yew re-pot question?

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yew re-pot question?

Post  richard novis on Fri May 08, 2009 9:28 am

hi all

I have just picked up a nice english yew from a garden centre ths plant is potted in what i can only describe a water resistant soil,would the tree be ok if i repotted it now?

also would the tree suffer from a trunk chop at the same time or should i wait until im sure the repot has taken?

thankyou for any advice in advance

richard

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Re: yew re-pot question?

Post  Kev Bailey on Fri May 08, 2009 9:45 am

It depends. Has the tree started into growth this season? If it is just budding and the paler new growth hasn't unfurled, now is the ideal time. I've never had any problems with doing a chop at the same time, so long as you aren't removing a huge proportion, relative to the roots removed. The healthy and active roots on Yew are white, fleshy and very tangled. To get dense peat or whatever water resistant soil it is out of the root mass you'll probably need to use a combination of root hook and a hose with a nozzle, to give you a strong water jet. Try to keep the amount of top chop roughly balanced with the amount of root lost and all should go well.

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Re: yew re-pot question?

Post  richard novis on Fri May 08, 2009 10:08 am

thankyou for the quick reply

the buds havent extended yet! so will repot this weekend.will take note not to remove to much height

thanks again

richard

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Re: yew re-pot question?

Post  Tony on Fri May 08, 2009 1:15 pm

Hi Richard,

Good advice from Kev, its the perfect time to do the work but please note:

When you repot the yew, make sure that the soil mix is very open, only use a small amount of 'peat substitute' 20%, lots of alpine grit 30%, acadama if you have some 30% and perlite/perlag 20% this mix has worked really well for me in the north of England. keep the tree in the shade and do not over water, Mist spray the foliage twice a day.... and the tree will thrive

If you cannot get Acadama, you could use Tesco Cat litter, I have not used this but I am told it works fine and has no 'additives' that will harm the tree: (Citations please members who have used Tesco Cat litter)

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Re: yew re-pot question?

Post  Kev Bailey on Fri May 08, 2009 1:32 pm

Tony's potting mix advice is almost exactly what I use. One of the Tesco cat litter brands is Danish Moler clay, high fired. That is the only one you can use from Tesco. I have tried it but it has smaller particles (about 2mm, from memory) than the one I prefer - Pink Perfection cat litter. It is the same stuff from the same original manufacturer but larger particles, about 4mm. I get mine from a farmers foods warehouse called Farm and Pet Place Ltd. It is scented with soap but this only has the beneficial effect of deterring aphids.

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RE YEW RE-POT QUESTION?

Post  Bob Brunt on Fri May 08, 2009 1:34 pm

Hi Richard
I use Tesco cat litter as part of my mix.Smells lovely but that soon goes.It can be used neat if required.or mixed with other mediums as required.
Please have a look at Harry Harringtons site who has done extensive research on Kittydama and is well worth a read.

http://www.bonsai4me.com/Basics/Basicscatlitter.htm


Last edited by Kev Bailey on Fri May 08, 2009 1:45 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : More relevant URL)

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Re: yew re-pot question?

Post  richard novis on Sat May 09, 2009 8:43 am

thankyou again for the the advice

i do have some akadama and kyru was going mix with a bit of spagnum moss well chopped.but will take your advice on soil mix,i will also look into tha cat litter could save alot of money in the future.

thanks again

richard

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Re: yew re-pot question?

Post  fiona on Sat May 09, 2009 9:24 am

Up here in the wet west of Scotland several of our guys have had success with the following cat litter product. Its main advantages are it doesn't go to a mush in the rain followed by a brick in the sunshine (yes we do get some), and also there is a variety which is unscented so your trees don't smell like a cat lavatory the whole time. I'm told you can get it at most pet shops. The info came from my friend and fellow IBCer Peter T who has been experimenting with a number of soil mixes but likes this as an ingredient.


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Re: yew re-pot question?

Post  Lee Kennedy on Sat May 09, 2009 10:29 am

To quote a very famous bonsai artist "fish s#~t in water!"
So do you get any problems with cats being attracted to the cat litter when its fresh,after all cats s#~t in cattylitter pirat

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Re: yew re-pot question?

