China Doll (Radermachera Sinica) Root Pruning and Repotting

kashu(z6 NJ)July 24, 2009

Has anyone root pruned and repotted their Radermachera Sinica into Al's gritty mix? I know they're a bit fickle so I'm wondering how well they handle root work.

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I have, I have! ;o)

No problem with their handling root work, but don't delay. It's getting late in the growth cycle. Late Jun-early Jul is best for you, but if your tree is healthy it'll be ok.

Here are some pictures of a harsh top reduction if you're interested. I really should get it outside & take additional pictures of it 2 months later. You'll be surprised at what it looks like after seemingly such harsh treatment.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 5:40PM
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kashu(z6 NJ)


I came across that post while doing a search and was wondering what it looked like now, please post pictures soon.

My radermachera is 3 ft tall and bushy, in a 9" pot. I got it as a gift last week and I've been adjusting it to its new environment. The soil looks very compact and I can see roots on top of the soil as well as at the drainage holes.

I like the way the top growth looks and don't really want to prune the stems, I actually want it to become taller and treelike. But I want to cut away at least half the roots to encourage healthier growth. Do you think this would be ok?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 6:27PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I think we should tweak your perspective just a little. Root pruning, along with full repots, actually helps to prevent the stress associated with tight roots and collapsed soils. It helps to prevent decline and allows the plant to grow at closer to its genetic potential. I would bare-root and only prune out the largest roots, not taking any more than 1/3 of the o/a root mass. Repotting into the gritty mix is a good idea. Open shade for at least 2 weeks after the repot is best.

Good luck.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 9:30PM
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kashu(z6 NJ)

I did a full repot this weekend trying not to take off more than 1/3 of the roots as suggested. But the soil was so compact, I'm afraid I took off close to 1/2 the roots trying to hose off all the old soil. Most of the roots were pretty fine and delicate and broke off quite easily.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 4:25PM
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How did you fare with your China Doll and the root pruning? I'm thinking of doing this to my CD this spring.


    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 11:13PM
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