BIG Ponderosa Repot

JasonG

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Last Week RichL came out for a few days to do some repotting. After working on several of his trees, mostly ponederosa, we felt we were warmed up enough to tackle this big monster pine I have. It is a very heavy tree..... heavy enough I think I am done with very large trees now :)

Anyways. this ponderosa was collected fall of 2005. As you can see from the picture there was not very many roots. Because of this the tree would not be sold to anyone so it found its way into my yard. As many of you are aware sometimes you just don't get the roots that you plan on.

So here it is with a typicall hammer used for a size comparison...
 

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JasonG

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So when this tree went into a wood box I had to plant it pretty deep for stability reasons. I used 1/3 akadama, 1/3 pumice and 1/3 lava for my soil. For the next 17 months I used fish fert on top of the soil, miracle grow full strength every 2 weeks or so and watered the foliage every day. Soaking the roots as needed.

So now was the time to see what I had going on in that huge ugly box. The tree grew laike crazy last year and is very healthy, that is the only reason I decided to do the deed so soon.

So, I broke out the new Sawzall and started cutting nails holding the box together. As you can see the root growth is phenominal. Not 1 little peice of soil fell while pulling the sides off.
 

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JasonG

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As you can see the mycroizza (sp?) is going strong and the new root growth is holding everything together. So far I am very excited to see the new growth and am very relieved with what I am seeing. I would bet there are a few thousand new root tips when all said and done..... Here is a somewhat ok photo.....
 

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JasonG

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Once we moved it out of the box we decided to start gently working the soil out of the roots. We want to make sure we keep as many new root tips as possible. Ofcourse they are very fragile and some will be lost, no way around that! After a beer and some teasing we are left with this.....
 

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JasonG

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We did remove a lot of soil, but this type of soil can be gently teased and removed without too much harm to the roots. It isn't like a compacted dirt or nursery soil that has to be chiseled off. Here is Rich doing some last minute cleaning around the base of the trunk. The base is 13 1/2 inches across.
 

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JasonG

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Now it is time to find a pot and clean it up. Here is a Drop Top Amber Ale (mmmmgood!) bottle for a comparison..... Pot is one of China's finest :) Oh, and pretty heavy!!
 

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JasonG

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Ok, so here is where it got tricky, it took the two of us and the little misses to wrestle this beast into its pot. No pictures were taken of this step. But the tree is still heavy enough to the 1 side to require a 2x4 support under the trunk that hangs over the pot. All measures were taken to make sure this tree does not move int he pot, no matter what.

Here it is potted up, and some other shots from different angles.
 

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JasonG

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This tree will live in this pot for atleast the next 5 years without touching the roots. Next on the agenda is an initial styling.... As of now this is 100% mother nature's handy work.

A few deadwood shots for you all..... I hope you enjoyed the progression.... There will be some more ponderosa repotting done on my trees in the next week or so. Whew, after this post I might need one of those Ales.... :) Enjoy

Thanks,

Jason
 

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darrellw

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Hey Jason,

Thanks for sharing! My back thanks me for not coming out to help :).

-Darrell
 

cbobgo

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Holy Schnikees that is one beast of a tree.

When are you going to start working on the top? Waiting for Walter's next trip? Make sure we get pics of that too.

Randy should be arrivng at Brent's today - can't wait to get over there and see all the trees he brought down!

- bob
 

John Hill

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WOW Jason,
Why don't you just send it out my way ;) Man I have got to load up the motor home and head out your way!!

A Friend in bonsai
John
 

tom tynan

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Hey Jason...This is one of these special "monster" Ponderosa's as I call them - that Randy hauls out of the mountains of somewhere.....what is amazing to me is the progression from the initial collected roots to that wonderful fibrous mat that you show in the later pictures - well done.....the growth at the top is also real lush and full - another great sign....

It is a great series of photos from collected tree to getting the monster into its first pot [which really seems like a small bathtub !!]....

Shaping the crown to highlight that amazing trunk should be alot of fun....

