Archive for the ‘movement’ Tag

Juniper Winter Work   5 comments

I have worked on many shimpaku and other species juniper over the winter. Many were restyled and re-potted.

Mas Ishii Shimpaku

This first tree is a tree I purchased in 2002. It had been a very beautiful tree but I managed to ruin it over the years. It has escaped death numerous times from spider mite and pinching misfortunes. This is the tree in 2005 after escaping death twice.

Another few years and more rattyness.

A few more years and even less green left.

Left to grow for a few years to get strong and now it may be ready for a restyle….at least with whats left.

Restyled and repotted in a glazed Bunzan.

George Muranaka prostrata.

This tree was purchased in Nov. of 2014. It was left to grow for a couple years and then a first styling was begun.

Cleaned up and put into a first pot.

part of the canopy would be removed and jinned entirely.

Re grow and then style whats left.

George Muranaka Shimpaku

I purchased this tree from George around 2006. Once again it suffered from spider mite and my lack of awareness on how to take good care of the species.

Left to grow and a re style and then a repot. Looks like this now and is growing quite well.

Benny Kim (Kim’s Bonsai) procumbens.

The tree is on the left and purchased in 2002. It had a good trunk about two inches across.

Lots of jins on this one and some carving.

A first styling

Starting to look pretty good.

A new direction for this one. It had started to slump really bad due to the roots giving up on one side. Time to turn it upright.

Done…for now.

Steve DaSilva Procumbens.

These were struck as small plants and wired and twisted up. Planted in a field for a few years and dug up in 2015.

I would use the stock as a demo at the Fresno Home and Garden show in 2016

As it sits today.

Ed Clark Shimapku

This tree came by way of Ed Clark from Bonsai Northwest in Washington State. I kept it for a year making sure it was good for a repot in 2017.

Ready for some work.

It was removed from its growing container and combed out. Root structure was fairly small like most junipers but was rather one sided. I wnted to plant it into a signature Begei pot I had and felt that once planted here it could stay for a while. The one sided root meant it was planted well off center but will be fixed later when new roots go and allow for more diligent root pruning.

Now for the style part.

There is a large looping jin that comes over the top of the tree. The shoot I wish to be the apex is in front of that jin. I need to get it behind.

So…with some praying and bending and pulling I ease the jin around the shoot.

Now I am happy with the position of everything and can start the details.

More pruning and removing everything I don’t want. That should mean I have only the things I do want. Good in theory and poor in practise….

After some wire and manipulation I am able to coex a pretty decent tree out of the aftermath. Next year I will concentrate on managing shoot strength and how to treat possible shari on the trunk….or not!

Mas Ishii Shimpaku

I purchased this tree from Gary Ishii in 2004. Like all my shimpaku I battled the spider mites with fury. Mostly they seem to win but never kill the tree but ruin it for many years till successive cut backs get rid of grey and yellow foliage.

This style took place in 2010 after the tree had recovered for many years. It was planted into a Sarah Rayner shallow glazed bunjin pot.

This winter the tree underwent another re style and pot change. This time into a heavily patinanted Bunjin Begei.

….then the styling

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Grow Stones and Maples   1 comment

Last year I did two trees as an experiment with the grow stones. Both trees were planted in 100 percent grow stones. I did a conifer that was ailing which would give me a visual indicator during the year if the increased air and drainage was worth the effort. I also did a group of five maples thru a disk with five holes to build a massive taper larger trident. I can say that while the conifer was actually improved and grew very well the trident while not suffering too badly did not thrive in my heat.

I planted the trees as they were in the growing pots about 14 inches tall. The trees wear about 3/4 inch across and were planted thru 1 1/4 inch holes drilled in a ceramic disk. The tree grew and managed to grow to about five feet tall which in itself is good, not good for what they should have done in a year around here. I should have had about nine feet of growth and a good increase in caliper.

All of the trees I planted into disks were left the height they were while they had been growing as single trees. The smaller ones I planted from the seeds the year before were about 10 inches tall. While the small ones did increase in size and layer at the disk intersection, I feel this was because the better and more moisture laden soil they grew in. They all grew in colanders so that part was equal as well.

This year the large group of five in individual holes will be planted into a much more humus rich soil mix. Based on trees grown in previous years, the trees should begin to fill the holes and layer off. I need each one to increase in girth by at least 50 percent to even touch each other and begin grafting. Should take about two more years to get to that point.

