The first thing I want to do when I acquire a new tree is get a look at the soil. Based on what I found when I started repotting the trident maple below, I decided to bare-root the tree.
After removing the soil
The tree had been well-cared for but was growing in a mix of mostly organic soil. As a result, there were few healthy roots.
Close-up of the roots
Fortunately, trident maples are a hardy species that can respond well to bare-rooting. To preserve as many roots as possible, I only removed a few that were growing straight down.
After pruning the downward-growing roots
I found a pot by Sara Rayner and used straight Clay King (80% akadama, 20% pumice) for the soil mix.
Setting the tree in the pot
Here’s the tree after repotting.
Repotting complete, February, 2020
I normally prune the branches before repotting, but because there was minor branch dieback, I left the branches alone.
A few weeks ago, the buds opened and there are now leaves on all of the branches.
After leafing out – April, 2020, 26″ tall
I plan to let the tree grow freely this year as the goal is to generate as many roots as possible. Once the tree has more roots, I can start training the branches, possibly as soon as this fall.
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