Repot timing for procumbens nana in southern California

casun

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About a month ago I bought a one gallon procumbens nana from Kim’s Bonsai Nursey in southern California. It’s in mostly sandy loam and I’d like to repot it in akadama/pumice/lava.

Question: Is now an okay time of year for the repot?
 

BonsaiDTLA

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Personally, I wouldn't bareroot the juniper, and that mixture might be too free-draining for a p. nana.

That's cool you went to Kim's, how did you like it? I actually just visited Kim's and took home this 10-year project :). If you're up for the trip, Kimura is also down here with some quality material.

IMG_4186.jpeg
 

casun

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Too free-draining? There’s such a thing? You wouldn’t bare root it ever? Or just not this time of year?

Kim’s was interesting. It was my first time. I was the only customer on a Saturday but that might be because it was about 300 degrees. Lots of very large, very expensive specimens, which I wasn’t expecting. I haven’t been to Kimura yet but I’m sure I’ll check it out at some point. The trunk and bark on your project is amazing!
 

Clicio

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Question: Is now an okay time of year for the repot?
Well, I am in 11a and I repot junipers and pines on the second week of the Spring, as we get no frost after that.
ALP is the right mix for them, but I always add organics (pine bark and a mix of peat+perlite) and never bare root them.
 

casun

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Well, I am in 11a and I repot junipers and pines on the second week of the Spring, as we get no frost after that.
ALP is the right mix for them, but I always add organics (pine bark and a mix of peat+perlite) and never bare root them.
Is your timing mostly due to no more chance of frost? I’m in a very warm area. If I have no chance of frost, even in the middle of winter, would it be ok to repot now? Maybe half bare root? Or is even half bare rooting a bad idea?
 

BonsaiDTLA

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but I always add organics (pine bark and a mix of peat+perlite) and never bare root them.
Like Clicio said, this sounds like a better idea just to keep it moist with slightly better water retention. Would be a good idea especially here in our hot desert weather.
 

sorce

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Too free-draining? There’s such a thing?

I think especially for Nana's. I believe the needle folaige transpires more than other J's.
I know I dry killed a lot, and that was nursery soil.

Sorce
 

Bonsai Nut

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I’ll wait until early spring and add some pine bark to the mix. Thanks all.

You want to wait until they are waking up from dormancy... but not much longer. In SoCal the issue is never going to be the cold - it will be getting the repotted tree established before the heat and dry of the summer. My cork bark Chinese elms were some of the first things to come out of dormancy in the spring and I used them as the signal that it was time to start repotting my junipers. It was not unusual for me to be repotting in mid-Feb.

Additionally, be careful about bare-rooting any conifer unless they are already well-established in good bonsai soil and have a network of profuse, healthy roots. If you are moving an old nursery tree into bonsai media, it is much safer to bare-root half the rootball one year, and then do the second half the following year. Adjust as necessary based on what you find when you start repotting. If they have few healthy roots, or if you find just a few big tap roots, it is much better to err on the side of caution.
 
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casun

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@Bonsai Nut thank you for those additional details. I’m sure I’ll kill my fair share of trees over the years but as a general rule I’ll always try to err on the side of caution.
 

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