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Showing posts from August, 2018

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

Beech 'Yamadori"

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Collected Beech 'Yamadori' Locally collected young common beech, the first photograph taken a week or so after collection and planted in one of my custom built grow boxes April 2017 The second shot taken a few weeks ago, currently being air layered, the nebari and trunk needed to be removed to improve the primary set up of the trees design and development. As you can see the tree over a year later has been able to return to health with a little care and feed. I have also reduced the height of the tree and will hopefully develop a new apex. Beech grow well in my area of the UK and are commonly used for hedging. I am hopeful of a healthy bonsai developing in the next few years and will update this blog as the air layer develops later this year. Fagus sylvatica ( Common Beech)

Black Pine

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Aug 2018 Young  multi flush 'Black Pine'  in development for about one year. Progressing well, I have resisted candle cut this year, due to my location in the uk, I find the black pine struggles to develop fully its second candle flush, although with our very warm (long) summer this year may have been an exception. My small pines I would personally not candle cut until early to mid July  although larger size are usually cut in June. I will update more on its future developement Pinus thunbergii  ( Black Pine) Shohin Pot - Walsall Ceramics