Repotting My Baobab Style Jade, The Bonsai Zone, Jan 2023

Hi everyone Nigel Saunders here I've Been working a lot on Hardy trees lately Getting them all pruned up over the Winter getting them ready for spring Today I thought I'd do something a Little different I'm going to work on a Tropical tree And the tree I'm going to work on today Is a Jade and I want to repot it Here is a look at the Jade that I'll be Working on today it is the bayabob style Jade that I got from Joey It's been exactly a year since I worked On this tree last Pruning it up and uh Let's have a look at it today All right let's get the Jade unwrapped It's a little bit cool out today there's A bit of light snow in the air There it is there's the Jade today It's filled out nicely Here is the front of the tree I put a Marker in here last time I pruned up the Tree which was a year ago Let's go back in time now and I'll show You the highlights of the last time I Pruned this Jade up I'll start by spinning the tree around Now this is just where I placed it so This is what I'll call the front for now So we're coming around to the left hand Side Here Coming around to the back

Coming around to the right hand side You can really see where it was cut off In the right hand side view there Around back to the front Which again may not be the front of the Tree it's just what I'm calling the Front for now I've got all my pruning points nice and Flush now So that should heal quite well We are back to present time here is the Jade today and you can see that the Branches fan out nicely now they're not All Crossing and that so it's recovered Nicely from the pruning I'll rotate it Around 360 degrees now so here I go Going clockwise So there's where the tree was cut off at The top And you can see it's starting to Heal nicely it's quite nice actually You can see some of the places where I Moved branches on the trunk have healed Over really nicely also I do have a few of the older Leaves are turned a little black on the Tip I think that's just older leaves and They're starting to Fall off they're starting to rot away There's a few yellow ones in here there Yeah they just almost fall off in your Hand there's one in here that's already Fallen off

But the tree looks good and healthy Branches are developing nicely So today's task will be to repot the Tree At the present moment the tree is in a Ceramic pot and it does have a small Drainage hole in the bottom But it's not you know the ideal pot for It I searched around all the pots I had and I tried you know placing them in front Of the tree and I couldn't find a better Pot I just didn't have any so I thought You know well I'll keep my eyes out and maybe someday I'll find the perfect pot for this tree Uh in the meantime uh since then I was Given some pots some really really nice Pots by a very kind person from the Toronto Bonsai Society And I thought maybe this one pot would Suit the tree perfectly so let's get it Out and have a look at it here is a look At the pot here So it's a very very beautiful pot I'll Show you the bottom of it Here is a look at the bottom of the pot So you can see the intricate feet The details of the bottom really really Beautiful it's a beautiful pot beautiful Patina and a beautiful burnished kind of Look to the pot So this is made by a famous Japanese Potter

It's sold under the name BG I think B-i-g-e-i it's a tokonami pot And uh And it's a fairly rare one uh I'll show You the details of the Potter Hirata asumi is a very popular Potter From tokonami Japan he produces mostly Unglazed shohen and some chuhin sized Pots They are often simple in design to Complement the tree yet beautifully Constructed he is best known for his Distinctive shaded Shitty Vermilion clay with its burnished look He also produces some glazed pots and His recent work is decorative With for example beautiful landscape Etchings carvings and relief work He was born in 1939 and taught himself The art of Ceramics from age 19. he Established his own Kiln in 1975 which Is now closed the very rarest bijay pots Are merely marked San sumade and can be seen under the Bijay painted pots The pot has the single marking on the Bottom showing it's a rare pot and this Marking means earth and water Which makes the clay I like this style of pot for Jades Because Jade's are very top heavy and This pot has the rounded edges on it

