Do you pot or train first?

mrchips1952

Yamadori
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When you buy a potential tree do you re-pot first or leave it in the container and trim and wire it before going to a pot. Myself I move it to a pot to see if it will actually make the change and be healthy in a new pot and then a year later style it. Dave in Colorado:)
 

Bill S

Masterpiece
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Then you may be the one with patience, if I buy a tree now, well past pot up time, I'd still start working out some things. You can poke a bit to see what you are dealing with below to get a basic idea of what the roots are like.
 

Dav4

Drop Branch Murphy
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Unless the tree needs to be re-potted due to health reasons (rootbound, poor soil, etc), I'll typically start the training process before re-potting. Establishing the beginnings of an achievable image and maintaining vigor and health are paramount at this stage, which will be affected by re-potting into a smaller container. Once the tree reaches a certain level of refinement, I'll move it to it's first bonsai pot, but not the final one. That comes later, when the tree is more fully developed.
 

treebeard55

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I'm one of those who likes a fairly level nebari: I think it looks more stable, well-established. So before I do anything serious, I figure out what the final planting angle will be. Sometimes I can do that by digging down into the soil, sometimes it has to wait until I can repot the tree.
 

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