Reflection On a Great Week

Bonsai Eejit

Back home a few days now after a week away studying at Saruyama Bonsai. I’ve been giving some thought to all the little things that I learned in my time with Peter and also a few bigger things that are more concepts or approaches to creating bonsai. In all I think I got what I wanted from my time and I think Peter was happy with the work I did on his trees. I will now use what I’ve learned here to help progress Bonsai in Ireland and I hope to get back to Peter’s place again soon.

I’ve been through all my photos of the week and want to add them here as a reference for my work and also a memory of the good times had. I did a little posting when I had time during the week, usually in bed, but I’d like to be a little more…

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Why I Love Bonsai and My Trees!

20161210_155000 My favorite bonsai nursery, ie the enabler

I started bonsai as a hobby 3 years ago. It wasn’t over an awe inspiring tree or most famously, with Mr. Miyagi in the Karate Kid but rather on an impulse. I was hitting the Southern California surf but instead of pulling out a new PR catch I found a large rock, reminiscent of mountain, stuck in the white water of the falling tide. I pulled it out and almost immediately I thought, “wow I bet a tree would look cool on this.” The following day I surfed the net looking how I could put a tree on a rock and I was introduced to bonsai. Right then and there, it clicked and I knew “bonsai” was something I wanted to do.

10672036_10202496860814881_4337497382755347215_n 2014 Southern California Surf

Fast forward 3 years I still love it and pursue it with ever increasing interest. Despite my love for…

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Root over rock elm

20170105_161554 1-2 year old Chinese elm

My neighbor has 2 large chinese elm trees in their front yard. Some years more than others, seeds will fall into my yard and root themselves in various places. Last year I dug out one of these donor elm seedlings, approximately 1 year old, and planted in a small nursery can. The tree grew unrestricted for the entire year over doubling in size.

The tree was significantly pruned back (the previous shoots being at least 3 feet tall or so) and the roots were slightly pruned leaving most of the lateral roots. My initial plans were to let it thicken up and develop it as a broom style tree but I wanted to do something different. The tree was secured to the rock using raffia and seram wrap then planted in the ground. I’m hoping it lives and if so, the roots were secured tightly…

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Clump Japanese Maple

About 2 years ago I acquired a “forest” planting of Japanese maples. The health was questionable but it looked like a nice planting at a reasonable price. At the time the planting was composed of 2 main groupings with 8 trunks. The tree was planted in a dense mucky soil and from information I found online I thought it would be best to immediately repot it…..only that it was past bud break. Being ignorant in repotting practices I bare-rooted and repotted the tree in April. For Southern California that’s about 2 months after the ideal repotting window. What health it had began to decline further and for the remainder of the growing season I had unsightly and weak foliage.

japanese-maple-group 2015 Late Spring

Thankfully the tree did not kick the bucket. This is a photo early on after repotting but the tree was looking pretty grim by November. Being more knowledgeable the…

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