Hinoki Cypress nursery stock help


I just picked up a Hinoki cypress from a local nursery and the root ball is wrapped in burlap in a very dense clay soil. I’m just looking for some advice on if I can leave it wrapped in the soil its in now, do some work on the foliage now and repot in the spring. Or if it would be better to do a slip potting and remove some of the clay soil now, just thinking the clay soil cant be good long term. I’m located in Massachusetts zone 5b
What would some of you do. Any help would be appreciated.


I am in MA and it’s too late to repot Hinoki now. Too hot (going to be in the high 80s in the next 10 days). Plus the time of the year is too late. I would let the tree be, put it in partial shade, and water so that it doesn’t get too dry as Hinoki like moist soil (not constantly wet though). Then next Spring, around late March/early April, do the repot. I have used 3/1/1 (akadama/lava/pumice) for my hinoki, and so far they have done fine as long as they are in partial shade during the summer time.

If you want to do some pruning, you could do it now or in early Fall. The downside is that once you open up the root ball you will have a better idea of the design/front/nebari/etc, so unless that is already crystal clear from what you can see, I would just wait.

One last thing - hinoki can get a lot of interior die-back on small branches, and those are very hard to rebuild, so I would make sure you rotate the tree and make sure you don’t let any one area get shaded out the whole time.

Good luck!


Thanks for the reply and the advice. I’ll just wait to touch the root ball till next spring. I will probably do a little little pruning just to open up the canopy to help prevent any interior die back like you said. Thanks again.

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If you have the space consider putting it in the ground as it is. This way you benefit from the larger soil mass around.

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Hinoki grow really slowly, so a season in the ground isn’t going to do all that much. Is that really worth disturbing the rootball? Now, if you were going to do 3-5 years, then sure.

If you are going to do anything with the rootball for a year, the most I would do is heel it in to the coarse saw dust on top of weed cloth, but not sure it will make that much of a difference vs. the current burlap setup.

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The idea was to not disturb the root ball at all. Just putting it in the ground as is will make an easier time watering and potentially have some benefits from the biom.