Go in or stay out (of the pot on recently aquired bonsai)

i have recently acquired some trees from “enthusiasts”. What is the general consensus on going in and do a re-potting vs. standing by and observing percolation and health of tree over the next growing period.

I have inconsistent information on soil and last re-potting for the trees, but looking at the soil from top and into the roots (where possible w/o disturbing them) it is not presenting itself too promising.

Should i go ahead and re-pot these now (preparing for potential issues like field soil cores / undeveloped roots systems etc.) while risking having a tree which was just re-potted last season (but most likely not to mirai standards)

Thanks for your opinions.


What are your concerns about the soil/roots when you say they don’t look too promising?

Hello Carl,

it is various issues in the different trees which make me believe that the current condition within the rootssystem will be an issue.
in one case i have a significant accumulation of sandy soil around the trunk (leading me to believe that there is no bonsai soil in the middle.)
One (which is loose in the container that i can lift it) has circling roots and the soil just falling out.
One is staying overly wet and the tree is not very well attached to the container.
One has its lower root base exposed and a general lack of soil mass in the container.
Only one looks properly anchored and the soil from the top quite ok (though a little fine particle size).

I wonder if it is not better to properly re-pot them now and then know what is in there rather than trying to “nurse” them through the season.

Thank you


Gotcha. That’s my vote. In addition, doing it that way would allow the foliage mass you have left to heal whatever the tree needs afterwards.

1 Like

I agree, I would re-pot with very little root disruption unless you get them out and they tell you a different avenue to go down.


so i went in and did a re-pot for all of them. I feel it was the right decision as each did present an impaired root system (for various reasons). One turned out to be a textbook second re-potting to evacuate the shin from field soil, one must have been dizzy already from running the roots in circles, one had just some not too good quality akadama applied over an unfinished root job etc.
Now it is to see how they will develop in spring.