A student of mine purchased a Japanese white Pine somewhere a while ago and brought this tree in for styling, which we did before winterfall. Today he came back in for a repotting. I did not know the tree's history and while repotting, an unpleasant surprise came out of the pot. All the upper roots and “nebari” have been rotting away and died eventually. This process must have started years ago. The previous owner used a plastic container to cover up the problem and sold to tree to another, less experienced beginner without informing him about this serious condition. And today, this same problem was unexpectedly presented to me on the workshop. Now here’s one of the reasons why I do not like to work on trees that I don’t know.
We selected an even much deeper pot to cover up the problem but mainly because we need new roots at the base. This will work but it will take many years.