So you can imagine this full of roots There's no way it can tip over because It's the root base is trapped underneath This lip it makes repotting a little Harder you have to go in and cut the Roots Around the edges so you can lift the Tree out of the pot but Jades generally Don't need repotting for many years Probably it can stay in this pot for Maybe 10 years Let's have a look at the tree Behind the pot now So here it is here's the pot in front of The tree I think you know it's about the same Size maybe just a little bigger in Diameter than the old one it's a little Shallower it's uh unglazed which is nice And it's a reddish color and I think The reddish color works for two reasons Red is the opposite of green so we've Got the green foliage The red pot Contrasting the red also reminds me of The Red Sand of Africa So I think it it goes really really Nicely I think it's a good combination So thank you very very much for this pot It's a real Beautiful pot I'll really treasure it Um I'm putting a tropical tree in this Pot because I don't want to risk it Cracking

If it freezes so that's the reason I'm Putting a tropical tree in here so this Pot will be around for at least the rest Of my life Here's a look from above so you can see The comparison and size of the two pots Yeah they're pretty equal they're not Too far off It may be just a little bit bigger it'll Allow the roots to grow just a little More I'm going to begin the repotting of this Jade I want to Mark the front of the Tree on the tree itself so you can see Here's where I Mark the front so I'm Just going to score a little bit Put a Nick in the trunk there Like that That marks the front of the tree This scarring I will eventually Scar the Trunk up on this so it looks more like a Baobab which is the style that I'm going For with this Jade so let's get it out Of the pot I'll remove my front marker And then I'll have to run A knife or something around the edges to Loosen it up in the pot I've got my butter knife here I'm going To try that and see if it works Foreign And I don't know when this tree was last Repotted I think Joey potted it into this pot Or it's possible it came in this pot I

Don't know I'm hoping there's some surface roots on This Jade that I can kind of expose a Bit that would be nice it'd give it a Nice stable look in the pot Oh it's loose in the pot okay All right here I go I'm going to try and Get it out now This pot Doesn't have that rounded Edge on it so It should pull out okay I don't know if there's much of a lip oh There is a bit of a lip on the inside of The pot so It might be a little harder I might have To Do a little more scraping away here There it comes Coming out very nicely Look at all the good roots on it too That's awesome to see there's the Drainage screen The old pot was quite a nice pot I think I'll put a another Jade in this pot it Seems to hold them in quite nicely so I'll save that for another Jade Everything is looking good on the Jade So far the roots look like they're in Good shape So I'm going to begin by combing out the Roots So I've got my root break I'll just comb away the soil Trying not to break off all the fine

Roots Now Jade's it takes a long long time for A root to get Woody You know it has to bulk up So most of the roots on a jade plant are A very fine little Feeder kind of roots Now I'm going to switch to something Finer this is Maybe even a little too coarse a rake For these fine roots So I can either use like the point of The scissors to Get in here And kind of Comb out the roots a bit Which works quite well or you could use Like a knitting needle something Fairly sharp a root hook would work Really well But this works really well so I'm just Kind of Combing The Roots out Now speaking of soil uh Jerome and Mari From the Bonsai Supply sent me some Samples of some of their pre-mix Bonsai Soil And in those samples there's a shohin Mix With smaller particles than the regular Soil and I thought this would be a good Place to use that with this Jade a good Free draining soil mixture so I'll give It a try it's in the poly house now Which is quite cold so I better bring it

In this greenhouse and warm it up a bit Before I start adding it around the root Base here Here is a look at the soil I'll be using So you can see the particle size here It's quite fine but it has very good Aeration So it's a mixture of Pine bark finds Black lava quarter inch pumice quarter Inch calcinine clay an eighth inch and It's mixed together to make an All-purpose soil mix And all these aggregates Are Pre-washed pre-sifted And sourced in the USA and the bag is Made from recycled materials so that's That's pretty good that's really good so That's what I'm going to be using as a Soil with my jade So it looks the old soil had a lot of Sand in it And fairly fine particles But You know there is This good rough Looks like pumice in here Which is good it's uh It's always drained well to soil Which is important with succulents you Don't want them Sitting in water all the time Especially in the winter time

