Repotting Chojubai in Summer
Ten years ago I had several articles about Chojubai translated from Japanese magazines. In one of them a professional reported his preference for repotting in summer. I was surprised and a bit skeptical. Having since experimented with repotting Chojubai at various times of the year, I agree that this small quince does respond marvelously to summer repotting.
If you wish to repot in summer, first prune and trim. Then the quince is defoliated. And then it’s repotted, without bare rooting. This is the method offered by the professional who prefers summer repotting, and is the one I show below.
Defoliating a Chojubai in preparation for a summer repot. Spring shoots were cut off first.
Only about 1/3 of the root mass was removed before placing in a new box. Try to keep a good ball of roots on these quince. And be careful of overwatering until you see buds.
I don’t recommend doing aggressive root work on Chojubai. They can take a hit with heavy root reduction. The roots are very fine, and while not as fine as Satsuki Azaleas, are nearly as tender and fragile.
Settling into the new box. My client wants a big specimen, in the 32+ inch range, hence the development box. This is likely a 12-15 year project.
Buds popping 6 days after summer pruning, defoliation and repot. They really like heat.
10 days after the repot, the Chojubai is nearly in full leaf again.
After 14 days, shoots are coming out.
I particularly like summer repotting for the big downsizing of stock Chojubai into a bonsai container. I’ve tried this in spring but they don’t seem to establish as well in the cool temperatures.
I haven’t yet repotted my oldest Chojubai in summer. But given how well the young ones like summer repotting I may try it with the older specimens, too.
Maybe try a summer repot with a vigorous Chojubai displaying long extensions. August 1 is the last date I’d do this in Oregon for the plant to replenish its sugar stores for the winter. This post is a bit late for summer repotting this year in many areas, but maybe keep it in mind for next year.
For more: Take a look at Jonas Dupuich’s experiment on defoliation in this post about summer repotting young Chojubai.