Kaho Azalea

During my regular get together with Gerry we carried out some seasonal pruning on his large azalea bonsai. This is how it looks at the moment.

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The ramification has developed well in just 3 years. Here are some photographs which illustrate that. The next one was taken in 2015, when we decided to air layer the top to bring the apex in line with the trunk base.

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The next one shows how it looked in 2014, when Gerry acquired it.

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Juniper Squamata First Styling

Today I carried out the first styling of a Juniper Squamata, which was dug from my garden 3 years ago

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The next 2 photographs are a reminder of how it looked immediately after it was removed from the ground

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This is how it looked after the removal of some branches and a re-pot in 2016

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This is how it looked at the start of todays work, the top has filled out well in the past year. I have decided that this side will be the future front of the tree. As I looked at this image, I felt that the top of the tree was too straight and there was more foliage at the top of the trunk than I needed to complete the image I was aiming for.

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This is how it looked when the work was completed. The foliage was removed from the top of the trunk and the branches were jinned. Now, the relative proportion of the remaining foliage seems more balanced with the long thin trunk. I was also able to introduce more movement at the top of the trunk with a combination of coiled wire and guy wires

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The next stages in this trees development  will be to correct the planting angle at the next re-pot; develop the foliage pads and introduce a long shari which extends the length of the trunk.

Shohin Hawthorn Progession

I dug this tree from my garden in 2008 and planted it in a 12 inch pot to recover. It stayed in that pot until 2012, when it was chopped back and placed in the bonsai pot you can see in the first picture.

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By the early Spring  of 2015 the trunk has been chopped back further and the roots are now housed in a smaller round pot. At this stage, I still wasn’t happy with the tree and had no vision for its future development.

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Later that month, with an idea beginning to emerge I chopped the tree back once again. The following picture was taken later in the year when new buds had emerged and extended

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2015 after pruning and wiring the new growth. At this stage I thought this side could be the front.

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This is how it looks at the moment. I’ve done a little carving on the original V cut to make it look more natural. I’ve also shortened the thicker roots, planted it in a new pot and reversed the viewing angle. I like how this tree is developing now and look forward to seeing the ramification develop in the coming years

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Chinese Elm over rock gets its first bonsai pot

When Gerry visited me this week with some trees, we decided to re-pot this Chinese elm which had been attached to a rock by Gerry 3 seasons ago. After its first year in a pot, it was re-planted into the pond basket that you can see in the following picture. The purpose of this was to allow roots to develop in the area below the rock.

This is how it looked from the front before todays’ work

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And from the back

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After 2 seasons in the pond basket, it had grown enough new roots for it to be re-planted in a shallower bonsai pot. This is how it looks at the moment from the front. After it has settled in the new pot, the fine roots that are still visible above the soil will be removed with scissors.

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This is how it looks from the back

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This is the oldest picture I have of the tree from 3 years ago

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Rewiring a Literati Scots Pine

I had a visit from my good friend Gerry earlier in the week. He brought along a Scots Pine to get some advice on the next stage of its development. I have had a close involvement with this tree over the past 3 years. We agreed some time ago that the best way forward for this tree would be to train it as a Literati pine.

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This is how it looked before this weeks work. After much deliberation we decided that the lowest right hand branch should be removed to emphasise the trees’ natural movement to the left

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The next picture shows the lower right branch with foliage removed and the remainder of the branch jined. The lower left branch has also been thinned and wired into place. This is as far as we got during Gerry’s visit

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He kindly left the tree with me and I was able to finish the wiring at the weekend

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This is how it looks at the moment

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This is how it looked after the previous wiring in 2015

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And this is the earliest picture I have of the tree taken in 2014

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Blaauws Juniper 2016 Update

I de-wired and pruned my big Blaauws Juniper at the weekend in preparation for another fine wiring to open up the foliage pads. I hope to complete this work over the festive period but things sometimes take longer than expected at this time of year with the short daylight hours and the preparations for Christmas and the New Year.

This is how it looks this morning with no wire on.

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This tree has come a long way in recent years and is almost at the stage where I might consider it finished, for the moment.

Here is a reminder of its’ progress

2014, after the second wiring

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2013, first styling for the current look

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2012, a different look

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Early 2012, my first attempt at styling this tree

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2011, the raw material

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Acer Palmatum Projects 2016 Update

With the 2016 season at an end, its time for me to assess the progress I have made this year with 2 acer palmatum bonsai trees that I am developing; one from seed and the other from shop bought material.

The first one, which was started from seed in 2001 has spent all of its’ life in a pot. I started to train it as a bonsai in 2013. The nebari has a 5 inch (12.5 cm) diameter and the base of the trunk is 3 inches (7.5 cm) wide. This is a very slow process and its only through photography that you can appreciate the progress.

This is how it looked in 2004m2

2013

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November 2016

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Today November 2016 after the removal of the sacrifice branches. I will select the shoots I want to keep and wire the new growth in the Spring.

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The second one was bought from a local supermarket in 2012. This is how it looked in the spring of 2013.

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2014

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November 2016 before removal of the sacrifice branch

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November 2016 after removal of the sacrifice branch. Still a long way to go but this one is beginning to look like a tree.

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