I moved this little kishu into a taller pot while I try to make it into more of a cascade shape, but I suspect the roots are still only in the very top and the rest of the pot is just wet, since there’s so much moss growing on the outside. The foliage is beginning to die off at the tips and turn yellow in places. Should I move it back into a shallower pot? And how does one better introduce a semicascade tree to a cascade shape/pot?
Too much moisture could be responsible for the symptoms you see. As for the pot, it’s not common to use cascade pots that are deeper than they are wide. Deep cascade pots represent an older approach that hasn’t been as popular in Japan for a long time.
Either way, repotting can help as you can place the tree in a deep pot with better drainage or use a shallower pot with something closer to 1:1 dimensions depth to width. More importantly the tree may be overwatered. Backing off the watering may be the only thing needed to perk the tree up, and checking the soil before watering is the best way to know whether or not the tree needs water.
Ah, thanks. I feel silly, cutting back has already cheered it up. I wasn’t able to find any good guides on going from an upright-growing tree to a downward-growing one so I cranked the rootball around as best I could but clearly didn’t know what I was doing. A repot in spring will hopefully fix things.