this is the story about the repotting of one Yamadori Sabina that will end up with two?! I bought this nice mid-sized Yamadori a year ago and left it untouched all this time to make sure that it was enough settled and strong enough to repot safely. I acquired it because of its stunning movement with a lot of deadwood and because there was (maybe) the possibility to separate it into two beautiful small trees! Buth early this year I started to see a decline in this little tree’s health and I decided that I would take it out of its plastic container because I wanted to see what caused this?! And now looking back, I am glad that I did because it was planted after collecting in some sort of very compact sticky muddy soil with not much-draining capability?! So with a lot of frightened anticipation, I took it out of its container to find what I was afraid of…poor soil! So even though it was not in a good condition I had to act before the tree would suffer even more, so I decided to free it from all this bad soil and plant it in a proper Bonsai soil mixture in which it could recuperate to become healthy and happy again!
Below: the two trunks of Sabina Yamadori.
Below: close-up of two separate trunks. One all twisted and turned with a long twisted Jin and the other one slanting more straight and gently twisting with a foliage crown at the end.
Below: viewed from another angle.
Below: released from its plastic container.
Below: Carefully and anxiously combing out the roots hoping for plenty of healthy roots and for roots on both trunks so that they could be separated from each other without any danger or problems?!
Below: looks promising with plenty of roots!
Below: look at all those roots on the left and the right trunk…but is it enough so that the two trunks can be separated?!
Below: red arrow points to roots growing from the curly trunk. Green arrow points at a thick root that grows to the right from the curly trunk. Blue arrow points to roots that grow from this thick root…so there are more than enough roots to keep the curly trunk alive and healthy when it could be separated from the second straight trunk! The white arrows point at the root mass that grows from that second straight trunk! The yellow line in the middle of the picture shows the spot where the two trunks could be separated from each other!
Below: seen from the other side. Red arrow points at the roots that grow from the end of that thick root that grows from the curly trunk. The yellow line shows the spot where the two trunks will be separated.
Below: the cut will be made from this side right across that yellow line.
Below: carefully cutting with the help of a power saw.
Below: mission accomplished! The two trunks are separated successfully! The straight trunk on the left has more than enough roots. And the right side curly trunk roots are spread out on the plastic green surface and look more than enough…so I am relieved and very happy! Now I have to keep the exposed roots moist of one of them while I plant the other into its new home away from his brother or sister?!
Below: this repotting and separation even reviled a more than welcome unexpected wide root base on the curly tree!!! Making it even better than it already was!!! And this provided a better anchor point to secure it to the pot with wires!
Below: with the help of a chopstick the soil mixture containing Akadama, Kiryu and Bims is pushed in between all the roots, making sure that now are pockets are left!
Below: then the tree is watered thoroughly until the water that runs out of the pot is clear of any dust!
Below: next the straight trunk is prepared to go into its new home. Here a long thick death root is cut off so that it will fit easier in its pot.
Below: the tree was placed on the bottom layer of large particles of soil for extra drainage. Just look at all those roots that fill almost the whole pot!
Below: two wooden blocks are placed under the right side to support the tree into its new desired position and then it is firmly anchored to the pot with thick wires.
Below: carefully bringing in the soil.
Below: then watering it like before. In the next couple of weeks, the trees will be kept in a warm spot with filtered sunlight and their foliage will be misted a couple of times a day to help them safely through this period
Below: separated but still together they stand here at their start as two future Bonsai.
I hope you enjoyed this little story of one Sabina Yamadori that became two pre-Bonsai with hopefully a bright future ahead of them?!
Hans van Meer.