Japanese White Pine Re-pot (Chapter 2).

So, new pot is selected. Initially yet again the pot I chose for this tree whilst in Swindon was not at all right. I had a reserve in mind which gave me about 18-20mm spare all round the edge.

It takes a while of course to select the soil that is going back into the mix, but this is a must. Fungi content has been set to one side so that I can make certain it goes within touching distance of the root-ball. I am going to add some extra by way of RHS approved ‘Rootgrow’™. Again when and if you choose to do this addition it must be in contact with exposed root ends.

My mix then is:

  1. Kiryu 40% is variable sizes. All sand sized is removed.
  2. Aqua-grit 30%
  3. Akadama 15%
  4. Propagating bark 15%

You’ll note I have a 70% grit content in my Pine. Despite thoughts from others that a high grit content is not helpful during freezing conditions, I have never found it to be a problem. Strangely, I moved away from such a high percentage of grit the last time around with this one and it is the first time I have had quite so much dead root.

So back to my own tried and tested then. In terms of additives I restrict this to:

  1. Trace elements, level 5mil spoon
  2. Frit, rounded 5mil spoon
  3. Iron, rounded 5mil spoon
  4. Miracle Gro organic acid loving. 10ml
  5. Additional M.Fingi.

With all suggestions I am just showing what I use and have always used. Well, to be fair MG organic is new (second year). You will see more recipes for soil make-up than you can throw a Nigella Lawson cook-book at.

All I will say is I have tried almost all permutations over the years, and will not move away from this recipe. I did last time and have dead roots as a result.

Here we are then, all ready for a good mix.

The soil I saved has been mixed in and M.Fungi I saved has been placed carefully around the roots. I’ve added some RG and again spend plenty of time putting my mix in until all unwanted air-pockets have been filled.

I have not laboured this area as it is covered in greater depth on other re-pot’s in the series. The tree was of course secured into the pot prior to filling with a soil-mix.

Top dressing is smaller particles of Akadama. I do this because it looks more pleasing to the eye; and easy to remove and replace once settled and weeds start to turn up.

I hope you have found something of interest in this short article; and as usual, please do contact me if you have any burning questions.

This bonsai will now stay in my green-house for between four and six weeks. Wind is your enemy with a recently re-potted pine; this way it stays well away from wind. During its stay, it will be warm of course but the GH has vents and shading. It will be misted daily and as soon as the top-dressing shows signs of drying (two to four days) I will water once again. Do not over-water, just keep slightly moist, no more and you will end up with a perfectly happy tree.

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