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  • Root Prune / New Pot Day

    So I take a trip to home depot this AM to check out there water tank pans. They are big, 26" around and I've been thinking about using them for a while. Luckily last fall, I happened to notice a new business in the area open up and they planted some trees. The landscapers had left the tree pots outside for a few weeks and opportunity came when we had a heavy wind and rain storm and the pots were very close to the main road and rolling around from the heavy wind. I had to rescue them, which I did. These are big pot, 24" wide and 19" deep. I got three! The water tank pans would work great for these pots, so I grabbed two, along with a 12" sawzall blade and checked out. Being the first customer of the day, the teller was either hung over or still sleeping, as they only charged me for one pan ( they are 9.99 each). Great, off to a good start and it's not even 6:30am.

    I have a choice to go to a St. Patricks Day parade and watch amateur hour with the wife and kids or stay home and do some stuff. Needless to say a truckload of compost was in order, enjoy the parade honey! How can you pass up almost 60 degree weather in March and a truckload of compost for $20?

    Heres a shot of all the children needing new homes.

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    Now lets get started
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    As expected, they are root bound and circling the pot, but a little haircut will solve that problem.
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    After some work with the sawzall, that should be good.
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    Like I said, these are big pots, huge in fact.
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    Enough room for root growth this year, I hope.
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    A handful of lime, 10-10-10, and super phosphate, which I'm trying for the first time this year. I've heard from 3 different people in conversations that it increases fruit production so I figured it cant hurt.
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    Luckily this one just fit in the greenhouse, getting it out after its leafed out...well, Ill worry about that then.
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    Two trees down and quite a few more to go.
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    Like I said, these are giant pots....and now really, really heavy.
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    Rhode Island - Zone 7A

  • #2
    strong work!

    Shailesh, Pennsylvania, ZONE 6B

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    • #3
      Here is CDN, which grew like a weed hopped up on fertilizer last year. It grew from a cutting to about 6 ft. I gre it straight up and let it start to branch out at the top towards the end of the season. I was amazed at the roots this thing had.
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      I managed to untangle one of the roots, and it turned out to be almost as long as the tree itself, about 6ft! Crazy. Click image for larger version

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      This tree was already budding out and ready to start the season.
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      3 hours later, I managed to get them all repotted and fertilized. I'll give them a good drink tomorrow and they should be in a happy place as temps are in the 50s all week, and it easily gets to 75+ in the greenhouse when the sun comes out.

      My back is wrecked from lifting all those pots, but it was better than going to the parade. Here they are, all repotted.
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      Rhode Island - Zone 7A

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      • #4
        Looks good! I started working in my trees last weekend. I havnt done any root work in two seasonsZ It is backbreaking and it reminded me why I'm supposed to be reducing the amount of trees I have instead starting more like I ended up doing.

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        • #5
          Nice work, Mike. The kids all look happy.

          I plan on doing my repotting next week.

          Do they stay in the GH all year? If not, when do you put them outside?
          Kevin (Eastern MA - Zone 5b/6a)

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          • #6
            I root pruned two this year and that was a pain. You've got to be exhausted besides your back being wrecked.

            Great work, looks great Mike.
            Scott - Colorado Springs, CO - Zone 4/5 (Depending on the year) - Elevation 6266ft

            “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – Bill Mollison

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            • #7
              Looks great!

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              • #8
                Looks good. I need to get started on mine too. What are you going to use to move those big pots?
                Don - OH Zone 6a Wish list: Zaffiro, Moro de Caneva, Nerucciolo d'Elba, Bordissot Blanca Negra, Rubado

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                • #9
                  Excellent! Now relax!
                  Frank ~ zone 7a VA

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                  • #10
                    Nice work.
                    Jerry, Canyon Lake TX 8b

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                    • #11
                      Nice work! Do you root prune each tree annually, or every few years?

                      I acquired most of my figs in the last year and haven't checked the ones put in 5-gallons last year yet. Most are putting out big leaves in the last couple weeks so it might already be too late.
                      Sarah
                      Bay Area, CA (zone: 9B)

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                      • #12
                        Nice trees. All your hard work pays off.

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                        • #13
                          fitzski - I'll take the two big trees out sometime in May. I need the room for a row of tomatoes that grow down the center of the greenhouse. The others I leave in the greenhouse all season. This year that might change as some are getting big and it will be crowded in there.

                          COGardener - yeah, that wasn't as much fun as drinking beer but had to be done. That was the second truckload of compost for the day, as I had to spread a load in my parents veggie garden earlier in the day. A few aches and pains this AM!

                          don_sanders - I'll move them with brute force, hand truck, and a bit of stupidity / testosterone on my part. Last year I had one tree on the deck in a big pot. Up three stairs not easy, this year I think they are staying on the ground.

                          sarahkt - that was the first major overhaul for all the trees as most were in the same pot for 3 years. They certainly needed it and hopefully will respond well with loads of figs.

                          I've got two orphaned trees that need adopting. Both are about 3ft tall and single trunk, ready to be potted up and are currently in 1 gallon pots. RDB and VDB are the varieties.

                          Rhode Island - Zone 7A

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