Separating a Cotoneaster Air Layer

Today I separated an air layer on cotoneaster, which I started last year.

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I decided to air layer this tree because the lower trunk was quite straight and lacked taper and movement

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Some of the new roots had grown down into the soil.

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This how it looked after separation

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In the next picture, the moss has been removed from the air layer and its ready for replanting. Hopefully the stump will sprout new shoots and I will have two trees to work on in the future.

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Replanted in a bonsai pot and ready for the growing season. I will start feeding it in a few weeks time to promote new growth and I’ll probably remove the remaining thicker branches at the end of the season.

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Unfortunately the larch which was started at the same time did not come through the winter, so I will have to try again with this species when I get some more suitable raw material.

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Refining the stump on my big Larch

Today I took the time to re-work the stump of my large larch bonsai. Regular readers will be aware that this tree was chopped back from a much larger one in March 2015. At that time I did some basic carving on the large cut with a view to returning to it at a later date.

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The original chop was at the back of the tree and not visible from the front. For that reason it can not be considered as an important element in the new look of the tree but it is important that it should look as natural as possible. This is how it looked after the initial work in 201538

This is how it looked prior to todays’ work and after 2 seasons of weathering.

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This is how it looks at the moment after a little more refinement today.

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This picture shows that the chop is virtually invisible from the front

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A reminder of how it looked before the big chop of 2015

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The reasons why this tree was chopped back and started again can be found by clicking the link to this earlier post

Raw Material for the Future

During Gerry’s visit last week, we potted  some of our raw material into wooden boxes to help with their development. I worked on trident maples that I acquired as a mini forest planting a few years ago. I am growing them in large shallow boxes to develop the nebari and it seems to be working well.

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I plan to make a shohin tree from this one, so I may begin chopping it back this week

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The nebari on this one is beginning to look nice but I would like to see it grow much bigger. This one was potted up into a wider box.

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Gerry wanted to pot a nice juniper prostrate that he brought back from Noelander’s.

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It was in a peaty soil, which had to be removed.

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This how it looks at the moment in its new box with a slight change in the planting angle.

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Its an interesting tree with future possibilities from several angles of view.

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Re-potting 2 Broom Style Zelkova Shohin

My 2 Zelkova Serrata shohin trees are generally the last of my deciduous bonsai to be re-potted. The first one has been in its Watanabe Ikou pot since I acquired it in 2013 and its been 2 years since the roots were last trimmed. The Ikou pot is quite small and shallow and doesn’t provide much room for development. This year I have decided to give the tree a rest and plant it in a much larger pot to restore its vigour and hopefully thicken up the trunk a little. The first picture shows how it looked after the last root pruning in 2015.

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The second picture shows how it looked when it was removed from its pot at the weekend, Plenty of long roots there.

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This is how it looks at the moment in the larger pot, not so pretty. It will stay in this pot for next 2 years while I continue to develop the tree and after that time it may be returned to a smaller pot if I am happy with its progress.

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The second tree has been in this Wallsal pot for 2 seasons. Both  trees were acquired at the same time but this one has spent its time in slightly deeper pots than the first one and has grown much stronger.

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I have repotted this one into the Ikou pot this year

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This is how the second tree looked 4 years ago

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Lanarkshire Bonsai Club Meeting 02/04/2017

I stopped off today, at the monthly meeting of the Lanarkshire Bonsai Club, for a coffee and some bonsai chat. When I arrived Robert Porch was just finishing his pre-arranged talk.

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Here are some pics of the people and trees that were there today

Dougie Smith conducting a potting class

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Club member George working on his Deshojo maple

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Ian McMaster’s chuhin Chojubai

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Gordon’s shohin Chojubai

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Robert Porch’s Prunus Spinosa in flower

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