Repotting my New Large Jade Bonsai

Hi everyone nigel saunders here i am heading off to the orchard this morning with the truck the first thing i got to do is get some gas because the gas tank leaks if i fill it up too much i can only put a little bit in at a time so i’m always filling it so i’ll do that first and then we’ll head to the orchard i’ve got all the supplies for the dorman oil loaded the container of it a bunch of containers paint brushes everything we need to paint the trees uh it’s below freezing it’s only you know a degree or two below freezing but i think it’ll be okay today i don’t think it’ll freeze this oil when we paint it on [Music] all right oh a cold war morning get the key out now how many pumps is it going to take this morning i think four because it’s very cold up one two three four extra one [Music] started all right seat belt is on ready to go cold morning the micro is in getting the summer tires put on i dropped that off this morning and walked back from the garage it was a cold walk back it was like a really strong headwind it’s not going to be very warm in the orchard either but we got to get it done all right let’s try going out of here just keep it revved up a bit more the beast in here there we go [Music] engine off i’ll be back i did get lots of reminders to oil my clutch that was good it is done the pedal it was squeaking all right we’re ready to go to the community orchard for a cold day of painting dormant oil i don’t think it’ll take that long here we go gas was a dollar 25 per liter for regular and i put premium in the truck which i don’t know what that cost i should have checked it’s probably like a dollar 45 per liter okay i’m gonna drive in so i’ll give you a view of driving in here [Music] here we go there’s no curb here anymore they fixed that there we are [Music] we’ve got two volunteers out today dorothy and kathy so here’s the dorman oil i just put it in a container and we’re just brushing it on all the trees so kathy’s starting on that back row dorothy’s starting the ones by the community gardens and i’m going to start in the first nations garden and out to the spiral orchard hi everyone i’m back in the truck it is freezing out it actually started snowing while we were painting the dormant oil on the trees so got four volunteers out today so that’s really good people are dedicated to come out in this weather and help out with the orchard so now i’m gonna go home all right seat belt on i’m gonna put those mud tires to use here let me just uh turn the wipers on does that make it all scary that’s okay all right here we go i’m gonna have to turn around up here somewhere maybe i’ll just drive right through here do a bit of off-roading eh turn down here so these are kind of the roadways that we have planned in the orchard are on the perimeter here and then we can come down the central road down here turn the corner there we are a little bumpy [Music] oh whoa get potholes there [Music] all right out we go [Music] yeah normally when we work in the orchard we’re shoveling wood chips and wheelbarrowing and digging so you stay warm but today we’re just painting the dormant oil on and it was a cold wind and it started snowing and we had to pack it up it was just too cold and you don’t warm up painting trees here we are home home sweet home [Music] just like that engine off nice yeah all right i’m so cold because we had to unwrap the wraps around the trunks of the trees that protect them from rabbits and you can’t do that with gloves on so you have to take them off and unwrap all the spirals then paint the tree and then put the spirals back on it’s so cold so cold i think we’re getting down to minus seven degrees celsius tonight and the high today is you know a couple of degrees below freezing and there’s a nasty wind all right that’s it for the orchard part of today it is the next day now and i’m going to repot my crassula ovata or commonly known as a jade i got this jade off of jacques from our kw bonsai society at the swap beat just it was last weekend and when i first saw the tree i was a little worried because it was all wrinkly here and usually that’s a sign that the trunk is rotted and it’s no good but this one is nice and firm so whatever happened to this this cutting it has repaired itself and it’s back to health so that’s really good there is a large branch that got removed on this side that is also beginning to heal you can see the wound is healing on the inside here developing a new outer skin to the trunk there’s a large branch that was removed here in the past that’s healed over completely there’s a branch on this side there’s a branch here and then there’s growth on the top which is really good because this tree is being severely shortened there’s a big branch that’s being removed here and a big branch that’s been removed here but it has an apex which is just awesome for the size of the trunk which is you know fairly thick um zinn from maybe balls i call this the the arm size jade uh it’s not quite my it’s a little smaller than my arm but uh anyway so we’ll call it the arm size jade i think that’s a good name for it and i think it has potential to become something quite special in the future because it is so short and has this leader right up on top yeah it’s got all the potential to become a really nice old mature looking jade here’s a close-up of that trunk which is very very firm it’s not nothing wrong with it and there’s the wound the large branches removed here you can see all the new skin growing on the inside here so that’s really good someday this will blend in this jade cutting is just planted in a plastic nursery pot and it has ordinary potting soil in it so today i’m going to get it underway as a bonsai uh taking it out of the pot getting it in a new pot with bone sized soil having a look at the root system and maybe maybe uh removing some i can see there’s the soil level is quite low here on this side and it’s higher on this side and i can see roots that have formed on the one side that are kind of too high up so we’ll have to take it out and with a cutting like this you never know how deeply the cutting was planted in the soil uh it could be the roots may be way down