Time to undertake some major rootpruning on this Japanese Maple. The main consideration was pruning away an ugly raised surface root and also reducing the depth of the rootball so that the tree would sit better in the ceramic pot it was taken out of last year.
Other raised roots were removed two years ago because I felt there was a better nebari hiding underneath the soil level and so the job was finished today, along with shortening the long roots at the front.
Over time, I’ll work to reduce the spider leg appearance of the nebari but this can be masked by moss in the short term.
When combing out I discovered long circling roots within the rootmass, presumably from when the tree was rootbound in a much smaller pot in the past. Unfortunately the previous owner must have just potted on without doing any rootwork each time. The soil itself was of poor quality, so I decided to give it a rinse as well. I also found some unwelcome guests:
Vine weevil grubs? Looks like it. Found three or four of these and disposed of them. I guess it’s not a good idea to apply a pesticide while the tree recovers from this surgery but if someone knows any better, the advice is appreciated.
The tree was also placed to the other side of the pot to emphasise the trunk movement to the viewers left. Branches on the right will be tightly pruned and those on the viewers left will be allowed to extend over time to fill the negative space. This was in response to advice from Peter Warren during his visit to the NIBS last year. I’m looking forward to seeing it in leaf soon.