Monday, March 30, 2015

Gib and Carlton Talk Soils and Repotting

by Michael Rusnak

ACBS's own Carlton Buck went into great detail in a discussion over some of the important ingredients commonly used in bonsai soil, such as pumice, haydite, turkey grit, Turface, charcoal, the clay like substance known as “Akadama,” bark and moss.
   Carlton pointed out a few considerations for your soil, noting that “Soil mix is dependent on such things as climate conditions where you keep your trees—shade vs sun or calm vs windy, for example.” He added to also think about how rapidly will the soil dry out? If they dry out faster, for example, you may want to include more organic material.

As if soils were not enough, Carlton, then teamed with ACBS ace bonsai guy Gib Butler to demonstrate the repotting process. A tall exposed root azalea was used in the demonstration. The duo worked together to place it neatly –and aesthetically-- in a hand-made round pot—a beautiful result as can be seen in the photograph below.

Repotting is an annual chore and a little head start helps. Gib likes to be well prepared for the season with with a neat and organized work space, plenty well mixed soil, a good supply of wire and clean sharp tools. Such preparation is good way to manage this process and keep your trees healthy.  
 Two video clips from last month's demonstration on repotting and root pruning at these two links:

All of our videos are at 

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