Exposing nebari on Hinoki Cypress - nursery bought

Hello I recently bought a nursery stock Hinoki Cypress. Tree is in healthy shape and I haven’t pruned much. I’ve watched several of the reporting and nursery stock videos on Mirai and I was thinking of trying to expose the nebari on my tree but I’m a little worried/ unsure.

There are so many small surface roots it feels like I’m going to cut through them all trying to get the soil away using a chopstick. Will that harm the tree? I was planning on transitioning to a grow box or pre-bonsai pot later on, perhaps next year.

I’ve attached two photos, one of the surface roots near the trunk and a second the tree was pulled out briefly to just take a look at the overall roots before putting it back in

If repotted at the right time of the year they can take it

I was planning to save a repot for Jan or Feb. I guess my question was can I expose the nebari now or do I wait until the repot?

I would wait until the repot, with it being a nursery stock your actual nebari is probably 1/2- 3/4 the way down the container

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I would also recommend to wait, with summer arriving.

Not sure what zone you are in but repotting in Jan. or Feb seems way to early as Hinokis are typically one of the last conifers to wake up from winter dormancy. You need to wait until the hinoki starts loosing it’s winter color (slight purplish tinted green) and starts shifting to it’s natural deep
green color. Once the winter color starts to shed, pay attention to the foliage tips. It’s go time when you start to see bright green popping from the tips. Here in Nashville (zone 7b) this =early to mid April for us. I have 5 hinokis and have great success repotting all of them during this window. Hope that helps!

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I agree, I am in 6B just outside of Boston, Ma and they just starting to grow now. I repotted them last year in the last week of April.

Hi guys, I’m in zone 10, Southern California but by the beach so it doesn’t get too hot or cold. Bit of a bore. I guess I just meant I’d repot when growth first starts.

We don’t get the cold cold weather down here, lucky if the lows are in the high 40s for a month or two. So it’ll be interesting to see how much the colors change on this one in winter. But yes I’ll wait to expose nebari when I repot - when it starts to push new growth. :slight_smile:

Thank you very much for the help by the way.

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I agree that the true nebari is much deeper in the pot than what shows in the photo. I bought a nursery Hinoki last spring and the nebari was 3 inches below the surface of the pot soil.

That makes me happy, I poked my finger down about an Inch or so and hadn’t felt anything yet so maybe it’s 2 or more inches down. If
I’m reporting next year would it be ok to do a light prune this year to clean up some of the long tips and give interior pads some light to prevent die back?
Like maybe a 15-20% reduction? And some light wiring?

Personally I’d say yes. If you aren’t repotting this year, then pruning is definitely on. Remember the adage, just one insult per year. So if you aren’t repotting then pruning is fine.

Light wiring is tricky because if you don’t wire everything your just empowering the unwired branches to be the most photosynthetic efficient and gain the most strength. Wiring alters the hormones that drive growth.So unless you do it intentionally with that in mind, your not helping yourself or the tree.

I see, I more meant light as in the movement. Not super heavy dramatic movement, just some gentler bends to start the directional changes.

That’s interesting though I didn’t know that branching that isn’t wired/bent would gain more growth than the wired ones.

Not the best analogy …but imagine the water flow difference between a slightly kinked hose vs a dead straight one!

You can use it strategically at times by leaving something valuable that’s weak unwired while wiring the strong and laying them out.

Good luck