Today, I re-potted this tall Blaauws Juniper into a nice Ian Baillie drum pot.
When I acquired this tree in 2016, it was in poor condition as the previous owner had died and the tree had been neglected for a few years. This is how it looked at that time.
By September of 2018 it had recovered sufficiently to begin some work on it. This is how it looked after the fist styling
The new look required a change of planting angle and a new pot. The re-pot was carried out today. This is how it looks at the moment. A few more seasons to develop the foliage and the deadwood and this will be a really nice tree.
I acquired this medium sized Pinus Sylvestris in 2016 from a friend. I was attracted by the taper and movement in the trunk and I felt that given time I could make a nice bonsai from this material. The first picture shows the tree soon after I brought it home, having re-potted it into a good free draining soil mix and removed a few leggy lower branches that didn’t form part of my plan for the trees’ future.
The second picture shows the tree in 2017 immediately after the first styling.
The next picture was taken in 2018 and you can see that it has filled out well in that time.
At the end of 2018, I thinned the needles to allow more light into the middle of the tree and to facilitate re-wiring in the new year.
A few weeks ago I re-wired the tree for the second time. I think it is shaping up well. At the next re-pot, which should take place in the next few weeks, the front will be moved by a few degrees to show more of the movement in the trunk. the next picture shows how it looks at the moment.
This is a Blaauws Juniper that I acquired locally from the family of an enthusiast who had passed away. It was in poor health when I acquired it, having been neglected for several years previously. The following picture shows how it looked when I brought it home in February 2016. A lot of the foliage had died back and what remained had become quite extended, pale and thin. It was re-potted immediately and a feeding programme commenced to try and return the tree to full health. That was two and a half years ago.
The next picture shows how the tree looked at the start of the day. The thin extended branches have been pruned off and the new growth is closer to the trunk line, much healthier and stronger.
The tree is now about 60 cm. tall. It has a long slender trunk line, slowly tapering towards the apex with slight movement to the right. The lower right hand side of the trunk is quite straight and there is a considerable distance between the base of the trunk and the first right hand branch.The nebari is uneven with 1 large, thick root extending to the left; the other radial roots are quite insignificant by comparison.
A relatively thin tree like this will never look its’ best with a full heavy canopy of foliage. Minimalism is what is required here, to make the most of the material.
I have decided that this tree will be developed in the literati style; a style characterised by thin trunks and sparse foliage. Junipers are also enhanced by dramatic areas of deadwood. So the first task was to remove and jin all the branches that would not be critical to the perceived design. Many of the jinned branches were the connected by a shari running the length of the trunk. The following picture demonstrates the start of this stage.
After thinning out the foliage, the remaining branches were wired and bent into position. The next picture shows how the tree looks at the moment. Its quite possible,when I next work on the tree that more branches will be removed to simplify the design even further, but I will leave that decision for another day.
The next major job will be to re-pot and correct the planting angle next year. The next picture is a photo montage showing the tree rehoused in a nice Ian Baillie pot, which I am saving for this purpose.
Today I carried out the first styling of a Juniper Squamata, which was dug from my garden 3 years ago
The next 2 photographs are a reminder of how it looked immediately after it was removed from the ground
This is how it looked after the removal of some branches and a re-pot in 2016
This is how it looked at the start of todays work, the top has filled out well in the past year. I have decided that this side will be the future front of the tree. As I looked at this image, I felt that the top of the tree was too straight and there was more foliage at the top of the trunk than I needed to complete the image I was aiming for.
This is how it looked when the work was completed. The foliage was removed from the top of the trunk and the branches were jinned. Now, the relative proportion of the remaining foliage seems more balanced with the long thin trunk. I was also able to introduce more movement at the top of the trunk with a combination of coiled wire and guy wires
The next stages in this trees development will be to correct the planting angle at the next re-pot; develop the foliage pads and introduce a long shari which extends the length of the trunk.
