A Hypothetical Question

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A Hypothetical Question

Post  my nellie on Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:01 pm

When the issue of repotting comes around it is usually involved with root pruning.
I am wondering about repotting being made with no root pruning.....

Let's assume that I would like a medium size bonsai of mine to become larger size, so I decide to plant the tree into a big pot or better into the ground. This is to be done (conditionally) now, in spring...

If I repot the whole thing without disturbing the roots at this time when the leaves are emerging and new shoots are forming, will this make any harm to the tree or not?
Should the repotting be done next spring at the stage of bud swelling for safety reasons?

Thank you.

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Re: A Hypothetical Question

Post  Kev Bailey on Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:45 pm

A repot now, with no disturbance to the roots, is fine for most species. Keep in mind that you will have problems in the rootball that will have to be corrected next spring, so that it can go into a bonsai pot eventually. Presumably there will be coiling roots at the bottom of the existing pot and these will thicken a lot if left for more than a year, in a larger pot.

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Re: A Hypothetical Question

Post  my nellie on Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:06 pm

Thank you Kev!
I can see exactly what you mean!

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Re: A Hypothetical Question

Post  JimLewis on Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:10 pm

But "disturbing" the roots can mean many things. It can mean cutting them -- slightly or severely -- or it can mean removing all the soil, but NOT cutting them, or . . . it can mean, untangling those circling roots on the bottom before moving them to a new, larger pot, or the ground.

This is generally the wrong season for repotting that includes root pruning. Depending on the species of tree it can include either of the methods that do not include cutting roots. And, most species can survive just having the circling roots at the bottom loosened.

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Re: A Hypothetical Question

Post  my nellie on Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:41 pm

Thank you, Jim, too!
Very enlightening both posts!
I much appreciate your time to answer the ignorant questions of mine! Smile

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Re: A Hypothetical Question

Post  Reiner Goebel on Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:02 am

Jim, when you say "This is generally the wrong season for repotting that includes root pruning.", are you talking of the spring we are currently experiencing or the winter that by now is nothing but a faint memory? Spring is THE season to repot and root prune. And I can't imagine why one would repot without root pruning. Cultivation of a good root system is just as important as developing above ground growth.

In my experience, root pruning does not slow a tree on its development towards bonsai, quite the opposite. Generally, too little attention is paid to the role that visible roots play in the image presented by a bonsai. Since root pruning is carried out a lot less frequently than pruning of the upper growth, it is important to do the right thing when the opportunity presents itself. Spring is the ideal time for that.

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Re: A Hypothetical Question

Post  my nellie on Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:16 am

Of course, Jim is the only one who can explain the meaning of his post, but I dare say that by writting "This is generally the wrong season for repotting that includes root pruning" he just answers to this specific (concerning the local Greek climate conditions at the moment) question of mine....
my nellie wrote: ... ...
If I repot the whole thing without disturbing the roots at this time when the leaves are emerging and new shoots are forming, will this make any harm to the tree or not?
... ...

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Re: A Hypothetical Question

Post  OscarIndigo on Wed Jun 02, 2010 2:09 pm

If you plant it in a big pot only the roots will grow for a couple of months and then the tree will start to grow bigger.

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Re: A Hypothetical Question

Post  JimLewis on Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:33 pm

If you plant it in a big pot only the roots will grow for a couple of months and then the tree will start to grow bigger.

Say What?

And for My Nellie (and for Reiner) . . . It's probably still spring up in Toronto where Reiner lives, but down here (and in Athens, too, I'm sure), it is summer -- temperature-wise, at least. The only heavy root work we do here now is emergency type.

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Re: A Hypothetical Question

Post  John Quinn on Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:56 am

Jim said This is generally the wrong season for repotting that includes root pruning... those of us who live in the southern part of the US sometimes forget that it is still, in fact, "Spring" according to the calendar, and in fact for those living in more northern latitudes. Here in South Carolina, we had 'Spring' conditions several months ago and has been in the 90F (32C) range for some time now!

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Re: A Hypothetical Question

Post  fiona on Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:51 am

If this discussion is to be pursued, I think we need to bear in mind that this thread was started on April 28th - indeed only the last three posts were made within recent days - so our current responses are in danger of skewing the timeline. I suspect it may very well have been beginning to pull out of Spring and into Summer in Athens at the point of posting the question and mynellie's concern was that the tree had already begun to break. A legitimate concern I would argue as most of us have been taught and/or experience has shown that repotting after bud break is not advisable.

Hypothetically, I would not repot outside of Spring, but there have been occasions where I have done so - mostly where the pot has got broken and simply must be replaced. On those occasions, I have lifted the rootball straight out of the broken pot and secured it straight into the new pot with no (or as little as possible) disturbance to the root ball ecept tying it in and watering. Although we do not get even remotely the same level of spring/summer heat as Athens or either of the Carolinays, I would try to do that in a cool part of the day and keep the tree out of direct sun for a few days.


btw the thread was resurrected by OscarIndigo a couple of days back when he posted a general remark no doubt in his youthful enthusiasm to learn as much as he can in as short a space of time as he can - assuming of course he is as his profile says only 12. It's as much for his sake as anything else that I've posted this (hypothetical) response. Keep on asking the questions, Oscar. Wish I'd had a forum like this when I was your age.

And don't anyone even think about saying that computers weren't invented when I was his age. Hah!

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Re: A Hypothetical Question

Post  my nellie on Thu Jun 03, 2010 3:34 pm

Good Evening, everyone!
JimLewis wrote: ... ... The only heavy root work we do here now is emergency type.
fiona wrote:... ... A legitimate concern I would argue as most of us have been taught and/or experience has shown that repotting after bud break is not advisable.!
I have done this emergency type of work in a small cornus which was showing signs of scorching, with no success of course. I just confirmed that the roots were decaying because of extra humidity (I think so) BUT repotting was not the cure, because of the wrong time in the plant's lifecycle, I believe....

fiona wrote:... ... I suspect it may very well have been beginning to pull out of Spring and into Summer in Athens at the point of posting the question and mynellie's concern was that the tree had already begun to break.!
Indeed last Spring the mean temperatures have been a little above natural limits for this season in Greece. We had a maximum 27 C. for one of two days last week but in April maximum mean temperature was 22.5 C during day and 13.5 C. during the night.

fiona wrote:... ... And don't anyone even think about saying that computers weren't invented when I was his age. Hah!
But when I was his age, computers were indeed invented but I had not heard a thing about them! Laughing So, was like they were not! Laughing

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Re: A Hypothetical Question

Post  fiona on Thu Jun 03, 2010 3:39 pm

Actually, that last bit is true for me too. I remember being taken on a school trip to the IBM plant in Greenock in about 1970 and marvelling at the "Star Trek" computer room. And that's exactly what it was: the computer filled an entire room. I went back in about 1995 and the same room was there but the chap showing us round made the point that what had been done on that machine could now be done (plus a gazillion more things) on a laptop.

My my my!

Mind you my first "pocket" calculator took up most of my schoolbag.

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Re: A Hypothetical Question

Post  my nellie on Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:39 pm

It would be nice if human spirit was expanding the way that machines are reducing!

Kind Regards,

Alexandra.

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