Step 1: When to Repot
Trees that are in the process of growing to their final size should be moved into a larger container every year, whereas mature specimens need repotting every couple of years. It’s best to do this in late fall, but you can repot your trees at any time while they are dormant from winter until early spring.
Step 2: Gently Knock Plant From Pot
Larger trees may need to be laid down carefully and pulled by the trunk; ask someone to help you if the pot and root ball are heavy.
Step 3: Remove Tree
While holding the trunk to prevent damaging the branches, carefully tease out the roots around the edge of the root ball. Remove some of the old compost as you go.
Step 4: Trim Roots
To help prevent the tree becoming pot bound, trim the roots using pruners. Select long, thick roots and any that have been damaged; remove using a clean, angled cut.
Step 5: Fill Larger Pot With Soil
Choose a new pot slightly larger than the old one and check that it has drainage holes. Use fresh soil-based compost and plant the tree so that it reaches the old soil mark on the trunk. Firm, water well, and apply a mulch, if desired.
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Prepare your site by clearing it of weeds and, if you have very sandy or infertile soil, digging in organic matter over a wide area.