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Japanese Maple, in a large pot?

I have 1 maple in a pot large enough for the tree and the root system. I have another maple that is in a pot, and it looks like the root system is growing too large for the pot. They are both growing well for the past year. I prefer to move it to a larger pot, any suggestions? I want to avoid putting it into the soil.

Also, any suggestions would be helpful for a new-gardener such as myself.

Last edited by namiam on Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

The Helpful Gardener
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Nam, my suggestion would be to try this same question on the [url=]Bonsai Forum[/url]. I think you might get a different take on repotting (and when) entirely appropriate to your maple...

Scott Reil

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Sage Hermit
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Its my nature to make what ever tools I need and make what ever pot I need. Maybe make an emergency pot yourself. I think People need to make their own crafts. Its a learned skill and a valuable trade as well.

Well when you are a hermit you got make due with what ya got... :(
You can solve all your problems in a garden/laboratory.

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Helpful Gardener is right in saying check the Bonsai forums.

I'm usually on there, so i might be able to help you.

Depending on the size, and how you want it to grow would depend on what type of treatment you want to give it.

If you simply want to move it to a bigger pot so it can continue to get bigger, it's easy.
Pull it out, and plant it in a bigger pot. I'm sure you know how to re-pot.

But, it is a maple after all, and eventually it would get too big for a pot, and you said you wanted to avoid placing it in the soil.

What a Bonsai cultivator would do is re-pot it.
This involves pulling it out completely, cleaning the roots and inspecting them for any root rot, or other diseases, trimming them up so you cut off about one third of all the root system.
You should re-pot them in late winter or early spring prior to new growth.
This allows the tree to concentrate its efforts on expanding the new roots before it needs to grow new leaves.

Also, use fresh potting mix (if it was Bonsai not a regular mix) and give it a good watering.

As HG said, Japanese Maples are very popular for Bonsai trees, and you may find it helpful to check that forum out.

I hope i could be of some assistance.

I have a Lily growing in my pond at home, and when the roots start to get out of control and grow out of it, i pull it out of the pond and just cut the ones sticking out of the pot back. Eventually it did get too big, so i re-potted it into a larger one. (also placing a brick in the bottom of the pot to stop it falling over, haha.)

Victrinia Ridgeway
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I am a bonsai enthusiast... so I thought I would contribute to this thread.

I would not completely rootbare a larger container tree. It is sufficent to take the tree out of the pot, gently work the bottom and sides of the rootball with water from a hose and your hands to loosen it... then using a saw cut off the bottom third of the root ball. With a small hand rake you can loosen the roots all around the sides of it and trim them with scissors, but leave it relatively in tact. Put a couple inches of drainage layer, then soil into your pot before putting the tree back into it. As with any plant make sure large pockets of air are filled in with soil.

Soil is the tricky thing... if you want a container tree to be happy it wants a certain level of inorganic substrate in the mix. It would be better to make your own soil out of composted fir bark, 1/4 inch minus crushed lava (available at most good nurseries - wash before use), and or pumice (sift the fines before use). You can do half organic and half inorganic, or a little heavier on the organic if you don't want to worry about watering so often.

Also... as a point of clarification to an earlier post, it is important to repot the tree before the buds are breaking as the extension will stimulate healing and root growth. You cannot have any root growth without foliar growth. They go hand in hand.

Other important points... acers hate to be waterlogged, and they get the best color with slightly acid soil. The composted fir bark will add a slight amount of acidity to the mix.

Good Luck... :)

La belle cose prendono tempo... (Beautiful things take time...)

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