Repot window of my Hinoki Cypress - Expert suggestions needed.

Clicio

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I got this Chamaecyparis Obtusa Nana Gracilis, non-grafted, nice trunk, plenty of ramification, and very healthy.
Before doing any cleaning, pruning, branch choice or styling, I have to take care of the soil.
Absolutely horrible muck, takes ages to drain (in fact it doesn't drain at all even after poking many holes through the root ball, cleaning the draining holes, etc).
Even if Hinokis do like moist soil (unlike most conifers), I guess it will be either too dry or too wet if I keep it in this 100% organic soil it is planted now.
So we are in the last three weeks of the Spring here and I would not dare repot it in the summer, specially in Brazil.
The two questions I need help from more experienced people about Hinokis:
1-) Is it safe to repot it now, or should I wait for next Spring (September in the Southern Hemisphere)?
2-) Should I do a total bare root or, like other conifers, only a HBR to be safe?

Pictures below.

The tree as received today.
tree.jpg


The healthy foliage
foliage-2.jpg

The non-grafted trunk
trunk.jpg

Water forming a one inch deep puddle in the pot. Forever...
waterlogged.jpg

Any advice welcome, thanks in advance!
 

Hbhaska

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Nice tree!

If I were you, I would slip pot it into a bigger container or pond basket. I have successfully done this during all four seasons, granted my region is Southern California. But I assume slip potting is very safe anywhere you live. I have even squished them to fit in flatter (but larger) mesh baskets. The key is to add well draining mix around the existing soil. When you water, it will flow right through the new soil substrate but that’s ok. You will still get plenty of water to the roots and your overall drainage is improved.
 

Clicio

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I have successfully done this during all four seasons, granted my region is Southern California.

Yes, slip potting could be a temporary solution, and São Paulo has a climate somehow similar to Souther California.
I guess it should work.
But my main concern with up potting is the soil mix. In many cases the roots will not advance to the new draining mix and the rootball is at risk of drying even if we water it copiously.
That's why I guess some sort of half bare root (half/half or pie style) should work better.
Thanks for you suggestion!
 
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0soyoung

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I didn't have any problems bare rooting Hinoki garden center stock about 6 weeks after the summer solstice, which is about Jan/Feb for you, @Clicio. Of course, you could also half bare root if the thought of full bare rooting puts any of your sphincters in a knot.
 

River's Edge

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I got this Chamaecyparis Obtusa Nana Gracilis, non-grafted, nice trunk, plenty of ramification, and very healthy.
Before doing any cleaning, pruning, branch choice or styling, I have to take care of the soil.
Absolutely horrible muck, takes ages to drain (in fact it doesn't drain at all even after poking many holes through the root ball, cleaning the draining holes, etc).
Even if Hinokis do like moist soil (unlike most conifers), I guess it will be either too dry or too wet if I keep it in this 100% organic soil it is planted now.
So we are in the last three weeks of the Spring here and I would not dare repot it in the summer, specially in Brazil.
The two questions I need help from more experienced people about Hinokis:
1-) Is it safe to repot it now, or should I wait for next Spring (September in the Southern Hemisphere)?
2-) Should I do a total bare root or, like other conifers, only a HBR to be safe?

Pictures below.

The tree as received today.
View attachment 341465


The healthy foliage
View attachment 341464

The non-grafted trunk
View attachment 341466

Water forming a one inch deep puddle in the pot. Forever...
View attachment 341467

Any advice welcome, thanks in advance!
Under the circumstances I would do a full repot. Just take your time and work out the old soil as you gently comb out and rinse away the organic soil. Only cut the thick roots that are absolutely needed to be cut this time. Even if it means a slightly larger pot for the first couple of years under development. Work the proper soil into the roots slowly with chopstick after the old soil is washed away. I would pay particular attention to the core under the trunk to insure old soil and dead roots are removed. If a cavity occurs turn the tree upside down and our soil, hold in place and set down on a mound of soil in the centre of the pot. Rotate gently to work more soil into the central cavity. Then work the soil slowly into the roots around the perimeter. Be sure to tie the tree in carefully and then complete the repot ensuring no air cavities. Tap the sides to settle and water thoroughly, keep moisture levels up and humidity for the first few weeks.
The key is not to cut or damage as many roots during an emergency repot and remember the tree will be in a much improved environment. Simply take more care and time with the soil removal and working the new substrate between the roots.
 

Clicio

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I didn't have any problems bare rooting Hinoki garden center stock about 6 weeks after the summer solstice, which is about Jan/Feb for you, @Clicio. Of course, you could also half bare root if the thought of full bare rooting puts any of your sphincters in a knot.
Well, very good to know it.
Thanks for the assurance about the timing of the work to be done.
Maybe I am brave enough to do a full bare root as you and @River's Edge have suggested.
:cool:
 

Clicio

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Under the circumstances I would do a full repot. Just take your time and work out the old soil... Simply take more care and time with the soil removal and working the new substrate between the roots.

