Monday, April 2, 2012

Japanese Maples

A  container grown Japanese Maple.
Two years since major rootwork on a 3yr cutting. Anderson trays are really good for aeration which is essential for good root development.
This year will start its journey toward bonsai with a summer pruning to establish new buds or shoots for the new leader and branches. For a larger tree there would be less emphasis on building new shoots now. JMs where large cuts have been made are not attractive to me so all branches are only allowed to grow for one or two years at most. The one scar will be where the new leader changes and it will be for direction and will have a branch opposite the leader so the cut will blend into line.

Here it's lightly pruned, washed and ready to get serious with root selection

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Black Pine Nebari

Some times when growing Japanese Black Pine, there is not an emphasis on total tree development. When the focus is using the trees natural physiological responses to accomplish what the goal is, then the total time in development is minimized.
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Monday, December 26, 2011

Trident Building Process

I've been asked to go into a little more detail on the nebari building process. This tree is about 6years old. It began as 5 cuttings through a ceramic tile that was drilled with a 1\4" drill. The shape of the drill pattern is like a #5 on a di(ce) with the outside holes about 2" apart. Dormant cuttings were placed through the holes from the bottom and with no roots on the top side. As the trees grow it will fill the hole, swell at the base and layer itself on top of the tile with a symmetrical root system. These are allowed to grow for 2 seasons and then extensive rootwork is done. To get the best results for building the nebari, no top pruning is done. This slows down the top some because the tree is building enough roots to support the corresponding shoots, rapid root growth. Then it's just keeping the outside trees pruned to keep them small and the main tree unchecked. Alternate years of rootwork and shootwork.
This round of work for this tree was washing the surface with high pressure water from the garden hose. Combing and untangling the annual surface roots and then cutting these surface roots. New soil will be added to the top so that the new surface roots will not dry. This coming year will be dedicated to growing the new leader that's close to the base where it will be cut in the future.
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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Stewartia monodelpha

Stewartia is almost the opposite of Trident in most of their growth responses, especially with roots and callus. They are very difficult to build impressive nebari so it's critical to start their root work early. Layering Stewartia is a slow process and then the basal flair is not so pronounced. This is a seedling grown through a ceramic tile and took three years to get this result.
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Monday, December 13, 2010

field pine    In the bonsai world there are always discussions on growing J.Black pine. There are about as many "ways" as there are growers. This is just one of the methods I use to get a big base without the multitude of scars that mar the trunk. This method has only one scar to "heal" and fresh new branches to build the tree. All of the branches are the result of adventitious buds on the trunk rather than trying to control existing branches while growing the trunk.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Of all the trees we grow for bonsai, Trident maple is probably the most responsive to any technique used to grow them. I love these fused trunk trees for making incredible bases. The very nature of callus on most trees causes visual disconnect because we just don't like "scar tissue". Trident have the amazing ability to blend the callus and "disappear"  into what looks like an aged trunk only achieved through time.

Trees at this stage of development are ready to begin their bonsai journey. There has been no bonsai technique used in getting it here, only growing technique. The most regurgitated pieces of information in bonsai is applying finishing technique when growing technique is needed.
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