I had a visit from my good friend Gerry earlier in the week. He brought along a Scots Pine to get some advice on the next stage of its development. I have had a close involvement with this tree over the past 3 years. We agreed some time ago that the best way forward for this tree would be to train it as a Literati pine.
This is how it looked before this weeks work. After much deliberation we decided that the lowest right hand branch should be removed to emphasise the trees’ natural movement to the left
The next picture shows the lower right branch with foliage removed and the remainder of the branch jined. The lower left branch has also been thinned and wired into place. This is as far as we got during Gerry’s visit
He kindly left the tree with me and I was able to finish the wiring at the weekend
This is how it looks at the moment
This is how it looked after the previous wiring in 2015
And this is the earliest picture I have of the tree taken in 2014
The night time temperatures have plummeted in my part of Scotland this week to around -5 degrees C., heralding an early start to our winter. I still have some trees outside but they will all have to come inside today.
Here is a photograph of one of my Scots Pines, which I took this morning. It will give you an idea of the conditions that the trees are putting up with at the moment.
Remarkably, this Kiyohime maple, which has been in the greenhouse for about a month is still managing to cling on to its’ Autumn colour. It’s the last of my deciduous trees to do so.
I drove through blizzards and flood water yesterday to attend the third Ayr Bonsai Club Winter Image Show in the historic village of Alloway on the Ayrshire coast. The numbers of people attending this year were slightly down on previous years due to the weather but those who braved the elements and made the effort to get there were not disappointed. This show grows from strength to strength with each passing season and the quality of the trees and the way they are displayed just gets better. This year, the organisers set up an area to photograph the trees in an adjacent room, which has made a terrific difference to the picture quality.
I think my favourite tree on the day was this larch over rock created by Ian McMaster and planted on a natural stone that was collected from a beach not very far from the show venue.
There just wasn’t enough time to photograph every tree at the show so here is a gallery of those that made the biggest impact on me.
To see a larger image in gallery mode, click on any image
Over our last 2 “get together” sessions, Gerry and I have been busy styling his tall scots pine.
This cultivar of pinus sylvestris, which I think is either beuvronensis or watereri has a good nebari, excellent movement in the trunk and a good dark green foliage colour. The trunk is relatively thin for its height.
Last year Gerry took this tree to a Marc Noelanders workshop to get some advice on how to take it forward. I took the first 2 pictures at the workshop last year, unfortunately I didn’t get a picture before and immediately after this work.
This is how the tree looked earlier this year when it was re-potted.
Today we completed the work in beautiful autumn sunshine.
Halfway through the process.
Work completed for now.This is how the tree is looking at the moment.
I acquired this scots pine in April 2010. I liked the movement in the trunk and thought that it could make a nice literati at some time in the future.
This is how it looked in 2010 (Apologies for the poor quality of the picture)
In 2011, I opened up the foliage and re-planted it into this unglazed Japanese pot
In the winter of 2012 it fell off the bench and the pot was smashed. I quickly re-housed it in the pot you can see in the next picture and changed the angle of the trunk to a more upright position.
It received its first full wiring today and this is how it looks at the moment. I like this tree very much. As the foliage develops and the ramification gets tighter I think it will mature into a nice bunjin style pine.
I had Gerry in the garden today to get some advice on the potting of one of his large pines. In a normal year it might be considered too late in the season to attempt such a thing; but this year it has been so cold and wet that all of our trees are a bit behind where they should be at this time. As the tree is very healthy and the candles have not yet fully opened, we decided to give it a go.
His plan for the future is to train this tree in the literati style, so he wanted to get the tree out of the large oval pot and into something smaller and round..
This is how it looked at the start of the work.
This is the new pot by Ian Baillie. It’s a little deeper than the old pot and the front to back measurements are the same.
Out of the old pot and it’s just a case of shaping an oval root mass into the round.
We added additional mycorrhizal fungi to the new soil mix
And this is how it looks at the moment. The tree will be kept in the shade for the next few months and the soil will be kept slightly moist until it shows strong signs of recovery.