in the pot way down here or they could be up halfway or just surface roots so you have to get the tree out of the pot to see exactly what’s going on even before you pick a front for the tree i may not be too fussy about a front for the tree today i’m just want to develop it into the future uh it’s you know i want to get it on the right track but uh it’s far from being ready to be a showpiece here’s a look at the roots you can see there’s roots really high up in the trunk here but if i turn it around you can see this is lower and there’s no surface roots on this side so they may be deeper down but we’ll see that when i take it out of the pot when you’re picking a pot for a jade it’s important to match the pot with the tree if you have too large a pot and too large a volume of soil the soil never dries out and the j could rot away you want a pot size that’s just a little bigger than the root base of the tree so usually you know the roots on a jade aren’t much bigger than the trunk diameter so this size of a pot is probably ideal it allows the soil to dry out you know on a good sunny day also because these trees are quite top-heavy you know once they get a big canopy up here they they tend to want to tip over so you need a fairly stable pot too you don’t want you know a very tall pot with a small footprint down low because in a wind it could tip over so you want something that’s very stable at the base you also want a pot that’s fairly deep uh if you have too shallow a pot you don’t get that hydraulic action when you water it the water just kind of sits in the bottom of the pot and that could cause root rot also so you want a fairly deep pot so the pot that it’s in now is probably ideal it’s the right size for the jade it’s high enough and it’s stable it can take the weight of the the tree once it gets a little more top heavy so i think i need to find a pot something like this um and i don’t know if i have one but i’ll look around when you’ve matched your jade to a nice size pot it allows you to water and fertilize more often because it has good drainage you have bone size soil on there which drains freely a nice high pot not too big not too small so the soil will dry out daily so you can water and fertilize your trees daily your jade and it should grow really strongly and be really healthy now you do have to watch you have to keep these jades out of the rain uh if you have like a long rain that sometimes can last two or three days of rain you want to put the jade inside otherwise it’ll just stay in wet soil too long and you could get trunk rod and root rot and all kinds of problems so i i put my jades outside in the summer in full sun and then if it’s raining i bring them into the greenhouse and when it stops raining they go back out in the benches i keep them on my watering schedule not mother nature’s i’m going to head outside now i’ve got to do two things i’ve got to find a pot for the jade and i’ve got to make up some new bonsai soil because i’ve run out and i’ll uh use that for repotting [Music] so [Music] [Music] so [Music] [Music] [Music] so [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Music] so [Music] so [Music] i’m in the greenhouse here warming my hands up it’s still quite cold outside so i’ve got my soil mixed up it’s 50 perlite and 50 turfis and i mix them equally and you just look at it visually so there’s not too much perlite and not too much turfis i’m going to look for a pot for the jade now one that’s not too big not too small not too shallow and not too deep i’ve been looking around for a suitable pot and i found this one it’s a plastic pot and it’s fairly deep and it’s not all that big that’s my best possibility so far but i’ll keep looking here’s a look at all my possibilities i have a tall kind of purple colored one i’ve got a greeny one that has holes on the sides of it i’ve got one that looks kind of like a woven basket and then a kind of flower pattern one on the end there i uh i think i don’t like the style of the purple one at all for the for a jade it looks like it would tip over too easily the second one i think is a little too small the other one is perfect but i’m just not keen on that style of pot it might suit some kind of tree but i don’t think the jade i don’t know it’s a possibility uh and the other one on the end uh tough choice now i’m trying to think you know what is the perfect pot for a jade um i do want to kind of evoke the feeling of an african landscape so yeah it’s a tough choice i think the one on the end the first one i picked out that plastic one it’s it’s a good size so i can get a bit of landscaping in underneath the tree and i think with the bonsai soil in there it’ll dry out quite nicely and it’s got room for the tree to grow so it can you know increase in thickness it can stay in that pot probably you know at least three years maybe more so yeah i think i’m going to go with the the brown pot on the end the only problem with this pot is the soil is frozen in the pot so i’ll have to let that thaw out and then i can tip the soil out and put fresh soil in i think i had the coastal redwood in there which didn’t make it [Music] i’ve got both the soil and my pot warming up here in the greenhouse thawing it out and then i’ll bring it inside to the plant room to repot the jade in the meantime let’s have a look at some pictures of jade’s in the wild and that might give me some landscaping ideas for underneath the tree i’ve got my pot inside here it’s all washed out i’ve got my soil in the plant room so i’m ready to repot the jade this jade could be styled into many different forms i could grow it taller i could grow it like a broom style more of a baobab kind of style there’s a lot of possibilities the things going for this tree it has a really thick trunk that tapers nicely to this apex that’s growing up top that’s an important part or features of this tree is that kind of robustness of the trunk um i think eventually i will remove these lower branches but i’m keeping them on for now just to get energy back into the tree i’ll develop this top and maybe eventually more of a typical kind of crown on the tree a broom style up here yeah it’s it’s a nice start uh getting this kind of