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Care in Spring (3) Chinese Juniper: Transplant advance the tree in rank

September 3, 2010

 When Someiyoshino cherry trees start to bloom, transplanting of Shohaku (trees of Pinaceae and Cupressaceae) reaches its peak. March or April is the best season for it because it is just before the root start to grow. In Kandaka Shojuen Bonsai Garden in Takamatsu's Kinashi town, Kandaka Fujiyoshi, the third owner, and Kandaka Keiji, the forth owner, showed us the work of transplanting of Goyomatsu (Japanese white pine).

Once in 4 or 5 years

 However Zoki (trees except Pinaceae and Cupressaceae) which grows fast needs to be transplanted every year, the roots of pine trees grow slowly and it is enough to transplant every 4 or 5 years. It is the time to transplant when a pot is filled with the roots. If you miss this timing, the roots fill the pot full and the tree comes out from the pot. The work of transplant puts a great strain on a tree having such situation and causes damage to the tree easily.

 First pull a tree out from a pot and remove the soil which put in the pot at the last transplant several years ago. Then cut down the protruding thin roots. It is better to leave the roots grown in all directions and cut the crooked roots down. And then remove the dust by washing in water and remove the dirt at the base by brush.

First pull a tree out from a pot and remove the old soil and roots.
First pull a tree out from a pot and remove the old soil and roots.

Choose upgraded pot

 Next, choose the new pot and put the soil, mixture of sand and Akadama soil. To be attached firmly to a tree, they poke the soil with a spatula and erase the space. Sometimes they fix and stabilize a tree with wire. Finally finish a bonsai with decorative sand. Fijiyoshi told us that it is better to make a few holes in the soil for watering.

They are showing the important work to make the soil attached to a tree.
They are showing the important work to make the soil attached to a tree.

Goyomatsu (Japanese white pine) after transplanting
Goyomatsu (Japanese white pine) after transplanting

 The right size of pot is equal-sized or a little bigger one. If you choose an oversized pot, the tree's root will be damaged by much water. The tree will gain attractiveness as the years go by, so it is better to choose an upgraded pot.

 After transplanting, give much water for clean the dust in the bottom of a pot. As the roots start to grow in the season, you will find the new roots come out in a week. The sensitive cares like this advance the bonsai tree in rank.
(By Shigeo Hano)

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