Juniper Workshop - Saturday March 9th (18 Feb 2019)

Join our exclusive Juniper workshop feature Leong Kwong.

Saturday 9th March, 2019 10am at the Bonsai South Nursery (114-116 The Boulevarde, Caringbah NSW 2229)
Call to reserve your space – call (02) 9531 4589

Hurry as space is limited! To reserve your spot call (02) 9531 4589 .


× Relax, chat, and socialise.

Re-potting your Bonsai

2 years 6 months ago #57995 by Farmer J
Hi Leong,
My location - SW NSW. Frosts and sub-zero winters, hot summers often over 40C.
1. C. deodar. I have repotted and root pruned from about now (late August) to September prior to any bud swell. I don't bare root them. I have on-potted them into larger containers for trunk growth, and only tidied up the root ball. None are in bonsai pots.
2.Japanese Black Pine. I root prune and repot in September. I struggle with the timing of "bud swell". I have repotted in March and April, in part because of when I purchased them, but hoping it was warm enough to encourage winter root growth. No problems either way. Preference is now for autumn management.
3. Junipers. Usually I manage them in September
4. Maples, Elms - I root prune and repot in August prior to bud swell. Some elms move sooner than others, so I tailor my management to the trees. If anything, I leave the maples until now (late August) through to September.
Summary - having noted the usual timings for root pruning and repotting, I have performed these tasks at most times of the year, except mid late summer, with no ill effects. It works for me.
I hope this helps the discussion.
The following user(s) said Thank You: leong, JC, Mark

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2 years 6 months ago - 2 years 6 months ago #57997 by leong
What is said here might not be every bodies cup of tea and might raise a few eye brows. The trees that was mention on the list, from experiences gain over the last 45 years in bonsai was potted always between second week of July to the last week of July which is mid winter and seldom in Spring. Many a time it was said to root prune and pot when the bud swells. Yes, you can this and is usually in August when is windy (August wind) and where day temperature could go as high as 22-24 degrees. When the bubs swells there is usually a 6-8 weeks growth, though root pruning might not kill the tree (sometimes it does), one have just cut of the 6-8 weeks of root growth and start all over again. Which in perspective you have lost at least 12-16 weeks of root growth, which is a set back for growth.
Why pot at the middle of winter then?
Lets talk about Dormancy. Dormancy in plant physiology is a period of arrested growth. Plant species that exhibit dormancy have a biological clock. These clock is activated by the photoreceptors. The shortest day is 22nd June and by 2-4th week in July the day length is getting longer and these photoreceptors are sending signals to the tree notifying that the dormancy is coming to an end, and compounded by the few degrees of warmer soil temperature, root activities are in earnest and by second week of August some buds are opening. So potting in early spring is a bit risky if the then temperature goes up to 26 degrees and above. Of course this applies to Sydney condition. Potting at this time have serve us well and the trees have never taken a back ward steps. My apology if it has not been explain well. Try not to get too technical lots of botanical terminology would put people off.
Thank you.
Yours sincerely.

PS don't take what is said as gospel. If anything said is wrong please do correct . Thanks
The following user(s) said Thank You: adam k, Taffy, Anthony W, john , Farmer J, albert bartolozzi, Owen Li, Mark

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2 years 6 months ago #57998 by JC
Hi Leong

Thats pure gold.


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2 years 6 months ago #57999 by Leong Kwong
As for natives, have very little experience on Melaleuca and won't be able to comment on this species. As for tea tree, most of mine are root pruned and potted from October. Back 3-4 years ago the losses was 50% after root pruning. Now the success is 95%. After root pruning and potting it sit in a tray of water for at least a month.
One must have heard lots and lots of time natives don't need water. Wrong, they need lots of water, in the ground they send tubular roots deep down to the water level to get water. Because of these the misconception of they don't need water because the surface is bone dry.
Please do not take this as gospel as this is only experiences gain from dealing with tea tree in the 3-4 years. THank you.
Yours sincerely.
The following user(s) said Thank You: JC, Anthony W, john , Mark, PeterKB, Anthony R

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2 years 6 months ago #58000 by Taffy
Thank you Leong. That was very informative - a lot of very useful advice there.



A seed is actually a tree packed ready for travel. (Bill Funk)

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2 years 6 months ago #58005 by albert bartolozzi
For mine, living in Canungra ( Gold Coast hinterland) qld. Maples and elms have been repotted already. More recently wisteria and crepe myrtle. My natives( Mel’s and lilli Lilly’s mainly) I do now, during the next month or so serrisa”s, buxus , jade and privet....coming into summer- Fukien tea and green island figs .. full summer -figs and bougies. Juni and pines in winter . That seems to work for me... of course there is always variation ( eg. some crepes haven’t budded yet, still look dormant, it’s been very dry and windy lately here, I’ll wait until small buds appear before repot on these.)
The following user(s) said Thank You: leong, JC, Taffy, Mark, Anthony R

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