Emergency repot due to vandalism

So the quick facts…
I live in southern Indiana, basically Kentucky, fall weather incoming still in the 70-80s during the day 55-60 during the night. The victim is a Japanese white pine variegated foliage (pinus parv. Ogon Janome) grafted on roots of some kind probably black pine.

Someone ripped the tree out of nursery container and from what I can tell stomped/bulldozed on the roots because most of the soil mass and roots were scattered around. The nursery container was missing and I only had one pot even close to something I would put it in eventually. To top it off I didn’t have any akadama, pumice, or lava on hand. So basically in my panic I pruned off all the broken and damaged roots and used what soil I could gather (mostly pine bark and peat) from what was left/around plus large grain perlite I had sifted from when I was making soil for cactus, and did an emergency repot. It had a good deal of fine feeder roots left over but I’m not trying to fool myself into believing this wasn’t a super major root reduction it went from a 10-15 gallon container to a maybe 2 gallon pot. What if anything can I do to save this tree.

Sorry to hear about this. The good news is that fall is a good time for vascular growth including roots and it looks like you may have ideal temperatures for that right now.

1 Like

That was my thought as well, I am more than anything concerned that such a large root reduction really screwing with the upcoming winter and how well it would do. I am in the middle of moving (not far from where I am) and I can’t currently set up a heat bed or anything. Do you know any bonsai voodoo magic that would make these roots just take over the pot? I’ve got the balance of H2O & O2 and I am making it a much bigger point to monitor on this tree, although an incantation or two would be nice! Lol

You might get a flexible heat mat for seed starting and wrap it around the pot. Same idea as a heat bed, but much more portable.


Hi Jacob
In my experience, the best thing you can do is to protect the tree from wind and direct sun. Spray the foliage daily. The soil must be moist, not wet! Some liquid fertilizer just for the foliage might help, but not too much. I have no experience with Heatmat, but if I understand Ryan correctly, it only works if the air temperature is very low. I think the type of root growth in the spring is different than the growth in the fall. So in your case it could be counterproductive. But maybe someone else has experience with heat mats in the fall. And last but not least your tree need winter protection against freeze.

1 Like