In the summer you know you've got Sunshine hot weather they generally use Up a fair amount of water each day but In the winter time when it's dark and Cloudy They're under sort of Dimish grow lights and they don't really Take the water up very well so you can See all the fine roots in here So those are the ones I'm trying to Keep intact Good shape Those are the feeder roots I don't want this to be too dramatic a Repot for the tree So you can see on the trunk if you I Tilt it up it's not quite round in this View It's a bit Square here I think it's Because there's probably a major route Here that's kind of Feeding the trunk line So hopefully you know after this Repotting I'm going to have a look at the root System and Maybe try and balance it a bit So we'll get more maybe more of a round Trunk on the tree I mean it's not bad but It's one thing to watch that's what a Balanced radio root system will give you Is a round trunk on a bonsai If you have Roots all on one side your

Trunk will go out of round If you only have a few Roots like three Roots on the tree you'll kind of get a Triangle shaped trunk rather than a Round one So I would say from the looks of this That the soil you know it's quite damp I Would say maybe a little too damp I certainly wouldn't want it any wetter Because I haven't watered this for a Couple of days now I've watered it since we had that really Sunny day I'm seeing some good surface Roots here Too which is really exciting uh that's What you want it makes the tree look Mature and stable in the pot So it's nice to see some mature roots on This Jade An added bonus And it's got a very shallow root system Too it's amazing I think it'll go in the new pot really Really well It's very exciting And this is exciting getting it in the New pot Um It's like a step ahead for this tree And there's many steps to go on this Before it becomes a really awesome Looking Jade but You know It's head and headed in the right

Direction The branch structure is better now You'll have this beautiful soil Beautiful pot And spring is coming So we'll have good good growing Conditions Now I think I'm going to clear away the Old soil And continue working on the roots So the scientific name for these Jades Is crassula crassula oveta and this is I Think I don't know the variety I think they Call it Gollum I believe or Hobbit There's some kind of variety With the cylindrical kind of leaves I think they're the best Jades for Bonsai They kind of have that miniature Appearance to the leaves especially as The tree gets larger it can look very Very nice There's nothing wrong with the oval Shaped leaves either that they can look Good too But these ones because they're kind of Thin and cylindrical they I don't know they just look a little More miniature I think But I think you know any Jade can be Made into a really fantastic bonsai So I just about have all the old old

Soil cleaned off the tree I'm just kind Of getting underneath now and getting The last remains of soil out It was definitely wet under here Like I'm getting the remains of the Original soil this was probably started As a cutting maybe long long ago And there's some perlite in here A different soil at the base of the tree A wetter soil probably more like potting Soil So it's good to get all that out because That can that can cause the base of your Tree to rot You should have a good poor soil under The base of your tree Okay so I'm at the point where I need to Wash these roots now to get rid of all The old soil I don't want any of this You know Nursery soil in here I want it To be all surrounded by bolt-size soil So that's my next step wash the root Base All right here I go washing the roots I've got a toothbrush in case I need to Scrub away the roots Washing the roots won't hurt the roots At all because they can dry out right After you wash them it's when the roots Are sitting in wet all the time that They start rotting So here I go I'm going to wash the roots Now Swish the tree around

Wet my toothbrush and I'll start Scrubbing Like I said I want to get all that Nursery soil out of here so it's just Pure bone-sized soil surrounding the Root base and that'll stop Rot starting Because the rot starts in these Areas in here that have Nursery soil and It just stays too wet even though it's Surrounded by Bonsai soil So you've got to get a consistent soil Mixture Have a nice good free draining soil Now I'm going to get my scissors again And just poke around in here Making sure I get all that soil out See it in there in between the roots Holding moisture And that's where the rock will start Is that fine organic soil And I don't want this tree rotting out I Think it's Going to be a really special tree So yeah I'd highly recommend inorganic Soil and then feed your plant with uh Like a water-soluble fertilizer like Miracle Grow or something like that So you keep those pores open in your Soil if you start using Organics it'll Slowly clog up the soil over the years And something like a jade you don't have To repot them very often so it's

