I thought I’d share a few spring pictures of my trees. I’m actually down to only 8 trees if you can believe it. I’m taking the quality over quantity approach. I still have some tropicals but they are still in winter storage.
First up, the Japanese maple arakawa that wakes up with a vengeance every year. It needs a haircut and a direction.
This Japanese maple forest always looks good in spring. It needs some work to be less top heavy still, hoping to get to it soon.
My RMJ also looks happy and healthy and I might work on it this year.
The itoigawa needs another haircut and styling this spring as well.
My silver berry flowered again. Even on its sacrifice first branch. Might look into air layering the top this spring.
My Japanese maple Bloodgood looks ok but not as vigorous as my other maples again.
The Korean hornbeam needs a trim and some wire. It’s coming along nicely and there will be another post soon.
This Chickasaw plum ended up flowering this year but I didn’t see it. I plan to give it a directional prime this spring.
And that’s it! I don’t plan on adding trees to the collection but focusing on the ones that I have. Stay tuned more posts to come!
This update is going to feel very similar to a post I wrote in August, but I thought I would provide a few updated photos. The tree has regained vigor after a repot this spring into better soil. The tree was weak this spring after being attacked by a fungus, or maybe the beginning of root rot, the preceding fall.
After repotting into better soil.
The tree growing healthy until the middle of the summer.
After widening the shari.
And finding the possible front and angle.
The most recent picture after removing the wire and adding lime sulfur. I am hoping to start some more work on this next summer after I know it continues to get healthy. Some more branches need to be eliminated, but probably eliminated in stages to add interest to the jins. Maybe next year I can do another styling and start defining pads.
The next round of updates will be a couple of deciduous trees. Leaves have just started falling so I will need to do some cutback, and possibly a little wiring before those reviews are posted.
I thought I’d write up a post on the first styling on an Itoigawa Shimpaku I bought about a month and a half ago now. I actually styled it at my 2nd Kaikou Class in the end of May, but am just getting around to writing it up now.
My biggest initial purchase to date, by far. I saw this juniper hit the summer sell down table at New England Bonsai the day before I got married. I was dropping my trees off so they could take care of them while I was on my honeymoon. I asked the bonsai professional from Japan, Jun, to help me pick the best one out of the 5 or 6 that were on the table. This one he said was the most unique, and as an added bonus it appeared to be the healthiest one.
We started the work by removing any branches that we knew would not be in the final design. We left stubs so that these could later be turned into jins. We then traced an outline of the first shari onto the trunk with a piece of chalk. I used a jin knife to cut the bark along the outline, and remove the bark from the tree down to the hard wood.
We then decided to make another shari on the next portion up on the trunk to complement the first shari we made.
After that was completed, I the bark off of the stubs we left to make jins. I had never done this before and was much easier than I thought. The bark fell right off after crunching it with my pliers.
Then we decided that we would wire the tree while we were still in class. I put the wire onto the tree, and John helped me place the branches in the final position. After that I slip-potted it into a decent ceramic training pot so we could restore some vigor to the tree.
I am definitely happy with the way this tree came out, and I’m so excited to see how it progresses in the future. It will be left alone to grow and and be healthy for while now. This is easily probably the best material I currently have and a great addition to my bench.