Kaho Azalea in Flower

The large Kaho Azalea that I look after for my friend Gerry has been in flower over the past few weeks and is looking splendid as usual.

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Here are some older pictures which show its development in recent years

2017

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2016

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2015

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2014

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Acer Palmatum in Development from Seed (2018 Update)

 

This is an update on an Acer Palmatum  that I started from seed planted in 2001. I grew it on in a container until 2011, when I transplanted it to a shallow pot to start its development as a bonsai. The first picture shows how it looked in the Spring of 2012.

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Since then I have been working on the development of the upper trunk by selecting a leader each Spring and allowing it to grow unchecked throughout the season; cutting it back in the Winter months. The next picture taken in 2014, illustrates that process.

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After 6 years of doing this, I am at the stage where I want to concentrate on the ramification of the branches for a few years. This is how the tree looks at the moment.

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I am 17 years into this project now and there’s still a long way to go. It is rewarding to see a bonsai evolve from seed that you have sown by yourself. For me, this is where the true satisfaction in the hobby lies

Some Winter Images

We’ve had sub zero temperatures in southern Scotland for a few weeks now, but today we had our first significant snowfall of the winter.

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Work doesn’t stop completely at this time of year; there’s still plenty to do, but the cold certainly slows down progress. Gerry and I are still meeting regularly and we bring a few trees inside to work on but we spend most of the time chatting, drinking coffee and trying to keep warm.

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Todays’ snow was accompanied by a slight rise in temperature, which enabled me to open the greenhouse door, which has been frozen shut for about a week; so I brought a few deciduous trees inside to photograph them in their winter image. I do this every winter so that I can compare the change in ramification with previous years.

Deshojo maple shohin

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This is how it looked in 2013

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This is how my Shishigasira maple is looking at the moment

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And this is how it looked in 2013

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Japananese Larch winter 2017

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Same tree in 2012

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Trident maple 2017

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Trident maple 2014

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Here’s another shohin trident in winter image. I acquired this one at the beginning of the year so I have no earlier images to compare it to…..yet!

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Thinning and Wiring Pines

Gerry and I have started the end of year maintenance on our pines. This normally involves the thinning of the old needles and some of this seasons too, in areas of strong growth. When the thinning is complete, the trees have to be partially or totally re-wired to accommodate the new growth.

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The first one I tackled was a Scots Pine, which had its first wiring in the literati style 3 years ago. This is how it looks at the moment after a second wiring. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture before todays work as its absolutely freezing in the garden and time outside was kept to a minimum.

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The next picture shows how it looked some time after the first wiring in 2014. You can see that its filled out well in the intervening years

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This is a reminder of how the original tree looked at the start of 2014

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Gerry’s large Scots Pine also required some work. This is how it looks at the moment after thinning and wiring.

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Original tree in 2014

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We finished off the session by restyling a small shohin white pine. this is how it looked before.

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and this is how it looks at the moment

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We still have plenty more to complete in the next few weeks.

 

 

Pinus Sylvestris First Styling

I acquired this thin trunk Scots Pine a little over a year ago from a friend. Some long thin branches at the base of the trunk were removed and the tree was re-potted into a clay pot with a good free draining soil mix. This is how it looked after the initial work.

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and this is how it looked at the beginning of this week, 16 months after the previous picture was taken.

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The needles were thinned ready for wiring and I jinned the stubs at the base of the trunk.

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After thining out the foliage

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This is how it looks at the moment, not bad for a £30.00 purchase.

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Shohin Juniper Rigida; 3 Years Development

This shohin Juniper Rigida belongs to my friend Gerry but I have been closely involved with its development over the past 3 years. I have had difficulty maintaining the health and vigour of this species in the past but this one is quite different. It has grown with strength  right from the start and it responds well to interventions like re-potting and wiring. This is how it looked in 2014 when he acquired it.

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I gave it an initial styling in 2015 and it was potted on into the larger pot you can see in the next picture to build up some energy in the roots.

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As we looked at this tree we were happy with the styling but the planting angle wasn’t quite correct; it needed more of a tilt to the right. Early in 2017, the roots were trimmed and the tree was re-potted at the correct angle. This is how it looked at that time.

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Today, I trimmed back the foliage and wired the tree for a second time. I also transferred it to a nice pot by Peter Krebs. This wasn’t strictly a re-pot as there was virtually no root disturbance. This is how it looks at the moment.

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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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