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Topical Times – Researching a Family Tree!

A regular update on the life and times of John Hanby’s Newstead Bonsai Centre……..

Topical Times – Researching a Family Tree!

Like most of you we are in the middle of the repotting season. We are busy with repottings on all fronts. Apart from trees on the nursery I have just repotted five of my own trees. Most workshops currently involve a lot of repotting activity and we are also carrying out specific repotting work for clients.

The tree featured in this blog was left with us by a client. I believe it is a Korean Fir tree. Our client remembers the tree in it’s early days with his father and from this we know that it is at least 50 years old.

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Apparently the tree was recently rescued from a garden where it was shining through a fairly dense overgrown patch. Many of the smaller trees had unfortunately died. There was no way of knowing just how long it was since the last repotting. This looked like being a serious job.

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Under the pot you can see where heavy roots have grown through the drainage holes and into the ground….this is what kept the tree alive. Inside the pot there is a dense root system with evidence of healthy roots around the outside. A piece of lead protecting the roots from tie wires was still in place.

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With water and nutrients coming from outside the pot via the roots now in the ground, the roots inside the pot had suffered from considerable dieback. The rootball had to be opened out more than I would have liked to remove all the dead roots. The heavy roots which had been in the ground were now cut back as far as possible as there were no fine roots near the ends.

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The tree was finally repotted into a new pot using a mix of 50% akadama and 50% pumice. The branches were pruned back to take pressure off the roots and to start the reshaping of the tree. Dead branches and cones were also removed.

Everything has been done to make things right for this tree and hopefully with some nurturing and good aftercare it should take full advantage and recover well. The tree has history….and now it’s documented…..let’s hope he has a sound future…..after all he’s now part of the family!