Who to believe about my cherry

donkey

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I want to pot up my flowering cherry but every book or website i read say's different things:confused:. I have read that your supposed to do it after flowering, before flowering and even read in one book your supposed to do in winter in a greenhouse( im sure that one can't be right). So any advice would be great as it is becoming very rootbound in the plant pot i bought it in and i want to deal with it sooner rather than later.
 

Bill S

Masterpiece
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The closest to seeing someone told to pot up at this stage of the game is for azeleas, I don't think a cherry would come close to fitting this bill, I'm thinking that if it's bad enough root bound a slip potting would be in order, without really disturbing the roots, then next season go for it. With leaves and flowers out you would be pressing the trees luck, IMHO anyway.
 

Bonsai Nut

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If you pot it before flowering it will likely not flower that year. I have always potted flowering trees after they flower in the early spring, when the leaf buds are first starting to pop. This still gives the tree plenty of time to recover before the heat of the summer.
 
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What this really illustrates is that for many species there are differing times when root work can happen. But it depends on your ability to provide good aftercare and what place the tree is in it's development. So for us to say whether you can pot your tree is not terribly helpful sometimes... you have to know your tree, it's strength, and what your goals are for this year.

If the tree is getting seriously downsized or put into the pot for the first time and one has to really get after the roots... then flowers be hanged, skip a year of show and do it early spring.

If the roots aren't a big deal and the tree has been a bonsai for a while... post flower is fine.

If you want to have a really advanced year and have the space to stick it in a green house (assuming it has had a dormant period - ie. you are likely a professional grower)... then working on it in winter is not off the table either.

So whatever you do, you have to know your tree... I rarely pot a tree I haven't had for a year, unless I am very familiar with the species and I have some kind of clue as to when it was last root worked. Health isn't always an obvious indicator, just because a tree can be vigourous after a repot... but doing it two growing seasons in a row could piss it off.

So if the tree isn't in trouble and you are not sure... get to know the tree more and you'll have no room for regret. :)

Kindest regards,

Victrinia
 

donkey

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the leaves on my cherry come out right in the middle of the flowering period my flowers are just starting to drop and the leaves are already going strong i cant post a pic at the mo. its been in the pot i bought it in 3 years ago and i've only just aquired a suitable pot. When i took it out for a look this morning it was just one large root ball. So would i just be better potting it into a larger pot for this season or should i just put in my ready made pot now for a nice display of flowers next year ?
 

Brian Underwood

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I just potted 4 cherries this year in the first week of March (in NorCal), all just as the flower buds were swelling. Rootwork was moderate, and maybe 1/3 to 1/2 of the root mass was removed, and potted in all Akadama. They all flowered perfectly, and seem to be thriving in their new pots, though no fruit survived. Keep in mind this is just one situation that worked, and may not work for your trees or zone. Good luck!
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Sounds like you're a little late...the deciding factor for me would be if I can water it or not. If the water still runs through instead of pooling and running off the sides, I think I'd push it along another year.

Alternately, you could "aerate" the soil a little with a chopstick and work in some coarse aggregate to help the water flow.
 

donkey

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Thanks to all for advice. After a good night's sleep i decided to transfer it to a larger common or garden pot and finish working on ramification and final branch tweaking for this year. Then get on it early next year or posibly a winter job in the greenhouse (though i don't like the idea of my beloved tree so far from home).
 
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