Silverbirch Bonsai Re-Pot

I’m not at all sure if this tree has much of a future ahead of it but I have it so I will continue to give it the best chance I can to progress into something meaningful. Wishful thinking I suppose but it’s always better to have a half full cup than half empty.

This link tells the story so far

Having potted the tree on without disturbing the root ball in September I was quite surprised to find that nothing much had happened in the autumn. The roots hadn’t tried to break out of the root mass into  the new potting medium. 

I have chosen a much larger pot than needed for the tree on the basis of general advice given by Peter Snart. In a pot that is too small it could take 10 years to achieve what could be achieved in a larger pot in 5 years. This is a mistake I have been guilty of throughout my bonsai career and I have paid the price.


I have pruned the tree quite severely to try to promote back budding.  As I look at it now I might bite the bullet and go in harder. As soon as the tree is healthy enough I will try to bring the tip of the main trunk over to the left to be more in line with the nebari.

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2 Responses to Silverbirch Bonsai Re-Pot

  1. Jeff says:

    Be careful! Silver Birches don’t like being pruned hard they are dormant, particularly with limited root stock. I’ve made this mistake before – they shoot hard from the base of the trunk and you get major dieback of important lower branches, and even canopy. You’re better off pruning them late in the spring. They’re nothing at all like maples. They also prefer to be root pruned after they leaves have started budding. Sounds strange, i know . . . And they seem to need extra turning of the pot over the growing season so that they don’t have dieback on the shady side of the tree. They’re an oddly tricky little tree to bonsai, but their trunks take on great character. Your tree is nice, so good luck!


    • Jeff Thanks for a very helpful comment. You obviously have valuable knowledge of Siverbirch. The first I’ve heard or met so thanks. I did hard prune early on and for the most part the tree has recovered well but very slowly. I will bear in mind the late spring pruning advice. The tree does want to sprout from the base but I would love to get it tp bud from the trunk as I realy need more branches. I am going to try a thread graft or two so I will see how the tree responds. Thanks again.


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