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Bay Tree in pot.

Discussion in 'Trees' started by dinp, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. dinp

    dinp Gardener

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    I bought a Bay tree standard a few years ago. I planted it in a pot and now the whole pot is completely full of roots. Its hard to even insert a moisture probe into the growing medium, without breaking the probe. Its jam packed of roots and impossible to remove the tree from the ceramic pot ,which is about 18 inches wide, by lifting it out. Watering is quite difficult as water sits on the top for some time, but eventually does drain through. I dont want to smash the pot as its a very smart one, and strong too. Im thinking maybe it will crack the pot eventually if it continues as it is now. The tree appears in quite good health otherwise, but not much growth. It seems the pot cannot retain much moisture.

    In any ideas about how i can remove the tree? Perhaps with a cutting tool such as a hacksaw blade? Is is a good idea to remove the tree, if possible, and then substantially trim the root ball so new compost can be added around the edges?

    Thank you.
     
  2. Scrungee

    Scrungee Well known for it

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    I kept potting mine on until it was in a large half barrel before trimming the roots as I cant get hold of of anything larger and it's a real handfull tipping that tub on its edge and dragging a 3m tall tree out of it, trimming, returning to vertical and backfilling.
     
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    • Marley Farley

      Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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      Hi Bay trees are related to the Laurel family.. I used to have mine in a pot for a few years but like yours it out grew the pot.. I used to root prune it, but it became difficult for me to do so now it is in a bed in the garden, I do however have to keep clipping all the new shoots at the base off but i keep it still in a nice ball shapely top.. I can't say it has grown taller but I keep it well clipped.. So yes I would say root prune around the edge to get it out of the pot I f you don't want to smash it.. Then root prune and re-pot, my only tip is to use a straight sided pot so you can always tip it out.. Good luck.. :SUNsmile:
       
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      • pete

        pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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        I've smashed a few of those china pots that are imported from the far east.

        Totally stupid shape to make a pot for growing plants in.

        Dont buy them anymore, but they do make good crocks for other more sensibly shaped pots;):biggrin:
         
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        • shiney

          shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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          If its a curved sided pot (which I guess is the problem) then you do have a problem. You will have to cut it out of the pot and preferably not use that pot for something that makes lots of roots - or is intended for something to be permanently in there. :dunno: :sad:
           
        • dinp

          dinp Gardener

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          The pot is actually not curved, it is straight all the way down. it has a blue glaze and still looks the same as when I bought it several years ago, despite being outside for over 6 years, The roots are really tight and that is what is causing it to be impossible to be removed by lifting. Even with some force, it wont budge. Im guessing the only way will be to cut a few inches from the edge, all the way round. It will be some work. What pot would be suitable? I read somewhere that a third of the roots can be removed, but that seems quite drastic.

          If i planted it in the lawn, would it grow into a large tree, and cause drying of grass around the tree? That is something i do not want.

          Any thoughts?

          Thank you.
           
        • Marley Farley

          Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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          I used an old bread knife to cut through the roots all the way around the pot, I had to go around a couple times before it loosed up a bit, but I also had to push from the bottom through the drain holes..

          Mine is now in a border.. I keep it trimmed in the ball shape it always was, but you need to keep chopping off new shoots from around the base.. Otherwise you will end up with a bush..

          It doesn't cast a shadow on plants below, but just keeping it trimmed and shoots trimmed it hasn't grown in height..
           
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          • pete

            pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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            If it is a straight sided pot I'd be inclined to put the whole pot in a water butt or similar for a couple of hours, then standing on the rim of the pot give the plant a good pull.
            Bit of a balancing act I agree :biggrin:but it might just give a bit if the pot is glazed on the inside .

            If that dont work do the @Marley Farley thing of going around the edge of the pot with a long narrow knife, then repeat the balancing act:biggrin::biggrin:

            It usually works for me with minimum root damage.
             
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            • John Jameson

              John Jameson Gardener

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              If you had the pot 6 years. I dust hammer it
               
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              • pete

                pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                • John Jameson

                  John Jameson Gardener

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                  Can be made of anything you want Pete.Lol
                   
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                  • dinp

                    dinp Gardener

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                    Thank you all for the useful tips.

                    I got the tree out eventually, using an old knife, then a saw to add some power while cutting the roots around the rim, a couple of inches in. It was some work. The whole container was full of roots. About a third were discarded, which enabled new compost to be added with some fertiliser.

                    Again, thanks for the tips.
                     
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