Fall Root Prune/ Up Pot

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Lisa Harry, Aug 28, 2021.

  1. Lisa Harry

    Lisa Harry Well-Known Member

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    I have a number of trees that need larger pots but I’d like to also root prune them as some are larger and pot bound. What’s the thoughts on fall root pruning best time? all leaves need to be fallen off or sooner or completely dormant almost winter season? I believe @ROEBUK typically replant in the fall season is it just an up potting (slip pot) or full root prune?
    Thanks
    Lisa
     
  2. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Good morning Lisa, I do all mine in late Winter, around early March time. I have found that the roots get away better with warmer soil rather than struggling throughout the cold Winter months.

    D
     
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  3. Otto Bjornson

    Otto Bjornson Active Member

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    Hi Lisa
    We do all of our root pruning in mid feb. when the pots are not frozen. The last few years we have decreased the pot size. Many of our large container grown trees are now in smaller pots. We have gone from 2' x 2' approx. size down to approx 18" x 18" . These are all 20 -40 year old trees. I take my rough edge pruning saw and literally cut back at least 6" - 8" all the way around and then the bottom as well.
    When trees are in their full dormancy it is virtually full proof to do dramatic root pruning with no ill effect. An example of a large tree to be root pruned was a 40 year old seiryu, went from 2' x 2' box down to a new 18" - 18" cedar box. The same tree with fall colors was from the mid 1990's when a garden magazine came out to do a photo shoot. Then it was in a 2' - 2' cedar box and 16 years old. We also had not yet painted our exterior of our home to the new color yet as well!
    I will make a video next feb when we do more re potting from big to smaller pots.
     

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    Last edited: Aug 31, 2021
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  4. Lisa Harry

    Lisa Harry Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys I really appreciate the input. I was really hoping to do them in like October but maybe not. I do have a couple trees I may need to just up pot cause they are like 1 gallon and not fairing well which makes me think they will die in the cold winter.
     
  5. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    I asked this exact question of @ROEBUK a few months back and he does all of his after leaf drop and before any freezes, so late fall/early winter. He root prunes very aggressively and even pressure washes the root balls. If I have time later I will look for the post and link it.

    Now, I am not saying one method is better than the other, just that there appears to be more than one window in which this can be successful.
     
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  6. Otto Bjornson

    Otto Bjornson Active Member

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    any time during dormancy is fine. Out here we do tend to get the odd freeze up combined with arctic outflow winds so the safer window is usually at the tail end of winter at our end. And yes pressure washing and then ship bare root which is what we have done in the past as well during the nursery days. Wrapped in moist newspaper then plastic bag. We even had trees shipped to us from Dick Van der Maat (holland) , bare rooted in winter, took over two weeks to arrive, all survived once potted.
     
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  7. Lisa Harry

    Lisa Harry Well-Known Member

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    Oh thanks guys for all this information I had planned to do a number of trees in late fall early winter so I’ll let you all know how it works out.
     
  8. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    If the winter where you live is not too harsh, repotting after leaf fall can be done.

    Here, frosts don't usually come until late November, early December. When we repot in mid-October, the roots are safe.
    Most of the time.

    Repotting in late April is though being on the safe side if you don't have a cold greenhouse...
     
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