potting & repotting season – beech and crape myrtle
Spring is all about potting and repotting. Here are an American beech and an old Crape myrtle getting some attention.
Potting and Repotting Season – Beech and Crape Myrtle
I’ve been working on this American beech, Fagus grandifolia, for a couple of years now. Last year I got the tree to really kick in some ramification by a technique of leaf-cutting described in this blog. With a good set of roots already going, I decided there’s no point in waiting any longer to move the tree to a bonsai pot.
I’ve had this Richard Robertson pot for about 30 years now. I figured it would make a good home for my beech – only I discovered that due to the root base “configuration” the tree would not fit deep enough into the pot to keep some roots from pointing a little too much upward.
The lesson here is to always have alternatives (more than one, too!). This pot is a beautiful piece by the late Paul Katich. It’s somewhat too big for the tree, however, it does posses adequate depth. It will do nicely until repotting time.
And here’s the result. I did a little trimming of the branching, and now we wait for bud-burst. I’ll post an update later in spring.
I’ve mentioned on more than one occasion that Crape myrtles are “super rooters.” This venerable old specimen, which I helped my friend Allen Gautreau collect over 30 years ago, is definitely in need of root-pruning. It’s been a couple of years since the last round.
I removed the moss, carefully loosened the tie-down wires, and here’s what I found. Lots and lots of roots.
No need to be shy when root-pruning Crapes. Here I’ve removed about half of the total root mass. The tree will not care; in fact, it will do better for having more room to grow.
Back in the pot.
How many different scoops have you tried for putting bonsai soil in your pots? I’ve used my share, still do, but this is by far the best one ever. Nothing else gets the soil right where it needs to be.
Soil’s in, light trimming done. The tree should bud very soon – this is typical behavior right after a spring root-pruning.
This Crape will be a lot happier now, with room to grow fresh new roots. Repotting is one of the easiest bonsai activities to neglect, and also one of the most damaging ones.
Let me know what you think.