Post  fiona on Sat May 09, 2009 12:33 pm

Lee Kennedy wrote:So do you get any problems with cats being attracted to the cat litter when its fresh,after all cats s#~t in cattylitter pirat
We're OK up here, Lee, because the bears frighten the cats off, and as everyone knows the bears s**t in the woods not on individual trees. Mad

But for those who actually want a serious answer to the question (and there will be somebody), the stuff is so well mixed in the cats don't seem to come near it. Probably best to get the unscented tho'.

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Re: yew re-pot question?

Post  Peter Thorne on Sat May 09, 2009 1:15 pm

Hi guys, I have just picked up on the discussion about using cat Litter.
I have been a strong advocate of this product for several years now.
I use a product called sophisticat pink. As there is very little dust in it I use it straight from the bag.
It is perfumed but this smell goes away very quickly. It does not attract cats !
In the past I used to sieve it, grade it and wash off the perfume, then let it dry before using it with other constituents of the mix, but I have found that this really makes no difference.
I think the cat litter has all the attributes of a good bonsai soil. It does not clump together, is very free draining, and yet it retails the moisture. Because of the granular nature it also lets the air into the soil.
When it is wet, it looks like akadama and appears to have most of the same properties except it does not break down to dust over time and is half the price.

This year, as an experiment I repotted a cork bark elm in 100% cat litter - straight from the bag. So far the tree is thriving.
In truth I cannot find anything bad to say about this product as a bonsai soil and I suggest that it should become one of the standard products used in the hobby.
If any one has had a bad experience using this product - I would love to hear about it.
Cheers

Peter Thorne
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Re: yew re-pot question?

Post  Lee Kennedy on Sat May 09, 2009 3:22 pm

So that rules the cat out cat cat cat do the fine root hairs strike into the catlitter? (in other words when you repot does the catlitter stay in the rootball or does it fall out as alpine grit does?

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Re: yew re-pot question?

Post  Smithy on Sat May 09, 2009 7:40 pm

Peter Thorne wrote:
I use a product called sophisticat pink. As there is very little dust in it I use it straight from the bag.
It is perfumed but this smell goes away very quickly. It does not attract cats !
In the past I used to sieve it, grade it and wash off the perfume, then let it dry before using it with other constituents of the mix, but I have found that this really makes no difference.

Cheers

I use the same one as you and i usually wash it before using it. After reading your post i may now just use it straight out of the bag as its a bit of a pain washing it.

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Re: yew re-pot question?

Post  nigel on Sat May 09, 2009 9:17 pm

I have used Sophisticat for the last 3 years and have found that fine root development to be better than akadama. It does not breakdown into mush and can be re-used again and again.
As far as I am concerned it is the wonder product that I have been looking for. Repotting is simple, just shake the tree and most of it falls off the rootball. Very Happy
This year as an experiment I have been using it neat although I do still sieve and grade it, and so far it is performing as well as when mixed with other constituents

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Re: yew re-pot question?

Post  Kev Bailey on Sat May 09, 2009 10:19 pm

Sophisticat is what I've been using for about 10 years too. The name I wrongly recalled was what it used to be called. It's changed names a few times over the years. Unfortunately it can't be found at £3 a large bag any more. It's usually around £8 now.

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Re: yew re-pot question?

Post  Alan Walker on Sat May 09, 2009 11:51 pm

Please take note, American readers, that the kitty litter being discussed is available in the UK. Most kitty litter in the USA is the clumping kind and will be a very poor choice as a soil amendment.

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Re: yew re-pot question?

Post  Kev Bailey on Sat May 09, 2009 11:59 pm

But if any American readers interest has been piqued, take a look at the link to Harry Harringtons page. I'm certain he has American sources of Moler clay based cat litter toward the end of the page.

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“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” - Charles Darwin.

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"water resistant soil"

Post  bonsaistud on Sun May 10, 2009 4:39 am

G'day Richard...

You mentioned "...water resistant soil...".

Do you mean...the water runs off rather than soaking in to the soil?

IF YES...you likely have a malsai with rocks glued on to the top of the soil.

