Repotting season is here in Northern California and I’m getting started with some of the trees that I own that are most in need of repotting. Normally, I would start with deciduous material in early January and then work on conifers later in February and even early March. For San Francisco, the winter season is more a rolling brown-out than a complete black-out. As of the new year, most of my elms are just turning yellow to drop leaves while the Ume and some native deciduous oaks are already starting to move new flowers or leaves.
This is the 2006 seedling batch Black pine #20. I have 20 of the first batch left and this is my least favorite, although I can’t say for sure why that is. It’s got a smaller trunk, with movement only right at the base, above which is a largely straight trunk that has little interest. I believe the tree has not been repotted since it was put into a pond basket in 2008 or 2009. I probably scraped off the top soil once or twice since then but it’s apparent that the tree is in need of repotting even though the pond basket keeps the roots from getting too long and circling the container.
For this tree and about half of the 2006 batch, I’m starting to pot them down into smaller containers so that I can get them into the small bonsai containers that they will eventually inhabit. I cut off the top of the sacrifice and pruned the rootball back on the bottom and sides to fit it into an 8″ colander that is about 1/2 the volume of the pond basket.