I've been checking the acers every day for the last 2 weeks and today the kiyohime started bud break. This hasn't come as a surprise as we are 11 - 12 degrees in the garden nearly every day and have not dropped below 2 degrees at night all winter.
I had the soil ready - akadama, black 'superlight' pumice type stuff, kanuma, chopped bark, chopped sphagnum, dust sieved out and nothing bigger than 8-10mm. (just click the pics below to enlarge them).
I use a sickle to cut the tree from the pot rather than wrestling it out risking damage, then combed out the roots, washed the root ball with a powerful hose then pruned it back by a third all round and halved the depth of the roots. The new pot is the same length - 28", but quite a bit shallower than the Walsaw ceramics one it came in last year.
To top dress the pot i used the akadama neat from the medium sieve and here is the tree repotted - No frosts now please !
Kyohime 5 trunk clump, 42" wide, 28" above the soil. Imported to Uk 1981-2 and must be 60 years old now.
Tomorrow i'll add a few new guy wires to drop some of the bigger branches and layer the left hand side a bit more.