IF YES...get rid of the rocks ASAP! As in yesterday.

Then follow the soil mix instructions above.

By the way Richard, where are you located?

Pat Patterson, Northern California

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Re: yew re-pot question?

Post  richard novis on Mon May 11, 2009 5:43 pm

hi

i have repotted the yew and taken a couple of pics to show you,i spent around 3 hours trying to remove the old soil wich on closer inspection turned out to be very very dry clay evan after soaking this was a nightmare to remove without damaging the roots,I have removed about 12" from the top and around 1" of roots from the base ,As you can see it is a nice tree size giving me alot of options in the future for styleing i am also very happy with the nebari,

As you can see i have tucked the tree away under some bushes to keep it out of the sun and have started spaying the foilage as advised.

all advice still very welcome as i am new to this species also the main reason i picked this tree was to have a go creating jin and shari so adivice on this very welcome.

thankyou again for all the advice so far i have already picked up a bag of cat litter to give it a go!





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Re: yew re-pot question?

Post  richard novis on Thu May 28, 2009 7:20 am

hi all
i am a little concerned about this yew after reppoting it has been left in the shade and misted 1-2 times a day but the needles are turning yellow and some white the tree looks very unhealthy there are some buds extending but these to seem very yellow any advice and help would be greatly recieved

thankyou

richard

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Re: yew re-pot question?

Post  Kev Bailey on Thu May 28, 2009 7:47 am

OK, don't worry yet. Those new extending buds are the crucial part. Don't worry if they are yellowish to bronzish green, that is normal for Yew. I think that the hard clay removal is likely to be what has caused it to suffer. Just keep doing what you are and it should piull through. Don't be tempted to start doing any jin and shari work until next year at the earliest.

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Re: yew re-pot question?

Post  richard novis on Mon Jun 01, 2009 5:50 pm

ok kev, I will continue as before.

I think i will give this tree a good couple of years before any major work is done. After a long inspection of the tree on the weekend there does seem to be a few new buds forming and more extending then i first thought .

another question when should i think about giving the tree a feed?

thankyou for your advice

kind regards

richard

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Re: yew re-pot question?

Post  Carolee on Sun Jun 07, 2009 2:59 am

There are different opinions about feeding a newly repotted tree, but I'm of the school that you don't wait. It needs the nutrients to forms new roots. I would start feeding now on a weekly basis with a water soluble, balanced fertilizer like Miracle Grow. I also use a slow release like Osmocote in the soil; since you have already potted you could just scratch some into the surface. I have several yews, and one very large one which was collected, and all are doing well with this routine. One word of caution, the clay that was left in the roots may cause some die-off of some branches. When clay remains within the fast draining soil, the water goes through the fast draining soil, and no water is absorbed by the clay, and those roots get no water. Nothing you can do about it now except that there is enough roots in the fast drianing soil to feed all the major branches. The good news is that if there is die off, it is easier to determine a style, and do some carving. That's what happened with my first major yew, and it is developing into a very nice tree which I have enjoyed carving on the dead wood. Laughing

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Re: yew re-pot question?

Post  richard novis on Thu Jun 11, 2009 9:09 am

hi carolee
Thankyou for the reply i might start giving the tree a well diluted feed,

I am still concerned this tree wont make it there are still buds extending but nearly all the green has gone from the old needles more and more are white and falling off ,looks like it will lose all the old foliage has anyone had this before? and did the tree survive there are a few new buds but it doesant seem anough to replace a quarter of whats lost but maybe the buds will increase finger crossed.

thankyou

richard

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Re: yew re-pot question?

Post  Carolee on Fri Jun 12, 2009 12:32 am

New buds will form on an evergreen even when the roots are dead because of the stored nutrients. This is one of the saddest things about evergreens. You think you still have a live tree, and then one day (not really that quick) all of it is brown. However, I never decide that a tree is really dead for at least three months after it looks dead. On collected trees, I will even give it a whole growing season in addition to the three months. Yews can be surprising. Three-quarters can be dead, but there is still a vein of life. So hope for the best. Leave it alone except for feeding/watering, and give it time.

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