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Care in Spring (2) Zoki (trees except Pinacese and Cupressaceae); drastic cutting

September 3, 2010

 In spring, trees which remained dormant during the winter start to move and it is time for transplanting. For Zoki (trees except Pinacese and Cupressaceae) of which the roots and leaves are active, it is ideal to transplant in February or March. For Shohaku (trees of Pinaceae and Cupressaceae), the best season for transplant is March or April. Hiramatsu Koji, the forth owner of Shunshoen Bonsai Garden in Takamatsu's Kokubunji town, grows many shohin bonsai trees and he is busy to transplant Zoki (trees except Pinacese and Cupressaceae) during this season.

Cut the roots and branches into half

 He showed us the transplant of Kangumi (Elaeagnus pungens) which is about 15 years old. Before the work, the height is 17 centimeters and there is Tochoshi (a branch that has inharmoniously grown too long and strong in momentum). Zoki (trees except Pinacese and Cupressaceae) which grows fast needs to be transplanted in one or two years because the mature roots fills the pot ant it causes the bad drainage.

Kangumi (Elaeagnus pungens) before transplanting
Kangumi (Elaeagnus pungens) before transplanting

 When transplanting a tree, cut the roots into half and remove most of the soil. However leaves of deciduous trees fall naturally from the trees, evergreen trees such as Gumi (oleaster), Kuchinashi (gardenia), and Binankazura (Kadsura japonica) needs to be took the leaves off. If people cut the old branches drastically, many new branches grow. After planting in new soil, it is necessary to give much water for clean the dust in the bottom of a pot. This way, you will enjoy the beautiful fresh green in a month.

A tree after cutting the leaves and the roots
A tree after cutting the leaves and the roots

Choose a pot provides great pleasure

 Hiramatsu just took about 20 minutes to prune Kangumi (Elaeagnus pungens) into 14 centimeters with a practical hand. It looks like a bare tree but new buds are coming out. He says, "Zoki (trees except Pinacese and Cupressaceae) is so active that its cutting can root. Drastic cutting causes no problem."

Kangumi (Elaeagnus pungens) after transplanting
Kangumi (Elaeagnus pungens) after transplanting

 It is said each transplanting advances the bonsai tree in rank. Of course it gains attractiveness as the years go by, but also it does by adaptation and wiring at transplanting. And to choose suitable pot for its growth is also effective for being attractive.

 Especially for Shohin bonsai, pots are more important than other types of bonsai because it is decollated with others. Therefore choosing a pot for a various display will provide us the great pleasure.
(By Shigeo Hano)

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