The year is 1990 and I was doing Bonsai for not more than half a year or so when I visited the “China Bonsai centre” in Schiedam (Holland). This giant greenhouse was filled from top to bottom with many commercial Bonsai! But there were always a few better ones brought back from their trips to China! And one of them was the tucked-away big Chinese Pinus parviflora from this story! It cost us a whopping 1000 Gulden (450 Euro) and that was a lot of money those days and still is!
Below: 7 years later and the year is 1997 when my Pine was shown in the third edition of the famous GINKGO AWARDS in Belgium.
Below: 23-4-2022 and 25 years later! Yesterday my Dear old Bonsai friend Teunis Jan Klein brought the pot that I bought from him and now it is time to finally free my pine from his cracked pot! With a hammer, the pot is broken so that the pieces can be removed by hand!
Below: Just look at how compact those roots and soil have become over the years!
Below: All that greyish mycorrhiza is a welcome sign of good health and o so necessary for any Pine to thrive and survive!
Below: With a hook and a chopstick the old soil is removed via the bottom working my way up!
Below: Then only carefully working with a chopstick the old soil was further removed from in between the roots!
Below: The bottom of the pot is filled with a layer of soil containing Akadama and Bims. The greyish/brown pieces you can see scattered around on top are the saved layers of mycorrhizal fungi from before! This way the pot will fill itself much quicker with healthy and very necessary mycorrhiza! Remember all Pine trees need mycorrhiza to feed!!!
Below: Wiggling with a chopstick carefully working the soil into every open space between those roots. And then he is watered over and over again until the water that runs out of the holes in the pot is clear! I hope he recovers well from it all and that he may bring me pleasure for many more decades to come!
Hans van Meer.