So...what was the finally tally on beer intake between you two.....

Tom
 

Tachigi

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Jason, I sure hope you weren't planning on kids after wrestling that beast :)

The mycorrihiza growth is amazing. Did you introduce it or did it piggy back its way into your grow box? Well done, This is a truly an impressive piece both in size and quality. I can hear Taylor now!
 

JasonG

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Thanks everyone for the good words!

Doc Bob, I will wait to style this probably next spring or this fall at the earliest. I still have some decisions to be made regarding the direction I want to go.... It may include grafting ponderosa back on the branchs I plan to keep. Overall the tree will be compacted quite a bit as I see a very small powerful canopy that is 1/2 of the size it is now.

John, Load'er up buddy and head out!! That would be a looong drive!

Tom T, Yes, the tree is in very good health and that is the only reason I decided to pot it this soon. You are right, Randy is the man. I packed out a very large lodgepole this past fall, about 140lbs and it about killed me. To think that he does this with 200lbs or more for several miles is amazing. I don't think there is anyone else out there with his skills....and ability. Walter summed it up best, Randy is not a worldclass bonsai master when it comes to styling but he is a world class bonsai master when it comes to his eye and collecting ability. To me that hit the nail on the head.

Tachigi, That mycorrihiza that you see was natural. It had very little on the native root pad and I guess through good feeding and watering it spread like wild fire.... I was very pleased to see how much was there. It was all on the inside of the soil as well. A bunch was left as it went into that pot.
Tell Taylor that one day when you guys can come out I will have a suprise for her......:) (Maybe don't say anything, if you do she won't stop bugging you to come out) LOL

Thanks,

Jason
 
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Graydon

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Holy crap. Incredible. Mind numbing. Fantastic. So sweet. Wow. I can't form sentences at this point.

Thanks for posting the most impressive thing I have seen here on BonsaiNut. Unbelievable. Wow.

Oh - you need to change your avatar please!
 

Dwight

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Great job Jason and a really great tree. Does look like you're stuck with this one for a long time , not that thats a bad thing. BTW , what ever possessed you guys to collect such a monster ? Yea , I know it's georgeous but it kinda reminds me of the ram butting the dan. Glad you took it on though. Also glad it was you and not this old man.
 

JasonG

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Holy crap. Incredible. Mind numbing. Fantastic. So sweet. Wow. I can't form sentences at this point.

Thanks for posting the most impressive thing I have seen here on BonsaiNut. Unbelievable. Wow.

Oh - you need to change your avatar please!
LOL, Thanks Gryadon.... The tree in my avatar just gor a repotting as well and looks much better now....I need to update it!

Dwight, yes this is a big tree, but not the biggest collected by oregonbonsai, that is for sure!! I think playing with this one and my just as big if not bigger RMJ has made me think smaller for the future....

172~ you are welcome! Glad you enjoyed.

Jason
 

Dale Cochoy

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Doc Bob, I will wait to style this probably next spring or this fall at the earliest. I still have some decisions to be made regarding the direction I want to go....
Jason
Jason,
Nice tree!
I started selling colleced PP quite a few years ago and have several good sized ones left in my garden. I think I have one about that size in the biggest mica rectangle that sets on the ground next to my pond and hangs over it. It never gets moved. Sat there about 6 years now 24/7/365. I think i need to tackle it this year into a decent pot, but I've had some BAD luck with those big Chinese pots. Your weather is much milder than ours though.
One thing I found out years ago about collected PP is that it takes at least 3 years for twigs and branches to stop dying off after collected ( and moved to Ohio) so I think I'm ok now. I had several larger branches die off on mine in the early years. They certainly take a while to acclimate. Your soil mix looks mighty successful for your climate!
My tree never gets moved summer or winter and I love it over the pond. I suppose it will stay right there but raised up ,during summer at least, in the same spot.

To the right of picture.
Also in picture, huge Birdsnest Spruce at top of waterfall, Two weeping RedPines, REAL nice larch and a ponderosa planteed in ground hanging over water.
Dale
 

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