Western Hemlock

I have a western hemlock that is pretty dense, it is a triple trunk and is in a large nursery pot. Some of the interior smaller branchs are dieing off from what I would assume to be not enough light. The nursery pot has good percolation and I am unsure if I should trim and style this first then repot or vise versa. Another BSOP member and he suggested waiting until Fall. If I needed to wait till Fall could I do a bit of thinning on the interior now before Spring springs?


I don’t know, but that is a great looking tree! What you’re able to do probably depends on the aftercare you are able to provide. Can you greenhouse it the rest of winter and early spring? If so, I say go for a repot and a little thinning (~30%). Is it collected or field grown?

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It was collected by Greg Brenden. I bout it at the BSOP holiday event auction. During the Live Q&A Ryan said to do either one, I’m going to repot it first and let the foliage help rebuild the roots then next spring do a styling.

If you don’t style the tree first,how will you know which will be the front, what planting angle etc.
I’d say first style and then see what pot will fit the tree

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Lots of potential… very nice! Decisions, descisions, hmmm. I don’t have a hemlock.and can’t say how it will react. The hemlock has really strong growth and seems to need a first a clean up to get light to areas where you might otherwise get no new buds. Whether you repot or design first depends on when it was put in the container and then whether you want to get a handle on the health of the roots first or want it to start the developement of the suckture and branching first. I, personally, tend to work from bottom to top. Wish you lots of pleasure with your hemlock. Keep us in the information loop.

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Meant …structure… of course, not sucture :sweat_smile:

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Any update? If you have NOT repotted yet, western hemlock do not like bare rooting. Change about 1/2 to 1/3 at a time, with minimal root disturbance on the other part.
This is an awsome tree…


If possible, you should always style before repotting. Locating the best presentation of nebari, angling the tree to showcase the most aesthetically pleasing lines of the trunk, deciding overall style and other crucial fundamental aspects of the craft are optimally achieved when the material is free from the confines and restrictions of a pot. That’s not to say these aspects can’t be teased out if the material has already been repotted. But you’re greatly limiting your options and might only discover a fraction of the materials true potential.

Any update? Would like to see the upper structure after it is thinned out.!

After talking with Ryan Neil I tried to reduce the roots since it was root bound. I was only able to reduce them by a couple inches. It took me 5 hours with the help of my 10 and 12 year olds tonsupport the top of the tree while I raked away. I was unable to get it low into a pot so I had to make my own. It was a couple months ago before any sign of the buds starting to push. Since it has been budding out all over the tree. I will wait till next year to style the tree after it gets strong again. I will try and get some current pictures tomorrow.

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Been there, done that…:disappointed_relieved: ROOTING for you…
Spent two hours digging a Perry Ellerman? Elm. Truck. Wheelbarrow . Cut 20" off top and roots. Put into a 42"x10 deap pot with 10 gallons of bonsai soil. 4 feet tall. Permanent fixture…

Little pines are 8".
My biggest hemlock is 12". Want one like yours…
Photos at your leasure, please.

Here is pictures from this evening, I had to make a fence on the pot to keep our mastiff st bernards out of the fertilizer. For size reference a 16.9oz water bottle. :smirk:



Awsome. Shoot for a 4" deep pot…

@KurtP. Using shohins as fertilizer? :joy: I love it. Nice elm!

My western hemlock. Collected 25+ years ago. I did show this tree twice.
Note QUARTER. I keep losing limbs. Repoted/ root trimed this spring. Happier now. 1:1:1 mix. Was covered with moss last. None now… Yes, there is a back limb.

4" pot…


Any updates? I pulled one out of the mountains right by the snow line and am looking for inspiration/hope <3

@Joe_Johanesen YES, update, please…
Mine gave up the ghost this winter…:expressionless: