Its been a difficult year so far for small trees in small pots

After one of the longest Winters in recent memory and a very poor start to the Spring some of my small trees have had difficulty in getting started this year. A few deciduous trees like maples and elms have suffered some dieback, while others have been very slow to leaf out.

Here are some recent pictures of some of my shohin trees that are looking good at the moment.

2 shohin white pines

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5 shohin hawthorns

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Potentilla in flower

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Here are some that haven’t done so well. Incidentally, all the pictures in todays’ post were taken this morning 27/5/18.

This is a cork barked elm that was severely cut back and had its roots reduced in April. There is no dieback on this tree but its taking an awfully long time to leaf out.

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This Chinese elm, also re-potted in April isn’t looking good, most of the new growth is coming off the main trunk.

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This trident appears to have lost a lower branch.

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This one belonging to my friend Gerry is in a very poor state at the moment.

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Its not all bad. At least all of these trees are still alive and with care and attention they will look good again.

 

Re-potting some Deciduous Shohin Trees

I have been concentrating on my deciduous bonsai over the past few days. Here are some of my shohin bonsai that were re-potted.

Chinese Elm in a pot by Walsall Ceramics

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Here is an earlier picture of the same tree in 2012, when I acquired it.

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Trident Maple in a new pot by Koyo

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Cork Barked Elm in a pot by Erin

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And for comparison, the same tree in 2012

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And finally for today, my other little trident in a new pot by Walsall

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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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More trees re-potted today

Here are a few more trees that I re-potted today

Potentilla Fruticosa in a new Chinese pot. This shohin tree has been developed from garden centre material.

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Chinese Elm, acquired a few years ago from Homebase, planted up today into a cream rectangle from Walsall Ceramics.

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Kiyohime Maple re-planted in its green pot by Heian Kosen

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And finally my favourite Larch had its roots trimmed too and was re-planted in its Walsall pot.

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Root over Rock Chinese Elm

Earlier this week, during the regular get together with my good friend Gerry, we looked at this Chinese Elm, which had its’ roots trained over a rock 2 years ago. It was transplanted into the pond basket you can see in the pictures last year to promote rapid root growth beneath the rock and was allowed to grow unchecked this year to help with root development. Now that it’s holding fast to the stone and firm in the pot, it’s time to clean it up, cut it back and see how it looks

This is how it looked before this weeks’ work was carried out.

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And this is how it looks at the moment

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Looking good I think. It will be transferred into a ceramic pot next spring to take it into the next stage of  development.

 

Midweek Get Together

It was warm and sunny yesterday when Gerry arrived in my garden for our regular midweek “get together”. He brought along a few trees that required some work and we quickly got started on a variety of seasonal tasks.

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First up was the Juniper that we worked on last time. The deadwood that was created a few weeks ago has now dried sufficiently to allow a little more work with a power tool. We also applied a coat of lime sulphur and removed a few more unnecessary branches.

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This is how it looks at the moment, the initial wiring will be carried out in September when the growth slows down

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Here are some other small trees that needed a little seasonal maintenance.

This Chinese Elm was trimmed back and had its first wiring

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This Malus needed a trim

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Some branch selection and wiring was carried out on this little Cork Barked Elm.

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Root Over Rock Chinese Elm in Development

During my weekly meeting with Gerry, we took a close look at a shohin Chinese elm that he had attached to a rock last year. He simply, bare rooted the tree with a water jet, wrapped it’s roots around the rock and tied them in tightly with some wire. He then placed the tree in a five inch plastic pot and filled it up with akadama.

We started by cutting the pot back to look for fine root development

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When we could see that there were lots of fibrous roots, we removed the tree from the pot for a closer look.

The rock, which has a depth of about four inches (10cm) has fine roots growing around and below it. The depth of the roots, below the rock is about half an inch (1 to 2cm).

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We decided that for the next stage in the tree’s development, it would be advantageous to plant the tree on a deep layer of akadama in an eight inch pond basket to encourage further root development beneath the rock.

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With the tree firmly tied into the basket, more akadama was added to temporarily cover the exposed fibrous roots on the side of the rock. These will be removed the next re-potting if there are sufficient new roots beneath the stone.

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This is how it is looking at the moment

Side A

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Side B

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