Pine repot, critique please

maroun.c

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Hello,
Repoted this pine, appreciate input on what I could have done different or better.
Screenshot_20210605-112743_Chrome.jpg
Thick nursery soil although strongly attached to roots.
Screenshot_20210605-114345_Gallery.jpg
Thick matted roots at bottom below the used screen lifting hole tree out. Screenshot_20210605-114418_Gallery.jpg
Red arrow is the matted roots blue is the soul under tree abd screen still attached.
20210605_115756.jpg
Thick roots and no thin white rootsScreenshot_20210605-114545_Gallery.jpgScreenshot_20210605-114700_Gallery.jpg
New pot is a bit wider than older than old one but feeling still a bit small for the tree ? Screenshot_20210605-114715_Gallery.jpgScreenshot_20210605-114720_Gallery.jpg

Front part of the tree was mostly left untouched.

Do u think I was too aggressive working out the roots or is this OK?
As existing roots seemed to weak do u think tree is at risk? Keep it in shade for 2 weeks ?
Thanks
 

Shibui

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I have no problem with what you have done with that one. I would probably have combed out more of the old clay based soil but that can be done next time.
The lack of healthy roots is concerning. Conifers can look fine above even though the roots are dying under the soil but eventually it catches up with them. Rest assured it will not be the repot that did any future damage.
Light shade would be appropriate for a couple of weeks but not too much shade and not for too long or the needles might adjust to shade then come under stress when it goes back to sun later.
 

maroun.c

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Thanks for the input, if the tree makes it when would u do the next repot to take out more clay ? Next year or give it 2 years ?
How about pot think its still small or fits the tree ? There is a chance if I can't get nice back budding and branches on top that I might chop down to first branch hence wanting to stick with a rather small pot.
Thanks
 

Shibui

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That pot is adequate for the tree but you will need to be on the ball with watering. Slightly larger would give greater margin for error for inexperienced growers and give the tree a better chance to grow strong. Back budding on pines is definitely related to how healthy and happy the tree is so good back budding is not likely given the state of the roots, small pot and recent root prune but fingers crossed.
I do like the look of that first branch rather than the current leggy trunk and upper branches.........

Next repot will depend on how the tree responds. If it grows really well you could do it next spring but more likely in 2 years would be better.
 

maroun.c

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I kept tree in shade for 10 days then moved to original position..I'm seeing an overall fading of the needles dark green color and few brown needles that are dropping.
Should I move back to shade? Cover with a bag to retain humidity in needles ??? Any other thing you would recommend ?
Haven't fertilised still.Screenshot_20210714-094937_Gallery.jpgScreenshot_20210714-094954_Gallery.jpgScreenshot_20210714-095006_Gallery.jpg
 

Potawatomi13

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This is time when Pines begin to have few of oldest needles dying off as replaced by new ones so may not be problem for you. All my Pines several different kinds look as yours does with OLD dead needles just now. Sun much needed to make food to grow new roots just be sure to keep from drying out. Personally do not repot trees during hot season, only late Winter/early Spring so not optimistic about doing that. Agree with all that pot is smaller than ideal. If wanting bigger trunk will need to do larger grow container or ground grow tree. However big advocate to wait till 2023 to repot for roots to have chance at recovery. It appears you wired/styled at same time as repot? If so was bad idea. Also if so do not attempt to undo as it would be double bad idea. Remember one insult at one time for pines. Wiring also stresses tree. Best of fortune.
 
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maroun.c

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This is time when Pines begin to have few of oldest needles dying off as replaced by new ones so may not be problem for you. All my Pines several different kinds look as yours does with OLD dead needles just now. Sun much needed to make food to grow new roots just be sure to keep from drying out. Personally do not repot trees during hot season, only late Winter/early Spring so not optimistic about doing that. Agree with all that pot is smaller than ideal. If wanting bigger trunk will need to do larger grow container or ground grow tree. However big advocate to wait till 2023 to repot for roots to have chance at recovery. It appears you wired/styled at same time as repot? If so was bad idea. Also if so do not attempt to undo as it would be double bad idea. Remember one insult at one time for pines. Wiring also stresses tree. Best of fortune.
I get different input on best repoting time where most push conifers till bit later spring.... Guess ill do it early spring going forward. Styling was done months before I repoted and tree was showing growth after styling....
Anything I can do to help it at this stage ? I'll mist the foliage couple times a day and make sure to water daily and remove q bit out of dorect sun . Anything else u advise ?
 

