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Spruce Forest Time Lapse–

michael hagedorn

This is a time lapse in two photos. Which isn’t much of a progression, but flipping between the two images there are some changes, most significantly the building of the foliar masses into proto-pads, creating density. Each spring as the new shoots come out they are pinched approximately in half (less for weaker ones, a harder pinch for stronger shoots).

Spring pinching encourages budding down the branch especially at the shoot bases, and this translates into increased shoots the next growing season. From this point on for this spruce, given the high budding potential of Ezo, the shoot density will increase exponentially.

This fall we also shortened some branches. And last spring we put it in a slimmer, more forest-appropriate pot. In a few years, assuming all goes well, the crowns should round naturally and the forest will take on a more aged appearance. At the moment it still feels a…

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Lighting for Bonsai

Taiga Bonzai

Lighting for Bonsai

Natural light produces a visible spectrum and is not only a source of energy, but also much needed information. Plants react to quality, intensity, duration and the direction of light. Because it is needed to aid photosynthesis necessary for germination, growth, inducing protective substances and changing from vegetative growth to fruit and flower.


The light visible to humans is 400 nm to 700 nm, a wavelength range called Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) and much of the light that plants need is within this range. But will use other wavelengths for example, UV light (280 – 400 nm) is critical for optimal growth and far-red light (700-800 nm) is critical for flowering and fruiting. Known photoreceptors are most efficient in the blue and red area of the spectrum. Plants also reflect a significant part of light in the green area of the light spectrum, while absorbing a…

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yamadori lodgepole pine

Sally's Bridge Bonsai

This Pinus contorta, lodgepole pine was collected in late 2012, shortly after the establishment of the Munster Bonsai Club when I discovered the concept of yamadori.


It was collected from a hillside in East Clare and grown of for a year before a workshop with Ian Young and Phil Donnelly.


I was reluctant to allow any upper branches to be removed, which maybe should have happened sooner.


It was ready again for another workshop in summer 2015, after a repot to akadama that spring.



This winter (2016) I have repotted to a shallower pot.


Work will continue…

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bog pine yamadori

Sally's Bridge Bonsai

I collected some Scots Pines from an area of bog where they had naturally seeded in the last 30-40 years or so. There are mature trees in a nearby drier location which provide the seeds. The seedlings germinate and grow up to 6 feet but then seem to mostly die slowly due to the wet conditions. The largest tree I collected had been driven over by a tracked machine in the past few years and had had some roots torn at the time. It’s a bit sickly looking and I’m not that confident, but I’ve had good success with similar bog pines before so fingers crossed.

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