those Problem routes see these little Sucker-like shoots you can take off but The bulk is very nice so if you spin the Tree around we'll compare the two sides And look at that See some people like Roots you know

Especially the Chinese they like these Very nice chicken Roots that's the first Thing that people say about it is this Okay so let's keep this as a front so You can keep this as the front and You've kept it in a nice Dome shape and It's perfect and although it's only the First of February look at the new shoots All green shoots Like they say on the television the Green shoots of economic recovery So there you go so we are now set about Teasing more roots and then we will Repot the tree when I repotted this tree Eight years ago we used a compost which Was predominantly akadama look at the Academic grains They are all perfect this is why akadama Is such a superior soil after eight Years or nearly 10 years the academic Brains have not deteriorated one bit and This is why it is such a superior soil To use All right There's some of these thicker ones we Can cut off Scrape the surface again So Steve is now cutting these roots off That's how much you cut you tease it out And then you cut it back So we're going to leave about two inches Around the perimeter of the pot to put New soil in so we're cutting the sides And then we're going to tilt the tree up

And tease the base or the bottom of the Root ball So this is the first Done the sides we look having a look at The bottom of this Tree there are lots of healthy roots If you just taste lightly let's see how Much comes out It's amazing that the roots always go to The extremities of the pot that means They seek the surface of the pot maybe Because of the warmth I don't know Tears away look at that No I think it yes it was due for doing It look at that yeah That's some Roots there As I said Chinese Amazon dried Maples The two most biggest trees oh really But they can cut some of it off for now Don't drop it [Applause] I'm going to keep this pile of roots to Show you how much we remove after we've Done the repotting So there's much more to come out So Let's return We will just tease some of this and get This out can you just tease that out With the hook please That's given me an idea I was about to Throw one out yeah okay now we can cut That off it was very thick Roots kind of Encourage finals to go

As you can see this is a two-man job you Know one person On handle it and this is only a 60 or 70 Centimeter tree if you have three and Four foot high trees With eight to ten or twelve inch trunks You need four men to handle those And you can see how much we removed so Far that's quite a lot quite a lot Amazing how much comes on you see it Better look at that Okay anything thick we will take off Anything We are now preparing the pot and we are Going to put Two lengths of water to tie the tree in And even the choice of wire is important If you use wire which is too thin it Won't do the job and if you use wire Which is too thick it will be a waste of The water so in this instance we are Using two and a half millimeter wide two And a half milliwatt One mill would certainly be too thin one And a half is even too thin two even we Thought was too thin so We're using two and a half mil wire Different people have different ways of Tying the tree in but this is our Preferred way of doing it Some of the good pots have tying holes Let me have a look you see these tying Holes the small holes are Tire holes Foreign

You can also put the wire through the Drainage holes because not all pots have Tying holes so that is also acceptable And then you put soil going on So this is the soil we are going to use As I mentioned before this is our Standard Bonsai mix which has about 40 Akadama and akadama is a very very Expensive Japanese soil and then we mix Our secret ingredients including Japanese volcanic grit and some organic Matter so this is the soil we're using The grains are like this There you go so we're going to put a Layer at the bottom so let's see the Entire process Tiny layer about quarter inch to half Inch Thick Slightly mounded in the middle So that when we squash it down it will Flatten it and it won't have any gaps in The center It's almost like baking a cake isn't it I don't know how often state does any Biking [Music] Like this cookery programs Okay now we will bring the tree A bit longer Perfect okay just squash it down a Little bit Grind it down I think you need to bring It Forward a

Little bit because most of the bulk is At the back isn't it I think the other side yeah but pull it This way Pull It Forward here Okay that's better Okay All right enough What do you do tight first and then feel Sorry yeah okay Where there are Roots we can go over the Roots or on through the roots through The roots So this is the purpose of using two Wires that means we can thread it Through like this So Problems Threading it under the root rather than Putting it over the roots otherwise you Put over the root it may Mark dudes There you go so that's tight safely in The rest is just not filling soil See how useful the Gin Pliers are gin Plies are used for twisting wire So gin Plaza not just for making gin They have so many uses for handling Water Foreign So this is the amount we've taken out Look at it Hard to imagine that all this filled the Bottom of the pot It's almost a bucket Full of roots

So we've got to put a bucket of soil Into the pot There are many ways of Making sure that the soil fills every Crevice you can just use your fingers if You wish and then use the chopstick Has no right or a wrong way as long as It works for you that's fine I said we don't rush to put moss on the Tree again it is better to let the moss Grow naturally I will take another shot when we Finished Poking all the soil in final shot So this has taken us the best part of Half an hour maybe a little more because It's a heavy tree big tree took a lot of Root off We corrected some of the 40 roots And there you are that tree is done And that is a complete repotting process For what we would say a large-ish bonsai We have Bonsai larger than this but this Is large enough so there you go Hope you've been pleased with it Excellent yeah really good all right so That will keep you going for another Three years or so absolutely at least Three or even more years yeah that's Lovely thank you very much Thank you [Music]

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