Twin Trunk Hinoki. Should I repot NOW?

plantfinder

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I started having trouble with this in early spring, noticing some browning on parts of some branches which progressed throughout the branch and eventually and had to pruned of the entire branch. The pace and extent of browning seems to have slowed but you can still see it on the closeups. The tree looks sparse already because of the branches that had to be removed.

This was one tree I did not get a chance to repot this year with a new potting soil mix I've been using . I had been using an older denser and smaller particle mix on this tree and I'm thinking that it needs to be repotted to both remove some root density and to get a better more coarser mix of soil and reduce the soil density. I'm now using lava rock and pumice.

My concern is that I don't want to put this under any more stress but I am afraid not to repot it because of the above. I would remove as little roots as possible, if I do and replace the soil with the new mix. Do you think this is a good thing to do right now at this time of spring and for a tree in this weakened state? I'm afraid to do it but also not to do it. Help please!

Thanks



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Paradox

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@plantfinder
Please put your location on your profile so that we can see where you are and give the best location based advice.

However looking at the picture, the growth on the landscape trees, plants and grass, it looks like you are into late spring where you are.
My inclination is that no, it is not a good time to repot this tree.
 

plantfinder

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Sorry, I thought I had actually included it in the body of the message but it's now in the profile. Yes that's correct, it's late spring here. Would this fall be appropriate or do I need to wait until early spring? I am concerned that the root system may be bound up in an inhospitable soil.
 

Paradox

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Sorry, I thought I had actually included it in the body of the message but it's now in the profile. Yes that's correct, it's late spring here. Would this fall be appropriate or do I need to wait until early spring? I am concerned that the root system may be bound up in an inhospitable soil.

What is it in now?
How often do you water?
Honestly, I think your bigger problem is the current pot is too shallow. You have a lot of exposed roots.


Yes early spring would be best.
 

Forsoothe!

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You haven't given us the reason(s) why the tree is "stressed". Come clean; what have you done, and when. Don't lie by omission. We will know.
 

plantfinder

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I don't know why it's stressed, it was not showing the same signs last year in the same pot and same soil. That's why I think it's getting bound and that the soil is too dense. It got the same water regimen over the winter that other hinokis got without that same problem showing.

I don't remember what the soil was exactly but there could be some horticultural soil mix in there (metro mix 500).
It gets misted 4 times per 24 hrs for about 8 min each time.

I was going to repot it in a larger pot. Suppose I were to just remove from the pot, put it in a larger (and deeper) pot, tickle out some of the peripheral roots and add the, larger diameter lava rock, pumice mix. Still too stressful for it?
 

penumbra

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I would be inclined, based only upon what you have told us, to either slip pot it into a larger pot or put it in the ground for a few years so it can regain its vigor. My question is, why is it lacking in vigor?
 

Paradox

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I don't know why it's stressed, it was not showing the same signs last year in the same pot and same soil. That's why I think it's getting bound and that the soil is too dense. It got the same water regimen over the winter that other hinokis got without that same problem showing.

I don't remember what the soil was exactly but there could be some horticultural soil mix in there (metro mix 500).
It gets misted 4 times per 24 hrs for about 8 min each time.

I was going to repot it in a larger pot. Suppose I were to just remove from the pot, put it in a larger (and deeper) pot, tickle out some of the peripheral roots and add the, larger diameter lava rock, pumice mix. Still too stressful for it?


Ok well from the pictures, you seem to have some pumice and lava in the soil already. When you water it, how fast does it drain through the soil?
A Hinoki does not grow roots so fast that it should be pot bound now unless you shoe horned it into that pot.

You water it FOUR times a day?? Does the tree dry out that fast that it needs to be watered 4x?
If it really needs watering that often, your soil IS NOT DENSE!

I suspect there is another problem but it is your tree....

If you really feel that it is an emergency then slip pot it with MINIMAL disturbance to the roots.
Then put it in a spot that gets a couple of hours of morning sun and shade the rest of the day until you see improvement to the tree's vigor.
Then start feeding it once a month with some fertilizer and do nothing else.

Good luck
 

Vance Wood

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It's probably a combination of the high heat we have had this early part of the year and the fact that you may not be watering enough. What kind of watering schedule do you keep this tree on?
 

Paradox

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It's probably a combination of the high heat we have had this early part of the year and the fact that you may not be watering enough. What kind of watering schedule do you keep this tree on?

They said it gets misted (I assume an automatic misting system) for 8 minutes 4 times a day.
 

Vance Wood

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Then it is possible it may be an issue of too much water, it all depends on how wet the soil seems to be. In the end unless you are facing an issue of disease everything come down to water issues, too much kills root through root rot, tree turns yellow, not enough water kills roots and the tree turns yellow. Hinokies do however; need more water than Pines and Junipers.


They said it gets misted (I assume an automatic misting system) for 8 minutes 4 times a day.T
 

Kanorin

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Can you post a picture of the "browning" on branches that you are talking about?
I ask because Hinokis naturally drop branches that aren't getting enough sunlight. When that happens, they turn brown. Even healthy hinokis will have a few of their interior or shaded-out branches turn brown and die each year.
 

Forsoothe!

