I’ve got a scots pine yamadori that I bought from a yamadori collector and it’s still in the original field soil / container. I would like to get everyones thoughts on whether its ready to be transplanted into a development pot / substrate this spring or should I leave it another year to regain more vigour. Same question as well for candle pinching. Its a bit leggy at the moment but should I let it go in the interest of building up energy?
Hi Matt, your tree sure has some nice bark. It must be fairly old, nice find. I have a couple questions about it - do you happen to know how long it’s been in this pot and can you tell the soil composition? I’m thinking that the tree needs a gentle repot but not any pruning until it gets stronger.
I got the tree last year and when it came the moss / soil surface looked fairly well established. Beyond that I don’t know how long its been in this container… Yes I might aim for a gentle repot this year and as you say, skip pruning and let it build strength…
Based on how the top soil looks I’d guess the tree’s been in that pot for at least 2-3 years. Come spring I’d go ahead and repot it and leave it alone for at least a season of growth, maybe even two, feeding it heavily to build up strength and start the process of backbudding.
Don’t go too gentle on the repot. You want to be able to get rid of all of the old soil in two or a maximum of three repottings. The Mirai approach is to the remove the over soil and get those roots into good bonsai soil and then come back and remove the core soil the next time once the tree has colonized the new soil.
I suggest you pull the tree out of the pot and look at the roots. That should tell you if you need to repot or not. You can always replace some of the soil. One way of exchanging to bonsai soil is to do it in segments. In your case you might consider 1/4-1/3 . By taking out the old soil in a wedge segment you still leave the majority of roots intact. People approach this differently but I would never remove too much soil at once. I have killed established pines by removing too much soil.
Scots pine tend to have a lot of buds but it’s hard to reduce branch length if not managed from beginning. Maybe reduce branch tips at least to some degree. Maybe just pinch the long candles early to promote proximal growth. They tend to have a ton of buds at the tips but don’t always back bud. I’ve seen some that do.
Looks like a nice tree!!!