Species Specific > Japanese Maple Bonsai Discussion

newly repotted acer palmatum

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maerlma:
Hi, I'm fairly new to bonsai and just repotted a Japanese Maple from nursery stock I found at a local farmer's market. I'm worried that the soil mix I used isn't going to have sufficient drainage. I used equal parts composted bark, coarse builder's sand, and small pebbles that were sold as a decorative top layer (I've since realized that using these pebbles was a mistake). I've got some akadama on order and am trying to find either some decomposed granite or possibly turface. Should I wait it out this season and wait until next spring to repot into a more suitable soil mixture or should I go ahead and correct it?

Jay:
Greetings and welcome to the group. May I suggest you give some additional info to help in this matter.
How big is/was the tree?
Did you reduce the size?
How much of the root mass was removed?
Is it now in a training pot or have you placed it into a Bonsai pot?

Is a picture possible and do you have one from before the repot, not a must for your question but always nice to see. The more info you give the better the answer will be. May I also suggest you go back to the 'Profile' section of this site and add just a bit more info on yourself, especially where you are. The USDA zone of '7' can put you in NJ, Oklahoma. Calif., or even Washington State. All are in zone 7 but are different growing conditions.

Best of luck
Jay

maerlma:
Hi, thanks for the reply. Here's a picture of the tree currently. I don't have any before pictures. I removed a little less than 1/2 of the root mass, and pruned roughly the same amount from the top. Thanks again!

Jay:
Well, I was waiting, hoping that someone who lives in an area like yours would reply. I live in northern Vermont, my growing conditions are nothing like yours, so take this as you may. Leave it for this year. Keep an eye on soil, don't let it stay too wet.
I would transplant it next year into a better draining soil. However, this said, in you area I could be way off.
Jay

Treebeard55:
First of all, nice tree with some definite potential!

Almost as important as specific ingredients is the size of your particles. Anything under 1/16" is too small for use in a container; doesn't matter if you're talking about Turface, lava, bark, you-name-it. There are a few who disagree, but most experienced growers will tell you to sift the fine particles from your mix before you use it.

That said, I'd say that unless your tree is sitting in a very fine mix, leave it alone for this year. Major pruning is a trauma, that's a fact. Your tree can and will recover, but it needs time to do so. Give it a year of TLC and adoration  ;) before you do anything further.

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