Sometimes when you have a dense collection of trees you miss a repotting year on year. Today I had one of those embarrassing moments when I looked down on a recently rotated collection of trees to find my neglected cork oak. It was cramped in amongst olives I was preparing for a demonstration later this month. I cleaned up the olive and then put the Oak up on the work table and was dismayed by its condition. It was just beginning to push new growth. The Cork Oak is always the slowest to wake up compared to other oaks and evergreen trees I have.
One one the work table I did the soil check to test the density of roots. Wow, I was not happy to see the tree was probably root-bound. I began by scraping the sides of the pot and found I worst nightmare. It was totally root-bound.
I freed the tree from the pot and was shocked to see how much root material was in the bottom and how much it had pushed itself up out of the pot. Never a good sign to see all the root wrapping around and around the inside of of the pot.
Seeing the birds nest of root is very embarrassing. I tend to watch my trees more carefully. It is a sign you have too many trees in one place when you miss something like this. Luckily we will be selling some trees in June to make more space for our projects.
I cleaned out old soil from the base of the tree careful not to remove too much at once. This will be added to my every-other-year calendar of repotting if it start flourishing. I will do this to ensure the root development is fine and healthy with a complete removal of the sandy material at the base of the trunk. I was reflecting on when I got this tree. It must have come from some GSBF convention but I did not record it well. Another embarrassing moment.
The pot I chose was much bigger this time. I wanted to get more branches and better roots so it moved to a larger and deeper pot. The soil mix is the AKOI mix with a goodly amount of root hormone added to the mix. It will get an organic 5/5/5 granular mix in another month.
I had mentioned my demo this month on Olive trees. Just wanted to show you one of the trees I am taking to the demo. It is an olive stump that I have been working for over a decade. It was originally a 6′ tall bush that I reduced to what you see today. More on that story next time.