The most important part of this project is what was done for this year. Like the trees I did a decade ago, massive girth in the bottom third of the tree will only take place when the shoot emerges from the trunk low on the trunk. Let me explain. When a tree is expected to increase in size, sacrifice branches are used to achieve this. If a tree is 20 inches tall and the sacrifice is used from a bud that emerges from the trunk in the first inch above the soil, that shoot will increase the base of the trunk by a lot over a season. In fact this is a good way to improve reverse taper.

If a person is trying to achieve a large trunk and uses a shoot in the upper third of the trunk, all of the branches adjacent to the shoot will increase in size but the base of the trunk will hardly see any increase in size. Further, all increase in size happens below a sacrifice or adjacent to it. For this project on the large tree as well as the smaller projects I have going, I have cut back all the trunks on the groups of tree thru the plates down to about 2 -3 inches. The larger project was cut down to about 4 inches. This cut back will force all the energy into only the four inches of trunk and swell a lot. If I left the trunks 5 feet long the shoots would only increase the trunks right out on the ends of the trunks, 14 inches away from the holes I need to fill. With the trunks now only four inches tall, the new shoots will direct all the energy into the trunks and they should swell to fill the holes by June. The tree was checked and the buds are swelling and now is the right time to cut the canes. this will now force all the energy into the bottom.

 

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This is how much larger the trees have to grow to fill the holes and begin layering.

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The roots have been covered with a layer of the grow stones as well as what above the tile. just from the fact of being covered with soil the trunks will begin to emit roots.

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Here are the five trunks cut back and ready for next years growth.

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All the trunks were cut back to shoots or buds on the trunk. this is the safest method to insure the trunk will take off when the sap is on the rise.

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Here are some of the other baskets of maples with the trunks all cut back ready for spring. These are all the seedligs I did under the screen. They have good movement as a benifit from the screen.

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This is one of the larger seedlings done from the same batch. It is amazing how fast they grow if they are not stuted by having screen thrown over them. the squirrels did a number on this root connected pair as can be seen in the close up.

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Ed Clark….redux   4 comments

This is the follow up to my post about Ed Clark. While I have several trees from the man he lives a good hour and a half away so I have never taken the time to go see what he has. That was my first mistake.

The nursery is tucked right up next to the foot hills and the canopy of trees and shade structures and hoop houses, of which I seen about five or more with several acres under shade cloth. I was amazed when I started to look around. I could hear a radio blasting country music so I followed the sound. I found Ed there in the midst of several benches of pines busy pulling needles, cutting candles and cleaning weeds out of pots. He was also potting up some material into larger containers. I had mentioned that Ed did not have a lot left from the old days, but I did see quite a few older maples in large containers and he had these cool tridents over some really black limestone type rock. Very cool to see these.

Second mistake, I did not have my camera. I took all these pictures with my Iphone, and while some are really good, some are so so, and some are kinda blurry. I think we can get an idea of the scope and breadth of the place from these photo’s. Keep in mind that back in his commercial nursery days he had no benches. Older now and he said he did not want to bend over if he could help it. he built all the benches you see in the photo’s. Ed told me he spent $5,000.00 just on bench material.

On to the photo’s.

I have tried to break this up into logical blocks of the same kinds of trees, although I walked thro so many hoop houses with benches full of hundreds of pots of trees in age groups. I try to start with the young ones first and move to the larger of the species. Don’t worry too much, it’s all tree porn. Ed Clark showing me around on a drizzly day.

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These are some of those tridents on the black rock that are over 30 years old.

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These are just some odd tridents hanging out on benches.

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These are twisted pomegranate. Ed has hundreds of these all started from cuttings. Many of them have had the wire thing done to them also to try to introduce some movement.

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All the previous photos have been the pomegranates. This bench with those on the right are full of movement also.

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This is some of the material from many years ago. There are large maples in here and many of them are very difficult to find cultivars.

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I wanna go back for this one. I told Ed to save this for me and I will dig it out when down next. Kashima Maple

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Here’s a big block of procumbens with wire.

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I will let the Itoigawa speak for itself. Ed says he has just reached the point where he has enough material to keep the wire going on the trees and adding movement. wire on the pines is easy peasy, Ed says the junipers are more tricky because they break so easy.

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By far Ed has mostly pines that have received the wire. He has house after house full of pines. I would easily estimate there well over a thousand or more trees here.

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In this next photo one can see the small trees on the right that do not have many needles. These are banshosho dwarf pines that have been grafted onto mikawa understock.

