Trident Maple Cuttings

Bonsai Workshop

During the last TBS meeting, there was a pruning demonstration of Karen’s Trident Maple. Karen was kind enough to share with me her pruned off cuttings. That night, I took the cuttings home and quickly potted them in. I have kept the cuttings inside my orchid fish tank since then. The most important factor for survival of cuttings is the humidity, and my orchid environment provides plenty of humidity. In two weeks, all the cuttings have began to sprout leaves. Since they’re doing so well, they should be putting out roots soon. Hopefully by this time next year, I’ll be able to pot them up into their own individual pots. Growing Trident Maple from cuttings is definitely much more rewarding than trying to grow them from seed…

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Hawthorn Initial Styling

Bonsai Workshop

The Hawthorn looks very messy, with branches going ever which way. After staring at it for a week or so, I’ve decided to style it and get rid of the excess branches. Originally, I was thinking to air-layer the excess branches and create more trees, but after giving it some thought, I really don’t need the extra trees to divide my attention.

So, out come the pull saw and the reciprocating saw, and off with the branches!

I like this composition, as it hides most of the ugly cuts on the back, and provides a very interesting trunk movement. There are some buds forming on the left side, which will develop into a main branch in the future. For the time being, plenty of sun to help those buds develop and grow.

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Shade Cloth: Not Just for Sun

michael hagedorn

We’ve talked before about shade cloth and its utility in protecting bonsai during hot summer weather. There’s one other protective measure that it provides, though…


Hail of various sizes tends to start falling in the spring. Some is so small it was called ‘sleet’ where I grew up, diminutive ice balls around the size of sesame seeds, which cause no damage. Then you get into the small aduki beans which will begin marking leaves and knocking a few off. And finally there’s the great northern beans that can begin causing damage even to branches. (I’m leaving out the clementine-sized hail that might be worthy of hiding in a cellar.)

Normal shade cloth that you put up for sun definitely helps protect trees from damaging hail. Some folks simply put this up a bit early for that reason. There’s also speciality cloth called ‘hail netting’, which can greatly reduce damage…

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Roof Goyo

John Milton Bonsai

This white pine has been living on the roof of Aichi-en since I have been here and is a piece I’ve always admired. It has good leaf, old bark and interesting movement. It is a tree that Mr Tanaka bent the trunk a long time ago, it was a hard bend for such a thick trunk (about 6cm). For some unknown reason the second trunk on died a year or so ago, strange as this trunk wasn’t bent hard (This is the crazy Jin near the base). It was unfortunate because as a twin trunk it was a little more unusual and unique. However these thing’s happen and we have to make the most of the material that it is now. It was re-potted into this terra cotta growing pot, has since gained strength and is now ready for a styling.

The old needles had already been pulled so I…

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