I trimmed a few runners and wired my Korean hornbeam a couple of weeks ago. I plan on making a twin trunk style tree. The smaller trunk is already dynamic and built, but last year I took the top off of the taller trunk to to rebuild it. I wired but did not trim the branches on the trunk I am trying to build in order to try and have it gain some girth.
As originally purchased.
As it was this spring.
After trimming, then adding just a couple of wires.
I think it’s headed down the right path and I hope that the dominant trunk grows some girth this year. It will be too big to be a shohin but will still be a small, compact tree.
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 is the tree (or trees) that I have owned the longest. They are a pretty vigorous group and need cutbacks a few times a year. The plan is to shift the trees at repot and put the smaller one in the back. The top of the large tree was thinned out this fall, and may need more cutback in the future. There are a few sacrifices growing at the bases of the trees that will be let go for probably two more years. I also plan on layering one of the trees and adding a fourth, smaller tree to the composition in the future.
As purchased, summer 2011:
Growing well this summer:
The last few photos show a before and after from fall 2014:
I’m pretty pleased with the progress over the last few years. I look forward to working on our “family” tree in the future.
I’ve had this tree for two seasons now and it really has never been that happy. I hope that it continues to grow vigor over the next few years because I think it can be a good tree. There is some damage at the bottom of the trunk and the plan is to layer it above the damage. I may try to get to that next spring.
Leafing out after purchase two springs ago:
That summer it really started to sulk. It dropped quite a few branches and now the work begins to rebuild the tree.
Before and after cutback and final pictures of the year:
Hopefully it will gain health next year because quite a bit of work is needed to make the image nice. Layering, chopping and growing all need to happen.
This Arakawa grew vigorously this year and I missed removing the wire by a long shot. This is actually the second year in a row this has happened to me on this tree. I don’t think these will be a big deal due to the fact that this variety grows rough bark fast, and this tree is far from being finished anyway. I actually plan on taking a few air layers off of this tree but never got to it this year.
As the tree looked before work:
Wires digging in too much:
Hopefully next year I’ll remember to check the wires earlier!
I have been meaning to get to this tree for a while and finally got the chance to work on it. It was overrun with weeds and superfluous branches. It also looks a little yellow so I’ll try and give it a good dose of fertilizer soon.
I got to work on the weeds first. While doing this I realized the maples roots were pushing to through the soil. This group needs a repot badly next spring.
The I got to work with a little cutback. The largest tree is looking good while the smaller tree still needs a lot of filling in. I also left sacrifice branches at the base of the trees to try and thicken them some more.
The trees in general grew well through June, and I thought I would show a couple of quick before and afters.
I chopped this bougainvillea in May, and it started to bud out. The first picture is from the bonsai/baby/BBQ post and the second one is from today.
Next a couple of updates from digging pre-bonsai on Cape Cod. First a Japanese maple then a pitch pine I twisted.
Everything else is growing well too and I will update in due time.