Shore Pine Bunjin First Potting

It’s a big shift from a large pot to a small one.

Take great care to preserve fine feeder roots in this transition. Feeder roots are the very finest roots. If a pine’s roots are cut leaving only 1/8” roots, and nothing finer, the pine can die.

For older pines a solid mass of the root ball should be returned to the pot, with these fine roots within that undisturbed soil. If available, a greenhouse or other temporary shelter eases aftercare for the first 3-4 weeks.


A styled Shore Pine ready to be repotted.


Slowly working the tree into a small pot in a Winter Seasonal session. The remaining original soil mass is hidden on the other side of the pot, with very fine roots within it, taking up about 1/3 of the pot.

Half of this battle is stabilizing the tree in the container, in this case it took bamboo braces. If you have a project like this, take your time and lock it in with strong wires until the plant doesn’t move in the pot. The tree and pot should be one.


Finished Shore Pine in a pot. The trunk inclination was lowered. Shredded sphagnum completes the mound and protects it from drying too fast in warmer weather. This pot was given to me by Tachi’s dad (I wrote about Tachi in Post-Dated). This is the second tree in it in the 17 years I’ve had it.

March 2023 Bulletin Board 

  • Bonsai Heresy is still—as ever—available on Stone Lantern. Written over a 15 year period, hilariously illustrated by Sergio Cuan, and published in 2020, this offbeat educational book is about the myths of bonsai practice. If you know someone who needs this book—an Aries, Taurus or Gemini with a birthday coming up—spring is excellent reading weather. Second only to winter.
  • Post-Dated is on sale at Stone Lantern! If you’ve not read my memoir about apprenticing in Japan—or again, know a Aries, Taurus or Gemini with a birthday coming up—get $3 off now from my distributor Stone Lantern.
  • And now for something completely different…visit my Indiegogo campaign Buy Binoculars for Young Birding Guides in Ecuador! With two weeks remaining we’re now 106% funded at $5,320. We still have some platform fees to pay and shipment of our as-yet-unpurchased binoculars, so please: take a look, donate, pass on to friends—

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  1. Ray says:

    Thanks for thus post Michael, just getting into shore pine repot this week. I acquired a new shore pine that was initially repotted 3-4 years ago. I need to be very careful in the repot. The tree has good tip foliage but no back budding.
    Thanks for the tips

  2. adasgupta2013 says:

    The pot was waiting patiently at the corner of the room all these years for the rightful tree and now the marriage is complete 🙂

  3. adasgupta2013 says:

    The pot was waiting patiently all these years at the corner of the room for the right tree to come by and now the marriage is complete …

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