I have a large Flowering Apricot that was collected from a landscape in 10/26/20 and placed in bag with 100% pumice. It was allowed to grow freely for a year and a half until now. It put on tons of growth during the first year’s growing. The photo below is from 9/28/21. I can provide additional photos if needed.
Would it be a good idea to wait to repot into a box or pot for another year or two, or would this spring be ok to repot it? Would a “more gentle” repot into something more stable than a bag without really working the roots be ok?
Welcome! I cannot tell from the photo. Is that a fabric grow bag? All my grow bags show roots coming out the bottom after they have filled with roots.
They also have been grown with contact with the ground. Water oxygen and bacteria will improve fine roots in pumice. Nice photo! What climate or zone are you?
Thanks for the reply. I live in Los Angeles, (Zone 9/10) but the local area is in a a small valley that stays a bit more cool than most of LA.
The tree is in a grow bag and was sitting on the ground. It’s only on the “cart” in the photo for moving it around as needed. Mostly shade for the first 6-8 months, then full sun for most of summer n fall of 2021. Put on lots of growth in the first year.
I’ll attached a few more photos since I can only upload 1 as a new forum poster.
Here’s a photo from collection in fall 2020.
My zelkova’s in grow bags were accidentally blown over by 80 mph winds… so I was able to evaluate the significant root growth in pumice. Not an ideal situation, but good to know they are progressing. If your climate allows you might peek at the bottom or even cut a hole in the bag to look for white roots. The first transfer into a container should be bold to reduce the root ball. Do you belong to a local club or have bonsai friends with experience?
Welcome to the club. Loads of information here and knowledgeable, helpful people.
If you’re not in a hurry I’d get it in a box and let it further recover. That’s a big chunky trunk!
I am experiencing zone envy! Would not survive in my area.
Does it drop leaves and flower in winter before it sets leaves in the spring in your climate?
I’m not in any clubs unfortunately - not enough time in my schedule. I do work often at the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens in Pasadena assisting on their collection under curator Ted Matson, so I’ve got some good knowledge there.
Leaf drop was in fall. I don’t remember if/when it pushed flowers last. I don’t think there was any flowers after collection given all the energy went into recovery.
The base is quite wide and decent, which hopefully will develop nicely over time. The 3 trunks are pretty large, so dealing with those wounds will be a challenge too.
At the current moment, I’m debating letting it recover 1 more year before repot, or doing a “light” repot into a more appropriate container/box.
I think I would get it into a box or pot with bonsai soil based upon the strong growth. I would not worry about get out all of the pumice. It looks like it is established and ready for the next developmental steps which require a solid root base.
Did Ted steer you toward joining Mirai? I hope to make it to the Huntington someday!
I would leave it there for another year. I think you should try to wire the first branches now. Than encourage side branching by cutting the tips of the branches. Fertilize heavily. This will give you good branch attachments and the branches will thicken faster. Have a look at the wire, it will biting in rapidly. Prune back the branches varyingly strong during the growing season to achieve different thicknesses in the structure. When the first structure is set, i would repot.
wherever you put it after collection and it is doing well growing healthy leave it there for another season. You seem to have good knowledge how to look after this tree if weather turn nasty. Agree with @satsuki61 to at most do some mini work on current branches. Next season you can repot and do some root work too - 2 with one throw.
Keen to see some updates how it goes
Ted actually did not steer me towards joining Mirai. I was already familiar with Ryan’s work and Mirai, so when he started Mirai Live, I joined after taking the free week trial. Ted does reference Ryan’s work and knowledge a lot. I’ve worked on a handful of the trees at the Huntington that Ryan has been helping to reinvigorate.
Thanks for the advice. It did get some structural wiring on it in fall. It’s being watched closely for wire bite, given the thin bark and vigorous growth. It’ll definitely be getting fertilized very well again this year.