Thanks @River's Edge , I will probably do it and yes, I will take my time.
In fact I am getting very good at repotting; 15 trees this Spring and I lost none.
But as this is to be considered an emergency repot, I will take extra care.
Thanks, guys!
 

River's Edge

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Thanks @River's Edge , I will probably do it and yes, I will take my time.
In fact I am getting very good at repotting; 15 trees this Spring and I lost none.
But as this is to be considered an emergency repot, I will take extra care.
Thanks, guys!
One further little tip when taking your time repotting, pruning or wiring a tree. Simply mist occasionally to keep roots, foliage damp. Also helps to limit damage from wiring if foliage is hydrated and not drying out too much during extended sessions. Have fun!
 

Clicio

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Well, it's done.
Full bare root, potted into a slightly larger (but shallower) training plastic pot, 75% inorganic mix, some Micomax added.
I have decided to tie the tree from the trunk instead of wiring it down, to preserve the roots already stressed by the radical change of substrate.
I want to thanks @Hbhaska , @0soyoung and @River's Edge for the support and great suggestions.
It took me three or four hours, misting the roots and working on the old muck to clean the rootball.
I hope it survives the shock.

20201127_170743.jpg
 

Mike Corazzi

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I repot with a dishpan of water on the table. An occasional dunk while doing the roots keeps things moist and flushes loose old soil out. This often shows where the roots really are.
 

jmmzpsu14

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Wait wait wait ... why did you bare root? I was under the impression that leaving at least 30% of soil was best in order to keep the relationship w beneficial fungal and to not damage roots
 

Vance Wood

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Trouble with Hinokis: They like more water than most conifers except Spruce, and they like a well draining soil that breaths. (water in air out; water out air in. ) They don't like sitting in wet soil, just moist soil like a well wrung out sponge. Another problem with them on acquisition from a nursery, often the soil mass takes on the form of a fiber door mat you wipe you feet on. It is very difficult to open up the root mass short of cutting out portions of the soil mass. Much of the root work is better done with a saw. You seem to have not run into that problem with you tree, you did well with the repot and the tree seems to be growing. Now you have to learn about the pruning and pinching of the tree. Just remember if you remove something it wont come back.
 

Vance Wood

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Wait wait wait ... why did you bare root? I was under the impression that leaving at least 30% of soil was best in order to keep the relationship w beneficial fungal and to not damage roots
This is true but not necessarily so. The biggest problem with the concept of bare rooting is the tendency for beginners to take the term literally and cut the tree bare of roots.
 

jmmzpsu14

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This is true but not necessarily so. The biggest problem with the concept of bare rooting is the tendency for beginners to take the term literally and cut the tree bare of roots.
Hhahaha yeah but I mean like just taking all soil off.. so if you bare root it , you don’t wash the roots either because of mycorrhiza fungus
 

Clicio

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Wait wait wait ... why did you bare root? I was under the impression that leaving at least 30% of soil was best in order to keep the relationship w beneficial fungal and to not damage roots
I did get rid of all the loam surrounding the roots, and I could see no mychorrizea at all in the muck, so while repotting I added a sprinkle of inoculant.
Better than keep the rootball into the bad soil I think.
But I have asked before, I wasn't so sure.
 

Clicio

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Now you have to learn about the pruning and pinching of the tree. Just remember if you remove something it wont come back.

Thanks @Vance Wood , I am being cautious as I know they don't bud back on old wood. Pruning and pinching at the right time also, and holding the fan-like tips flat before pinching. But I will let it recover from the transplant and will water it accordingly. 😉
 
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Clicio

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I repot with a dishpan of water on the table. An occasional dunk while doing the roots keeps things moist and flushes loose old soil out. This often shows where the roots really are.
Well, as I barerooted it I did the same, but in the end I used a light jet of water to clean it off completely. Plenty of roots, all healthy, I did just a very light trimming on the longest ones and reppoted into a draining mix. It's doing ok, so I guess the tree liked it.
 

Mike Corazzi

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Well, as I barerooted it I did the same, but in the end I used a light jet of water to clean it off completely. Plenty of roots, all healthy, I did just a very light trimming on the longest ones and reppoted into a draining mix. It's doing ok, so I guess the tree liked it.
Yeah, I wasn't talking about THOROUGHLY unsoiling the roots. You can leave as much soil as you want.
"Variable sloshing" as I call it.

;)
 

Cofga

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I repotted my big one spring 2019 and found roots that were a hairlike mass. I decided to cut pie shaped wedges in the roots after removing about 50% of the lower portion. After fitting it into a large cat litter tray with bonsai soil I misted it 2-3 times daily and it hardly skipped a beat and I was able to wire it that August. It was so healthy that I then repotted it into a large bonsai pot spring 2020 and it grew like crazy again this summer. I normally mist all my trees at least once a day along with their watering.
 

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