Japanese Yew for shohin

I bought a J. Yew tree from a couple that was selling a 60 year stock of trees. This one is in a normal 5" garden pot. Its a twain truck . It slender the main trunk is only 7/8" thick and the second trunk is 3/8" thick. Total branches on the main trunk is about 15 - 20 . On the 2 trunk maybe 7. Its NOT heathy. Its totaly root bound . So much the roots have grown so much I can lift the tree out of the pot. What I want to do with this tree.

  1. make a shohin out of the tree. Ryan’s show’s us pruning is exemptible in later fall or early winter. I know it strength / energy is in the vascular system BUT the tree is weak.
  2. Because the tree is root bound and easily can be lifted out of it pot I think its need to be repotted now. Why b/c the roots have grown 1/2" to 1" thick into a circle of roots on the bottom of pot to force it out of the pot. Should I repot now?
  3. I feel I should postpone any type of pruning for 2020 year. Or can I prune then I see new branch budding out. to reduce the height? IMG_6788 IMG_6789

thanks BD

You are correct in so much as you shouldn’t prune if it’s weak. If it’s as pot bound as you say then what you could try is, place the whole pot into a bigger pot which will allow some additional root growth over the winter then repot in the spring. Depending how cold it gets in your area and whether you have access to a greenhouse or polytunnel, you could simply lift it from its existing pot, tease out one or two of the roots and carefully place it into a slightly larger pot. then you can repot properly in the spring. Have you lost percolation. If not the tree will be fine as it is but if the water doesn’t run through or takes a long time then doing one of the previous options would be best. I wouldn’t think about doing any pruning until the strength returns. You could create a shohin but I think you’ll be throwing away some good material. Just my personal thought.