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

23

5 shohin hawthorns

45678

Potentilla in flower

1

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.

22

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

25

This trident appears to have lost a lower branch.

23

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

24

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

35

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

35a

Trident Maple in a new pot by Koyo

33

Cork Barked Elm in a pot by Erin

36

And for comparison, the same tree in 2012

36a

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

34

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Re-potting for Development Part 2

Its been about 3 years since the trees that I worked on today were last re-potted. In that period, the roots have filled the pots and growth has slowed down as a result of that. The first 2 are larches in development that are beginning to look good and now deserve to be planted in better quality pots.

Larch 1 before

11

When deciding when to re-pot a larch, I tend to wait until the weather warms up and the buds begin to swell as can be seen in the following picture.

22

Often, in the past, when I’ve re-wired trees into their new pots, I have discovered that the desired centre line of the tree in the pot is not where I planed it to be. It is worth taking  care at this stage to ensure that the tree is positioned exactly where you want it to be; because if it isn’t, it may be a few years before its corrected.

21

This is how the first tree looks at the moment in its new Walsall Ceramics pot.

18

The second larch before

13

And this is how it looks now in a new oval pot by Walsall Ceramics

17

Next up was my Shishigashira maple which has been in this nice Walsall pot for several years now.

17

This is how it looks at the moment in a new oval pot by Eimei at the Yozan kiln.

19

And finally, I finished today by re-potting my shohin cork bark elm. Its been in this little green Erin pot for a few years now and will remain there for the foreseeable future. It needed a clean to remove the winter algae and moss. This is how it looked before todays work.

19b

And this is how it looks at the moment

20

 

2 Deciduous Shohin Trees

Here are 2 shohin trees that I have been working on today.

The first is a cork barked elm in an Erin pot. I have had this tree for about 4 years, it grows well in our climate and is relatively trouble free. It lost a lower branch on the left hand side over the winter but there is plenty of new growth in that area to replace it.

3

The next one is a small trident maple root over rock, which I am looking after for my friend Gerry. This little tree was re-potted in the Spring and was slow to leaf out afterwards. It’s doing well now and will need partial defoliation in the next few weeks.

4

Lanarkshire Bonsai Club Meeting 6/3/2016

Here are a few photographs from yesterday’s monthly meeting of the Lanarkshire Bonsai Club held at Wattston Bonsai.  It’s still a little cold here to begin re-potting so while we wait for Dougie’s new stock to arrive from Japan ( it’s expected next week ,by the way), most work was confined to pruning and wiring.

978

Here are some of the trees that were worked on today.

Nice shohin azalea with a thick trunk

3

Cork Bark Elm

6

Shohin Trident Maple

5

Deciduous Shohin in Late Winter

Now that the winter maintenance on my larches has been completed for another year it’s time to start work on my deciduous trees. Here is a group picture of some of the better ones I will be working on this week, weather permitting of course.

1

The daytime temperatures in my greenhouse are beginning to rise and the buds are starting to swell but with night time temperatures likely to fall below zero, extra vigilance is required to ensure that no damage is done. This is the riskiest time of year for small trees in small pots.

A New Year Begins

 

 

As I sit here at my laptop, reflecting on what was for us here in Scotland, one of the most challenging growing seasons in my experience. A season, which began with a bitterly cold Spring, followed by a Summer with very little sunshine; saved only by some good weather in the autumn, I thought I would share again some of the photographs which are my personal favourites and mark the highlights in my bonsai year.

Without a doubt my favourite tree this year is my Lions Head Maple which just goes from strength to strength with each passing season. It looked particularly good in Autumn this year.

57

This cotoneaster has been another favourite of mine, more so because it was collected from my garden for free. It was planted in this red glazed pot by Eimei in the Summer to show off the berries and had its first outing to Bonsai Europa in October.

49

This hobby is as much about the people you do it with as it is about the trees and my life would be a lot duller without my good friend Gerry and the members of The Lanarkshire Bonsai Club who feature regularly on these pages.

12

7

The next photograph was taken in late May and it was the first occasion that all my trees were outside at the same time.

6

My highlight of the Summer was our winning club display at the Scottish Bonsai Show. It’s always a joy to see trees that you have cared for displayed at their best.

1

My 2 favourite junipers were both re-potted this year.

The first is a Blauws Juniper, which is almost complete. It will need a fine wiring and a good display table this year

Blauws Juniper After (2015)

The second is an Itoigawa Juniper. It is coming along well but the foliage needs more refinement and it will have to be re-planted into a slightly smaller show pot.

9

A few more that are beginning to come into their own, that may venture out to the show bench this year.

Zelcova

10

Potentilla

6

Japanese Larch

larch3

Cork Barked Elm

2

Finally, I would like to thank all of the people who take the time to look and comment on my posts, It’s you guys that make the effort worthwhile.

HAVE A HAPPY NEW BONSAI YEAR

Lanarkshire Bonsai Club Meeting 6/9/2015

Yesterday in glorious late season sunshine, I attended the monthly meeting of the Lanarkshire Bonsai CLub at Wattston Bonsai. It was very well attended  as always, and the members were taking care of seasonal work on a variety of species or catching up on the latest news in the bonsai world. Here are some pictures from the day.

1

Our host, Dougie, advising the ladies on the future possibilities for their tree.

2

Gerry selecting a new pot for his sekka hinoki.

3

Stuart brought along these excellent display stands that he fabricated from steel. Excellent work Stuart, I am sure there will be a lot of interest in these.

4

5

Here are a few small trees that Maurice was working on.

Cork barked elm started this year from an air layer.

6

Clump style cork barked elm.

7

Mame cotoneaster.

8

Callicarpa Japonica.

9

Trident maple.

10

Mame elm.

11

 

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.

28

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.

28a

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

29

30

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

This Chinese Elm was trimmed back and had its first wiring

33

This Malus needed a trim

32

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

31