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I see lots of golden foliage which is new this year. This is the time of year when older, inner foliage normally turns crispy and is brushed away by dragging a gloved hand through the tree crushing the cripsy brown foliage with the fingertips, from the inner part of the branch towards the outside tips, in the same direction as the foliage points (grows), (with the grain, not against the grain). It comes off pretty easily and leaves the inner branch sections more bare. They do not back-bud, and the tree in question will have shed interior leaves maybe 15 years, so you may be imagining that the normal process is more than what you expected, and the problem doesn't exist. Stop over-watering. Water the whole tree with a hose every day it doesn't rain.
 

plantfinder

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I see lots of golden foliage which is new this year. This is the time of year when older, inner foliage normally turns crispy and is brushed away by dragging a gloved hand through the tree crushing the cripsy brown foliage with the fingertips, from the inner part of the branch towards the outside tips, in the same direction as the foliage points (grows), (with the grain, not against the grain). It comes off pretty easily and leaves the inner branch sections more bare.
That's what I thought it was originally but it would progress to encompass entire branches. I think I will slip pot into a larger pot, give it some filtered shade and try and find another timer. Unfortunately, because I am not available often to water manually, I am required to automatically water. However, as I mentioned, I have other Hinokis that seem do be doing OK with the same schedule. The adjustments on this timer only give me 6 or 12 hr intervals. I don't like the 12 hour interval because in the heat of the summer, it gives no relief after say 7 or 8 hours of hot sun. But I can try adjusting the duration and test it at 12 hour intervals. It's a delicate balance. I may post the time question separately. But I do think it's starting to look better now as someone pointed out. Maybe it was some winter stress.
 

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That's what I thought it was originally but it would progress to encompass entire branches. I think I will slip pot into a larger pot, give it some filtered shade and try and find another timer. Unfortunately, because I am not available often to water manually, I am required to automatically water. However, as I mentioned, I have other Hinokis that seem do be doing OK with the same schedule. The adjustments on this timer only give me 6 or 12 hr intervals. I don't like the 12 hour interval because in the heat of the summer, it gives no relief after say 7 or 8 hours of hot sun. But I can try adjusting the duration and test it at 12 hour intervals. It's a delicate balance. I may post the time question separately. But I do think it's starting to look better now as someone pointed out. Maybe it was some winter stress.
I'd say you are right on track. That is the course I would take.
 

Forsoothe!

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That's what I thought it was originally but it would progress to encompass entire branches. I think I will slip pot into a larger pot, give it some filtered shade and try and find another timer. Unfortunately, because I am not available often to water manually, I am required to automatically water. However, as I mentioned, I have other Hinokis that seem do be doing OK with the same schedule. The adjustments on this timer only give me 6 or 12 hr intervals. I don't like the 12 hour interval because in the heat of the summer, it gives no relief after say 7 or 8 hours of hot sun. But I can try adjusting the duration and test it at 12 hour intervals. It's a delicate balance. I may post the time question separately. But I do think it's starting to look better now as someone pointed out. Maybe it was some winter stress.
The bright gold is new foliage which is not going to cover the whole tree, just the ends of branches. The foliage does not change color: the new foliage is bright gold and fades; the older foliage is less bright and fades. The foliage lasts for 4, 5, 6 years or so and evolves to washed-out yellow, thence to brown & crispy, so don't expect more, you got the whole enchilada already. If you can water once between noon and 3 PM, that's enough. It will be wet in the peak of sunlight and cruise through the late afternoon and not be bone dry before the following day's drenching. Almost all plants need to to go wet, dry, wet, dry, and daily cycles are the best for the health of the plant. Too wet is not better than too dry. Philly is notorious for high humidity, so don't treat it like you live in Texas. Do not repot either, let this plant adapt, it doesn't look bad and what you seem to be expecting is not reasonable.
 
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plantfinder

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what you seem to be expecting is not reasonable.
I did not say I was expecting anything other than entire branches not to turn brown and die.

But I think your point about the timing of watering is good advice and I think I'll try that and monitor it carefully. It's probably just a matter of getting the right duration for that single watering. I have to make sure that once per day is an option with this timer. If not I may post a questions elsewhere in the forum about battery powered timer recommendations.
 

sorce

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battery powered timer recommendations.

The cheap one from Walmart works.

Little under the radar slipper.

Welcome to Crazy!

Were the surface roots so exposed last year?

The only time I have had problems is if I don't stay on top of that.

If you consider the 4 times watering a day, (last year too?) You could very well have, created a condition where the roots will only grow and work properly on the section that dries, the top. Combined with the early heat as Vance is speaking of, and the top either being more exposed, or your bottom being more dead, seems the problem.

I don't think any move is safe, just be more observant.

Sorce
 

plantfinder

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The cheap one from Walmart works.

Little under the radar slipper.

Welcome to Crazy!

Were the surface roots so exposed last year?

The only time I have had problems is if I don't stay on top of that.

If you consider the 4 times watering a day, (last year too?) You could very well have, created a condition where the roots will only grow and work properly on the section that dries, the top. Combined with the early heat as Vance is speaking of, and the top either being more exposed, or your bottom being more dead, seems the problem.

I don't think any move is safe, just be more observant.

Sorce
Thanks for the tips and the post. That Orbit is the timer I have. I find it pretty reliable but buy a new one every few years just to play it safe. I definitely need to lower the frequency to once or twice per day, figure out the timing, and figure out how long to increase the duration based on the first two parameters.
 

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