Paradox

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I get different input on best repoting time where most push conifers till bit later spring.... Guess ill do it early spring going forward. Styling was done months before I repoted and tree was showing growth after styling....
Anything I can do to help it at this stage ? I'll mist the foliage couple times a day and make sure to water daily and remove q bit out of dorect sun . Anything else u advise ?

Water it when it needs it. If that is daily then water it daily. Put a chopstick or dowel in the soil and check it every day. Water when it is starting to get dry but not totally dry.

Other then putting it in a spot with morning sun and afternoon shade, there isn't much else you can do. Dont prune, dont fertilize. Do nothing but water and watch. It will either make it or it won't.

Best time to repot pines is early spring just as the buds are starting to swell. Need to monitor pines in the spring for this and repot when it is time.
 

Bonsai Nut

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(1) Comments about technique: When repotting a root-bound pine like this, you really need to get all the old soil out from the middle of the rootball. However if you do this all at once, you are completely bare-rooting the tree and may kill it due to the shock. It is better to use the "pie slice" approach, where you visualize the rootball like a pie, and completely clean out two 1/6 slices all the way to the middle of the rootball, while leaving the other 2/3 of the rootball undisturbed. Do this every year until after three years you have the tree completely repotted in good soil, and the tree will usually not be too stressed. When I look at the repotting you just did, you removed a lot of exterior feeder roots while leaving the interior old clay untouched. If you have nothing but old roots with no feeders on the interior of the rootball, and you remove all the feeder roots from the exterior, you may have trouble. I second all the comments people are making about timing being important - early spring just as the tree is waking up.

(2) Comments about style. The pot you selected for this tree as far too small for the scale of the tree. You need to decide if you are going to pursue a nebari style "exposed roots" composition, in which case your entire tree will be built off the lowest branch, or a literati style, thin and sinuous, in which case your tree is potted up too high in the soil, and you need to push the foliage back considerably while reducing your branches. I guess what I am saying is that this tree is too early in its development to move it into a small finished pot. I would have focused on an intermediate larger pot or container that was wide and no deeper than the current container, while spending several years improving the roots, repotting, and developing the foliage to fit your plan.

At this point, I would protect it from intense direct sun, while keeping my fingers crossed. Don't overwater the rootball, since your roots are weak. Water it only when the soil is starting to dry and make sure you don't keep it saturated like a swamp. Otherwise don't touch it :) Don't mess with the dead needles, don't prune it, don't do anything. Also don't fertilize. Wait until the tree tells you it has recovered.
 
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maroun.c

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Pots can't die :) Buy a pot that you like, and you can always find a tree for it :)
Unfortunately not much pots here except cheap Chinese ones. Working with a Potter whose making few custom pots for me... Still not like my trees are refined and in desperate need for a quality pot.
 

Bonsai Nut

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Do you understand my comments on styling your tree? If not, I will happily create a couple of virtual images to illustrate the two design paths that come to mind when I see your tree.
 

maroun.c

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Do you understand my comments on styling your tree? If not, I will happily create a couple of virtual images to illustrate the two design paths that come to mind when I see your tree.
I overall get the general thought but would definitely appreciate virts.
Realise tree has more potential if reduced to lower branch. Yet playing with styling the top to see if I can get to something nice withnthe while tree. If not ill chop it down to the lowest branch.
Still would appreciate if u can provide couple of virts if ur time allows.
Thanks
 

Potawatomi13

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Anything I can do to help it at this stage ? I'll mist the foliage couple times a day and make sure to water daily and remove q bit out of dorect sun . Anything else u advise ?
Just make sure not to let dry out and see it gets at least partial sun. Noticed just today Ponderosas along hiking trail have many old needles going brown just since last week. Cautiously optimistic for your tree.
 