thickness of a trunk lots of character on the trunk the trunk isn’t that old yet you can see it doesn’t really have a much of a bark texture and it’s not really that silvery gray color of a really old jade so that’s something to look forward to as it gets older into the future i’ve got some plastic down here to catch the soil so i’m going to remove the tree from the pot so here i go like that okay so you can see there’s not a lot of roots on it but that’s okay we’ll get roots so i’m going to start combing out the soil now so i’ll take the pot away and get out my root rake i’ve got my root break so here i go i’m going to really be gentle while combing these out i don’t want to wreck any of these fine roots that have developed the soil mixture this tree in is quite free draining it’s um it’s not like typical potting soil it has sand and grit in it i noticed uh some of the figs that i got the uh nutella ficuses uh they were in the same soil and it drained really well when i watered it however it does hold a little too much moisture in the soil it’s better with a more porous mixture so i’m getting a little bit of rod at the base here not a whole lot but just a little bit okay i think that’s as close as i can get using the root break i’m going to try washing it now under water so i’m going to take it up to the bathtub and give it a clean just so i can see exactly what’s here so i’ll do that and come back i’ve washed the root base on this tree and you can see that it’s healed over really nicely the original cutting so that’s really good there is roots at a lot of different levels as i said before but i think jock kind of had the planting height here and there’s a lot of roots at that level so i think i’m going to keep it at that level and maybe more roots will grow out kind of around the surface here it’s quite possible they will if roots do develop around this ring here i can then remove that bottom in the future to kind of get a nice flat radial root base so with the tree in the pot if the bottom of the roots are sitting it’s a little low i noticed my root plane here so i’ve got to put a base layer in the pot to bring it up to about that kind of a level so maybe about that much in the bottom of the pot all right so now my base layer of soil can go in so now i’ve got to pick a front for this tree and like i said i’ll probably remove these lower branches eventually and develop this apex up top so that’s not really much of a factor it’s mainly you know the best view of the trunk so the backside has all these wrinkles which are pretty cool feature tough choice tough choice i’ve got this big wound where a branch was but that could be cleaned up i could smooth that over so that’s not really a factor either i think somewhere here i mean every view is okay on this tree but i think here so yeah i’ll just put it offset slightly in the pot try and get my roots arranged there that looks like a good height maybe a little more central and yeah i think about there i think that’s pretty good so i’ll fill it in with soil i’m hoping it stays upright in the pot by itself without any wiring or anything if if i need to i can place stones around the surface to hold the tree in the pot until the roots get established it seems to be staying upright already by itself so that’s a good sign let’s get the roots or the soil in here by the roots this will be an interesting tree to watch develop over the next five years both style wise and how it grows i don’t see a lot of jades planted in bone sized soil and i find when they are in bonsai soil they grow really well on a really good summer you can pretty well double the size of the trunk on a jade if you let the top grow you know without pruning in that so yeah they can grow pretty fast if they now you have a nice warm sunny summer you let the top grow it’ll just it’ll really thicken up and you have a fairly large size pot to grow lots of roots into that’s another factor kind of like my aloe it just you put it in the bigger pot and it just fills the pot with roots and it just grows like crazy all right i just gotta top the soil up here a bit more now i don’t need to water this because the soil had some moisture in it the turfis so i’m going to just leave it be i’ll uh wait till the plant continues growing you know it’s got a few new leaves on it since i brought it home already so i think in the next week or so it’ll start perking up and looking really good and then once the soil dries out thoroughly i can give it a thorough watering add some fertilizer to the water and get it going on another water cycle again letting the soil dry out completely and then thoroughly watering once again so that water cycle will keep it really healthy so now i need to do a little landscaping here so i’m going to dress the surface of the soil with some red turfis some of that athletic turfish so i’ve got some of that and i’ll put it on the surface of the soil i brought in some reddish colored rocks in case i want to make kind of a copy landscape and i’ve got my red turfis you could use red lava rock would work fine too it’s kind of mixed in with some lighter colored stone hopefully it’ll look good hopefully i have enough to kind of address the surface with so i’m going to start by planting the rocks and then i’ll put the turfis around it all right i’m going to start by positioning the largest rock so let me see again trying to find an interesting part of the rock yeah i’ll put this one out here that looks better so i’ve got that one kind of more off to the side so it doesn’t look quite so symmetrical i think that uses all of the pot more too i like that okay i’ll put my uh red colored turface on now i’ll use a spoon and just kind of spoon it around the tree this is just purely decorative get that red colored african soil it kind of looks nice around the rocks too [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] it’s so nice to get my arm size jade planted and underway as a bonsai just rotate it around there so it’s got a lot of growing and a lot of healing to go but as i said it’s on its way that’s all for today i’m nigel saunders thanks for joining me in the bonsai zone you

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