Advice on cotoneaster "Coral Beauty" nursery stock

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Advice on cotoneaster "Coral Beauty" nursery stock

Post  KennedyMarx on Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:46 am

Here is the plant in question: http://i.imgur.com/HroOpsr.jpg

I bought it mainly as learning material, but I think there is a decent degree of potential with all of the different branches and stubs on it. It's a prostrate plant, but I don't think I'm limited to just cascade.

I live in USDA Zone 6a and temperatures are around 0ºC here during the day, but are dipping down to around -8ºC. When should I chop it back? Should I do it while it's dormant? Before or after new buds break?

Also I want to repot it and get it out of the nursery dirt as it seems quite compacted. I've read that you shouldn't do more than 1/3 root pruning and have also read not to bare root it. How true is this?

Can I repot and cut back in the same year or should I space it out? I know some trees can't take it all at once, but others can handle it (boxwood for instance).

Thanks. Smile


Last edited by KennedyMarx on Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:48 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typos)

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Re: Advice on cotoneaster "Coral Beauty" nursery stock

Post  drgonzo on Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:41 am

You can do a reasonably hard pruning back in early spring when you see new shoots just starting to pop. BUT I would skip re-potting and any root work until next year (spring 2014). Anyway the remaining full root system will give you good energy to help push dormant buds after the hard prune. Additionally Cotoneasters are one of the only species I've repeatedly killed by doing root work and top work at the same time.

I've learned not to do both at the same time with them unless you leave considerable root mass. Usually cotoneaster roots are a mess and need to be dealt with fairly harshly when first coming out of a nursery container so in my experience it's best to space it out and skip a year to save trauma on the tree.

-Jay

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Re: Advice on cotoneaster "Coral Beauty" nursery stock

Post  KennedyMarx on Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:43 am

Thanks, Gonzo. I figured it would be safest to separate the two rather than just go all at once. I'm just worried about watering it while it's stuck in the nursery can with the old dirt. I was thinking about leaving as much root mass as possible while changing the soil to a bonsai mix. I wouldn't even spray the roots off, just try to untangle them and shake most of the dirt loose. I would still be tempted to chop it back quite a bit though as right now it's hard to even move it since there's so much growth away from the trunk.

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Re: Advice on cotoneaster "Coral Beauty" nursery stock

Post  augustine on Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:03 pm

I also have a Coral Beauty purchased from a nursery in a 3 gallon can.

My aim was removing the nursery soil and trimmed the roots about a quarter last year. Then tried to remove the bad soil as much as possible and untangle the roots which were a large thick tangled mess. Will do the same this year when buds start to move.

Mine didn't lose a beat and I did some trimming, it grew well.

I try to take a conservative approach and accept it will take a number of seasons to get the root ball under control. Leave lots of styling options. Enjoy your plants!

Best,

Augustine
central MD 7a

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Re: Advice on cotoneaster "Coral Beauty" nursery stock

Post  augustine on Thu May 23, 2013 2:16 pm

Well I repotted @ 3rd week in March. The more I got into the root ball the more frustrated I became because it was such a solid mass that was basically unworkable. The nursery soil coul not be removed. I ended up cleaning with the garden hose and combed out the roots best and carefully as I could. Did a fair amount of pruning and planted into bonsai mix.

It's doing fine and even flowered.

Best,

Augustine
central MD 7a

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Re: Advice on cotoneaster "Coral Beauty" nursery stock

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