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.
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.
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.
Yesterday I attended the monthly meeting of the Lanarkshire Bonsai Club at Wattston Bonsai. It was a busy day with lots of people passing through the workshop. Some of the members were involved in a number of seasonal tasks including defoliation of deciduous species and the re-potting of trees that respond better to this process when the weather is a little warmer.Here are a few pictures that sum up the day.
Gordon and Stuart discussing a larch.
Dougie and re-potting a juniper with Maurice looking on.
It’s been a busy week collecting moss and carrying out the final preparation of my trees for the Scottish National Bonsai Show tomorrow. Fortunately the weather has been kind and we are enjoying sunshine and warm temperatures at the moment.
Here are some pictures I took this morning of the trees and accents I will be taking with me.
Chuhin Japanese Larch
Shohin trident maple in a pot by Eimei
Shohin Deshojo maple in a yellow Shibakatsu pot
Cotoneaster in a pot by Eimei
Zelkova Serrata in a pot by Ikkou Watanabe
Hinoki Cyprus in a pot by Hokido
2 Pinus Parviflora in Bigei pots
Sedum Spathufolium Capa Blanca in a pot by Junsun Yamamoto
It was a busy day yesterday at Wattston Bonsai for the April meeting of the Lanarkshire Bonsai Club. The weather was kind, which meant that a good number of members attended to catch up on the news, work on their trees and stock up on supplies for the new season. Here are some pictures from the day.
Maurice, the club’s representative at the Scottish Bonsai Association, getting ready for an announcement.
Totally focussed on their trees
Dougie advising Gavin on the styling of a Juniper with Murray looking on.
Stuart decided to work his hinoki outside in the afternoon sun
A few of the members trees
Stuart’s prunus kojo no mai in full bloom
Ian’s chuhin scots pine
A few new arrivals on the Dougie’s sales benches.
shohin white pine
Large cone shaped yama momiji with great future potential
Lovely large itoigawa juniper with amazing character
At our midweek get together, Gerry and I continued with the re-potting and maintenance work that we started last week.
First up, were a few of Gerry’s shohin trees. Some of these were discussed in an earlier post, this is how they look at the moment after a re-pot.
This malus was removed from its’ plastic training pot and placed into a nice blue ceramic one. The white flowers in summer will work well with this pot.
This trident over rock was re-potted into a sky blue ceramic rectangular pot.
This seka hinoki needed a change in the planting angle and a slightly deeper pot. The pot we used is not ideal but it has the correct dimensions and depth.
And to finish today I thought I would share a picture of another recent acquisition. It’s a viewing stone that I found on a local beach last week. I am always on the look out for these when I go to the beach but I rarely find anything that I would want to take home.
My good friend Gerry paid me a visit today to catch up on the local bonsai news and to see how my trees have been progressing in the early spring sunshine. Gerry and I live about 75 miles apart and the climate in both our backyards is quite different. I have had a little more sun recently so my trees are slightly ahead of his.
Here are a few trees that had our attention today.
One of my shohin hawthorns. This tree was re-potted last year so it only required some weeding, moss removal and refreshment of the top layer of soil.
This kiyohime maple was also re-potted last year so only required a clean up today.
Gerry brought along a small trident over rock and a seka hinoki for discussion. The trident has some nice ramification already but the new growth in the lower right branch needs to be developed outward to accentuate the movement in that direction. I think he’s also planning to re-pot it next week.
This little hinoki definitely needs a change in planting angle this year.
This is one possibility that we considered. It might also benefit from a slightly deeper pot.
Gerry also brought me news that Wattston Bonsai will be receiving their new stock from Japan on Friday. I will certainly have to make a trip up there this weekend.
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.
Here are some of the trees that were worked on today.
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