Important To use good soil and not have it clog up So I'm pleased with the root system that I have this many kind of thick surface Roots They look really really good there's Another dent root that one's alive Okay I think I've got the roots Nice and clean now they're looking Really good So that's it for washing the root system Here is a look at the root system so I Marked the front of the tree here So you're seeing the front of the root System It's quite nice I don't think I'm not sure if this Roots alive here no It's not it's broken Stump is Almost everything else is alive on it Maybe not that one But yeah it's uh it's good I could Expose The Roots a little bit So I'm very pleased with that root System So let's uh let's get this tree potted Up now Okay so I've got the screen from the Previous pod right here that can go in There I'll add a base layer of soil and you Can order this this soil through the Home Depot it has to be an online order

It's not sold in stores but it's sold on Their website so and I use this soil on My My ponytail palm and it seems to be Working really really well So I'm pleased with it Okay so I'm going to add a base layer to My pot now Foreign That's quite good I'm going to test the Tree in the pot And see how it's sitting See if it even fits in the pot well it Does fit So you can see it's It's sitting out of the soil just a bit So I'll just Wiggle it around a bit So that's about as low as I can get the Tree unless I prune some roots Which I don't really want to do If you prune Roots you you're opening a New cut that you have to let dry out Before you kind of water the tree again So you would have to keep it on the dry Side until Those roots have callused over You know maybe a week maybe two weeks And then start watering the tree It could be done but Most of these roots are at the same Level so I would have to cut them all And I don't really want to do that I Don't think it's too high in the pot I

Think it's actually about perfect So I can position the tree in the pot now With the pot I have two choices I can have the foot Out front so it's face on to the viewer So they're seeing you know one complete Foot front on or you can have them each Side Huh A lot of people like having the one foot Out the front I kind of prefer them on the angle I Think they're more interesting I think It shows the shape of the foot more Oh I'm leaking soil up to my wire holes The soil is quite fine Going to be a problem Maybe it is Maybe I've got to put some screen over My wire holes The soil is fairly fine So let me dump the soil out again And I'll start over What I'm seeing here is that I think This drainage screen is too coarse and That this soil Goes through it and it does So It Goes Through the Wire holes and The drainage screen so what I think I'm Going to do is put a coarser layer of Soil on the bottom of the pot and then My finer soil up top I think that'll Solve all the problems

The only other way I could fix it is use Like the finer window screen and put it Over my wire holes and my drainage hole But I think it'll be better with a coarser Layer soil in the bottom I think I have my bag of regular size bone size Soil from the Bonsai Supply I don't have Much of it left but I think I have Enough For a layer in the bottom you can see It's much much coarser So there's my coarser drainage layer and I know every book and every modern study Will say oh you shouldn't put a coarser Layer on the bottom it's better to have An even soil mix And maybe so scientifically but This has worked for thousands of years Having a quarter layer in the bottom I Think it's I think it's good for the trees two Reasons you have two different soil Types you have a finer and a coarser This has more air spaces between the Particles so the roots have two kind of Zones to grow in they have you know the Finer upper layer which generally holds More water And the bottom layer which has more air Spaces so I I think it's good to have That You know that difference in soil so the Roots can kind of grow where they want

To grow where the moisture levels are Right or the air level air levels are Right So I I don't think it hurts Um If you have the smallest possible pot on Your tree and you're trying to get the Maximum amount of soil and for root Growth maybe you don't want a drainage Layer maybe you want an even soil Mixture throughout the pot but I think It'll be fine for this Jade Now I have to decide if I want the foot In the front Which doesn't it doesn't appeal to me I Like the foot each side left and right With the space underneath the pot Just Get better from the front if you have The foot in the front to me it looks Like the pot's unstable Whereas if I have the two feet out front It gives a look of stability And it shows the foot off on the angle Which I think is more interesting Because you can see more of the detail Of the foot whereas if it's front on you Can't tell you know what shape the foot Is It kind of makes it it flattens it out So for that reason I'm going to pick the Front of the pot to be in between the Feet and I'm just rotating it around to See if there's a

