To repot now or wait…

swatchpost

Yamadori
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Hello all, here in Austin, TX it’s been nice and warm the last few weeks with what we thought was the last freeze behind us.
My acer palmatum is now bud swelling and it’s the perfect time to repot. BUT! Another set of cold temps and a couple nights of freezing temps will happen later this coming week.
Should I still repot today? Or should I wait another week until after these temps normalize?
Can it wait if it’s after bud swelling and buds have already broken?
Many thanks to all of you!
Yusef
 

Tieball

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Usually if I repot with a few more cold nights in the future I move them in the garage or workshop on the nights it gets freezing.
I do the same (garage) and it’s worked out well for many years. Some trees are simply moved from full sun exposure to a bench located under a deck and next to the house.…making it easier to reduce radical temperature changes and easiest for me to move back and forth as needed.
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
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What degree of Repot?

But does it even matter?

If a tree in nature took a severe root trauma it wouldn't care if it happened now or in two weeks, it's going to do everything it was going to do anyway in order to survive.

Fake it out with indoor weather..... problems arise.

Safer to wait.

Sorce
 

sorce

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Oh BTW....

There's only one Texas 2Step.

Sorce
 

Cofga

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I have a trident, bald cypress, and hinoki sitting in the garage already with more on the benches that were just repotted. It’s 70F right now but I’ll be bringin them all in next weekend as we are expecting 20F saturday night. Happens this way every year so get ready for the back door trots.
 

roberthu

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I don’t think the weather has much to do with your repotting. If it drops to 20F and your trees already broke buds, you will have to bring them in anyway.
 

dbonsaiw

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Is there a concern for cold weather or is the concern only for freezes? Meaning, so long as temps stay above freezing (even if it dips below 40) all should be fine even for repotted trees?
 

Cofga

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The big concern is with freezes since once a tree breaks dormancy its ability to sustain freezing temps declines. I just lost all the flower buds on my wisteria the other night and all the leaves and extended branches on my in-ground tridents are already black. Also after repotting, the trees start to put out new roots and if they freeze they are toast. Some cold adapted species can take a light freeze, my Chinese quince in the ground right nrxt to my tridents still have nice green buds on them and bald cypress can reportedly take a light freeze, but I am too cautious to test that. I don’t believe temps just above freezing alone can kill buds or roots but you can get radiational cooling on clear cold nights that can result in frost damage. Plus even if roots and shoots are not killed their growth may be stunted for the season.
 

Deep Sea Diver

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There are couple things to consider during the winter/spring change of seasons

First bud deacclimation and root deacclimation are not simultaneous events. Roots don’t break dormancy until later. It’s natures way to protect the roots, the most vital part of the plant. Just because your buds get frozen, doesn’t mean the growing year is lost. The majority of the tree’s energy is still in the roots… trunk and branches.

Repotting messes up the normal breaking dormancy (deacclimation) chain of events. Removing root mass takes away some of the energy from the tree. The tree responds by shorting the growing buds of energy…. shifting its energy to develop the roots…. and fine new root growth is really easily damaged by frost.

Bud break, once it’s started, can still occur, but the superstructure‘s meristems will be shorted from energy until the tree’s roots recover to the point that the tree is ready to shift growth back to “springtime mode”…. this makes the buds and leaves more ’fragile’.

So if you are going to pull the trigger on a repot, be sure to protect the tree not just for a freeze event, but for at least 3-5 weeks afterwards.

Wow. That’s a long way of saying…. Just Wait!

cheers
DSD sends
 

swatchpost

Yamadori
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Mainly I was concerned about the freeze because it needed a good amount of root work. I repotted this past Sunday and we've got great temps now, so hopefully it'll recover and be on the up and up. Thanks for all your replies, it was good to have my first inclination to wait supported by you all.

Cheers!
Yusef
 

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