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Bonsai

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  They are not just trees........... They are a challenge, a call for you to reorient your relationship with nature. Bonsai offers you an opportunity to view a landscape - tree - and yourself in a special way that can’t be duplicated in other art-forms.  It is a point of connection between nature and yourself, maybe everyone should own a Bonsai tree... the world could be a healthier place "Bonsai Mirai"

Fall

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FALL- Clean up  After the stunning autumn colour by many of our deciduous bonsai, beech, maples, oaks and hornbeams to name but a few. FALL colours never cease to amaze. But this as important time as the trees begin to prepare not only for the winter cold, frosts and dark dormancy days. It is time for them  to prepare for the next growing season. The leaves have done their bit, catching sunshine, accumulating strength for the roots and vascular system. A great time for clean up, as the leaves fall we have a short 2 week window to cut back the new growth and tidy up, usually back to 2 buds and seal any cuts. The time is short because the trees for a couple of weeks, still have the capacity to heal themselves, this helps prevent die back in species such as Japanese maple. This can help the trees prepare for the next growing season as they accumulate strength in the vascular system, massively giving the tree a boost in preparation  for next spring new bud push.

Trident Maple - Air Layer

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Trident Maple  - Air Layer Early spring of 2016 I found and purchased a damaged Trident Maple -  Acer buergerianum from my local bonsai nursery. I would estimate it to be at least 15 years old,  a great shape created I would imagine at a very early stage of its development, but no buds or foliage and teeth marks along the whole trunk, basically it looked just alive after inspecting the roots.   All of 2016-17 it spent recovering in a mix of Lava, Pumice and Akadama. Gradually it developed a bit of growth at the apex of the tree, I feared for its survival though during the UK winter of 2016, but it survived.  2017 I just let it develop.  As spring 2018 arrived and a little help from the warmth of my airy conservatory it burst into life, not just the apex but on an old side branch and a couple of location lower on the trunk.  Although it had great shape, being scratched by a dog had taken its toll and I guessed the scars would never disappear, not for some years if ever. 

Oak - Air Layering

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Oak - Air Layer I have looked around for a common UK Oak (Quercus robur) for some time, these trees although very common throughout Europe, are reasonably slow growing from an Acorn or seedling, it would therefor take a good many years to establish and refine as a bonsai.  Searching locally, I found a couple of mature trees, I would estimate both to be at least a couple of hundred years old.  Late June this year I applied 4 air layers, the one above on its own and the 3 below on a good set of branches on the other tree. Air layering involves cutting a 1/2 think inch ring around the branch to remove the outer bark, if successful I will have a reasonably mature oak to develop as a nice bonsai in a year or two.  Tools required  Sharp knife Plastic Sheeting Plyers Wire, Ties ( to secure the plastic sheeting) Spagnum Moss Select a good branch and make 2 deep cuts into the bark 1 to 2 inches apart, peel off the bark. Rap a good bundle of wet spa

Small White Pine

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Small white pine I purchased this white pine comparatively  cheaply earlier this year in the discount area ... at my local bonsai centre. It was seriously lacking water and looking very pale!. So i just repotted it in a free draining soil mix.... my usual 1:1:1 equal parts of Akadama, Pumice and lava rock, gave it regular water and began to feed it about 3 months ago. It has responded reasonably well showing new signs of life and the foliage improving colour wise slowly. I have looked at it many times wondering if it would survive,  giving some thought to its design, it has a trunk with very little  movement,  many branches whirling out at the top. I decided yesterday evening to have a look what could be done with it. Below, you will note I have adjusted the angle of the tree, not wanting to disturb the root mass I secured  the existing pot into one of my wooden grow boxes and removed several of the major branches. I have also created some of the old bra

Silver Birch - Collected Yamadori

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Silver Birch  Collected  Silver Birch Yamadori - Aug 2018 Both trees collected from a former 'now closed' local quarry. Obviously self set, the quarry has been closed for around 20 years these trees are probably around the same age as they were removed from piles of rubble blocking access to the main quarry. They were collected Nov 2017 and have aged sufficiently to have striking white colouring and cracked bark at the base. They have appeared to have survived the collection and very low temperatures over the winter, they are growing in a very free draining soil mix equal measures of Akadama, Pumice and lava rock... I seem to have good success rate with this mix, but regular water checks are essential. I will update both trees development as they hopefully evolve into interesting bonsai  Silver Birch - Betula Pendula

Chinese Juniper

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Aug 2018 Chinese Juniper 'Re-design' I acquired this little  Juniper early in 2018, I thought with a little care, it could have possibilities. It had earlier had some styling in the upper section, but the growth was all 'top end' . I felt it needed feed and care to regain strength in the foliage before any work could take place with any new design. The second photograph above was taken August 2018. I had noticed a positive transformation in the colour and general health of the foliage, even new shoots  appearing on the trunk!.  I decided a few days ago to do some initial bending  with the use of raffia, wire and extra help on a guide wire. This has reduced the height and re styled this graceful little Chinese Juniper. I will keep you updated on its development in the future.  A recent photo October 2020 of this tree after a repot earlier in the year ( currently in a Japanese planting tray, available from our web store) The tree in far better health more