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Lets just look at some of these trunks. I was mesmerized and my arms were shaking like a dog shitting peach pits. Blurry yes, but still worth it.

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Here are a couple of shots of young pines with the wire embedded at the beginning of the process. It seems that there are not that many twists and turns, but as it grows and swells it must find new paths to grow which adds all the character.

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Larger pines in baskets. These have been taken from round containers and placed in pond baskets. Here they will bulk up and gain girth for larger shohin type pines.

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My hand for comparison. These trunks are fully 1 1/2+ inches across and about 6 inches tall.

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Pines in long cups for stones. The roots on these are growing length in an effort to merge them to stones in the future.

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Large pines growing out. These pines are in baskets and then buried in these 25 gallon large nursery containers. This provides a controlled setting but gets as much growth as being in the ground.

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My hope is that I can convince Ed for me to style this tree.

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Bonsai Tips with Justin Case – Winter Silhouette   1 comment

For those that have trees getting to a more refined state, winter time is the perfect time to photograph trees. I like to shoot them at night since I don’t have to fiddle with backdrops, and the camera will shoot pretty true with its own flash. During a night shoot, the outline of all the twigs will show up and dead spots, bare spots, bulges, out-of-place branches and all sorts of faults will show up. This is the time to get in there and correct these places so that a new photo can be shot. Only the owner will know the whole picture since a photo is so two-dimensional, but for a straight on full view, it will be pretty true to what the viewer might see.

Of course tonight kind of played tricks with me since it is a full moon. I had some serious moon shine in the background and had to turn the contrast way down in post production to get the background blacked out. For a test it can be fun to see the trees in full twig. I love this time of year and the trees do too.

Shoot your trees at night and look for faults….Justin Case

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Building a Giant Based Trident   9 comments

In the previous repotting post I started a giant based trident maple tree that will be grown on a tile with five holes. This method is suggested in Gary Woods blog and I have found his method to be very good for what it is I want to do. This is what I have done. I have no idea if it is close to what he did, but at least it is ready for the season and I will find out soon enough if it going to be successful.

I’ll start by reposting the pictures again of the work done on the tridents for the project.

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The trees have been removed from the pots and the roots cut back. The trees sit and soak in a bucket of water with B-1 in it and this way each tree will not dry out while I prepare all five trees.

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I am going to use the 18 x 6 inch colander for this project. This hold about two thirds of a cubic foot of soil.

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For all of you out there wondering what happened to the Growstone, here it is. This project will be grown out in 100 percent Growstone. This is a synthetic recycled glass product very similer to pumice. I like the size and the irregular shape. I feel that with the colanders increased air and the increased airflow in the medium, I should get super hard growth all year. Couple that with hard fertilizing and plenty of water and I should hope to see some layering taking place by fall.

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The whole thing planted out in the growstone. The tree in the middle had the most interesting shape, the lowest buds to cut back to after it fuses and the largest trunk. This will be the tree I keep after all is done down below. It is important to keep a low bud for the middle tree since I will probably need to chop this at some point due to the rank growth it will do thru the year.

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I covered the entire surface with long fibered moss since the product is light and I don’t want to displace it while watering. This is the moss dry.

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And this is the surface after watering. Now all I have to do is wait and see how it grows.

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I recieved a comment about what I am trying to accomplish here with a photo or drawing. This is a simple drawing showing the process over a few years. The trees will continue to grow and spread over the plate and then will grow onto one another to fuse at the base. As the base increases in size, the four outer trunks will be chopped away leaving the large base to heal and grow even larger.

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OMG, seeds again?   4 comments

Well Sunday after the swapmeet I was able to get my seeds in for this year. I bought seed from a different company and hopefully the germination rate will be better. I planted 400 seeds this time, and I plant on making more of the tridents under screen this time. This year I have a new idea which I will share when ready and plan on keeping the seedlings confined much longer than this year. Recently on a discussion forum post I saw some trident all twisted up on growing cascade style from a stone. I will try to introduce a yamadori style method to these tridents and see what I get. Many of these will also be grown in a clump so that they intertwine and graft together to make a larger trunk sooner.

This year rather than grow these in turface and sand I decided to grow these in Black Gold brand cactus soil. It is a blend of pine bark and pumice about 50/50. The bark is pretty coarse and I am sure it would work as bonsai soil also. Pretty easy to get at any home depot.

It should be an interesting year all around.

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