Weeping Willow

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Weeping Willow

Post  bonsaisr on Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:09 am

I though I had given up, but today someone was selling Salix babylonica 'Yatsubusa' at the club auction. Does anyone know how it compares to 'Rokkakudo,' especially in vigor?
Iris

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Weeping Willow

Post  bonsaisr on Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:07 pm

The weeping willow I bought at our auction is dreadfully potted. Can I repot it now in Zone 5 or do I have to wait until next spring?
Iris

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Re: Weeping Willow

Post  Brett Summers on Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:43 am

What temps do you average at the moment and how far through the growing season?
As I think you know willow are veracious but if they are miss treated they will drop branches. Cut all the roots of at any time of the year put into water and they will grow new roots but most probably lose all finer branches.
Conditions need to be at the best as soon as possible to get through Winter but at the same time ypou don't want to upset the tree Too much.
Willow are funny and probably the only tree I would say do an emergency repot asap if conditions are not great. But to make these decisions without seeing the tree would not be wise.

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Re: Weeping Willow

Post  fiona on Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:57 pm

Brett Summers wrote:As I think you know willow are veracious
Explain please.

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Re: Weeping Willow

Post  JimLewis on Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:34 pm

Willows are truthful?

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Re: Weeping Willow

Post  coh on Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:42 pm

fiona wrote:
Brett Summers wrote:As I think you know willow are veracious
Explain please.
Most likely meant to write "voracious", I would think...

As for the original question - depends on what you mean by "dreadful". You should be able to get away with a slip potting now, with some minor root removal/teasing. I've done that in the summer with a couple of small weeping willows (Rokkakudo cultivar) that I have, without any problems. I don't think I'd try anything more aggressive than that.

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Weeping Willow

Post  bonsaisr on Tue Jun 11, 2013 5:56 pm

Unfortunately, this tree needs more than slip potting. It has been in a 6 inch (15 cm) nursery pot in old soil for three years, & is now a solid mass. I will probably need a saw.
For this purpose, USDA Zone 5 means it is now midsummer and our frost date is September 30. Average 4 days a year over 90 F (about 30 C). Some authorities say you can repot willows in warm weather, but of course the preferred time is spring.
Iris

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Re: Weeping Willow

Post  Brett Summers on Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:17 am

fiona wrote:
Brett Summers wrote:As I think you know willow are veracious
Explain please.
Aren't they the same thing lol

If it is just root bound I would say no to repotting until spring. You can always provide the care needed for a rootbound tree. It is bad soil or rotted soil that I thought you were suggesting was the problem. Pictures say a thousand words.

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Re: Weeping Willow

Post  coh on Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:23 pm

bonsaisr wrote:Unfortunately, this tree needs more than slip potting. It has been in a 6 inch (15 cm) nursery pot in old soil for three years, & is now a solid mass. I will probably need a saw.
For this purpose, USDA Zone 5 means it is now midsummer and our frost date is September 30. Average 4 days a year over 90 F (about 30 C). Some authorities say you can repot willows in warm weather, but of course the preferred time is spring.
Iris


Just because it ultimately needs more than slip potting doesn't mean it wouldn't benefit now from slip potting now. I would just poke some holes through the current root mass to improve drainage (fill with good draining bonsai mix), tease out the roots along the bottom/sides, and plant it into a pot 1 or 2" larger. If the tree itself seems to be doing OK, but the soil is draining slowly, you could  just poke some holes into the root mass and leave the tree in the current pot, or even leave the root mass completely alone and just nurse it along until spring. A photo or two and some additional description of the condition might help people here.

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Re: Weeping Willow

Post  Randy_Davis on Wed Jun 12, 2013 3:48 pm

Iris,

I have done complete agressive root pruning and repotting of my yatsabusa in the middle of june here in Kentucky more than once.  It's not for the faint of heart but it can be done when the tree is in excellent health.  I generally cut the root ball in half (on the Horizontal plane), tease out the remaining roots, trim them a bit and then repot and water in good.  Removal of some of the top growth will also help.  My tree will begin another spring like growing period in about 3 weeks.  I was trained years ago that willow because of it's vigorous root system that it need to be done twice a year, once in the spring and then again in mid summer. Not that anyone else would do it but that's just what I do for mine.  here's a pic of the one that I have in training.


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Weeping Willow

Post  bonsaisr on Fri Jul 19, 2013 3:16 am

In the middle of June, I repotted the tree, after cutting it back to shohin height, because I had to prune the roots. I repotted it into an extra deep pot. One authority recommends a coarse mix because of the need for copious watering, so I used my conifer mix. It is now out in the sun, growing happily. I will post a picture when I get to it. I see where Randy Davis sent a picture of this cultivar to the ABS. That's about the only picture of it online.
Probably the best weeping willow bonsai around is Dave Easterbrook's in Montreal. I think it's 'Rokkakudo,'
Iris

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Weeping Willow

Post  bonsaisr on Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:25 pm

One more question. With some of the subtropicals, like pomegranate & olive, I leave them outdoors until October and then put them in the unheated sunporch. There they get a cool rest, but no freezing. Around the middle of November or December (depending on the species), I put them under fluorescent lights to start growing again. Can I do this with 'Yatsubusa?' Of course this one can tolerate some frost, so I would leave it in the sunporch until some time in December. It would have to stay in the light garden until April or May.
Iris

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Re: Weeping Willow

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