A beginner’s guide to bonsai.
This old Cork Bark Arakawa Maple was acquired in April 2014.
See below for the summary of its history and progression.
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History and progression Since April 2014.
The previous owner had it for forty years. Most probably its had not been re potted for in the previous twenty years. It was in beautiful Brian Allbright pot, which was broken with the force of the roots. The pot was held together with a very thick bonsai wire. The root growth was such that as the roots had no where to go, they pushed up wards creating a large mound of roots above the pot.
The tree had been badly neglected and the canopy was 36 inches (91.5 CM) wide. The first task we tackled was to reduce the canopy and found many dead branches which were removed and created a much lighter and smaller canopy resulting in light getting to the lower branches. We then did a temporary repotting in a deep round mica pot, with no root work done at that time. In both these tasks we had called on Harry Harrington who kindly dealt these for us.
The canopy was pruned to keep it in check in the following year. Two years later in May 2016 we finally tackled the task of repotting it. It took Voytek and my self five hours to work the roots and gradually reduce the root ball to size the new shallow pot would be able to accommodate. During my recent trip to Japan and visits to the Omiya Bonsai Village nurseries and bonsai museum, I had noted that the Japanese were using very shallow pots for big mature tree with massive nebari. At that moment I decided that I would have a go and repot some of my big trees in shallower pots.
As the roots of this tree were in a bad state, we did the best we could and remove some very large and thick roots. It will take a few years to get root structure right. In the meantime this tree will
be most probably repotted annually working on the roots until we get them right.
This process can be applied to any tree to be repotted from a deeper to a shallow pot.