re-potting and soil mix video's now on my youtube channel

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Otto Bjornson, May 12, 2021.

  1. Otto Bjornson

    Otto Bjornson Active Member

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    I finished up three more japanese maple tree video's including:

    How to re-pot your container grown Japanese maple


    Do I need to re-pot my japanese maple? a quick simple guide


    Soil mix for your container grown japanese maples
     
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  2. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    For the more visual learners, these are brilliant Otto. I enjoyed them.
     
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  3. Otto Bjornson

    Otto Bjornson Active Member

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    Thanks D!
    Although we did grow / graft maples for many years, the other part of the nursery was selling the trees. Every single tree was sold directly by us with no wholesalers involved. We were not a big nursery at all, but each spring we would sell approx 600-700 of our collection. Our biggest selling event each year was the famous Van Dusen Garden show in Vancouver. It always ran for 3 days in early June with well over half our inventory sold at that event, one tree at a time. Every single person that bought a tree from us became very informed on how to care and grow their new family member. We always included a "care card" which basically described everything I mentioned in the video. Nothing like keeping the customer happy!
     
  4. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Something that a lot can learn from Otto in these days of sale sale sale on the Internet.
    But you do learn over time who are the good and who are the bad.
     
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  5. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Thanks for posting Otto, that's very good advice and since I missed the time-slot to repot some of my maples because of the weather (very hot, then freezing), this is basically what I will do with mine.

    But do you have advice, or even videos about repotting maples before budbreak, the way we "bonsai enthusiasts" do ? Some even wash out completely the roots before adding new soil mix, and prune them drastically, is it something that you would do, or is it something that one discards when growing maples as "nursery" trees ?
     
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  6. Otto Bjornson

    Otto Bjornson Active Member

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    When it comes to re potting before the buds open up, then a whole different ball game.
    You can do exactly as you say, bare root and wash out all soil, then trim back the roots as much as you feel required. When our really old specimens need re potting, we do that at the end of Feb. or early March. We don't pot them into yet a bigger container, we just literally prune the whole root structure back 4-6 inches ( 12-18 cm.). Then we place back into the pot with new soil on the outer perimeters.
    In the winter months you can bare root a young tree, wrap it in moist newspaper, then plastic and then ship it anywhere around the globe. We bought several young cultivators from Holland that way back in the mid 90's. All survived as we just potted them up once they arrived.

    I will do a video of one of our old trees when I re pot , but it will be a few months before that will happen
     
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  7. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Thanks Otto.
    I look forward to another great contibution from you.

    And, man, you can play an awful nice music, and a man that hath no music in himself, etc.

    ^_^

    Alain
     
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  8. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    I repotted, or rather "slip-potted" an Acer griseum today.

    More or less the same technique, except that I pruned about 1/3rd of the roots at the bottom :

    tech-transpot_210514a.jpg tech-transpot_210514b.jpg tech-transpot_210514c-griseum.jpg tech-transpot_210514d-griseum.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2021
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  9. Lisa Harry

    Lisa Harry Rising Contributor

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    Thanks @Otto Bjornson love the tutorial, also your in my area so its nice to see how you manage your JM in this climate. I’m about to slip pot a couple of my JM and I will later root prune one. It was recommended I used the Pine bark mulch but cant find it anywhere, glad to see the the fir is working well for you. I work in construction so I guess I could go to the carpenters shop and make my own if need be. Thanks again for the videos very helpful
     
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  10. Otto Bjornson

    Otto Bjornson Active Member

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    @Lisa Harry, any good quality nursery will sell fir based bark mulch as it is readily available. Or any compost/ recycling depot is even better as they always carry a good quality mulch.

    And a pine based mulch would be fine. Basically anything without cedar as that would be way to acidic
     
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  11. dicky5ash

    dicky5ash Rising Contributor

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    I have a lot of repotting to do over the next 6mths..my plan is repot everything now that has dropped most of their leaves and do not need root pruning..for me this is anything under 1m tall.. and the bigger ones can wait till late March early April.. If I leave everything till then I know I won’t get them all done.

    I managed to root prune and repot 50% of the big ones last year..But I find it a time consuming and rather physical process..maybe 3 or 4 hours per tree…partially if they are in 100ltr+ pots and have been in them for several years. That’s my plan anyway!!
     
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  12. Lisa Harry

    Lisa Harry Rising Contributor

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    @dicky5ash do you think it’s bad to root prune in this season?
     
  13. dicky5ash

    dicky5ash Rising Contributor

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    Thanks Lisa. I prefer not to..I know others on here do with great success but logic tells me cutting roots back hard at a time when healing is at it’s slowest is not ideal. I just dont see any benefit doing it now.
     
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  14. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    This is close to the mix we use here, with the exception of the sand. Even very sharp sand stays too wet: I do think we all need to adjust the formulae for local conditions, I like pozzolan, though at a smaller caliber (3-6) than Alain is using above. This also adds a lot of weight and keeps pots from tipping over so much. (I understand why you're trying to avoid weight! but my objective is to grow the pot size, which rarely goes above 12l before either planting or going to someone else to worry about).

    Love the recycled tire pot, haven't seen those here. But adding gravel to the bottom of the pot does raise the water table. There's plenty of lit. on this, see Chalker-Scott's "Myths".

    The vertical aeration is such good advice. Lots of folks forget about it, and the trees appreciate it so much.

    Great videos, thanks for posting them.
     
