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.
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.
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
This is how it looked in 2013
This is how my Shishigasira maple is looking at the moment
And this is how it looked in 2013
Japananese Larch winter 2017
Same tree in 2012
Trident maple 2017
Trident maple 2014
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!
I paid a visit to my local bonsai supplier ( Wattston Bonsai) yesterday, to get an early look at the newly arrived stock from Japan. The new stock this year consists mainly of small and medium sized specimens of partly developed material,reflecting the current popularity of shohin and chuhin sized trees. The species represented are all ones that do well in our challenging climate and include seigen, deshojo and trident maple: prunus, callicarpa, pyracantha and rhododendron indicum; as well as the usual junipers and pines.
Lots of new tools and pots
An impressive selection of new Japanese pots by makers including Eimei, Bunzan, Shuho, Yamaaki, Bigei and many others
Here are a few trees that grabbed my attention
Shohin Trident Maple with nice movement and ramification
Deshojo maple shohin
Shohin Trident with an impressive nebari
Shohin white pine with a good nebari
Exposed root Callicarpa Japonica
Chuhin Rhododendron Indicum with a great trunk and great taper
The process of defoliation is an essential technique in the development of deciduous bonsai. It allows light into the interior of the tree, which encourages back budding resulting in denser ramification of the branches. The second flush of new leaves that are produced as a result of defoliation are normally much smaller than the first flush.
Trees can be either fully defoliated or partially defoliated. It is a stressful process for a tree to have all or most of its leaves removed during the growing season and it should only be carried out when you are sure that the tree is strong and healthy. Full defoliation is the more stressful of the two. It’s a useful technique to use on a finished tree, when you are thinking of putting it into a show and you want the leaves to look as small and as fresh as possible. Partial defoliation is less risky and is the ideal option for tress in development.
Here are some trees that I have partially defoliated today.
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.
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.
Some of my tender deciduous trees are now in full leaf and beginning to look good this week. It’s still a little cold and wet to leave them outside day and night, so they are still spending most of the time in the sheltered environment of the greenhouse at the moment.
Deshojo Maple in a Shibakatsu pot
Another smaller Deshojo in a pot by a maker who is unknown to me.