Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Spring has Sprung

No doubt about it, in the bonsai world spring has arrived.

My larch now have little green buds the size of a match head.  My hawthorn have little green shoots bursting out -now too late for repotting (same problem last year).

A quiet realisation that I hadn't even started my repotting this year hit me.

The first plan of attack was to repot my deciduous trees first, only the ones that needed it.....which is most of them.

I had some "peaty' potting mix left, so decided to do the alders, oaks, dawn redwoods, swamp cypress etc. From experience most trees that loves moisture tends to thrive in a peaty mix.

I was a bit shocked to see the root growth on this dawn redwood.  The roots had grown out the bottom of the pot and anchored themselves firmly into the bark chips.  Hunting for moisture no doubt.

I have a love/hate relationship with this tree.  It loves to grow upward, and I hate wiring it down again.  It struggled a bit last year with the dryness.  That side root has to come off too, its not feeding anything up top.

Its reasonably large, so there's usually a bit of grunting and groaning going on during the lifting and repotting.

The roots had circled the bottom of the pot many times over, this was all cut off, it filled the paint bucket. Hmm....should have made more effort to do it last year.
This alder struggled with the dryness last year as well, its quite huge, so I decided to pot it into a much larger oval pot.  This is a beautiful tree, its leaves have slowly reduced down in size over the years.  Hopefully with this repot it wont suddenly decide that it wants its bigger leaves back.
Once again I hadn't taken a "finished" photo.  But it did look a bit more in proportion with this larger pot.

After walking past some yellowing pines all afternoon, I decided it was their time for a bit of a shakeup.

This is what greeted me when I prized the pot off.  Absolutely wonderful!!  All that michorizza (not sure how you spell it), its got to be a good thing.

I mixed quite a bit of this in with the potting mixture.
The white tips of the roots are the growing tips.  It was a shame that some of them had to get trimmed off, but it needed done.  The pines were starting to have that hungry yellowish look about the foliage.  There weren't any new buds appearing, so hopefully this repot will kick start some much needed vigour into them.
All happily done and back to their shelf, hopefully that yellow tinge will disappear shortly.
 I must mention the main tool I use when I start repotting.

Mixing the pumice etc in with the store bought potting mix is a bit of a chore when its done in a bucket.  You have to keep stopping what you're doing and make up new mix's all the time.

Hubby thought I'd gone a bit strange when I spotted an old hand concrete mixer on trademe a few years back.  They were selling it as a garden ornament...... not likely, I had a use for it!

It's brilliant, I can make up 3 pain buckets of bonsai mix in it, and get my daily exercise as well. No mucking about with motors/electricity/noise etc.
 Another added feature is the automatic iron addition setting.  What's that you may ask?
Well, its fairly rusty inside and as you turn it, little bits of rust splinter off the sides into the mix.

There's still a few days repotting left to go....mostly the larger ones, but the beauty of bonsai means that it can perhaps wait until next year.