It might sound strange, but a tree needs to learn to live in a pot, and that takes some time. A year ago a large boxwood took the first step in the process (you can read about it here) and it was about as gentle a transition as there could be — you know, considering it just got cut from the ground, had many of its roots severed and most of its branches removed. After collection, this plant went back in the ground!
The image above is from last spring and shows where it spent the past year. I dug a hole in the clay soil of my yard, and planted the boxwood in it with sand. The hole was, in a sense, its first pot. Roots could grow past the borders of the hole if so inclined, but mostly grew into and through the loose particles of sand.
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