Repotting my largest Thuja

Its not so much the tree that is huge, but rather the ‘coffin’ that it is planted in. When it is a bonsai, it will be an easy one-person tree… but its still my biggest Thuja (actually, I think its my biggest tree period).

I collected this in the fall of 2010 and did not want to disturb the huge flat root system, so I just built a box around it. It took two people to lift it, but the main issue is that I was stupid enough to build it out of plywood so it was starting to fall apart after a few months.

The purpose of this repotting was simply to put it in a more sturdy box that is about 1/3rd the size, and to wash some of the mucky soil away from the inner rootball.



7 Responses

  1. Wow! Nice to see so many roots. There was a picture in a Bonsai Today issue that showed a yamadori in a large wooden box.. The design of the box had handles and would be perfect for moving around large trees. I’ll look up the issue number. Thanks for the update on your thuja.

    April 21, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    • Cool! Did you notice the crappy handles on my boxes? The new box has handles v2.0 – bonsai wire with ergonomic discarded hose padding 🙂

      April 21, 2012 at 11:34 pm

  2. crust

    So apparently you hosed this root ball out. Cedars have such ropey roots when I am repotting them when completed bare and hosed out I worry my techniques of wiggling in and poking with sticks may not be the most effective way to get soil granules into the roots–any suggestions?

    April 22, 2012 at 8:20 am

    • Hey Crust, I don’t have much to offer there because I basically do the same thing. I know the issue though… it can be very tough to effectively fill “all” the gaps with Thuja since the roots get so crazy. I just wiggle in soil until I can’t concentrate anymore. Usually about 15 minutes 🙂

      April 22, 2012 at 12:12 pm

  3. crust

    Hey a little white cedar maintenance question for you. Do you periodically add lime to your potted Thuja?

    May 27, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    • Heya,

      No I never have used lime on any of my trees. Actually, I never monitor the pH at all. I use inorganic mixes with most of my trees, so I think that helps keep the pH around neutral as opposed to the pH swings that may come with more earthy mixes.

      But now you’ve got me thinking that adding lime might help some of my newly collected Thuja that are still growing in muck.

      May 27, 2012 at 10:31 pm

  4. Pingback: Big Thuja Update « Lakeshore Bonsai: Bonsai in Toronto, Canada

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