Vance Wood

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What species of Pine are we looking at? What was the exact date you did this work on this tree? It looks a lot like a Shore Pine/Lodge Pole Pine? Caould be a Mugo? Species is important. It does not appear to have any active growth on the top of the tree or evidence of active growth below the surface, true or false?? It is usually accepted that a Pine should show an abundance of white roots (Look like Chines noodles) around the soil ball before repotting. Usually the growth buds should show at least a degree of expanding before bursting open and extending growth, I do not see any sign of new growth. I do not see any sign of fine feeder roots where you have removed the soil. I don't think this tree was alive before you started work on it. I am really sorry and I hope I am wrong but you asked for a critique and I challnge anyone on this forum to claim they see differently.
 

maroun.c

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(1) Comments about technique: When repotting a root-bound pine like this, you really need to get all the old soil out from the middle of the rootball. However if you do this all at once, you are completely bare-rooting the tree and may kill it due to the shock. It is better to use the "pie slice" approach, where you visualize the rootball like a pie, and completely clean out two 1/6 slices all the way to the middle of the rootball, while leaving the other 2/3 of the rootball undisturbed. Do this every year until after three years you have the tree completely repotted in good soil, and the tree will usually not be too stressed. When I look at the repotting you just did, you removed a lot of exterior feeder roots while leaving the interior old clay untouched. If you have nothing but old roots with no feeders on the interior of the rootball, and you remove all the feeder roots from the exterior, you may have trouble. I second all the comments people are making about timing being important - early spring just as the tree is waking up.

(2) Comments about style. The pot you selected for this tree as far too small for the scale of the tree. You need to decide if you are going to pursue a nebari style "exposed roots" composition, in which case your entire tree will be built off the lowest branch, or a literati style, thin and sinuous, in which case your tree is potted up too high in the soil, and you need to push the foliage back considerably while reducing your branches. I guess what I am saying is that this tree is too early in its development to move it into a small finished pot. I would have focused on an intermediate larger pot or container that was wide and no deeper than the current container, while spending several years improving the roots, repotting, and developing the foliage to fit your plan.

At this point, I would protect it from intense direct sun, while keeping my fingers crossed. Don't overwater the rootball, since your roots are weak. Water it only when the soil is starting to dry and make sure you don't keep it saturated like a swamp. Otherwise don't touch it :) Don't mess with the dead needles, don't prune it, don't do anything. Also don't fertilize. Wait until the tree tells you it has recovered.
One question about the 1/6 slices, do u clean to 1/6 slices next to each other typically so 1 slice 1/3 of the total root ball or do you work out opposing 1/3 slices every year ?
 

maroun.c

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What species of Pine are we looking at? What was the exact date you did this work on this tree? It looks a lot like a Shore Pine/Lodge Pole Pine? Caould be a Mugo? Species is important. It does not appear to have any active growth on the top of the tree or evidence of active growth below the surface, true or false?? It is usually accepted that a Pine should show an abundance of white roots (Look like Chines noodles) around the soil ball before repotting. Usually the growth buds should show at least a degree of expanding before bursting open and extending growth, I do not see any sign of new growth. I do not see any sign of fine feeder roots where you have removed the soil. I don't think this tree was alive before you started work on it. I am really sorry and I hope I am wrong but you asked for a critique and I challnge anyone on this forum to claim they see differently.
I got this tree from a local person who does bonsai je said all his trees are local to Lebanon and that this is a pinus nigra. I always had issues with his trees and the soil he uses and so far wasn't able to repot any of the trees I got from him yet he manages to keep his trees for 20-30 years.
Had the tree since close to a year so don't think it was dead before, maybe not happy.... foliage was a nice dark green. Tree does have few buds illntakena picture today. Yes there was no ball of white feeder roots but a mat of black roots that grew below the soil lower than the screen he placed below the soil and those were black not white.
Thanks
Maroun
 

maroun.c

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Here are pics of the buds I see. I feel foliage is getting a bit dryer abdnlighter in color as well. Screenshot_20210716-073455_Gallery.jpgScreenshot_20210716-073506_Gallery.jpgScreenshot_20210716-073520_Gallery.jpg
 

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