Blue Atlas Cedar Design and Repot

I was able to repot a large Blue Atlas Cedar (50 gallon nursery stock) after much guidance from Ryan. Here are some picture of the process. The next 2-3 years I will be focusing on increasing the foliar mass and rebuilding the root structure. Also I was able to reduce the rootball considerably, but still there is a considerable amount of original clay soil left. I will be following Ryan’s suggestion on removing the majority 2-3 years from now. Balance of oxygen and water will be the main priority this year.

Last year right after arriving in the yard. August 2020

Bud break and elongation. Great root formation, prefect timing for repot (April 2021). Worked the top potion first revealing as much nebari first. As Ryan had predicted this was about 40% of the soil mass.

Working the bottom. Used a combination of chopstick and root rake. Clay soil is hard to work with dry.

Final root reduction. Had to saw off a large root to allow the tree to fit in the pot. Luckily didn’t have that many feeder roots on those large roots.


Your experience is the same as mine with somewhat smaller nursery stock although it looks like you had much better roots than I have typically found - probably due to more time in the nursery pot with nursery mix for roots to grow out of the clay ball from the field. I generally go into a wood box first to get more roots and and then into a bit after getting more roots and removing most of the rest of the clay. Patience is a virtue with these.

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