Following on from my previous Blog this one will go through step-by-step on how to repot a tree.
March is the best time to repot your trees as they recover a lot quicker from root and branch pruning.
Make sure you have everything in front of you:
- Turntable (optional)
- Potting tray (optional)
- Rubbish bag
I would normally let the soil dry out (but not totally) a week or so before repotting.
The reason for this is that it makes it easier to remove the tree and less soil will stick to the roots so will cause less stress when removing.
I also won’t repot until the buds have broken and the leaves are just showing.
Tee before repotting
Begin by raking around the edges of the pot with a root hook or chopstick to loosen the tree.
Then work your way from the base of the trunk outwards towards the pot.
Once the tree is loose enough to be lifted from the pot hold the trunk with one hand and the pot with the other.
Continue to work the roots out from the top, sides and finally underneath being carefully at all times not to damage any.
If you are happy that you have removed enough soil and exposed the roots it is time to trim them.
You want to remove around a third of the roots. Also remove any dead, rotten or large roots.
Put the tree to one side.
Clean down your work area and grab your prepared pot (if your pot isn’t ready please see my previous blog on preparing your pot (link))
Fill the bottom with a fine level of gravel for drainage (you could also use pure Akadama (link) or our prepared soil mix (link) so no need to do this)
Pour more soil into the pot so its just below the rim of the pot.
Place the tree onto the soil and gently twist the tree into position.
Add soil and use a chopstick to work it in and around the roots.
When your happy that you have filled the air gaps tie the tree to secure it into position.
Add more soil if needed and continue to use a chopstick to fill in any gaps.
Once complete give the tree a good watering and place in a semi shaded spot for around four weeks. Do not fertilise the tree during this time.
Tree after repotting
You can start to fertilise any trees you haven’t repotted this year.
Hopefully by the end of the month it will be warm enough to remove any wintering trees from the greenhouse or from under the benches.
Other tasks undertaken in March:
- Spray the trees with a fungicide and insecticide.
- Evergreen trees can be fertilised (Use a weak feed to start with).
- Sow Deciduous tree seeds.
- Wiring can still be done this month.
- Last chance to lift trees from the ground (make sure you dig up as much of the root ball as possible).