A spot on this pot that looks Even better than the other two views I think this is the nicest front The other fronts had little pin holes in The clay and stuff and like this is the Nicest one so this will be the front of The pot This is the front of my tree marked by My little Scar there so I'm going to put the tree In the pot Rotate it around Trying to get it as low as possible About there and I want to Center the Tree in the pot I don't want it offset Because this will be quite a symmetrical Planting I think Right about there is good And this is the trunk vertical the Maybe there Okay So that's looking good I will fill it in With soil now All right Using my spare hand If I can grip it oh my goodness I'll put some around the back now These bags are kind of Handy for pouring Foreign Supply has been very nice to me they Sent me some pots Jerome and Mari I've met them in person They're very nice people

Um I saw in their last video they just Announced that they're bringing out a New organic fertilizer so if you're in The market for an organic fertilizer Contact the Bonsai Supply and they'll Let you know when it becomes available Where and how to get it Because I know a lot of people like Using organic fertilizer Especially on you know deciduous trees Coniferous trees It's very popular So they bought out their own So that you can see the tree is sitting In the pot by itself now quite nicely So I've got to get all the soil worked Into the root base So I have no air pockets Get it underneath the tree So I'm not poking the roots with these Scissors I'm being very careful I've Just kind of Gently getting the soil down So the tree is positioned a little bit To the back of the pot which I like it Gives a little more room out front To kind of give that landscape feel So I'm going to add a little more soil Now it's kind of gone down underneath The tree there So I guess you could see this planting Is a collaboration between the multi Supply

Mario and Jerome and Lee Nigel At the Bonsai Zone Kind of cool Spoons are also good for Smoothing out soil Troweling it around So that is a really nice height in the Pot I'm liking it All right I think it's time to stand Back Have a look at the planting see how it Looks in its new pot Here is a look at the Jade in its new Pot Yeah what do I think of it well I like the color of the pot with the Jade I think it's going to bring out the Green color nicely Especially in the summertime this will Get darker It might get some hints of red in the Tips I think that'll look good I think it's Uh I think the size of the pot is really Nice too I think the style of the pot is nice I don't think you could ask for more it Gives me the impression of a bit of a Landscape with the tree especially if I Lower the camera a bit You can see it more at ground level I Think it Yeah it has a bit of a landscape feel to

It just enough you know room underneath The tree to you know give that It makes the tree look like it's growing By itself in the middle of the African Savannah Gives that Baobab vibe to it so I think It's looking good Um I'm not going to prune it today even Though you know it could use a little Sorting out I can see a lot of branches That are starting to Kind of go the wrong direction A few Crossing branches here and there But Basically it's not too bad at the moment So we'll let it recover from the Repotting strengthen up and Then we'll tackle the pruning probably Early summer get it sorted out then let It grow over the summer But I think it's looking really nice I'm I'm very very pleased with the pot and The tree combination I am going to give the tree a watering So let's see how well the soil drains so Here I go Seems to be draining really really well It's not pooling up or anything it's Draining right through It's coming out the drainage hole now That's working really really nicely Okay The tree is watered

Small red rocks as a As they think they would look really Good underneath the tree so I'll go in And get them and we'll try it out Here is my collection of these Red Rocks So I think they're Pretty nice color with the pot Um Where to put them is a question I don't really want to block my roots But they are just kind of temporary I Don't think they'll be You know going with the landscape maybe You know maybe one of them I don't even know about that but yeah I'll just kind of place them Around the tree and it'll help hold the Tree in the pod You know just in case you accidentally Bump the pot it kind of Adds a little bit more stability to the Tree Like that Tree's nice and secure in there Okay so that Is a successful repotting I'm going to add a marker To the front of the tree just so I Remember Where the front is in the future It's right there so I've got the front Marked Let's fly in now and have a final look At the tree

Foreign I've only done two operations on this Jade so far the first operation was Pruning the top structure getting the Branch structure sorted out the second Operation was cleaning out all the old Nursery soil from the roots and Replacing it with nice Bonsai soil so That should grow a really nice and Healthy vigorous root system which will Help develop the tree also so that is All for today I'm Nigel Saunders thanks For joining me in the Bonsai Zone Foreign

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