Forum home The potting shed

How to repot a baby pine tree

Dear all

I have recently bought a baby pine tree (30cm high - PICEA pungens Hoopsii) to have it in the garden and use it as a Christmas tree from now on. I am not ready to plant it, as we are planning to move houses soon.

What is the best way to repot it, what time of the year, what kind of compost should be used and how big the pot should be for its size? For how long should I keep it in the pot before repotting it again?

Many thanks.



  • You need to be very careful growing trees in pots as the tap root (and other roots) can easily run out of space and start spiralling round. This will prove extremely harmful for the tree in the long run - they won't straighten out in the ground but will constrict themselves over time as they get thicker. When you do eventually plant it, make sure to check the roots and if necessary prune them judiciously to avoid this.

  • Thank you, Onopordum. It will be planted for sure in one or two years time. Until then, I am looking for some advice about the best way to keep it healthy and comfortable in a pot.

    Last edited: 24 November 2017 07:28:25

  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 4,796

    Normally when 'potting' on other plants, the aim is to get a pot that is just generally bigger all round. With trees, particularly upright ones like this, you want to go for depth specifically, so the pot you move it to should be at least half as deep again as the one you're moving it from. 

    Move it on when you see fine roots through the holes in the base of the pot. You will find that could be every couple of months at times in the growing season - hence Onopordum's comment that it can be difficult to keep them going in pots. It can be done though if you keep a close eye. I'd recommend sticking with plastic pots - easier to tip them over and check the bottom.

    And get it in the ground as soon as you possibly can - just after unpacking the kettle in your new house. They aren't huge trees but they grow like topsy in the early years.

    “There is no military solution
    Doesn't always end up as something worse”
Sign In or Register to comment.