Kotohime shohin clump

markyscott

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Here's a cutting grown kotohime clump that needs repotting. Soil mass is solid and roots are growing through the drainage holes. Surface is full of weeds. I'll go through it all, just how I was taught.

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This is the perfect time to repot Japanese maple. See how the buds are beginning to swell and turn red? You want to get to these before leaf break. Tridents can be repotted for a short time after leaf break as well.
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markyscott

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Here are all the tools I use during repotting:
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  1. Turntable
  2. Sieve with 1/8" screen for removing the dust
  3. Plastic drainag mesh and wire
  4. Single root hook
  5. Sickle
  6. ARS angled scissors
  7. Bent-nosed tweezers
  8. Broom
  9. Trowel
  10. Tweezers
  11. Three-pronged root hook
  12. Pliers
  13. Wire cutters
  14. Knob cutter
  15. Concave cutter
This is a seperate set of tools from my regular ones I use for pruning.
 

markyscott

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First, cut the old wire holding the tree in the pot. Cut it in the middle, bend it up and cut it short. Cut also the wires holding the screens into the pot. You're trying to cut the wire short so they don't grab the bottom of the pot while you're trying to pull the plant out.
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With the sickle, loosen the soil around the edges of the pot. You want to draw the sickle toward you, slowly working your way between the rootball and the side of the pot. You're trying to make a little gap to make the tree easier to get out of the pot. Do one long side and two short sides and work the sickle all the way down to the bottom of the pot.
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Push the plant toward the side that you didn't work with the sickle. The tree should come up easily. If it doesn't, keep working with the sickle.
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Lay the plant down on the undamaged side of the rootball so that it's perpendicular to the table. Then rake out the bottom with the three-pronged root hook. When you've loosened some roots, cut them flat against the rootball with your angled scissors. Always keep the rootball completely flat and slowly work it down.
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When you run across large roots, cut them back and close with your knob cutters.
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When you're done, the bottom of the rootball should be completely flat and there should be no downward growing roots.
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Check by making sure the rootball rests flat on the work table.
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It it doesn't rest completely flat, keep working the bottom until it does.
 

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Next, with the single root hook, start working the top of the rootball. All your work here should be done by drawing your tools radially away from the trunk. Pull them toward you and start on the edge of the rootball working your way slowly toward the trunk.
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It's good to do this on the turntable so you can easily spin the tree while you work. Break down the root wall first and then work your way in. The purpose of drawing the tool radially from the trunk is to damage crossing roots while leaving radial roots undamaged. Take your time and do a good job on this part. It's important.
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markyscott

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Cut and pull out the wires that held the plant in the pot as you find them.
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Once you work your way closer to the trunk, switch to the bent nose pliers. Again, continue to draw the tool radially away from the trunk and work your way carefully in toward the trunk.
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markyscott

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Scott, nice clump and work. Nice promising base too! I love anything in clump form. Thanks again for the detailed thread!
Thanks Speed. I love clumps too. Looking forward to adding another one to my collection soon!
 

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So next, prep the pot by putting screen over the drainage holes. I use a "Z clip". Here's how you make one.

Cut a length of 2.5mm wire.
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Place the wire over the drainage hole and grab it abt 1/2" past the edge of the drainage hole.
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Make a "Z" by pushing the two points on the wire toward one another.
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Close one end of the wire with your pliers.
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Grab the loop you just made about 1/4" from the end and bend the bitter end downward.
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Close the other loop on the Z-clip with your pliers
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And then measure to see how far down you need to bend the other bitter end. You want the two downward facing ends to be flush with the edge of the drainage hole so the screen is held tight.
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Bend the other bitter end down.
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One clip done
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