Hi, everybody,

today I finally dared to repot one of my favourite trees. It is a Juniperus communis I collected in the Austrian Alps in. This tree has such great potential, but I decided to wait to work on it until I was fully convinced there would be enough new roots to support the tree safely through the stress of repotting it! This species is hard to keep alive after collecting and I was so glad that it had recovered so well after I brought it down from its mountain to my garden. In 1995, after I was convinced the tree was doing fine, I brought it along to the U.K to give it it’s first styling session during my demo’s at the “JOY OF BONSAI” show in “Bath”. After that, I allowed the tree again to recover from it all!

Picture 1: So today, finally it is time to have a look at the condition of the roots! Because I still can’t lift anything by my self, I had to work on the floor where the tree was standing.

Picture2: First I carefully removed the soil around the outside of the plastic container, slowly working my way inwards and downward, until I uncovered some healthy roots. Just like how I prefer to collect a yamadori in nature. In this way, the root ball would stay more or less intact and I would be able to lift the much lighter tree from the ground into it, for now,  new container.

Picture3: The long roots that I left on when I collected it, were rotted away at the ends, so I could remove them now, without harming the health of the tree. There were new roots growing closer to the base of the tree now, so I would be able to plant the tree into a smaller pot!


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Picture 4 and 5: Here you can see the tree in his new home. It is a too large pot, but for now, it will just be fine, I need the tree to recover first!

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Picture 6: Because the tree was doing fine in its previous soil mixture, the new pot is filed up with the same soil it was growing in before!


Picture 7 and 8: The tree in its new home. This is the first tree I have, that really has 2 good fronts! 🙂



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More to come!

Hans van Meer.




  1. Hans

    Your Communis is looking good. I remember watching you work on the tree back at Joy of Bonsai

    Hope you well

    All the best



    1. Hi Andy my friend,
      well the tree is doing better than I at this moment! There is a promising lower back operation waiting for me to (maybe) cure me, but my insurance company wont pay for it! So I am a bit in a dire strait here, and the pains and immobility are getting worse every day! But I am over the moon that this difficult species is doing so great up to now, if it stays this healthy in the future, it will be one of the best in my collection! I will just take the time with this one and a other one, I collected on the same mountain a year later, and seams to be doing just fine as well!
      Hope to see you soon again some were in Bonsai land,
      Hans van Meer.


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