Much needed advice for my potted Ukigumo
In June of this year I purchased through mail order a 3 to 4 gallon Ukigumo. I received 2 very large branches (approximately 4 feet long) forming a very wide open and floppy vee, supported by a short trunk about 6 inches high. I didn't know what to make of this purchase and I was unhappy with my order, but decided to keep it and learn from it.
I immediately potted my tree after receiving it into an appropriate sized granite pot with a good potting mix that is prepared at my local nursery.
The shape of my tree in its current state is not appropriate for my small porch and I will have to prune at least one branch about half way. Not sure about the other one yet, but the diameter of both is less than one inch.
I also have another issue that begs attention: She currently has drying leaves which could be due to under or over watering (or poor drainage).
I have decided to repot her and check the roots (I imagine there will be some cutting away involved). I thought I would use Fafard professional potting mix to replace what I currently have, or choose a custom blend (not sure which way to go yet).
When should I coordinate all of the above to cause the least amount of trauma? Should they be done at different times of year or all at once? Is there a specific manner to make the cut when I prune? Last, what should I look for when I repot?
This is my favorite type of Japanese maple and I want her to grow beautifully. I have not fertilized because I was told she shows her best qualities and coloring when nutrients are gone from the soil. Currently she is all green, which is the way I received her.
I appreciate all of your help. Thank you in advance!