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  15. Sulev

    Sulev Well-Known Member

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    Chalker-Scott's unscientific myths are not worth promoting. Gravel should work well for large house plants/containers, provided, that container is deep enough and low edged plant saucer is used. Then this gravel helps to break capillars from the excess water pond in case of over watering.
    If container drains freely to the ground (no plant saucer), like outdoor containers often do, or when the container is inside high edged water tight decorative pot, or when shallow container is used, or when excess watering is always avoided, then adding gravel is pretty much pointless and is often even detrimental to the plant.
    But I have used gravel sucessfully even for freely draining outdoor containers to block voles to enter the pot from the large drainage hole on the bottom. So using gravel should have its aim, and the way it is used should correspond to that aim. Total denial of its usefulness based on few tests in certain conditions is just another attempt to create a myth.
     
  16. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Well @Sulev, I think if you google "perched water table in pots" you will find lots of information. I don't use google, so I don't know if the results will be the same, but the first hit I had is this one: Rocks in Pots: Drainage or Perched Water Table Problems? The final sentence from the NC cooperative extension: "
    Skip the gravel in the bottom of the pot. It can create a result completely contrary to the drainage you want to achieve."

    I don't always agree with Doctor Chalker-Scott, but I always respect her. "Unscientific myths" is hyperbolic. The science behind perched water tables is quite old, so this is not exactly her idea. I simply gave the reference as the one I remembered first.

    -E

    P.S. I don't know if the OP is trying for drainage or just to keep the pots upright, of for some other reason.
     
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  17. Sulev

    Sulev Well-Known Member

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    I don't have to google about "perched water table", because I learned everything about it ca 35 years ago when was studying forestry. Google just promotes certain pages, you can't judge quality of their content based on their rank in the Google results.
    I know how science works, Dr. Chalker-Scott has published zero peer reviewed articles in reputable science magazines about perched water table, she just forms another myth by concluding that gravel is ALWAYS detrimental. I promote an idea, that people should always think, what is their aim, and design their solution according that, considering general knowledge and good practice about the method and means. It is good, that Dr. Chalker-Scott's articles inform people about the perched water table. It is bad, that her conclusions are based on tests, that ignore the perched water table by design.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2021
  18. Otto Bjornson

    Otto Bjornson Active Member

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    regarding the gravel at the bottom of the pot, I should clarify..
    I use clear 3/4"crush which contains no sand particulates, it allows the water to freely pass and add extra weight to the bass of a smaller pot. Japanese maples can get fairly top heavy and the weight of the gravel really adds stability.
    On the other hand, something like crushed gravel would be detrimental to the plant as it would restrict water flow.
    Even our large cedar boxes and cement containers have 3-4 inches of 3/4" clear gravel as it does aid in good drainage. Again only personal experience here from many years of container growing.
     
  19. dicky5ash

    dicky5ash Rising Contributor

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    I put 3” of crocks in then 2 or 3” of circa 1” beach pebbles
     
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  20. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    I always use relatively large crocks at the bottom of my maple containers. It avoids the perched water table because the gaps between the crocks are large enough to allow soil "wicks" to populate the spaces and effectively make the soil depth equal to the total depth including crocks. Typically the perched water problems are only encountered when there is a layer of small gravel above the crocks or stones that prevents the soil/medium from making its way to the bottom of the pot. The very worst of all is when you have several layers of increasingly smaller aggregates from the bottom up before the actual soil.

    I only put a couple of inches maximum, even in large pots.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2021
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  21. dicky5ash

    dicky5ash Rising Contributor

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    I can’t see an issue with large open structure at the bottom like I’ve described..I go OTT with large sized, course crocks and making sure that there is a good void over the holes in the pot to ensure that they don’t clog up.. my pots are oversized because of this..rarely do they blow over
     
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  22. Otto Bjornson

    Otto Bjornson Active Member

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    I also drill 4 more holes generally as the typical single center hole is not enough on most pots. These would include heavy duty plastic / fiberglass / oak barrel pots / even some ceramic pots as I have ceramic drill bits too. One drain hole is just not enough (imo). Then a layer of ground cover fabric over the holes, then the 3/4" clear crush stone, then the soil
     
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  23. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    I am going to use @Otto Bjornson 's soil mix for repotting my few JMs in containers if for no other reason than I have all the ingredients on hand. I like his common-sense advice about knowing when the time is right. I think I'm finally convinced that growing the smaller varieties in containers would be a good option for me in this garden.

    I'll likely not bother to put drainage material in the bottom, based on Linda Chalker-Scott's advice. Maybe a brick in the bottom will help the tree falling over as so many of my container rhodos have in our recent storms.

    I've been looking back at other soil-mix suggestions that have been shared here on these forums over many years by those who love and grow Japanese maples.
    Here is one from @whis4ey in 2006 that suits my philosophy. (Keep it simple, stupid.) "Moist but well drained and your maples will thrive."
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    whis4eyWell-Known Member 10 Years
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    Surviving and thriving are very different issues
    Japanese maples need moist well drained conditions
    How you arrive at that will differ from person to person
    Short of laboratory tests and conditions we will all have our favourite mixes which appeal
    I still think that going overboard on a particular mix is complicating life too much
    Moist but well drained and your maples will thrive.
     
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  24. Otto Bjornson

    Otto Bjornson Active Member

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    And one last comment. We do not add any drainage ( gravel) into the base of the pots unless they are getting up to the 7 gallon size or higher. Back in the day when we were active as a nursery even our 10 -15 gallon pots that were being sold had no gravel as it would just add to much excess weight. We would always recommend that adding drainage when they decide to repot their tree into a larger container would be an option if in fact a container was going to be the final home. The fact that it would add extra weight was just a bonus in case of high winds, etc.

    We went to large cement pots for many of our trees, and the only reason for the 3/4" clear crush gravel was to assist in the drain hole not becoming plugged. The empty containers weigh over 100 pounds (45 kilo's) and really, really, really difficult to move!
     

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  25. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    My back agrees !
     
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