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Transplanting of Wild Grasses and Trees: Point Is Time and Soil

August 10, 2013

 Spring is the best season to transplant. It is said wild grasses and trees should transplant every 3 to 4 years, and other trees should do every 2 to 4 years. If the soil become ill-drained and depleted, it is the time to transplant. We interviewed Takahito Hanazawa, Hanazawa Myoshun-en bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kinashi town, about the secret of transplanting.

Change All Soil

 Basically it is good to transplant most wild grasses and trees in the dormant period which they stop the growth. For Zoki, it is good to do before the buds come out. Trees having flowers like cherry blossoms are better to do before the flowers boom or in the period after flowering and before the needles come out. In the case of Tosho (Needle juniper) and Sugi (Japanese Cedar), it is good to do in the warm period during May and June.

 Hanazawa showed us the transplant of weeping cherry. The tree is about 10 years old. The young tree needs to remove the old soils and change to new ones. After removing, he cut the long and damaged roots, and wash them to clean up.

Weeping Cherry before Transplant
Weeping Cherry before Transplant

Work Quickly and Carefully

 Transplant is like a major surgery for trees. So the work should be done quickly and carefully. It is better to prepare a new pot and soils in advance. First, put up a net on the bottom of a pot. Then, put rough sands in it. And then, put brended soils which mix red ball soil parts 7 with Hyuga soil parts 3 and bamboo charcoals. This soil is used for most Zoki (deciduous trees). For Shohaku (trees of Pinaceae and Cupressaceae), it is used with sand.

Hanazawa is removing soils of roots at Hanazawa Myoshun-en bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kinashi town.
Hanazawa is removing soils of roots at Hanazawa Myoshun-en bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kinashi town.

 Put a tree which was cleaned the roots and cover with soils using bamboo skewer to spread evenly. It is also good to hold with wire to protect trees from strong wind.

 After transplanting, pour water over the tree to rinse off all dirt and dust of soils.

 If you finish the transplanting during March, the tree will bloom flower this April. Hanazawa says, "It is certainly a major sergery for trees. However you will have no trouble as long as you use correct soil in the best time. That is the plant's strength and attraction."

A Bloomed Weeping Cherry
A Bloomed Weeping Cherry
(By Shigeo Hano)

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