Emergency repotting. Monkey Thorn tree repotted after wooden box fell apart

in #bonsai4 years ago


Hey guys! O boy, have I missed posting blogs and sharing my stories with you. I know a few months have past between my blog entries and I really want to apologize for that. There are a few things that added to this delay and I also blame myself for not managing my time better.

Today I will be sharing what I have been up to up until now (just briefly) and also how I repotted a tree out of season.

Here is a short video for those of you that do not follow me on social media. If you have seen the video please forgive me for sharing it again. The video just sums up the past few months better than typing out an essay. #justsaying

As you can see my life and daily routine has change a lot in the last few months. I started running about two years ago as a way to stay active and shake off a few extra unwanted pounds. But like everything else I do in life I fully commented to not only running a half marathon but running it in a certain time. It has taken over a big part of my day training to get faster and being the best in my age group. Some days I wonder if it's really worth the effort as I started out just doing if for fun. I now run and cycle daily and it has become part of my "DNA". I might share a few of my achievements with you but for now that's all I will be sharing about my fitness journey.

Let's get back into the bit's that you like. This weekend I spent a few hours trimming back trees and weeding pots. Here is a tree that you should know if you have been following me for some time now. It's a stone pine that I styled a while back. I have removed the wire and have been letting the tree grow wild.





This tree has a long way to go. You can see after I have trimmed back the juvenile growth on the tree that the mature growth has started to grow all over the tree. The size of this tree makes it look weird with the long needles but hopefully the more I trim it back the shorter the needles will become.

While I was busy trimming my trees I thought it would be a great time to trim my monkey thorn tree. The only reason I wanted to trim the tree was because it was scratching my legs and leaving ugly scars. I also could not dare to water my trees in my boxers or else... Just to give you a idea of where the tree was I took this photo.
IMG_7507.jpg The tree was place in the corner before you reach the far side of my en-closer so you had to slide past the tree and avoid the long branches to get to the trees on the far end. My wife also complained about the tree as it has nicked her a few times as well.
If you where wondering why there is soil all over the spot where the tree once stood. It's simple when I lifted the tree from the ground the entire bottom part of the wooden box just stayed on the floor and the rest of the box and the tree was in my hands. This was a unexpected surprise.
This is what was left of the box.
I quickly had to go into the garage to see if I had a pot or tray big enough for me to repot the tree in. I always have a few spare pots an trays laying around just in case something like this happens or in case the wind blows over a tree and the pot breaks.
I found a black plastic seedling try that was the ideal size for me to plant the tree in. I had to gather soil from other seedlings that died and other failed projects (Yes! failed projects). I was not planning on repotting trees so I did not have extra soil. I quickly repotted the tree and watered it. It is very warm here as we are at the end of our summer season. I tried not to keep my tree out of the pot for too long.

Just a side note. When repotting a tree out off season try not to disturb the roots. Rather plant the tree into a bigger container. You can always repot the tree in the repotting season into a more suitable container. Potting a tree out of season is called slip potting. As the name suggests you slip the tree out of the current container into a bigger container. This whole process needs to be done as quickly as possible. After the tree is planted in the new container make sure you water the tree and the entire soil mixture. Let all the excess water run off then move the tree into a protected area to recover before moving it back into it's preferred spot.

Here is a photo of the repotted tree. Must say it looks better in the seedling tray than it did in the wooden box. The tree looks much better in a flat container as it suggests that the tree is growing in a wide open space.
Here is the tree after I removed some of the extra growth. Just to balance out the roots and the foliage.
The canopy of this tree is a little to big of the trunk. I will leave the tree to grow wild for the remained of this year to regain its strength and vigour.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Hope you enjoyed the topic. Please feel free to leave a comment or question in the session provided below.


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Nice work on your bonsai. Are those the old needles sticking out like whiskers on the conifer? Does this tree only make the long needles like that the first year? It is quite a strange contrast to see the new small needles against the old long ones. Do you plan to remove the old needles?

No it's the complete opposite. The long whiskers that you see is the new growth. The Stone Pine starts it's growth with the short needles (Juvenile needles) then later on as the tree matures it gets the long needles that other pines have. Later the tree will not have any of the juvenile growth on it. All the needles on the tree will be long and it will look more natural because all the growth will be the same and you will not notice the difference in needles.

Stone pine are a related to the pines in the Northern hemisphere. They were planted in Cape Town by the earlier settlers in the coastal region by the Dutch. These species has adapted to our climate. They are not used as bonsai often because they have this drastic change in needles, and their needles stay long.

I'm experimenting with these trees though as I feel the Japanese White Pines and Black pines that are available at nurseries are over priced in our Country.