Sunday, April 1, 2012

Woodstock V: Repotting A Very Old Ponderosa

Woodstock V was held in Harrisburg the weekend of 30-31 March-1-April. The Friday session was sunny and warm, so we were all glad to be outside working in the warm Spring sun.
As usual, Walter Pall had the group work on his collected trees (which one could purchase...of course!). The focus was on good techniques for repotting.

Walter pulled in an old "Lurker" to assist with the various tasks...

The group took a break in early afternoon to repot one of the oldest trees in the nursery: a very old Ponderosa Pine, collected by Randy Knight a number of years ago. The Pine has been in the nursery for at least 5 years, and has filled in nicely, thanks to the TLC given by Jim Doyle and his crew.

Here is the pine before repotting was started. The tree was carefully coaxed from it's pot. Walter oversaw the whole operation, to make sure nothing was done to detract from the health of this old Pine.
The Pine was moved to a worktable so the rootball could observed. What a rootmass!
The health of this tree is quite remarkable, which just goes to show that with the right care and feeding one can improve on what Nature has to offer in the wild!

So back in the rootball...there was a lot of substrate which needed to be removed so that the ree could be repotted into a smaller pot. The health of the roots is remarkable; there are hundreds of white root tips showing.

Walter was obviously pleased with the progress of the work, and the quality of the Pine.

The flare of the old nebari at soil surface required some minor modification to fit it to the pot, so a Sawzall handled the task quickly. This would in no way harm the tree or detract from the quality of the material.

The group assisted in excess substrate removal, and the roots were kept moist by spraying with water.

The tree was then checked for fit in the new smaller pot...

I asked Walter if he would pose with the tree as he frequently does on his own blog...and he was happy to oblige!

If I could read lips, Walters' comment might be "SWEET!"

Finally the tree was mounted in it's new home. Substrate was added, and some additional care was taken with a set of roots which needed to be redirected downward into the soil.

Overall a major success.

Now the tree will recover from repotting this year, and we will see what is in store for this Old Pine.

...and here is the whole crew...smiling for a job well done on "The Buffalo"!


BTW...Walter has also posted pix of this wonderful tree and the repotting on his Travelogues site under the Woodstock V postings:


  1. Man, I wish I could have been there!

  2. Well, while you were doing that I was stuck doing 75 mph up 95 in bumper to bumper traffic and arrived back home Sunday evening around 6:30 PM totally exhausted. Never driven so fast in so much traffic. I'm getting too old for this stuff. Good to be home. And look forward to seeing all you guys in a couple of weeks. My healed in trees all made it through this mild winter and look good. They are now out and about to get fertilized.