Thanks for your thoughts, feedback, and advice. It’s so helpful for someone like me who still has a lot to learn.
You are right, the tree was growing well. The soil just wasn’t ideal in my opinion nor was the container. The pines have reached a height where they tip over if the wind blows. I don’t like keeping them close together in order to allow light to hit the whole plant. Also, the containers were black which heats up quite a bit in the sun. I’m sure it would have been just fine in the soil mix for longer but I’m essentially trying to get the painful part out of the way, while the pines are young and resilient. However, I do realize there is still some of that old soil in there which I will have to deal with at some point.
The root work was (or at least appears) more than I wanted. This was both intentional and unintentional. The pictures don’t do it justice but for starters the container was less than 2/3 full of soil. Furthermore, the bottom half of the soil was really not occupied with any roots aside from roots than came down on the sides. I did trim some roots that were excessively long on the sides. The bottom of the soil container was covered in a very thin flexible screen material and the roots that came down the sides were kind of attached to that. I did not want the screen in the new soil so I had to remove it. Careful as I was there was just no integrity to the rootball and basically that bottom half of the soil kind of just fell off.
I tend to be pretty conservative but I only have $10, plus some wire, and some fertilizer tied up in this plant so not a huge investment. That’s not to say that I was reckless but I certainly was more aggressive here than I would have been with a tree of any significant value, like the one in your blog post. Also, this is an experiment for me. I have 8 other pines just like it. I intend to compare how those fare with this one and hopefully learn something. I’ve got 2 repotted last fall which are doing fine, this one repotted now, and 6 more. I may repot one more now, and then repot the rest in the late winter/early spring. It won’t be a controlled experiment or anything but hopefully i can glean something from this.
Please let me know if my thinking is sound or if I missed something of importance. Thanks again