Some Autumn Colour

The autumn colour is over now, for this year, but here are some pictures, which show the best of it in recent weeks.

This Zelcova Serrata never disappoints me

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Here are some hawthorns which have performed well this year.

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2 maples in development.

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My large Japanese beech is starting to look good.

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The cotoneaster landscape.

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and finally my favourite larch

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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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Refining the stump on my big Larch

Today I took the time to re-work the stump of my large larch bonsai. Regular readers will be aware that this tree was chopped back from a much larger one in March 2015. At that time I did some basic carving on the large cut with a view to returning to it at a later date.

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The original chop was at the back of the tree and not visible from the front. For that reason it can not be considered as an important element in the new look of the tree but it is important that it should look as natural as possible. This is how it looked after the initial work in 201538

This is how it looked prior to todays’ work and after 2 seasons of weathering.

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This is how it looks at the moment after a little more refinement today.

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This picture shows that the chop is virtually invisible from the front

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A reminder of how it looked before the big chop of 2015

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The reasons why this tree was chopped back and started again can be found by clicking the link to this earlier post

Its Spring Again

When the vibrant colours of the new Spring growth begin to appear, its definitely my favourite time of year. Here are some pictures of the trees that have sprung into life first.

This shohin Yew has new buds everywhere, much earlier than previous years

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My Acer Shishigashira is always the first of my maples to leaf out

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Larches always look their best at this time

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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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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

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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.

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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.

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

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The second larch before

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

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

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

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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.

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And this is how it looks at the moment

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Larch Winter Image

I will be taking this Larch along to the 4th Ayr Winter Image Show tomorrow. This is the first event of the year in the Scottish Bonsai calendar. It’s in a new venue this year, the Savoy Park Hotel, Racecourse Road, Ayr and the doors open at 11.00 am. If you like bonsai and live nearby this is one not to be missed.

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I will be taking lots of pictures and they will appear on the blog sometime on Monday.

Here are a few pictures from last years show

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Big Larch – Second Wiring

This tree was wired and styled for the first time in February 2016. Regular readers will remember that it was cut back from a larger one in 2015

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An earlier post that explains why the tree was cut back and started again can be found by clicking on the link. The intention of the first wiring was to set the primary branches and to form a new apex. The next picture, which was taken after the wire was removed shows how successful this has been within a single season.

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All the unnecessary growth has been pruned off to encourage finer ramification and the tree has been rewired today. This is how it looks at the moment.

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An Update on my Air Layers

Here’s an update on some of the air layers I’ve been working on over the past 12 months.

This Acer Shiraswanum was layered last year in early summer, which caused it to display autumn colour very early.

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It was separated from the rootstock in the Spring of this year an secured into a large plastic pot for stability and further root development

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The new leaves this year are looking good and behaving normally but it hasn’t put on any new extension growth yet. I will probably give it another year in this pot before transferring it to a training pot.

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This hawthorn  was started  a couple of years ago.

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When it was severed from the parent plant, there were not that many roots on the layer and most of these were on one side of the tree

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It was planted into this training pot to allow the roots time to develop. Its been in there for 2 seasons now and the roots are pushing out the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot. I will transfer this to a new pot next Spring.

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This larch was started in Spring this year. It has no sign of any new roots yet and the foliage is looking a little weak. I’ve increased the amount of sphagnum moss around the layer and we’ll see how it looks by the end of the season

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On the other hand, this little cotoneaster, which was also started this year is showing lots of new roots at the moment. I could sever it now but I think I will leave it until next year to do so.

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