Sunday, January 14th
Room 101, Casa del Prado, Balboa Park
Members are invited to bring in a tree in the morning for re-potting help, first come, first served starting at 8:30AM. Soil, pot screen, and tie-down wire will be provided by the club. This is a really good time to get dirty and learn some of the important techniques and nuances of re-potting; also a great time to observe. The morning session will end at about 10:15AM to get ready for the meeting. There will be time after the meeting starting about 11:30AM to complete re-potting started in the morning or to start re-potting. Help will be on hand to assist with the repotting and pot selection.
January is good time to focus on soils and repotting, November through March being the best time period for re-potting pines, junipers, deciduous trees and most evergreens. Trees that have been properly repotted on a regular basis are relatively easy to repot since they have a healthy root system and the root ball is relatively easy to work. However, problems arise when trees are very root bound, roots are in poor condition, the tree is not healthy or the tree needs to go into a significantly smaller pot. Questions arise like: If a root ball is very hard, brick hard as it were, is it ok to "re-do" the root ball in two sessions...one session now and another re-pot in a year or two? Should I use a different soil? If so, what should it be? Should the tree be anchored to the pot even if it is not a big tree? Are there different ways to properly anchor a tree? If the some of the original nursery or native soil is still stuck inside of the root ball, does it have to be removed? The tree needs a smaller pot, how small can I go? What is the proper pot shape? The roots are in poor condition, how much should I remove and what type of soil mix and container size should I use for repotting a sick root system?
These are some of the basic questions. This is a great time to get those questions answered or get some help with a difficult tree. As benign and mundane as re-potting appears to be, it is the most important procedure in assuring a strong root system, and therefore a healthy tree. Every root system is unique. You never know what you are going to see until the tree is removed from the pot. A healthy tree can be safely pruned and wired, and recover quickly from being worked. It is also the best time to re-position your tree, via rotating or tilting, to better show the tree.