Bird Invasion

Thanx for this entertaining report.

Bonsai Eejit

During a shower of rain last Sunday I had a flock of Sparrows visit my benches looking for insects, oh, and the usual Blackbird looking to remove every bit of moss it could find!

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Plant Hormones and Bonsai

Bonsaiplace

Plant hormones have an affect on aspects of plant life. Every cell in a plant can produce plant hormones and these can act in that specific cell or it can be transported somewhere else. There are five major plant hormones; auxins, cytokinins, gibberellins, ethylene and abscisic acid.

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Auxins are referred to as growth hormones. These chemicals stimulate plant cells to elongate. They are mainly found in the tips of stems and branches. with this accumulation of auxins in the tips, growth in other parts are subdued. During pruning of Bonsai these tips are removed and the excess of auxins in these areas are reduced. This in turn will allow growth to take place lower down on these branches. This is the so-called apical dominant display. When the auxins are not there, the dominance is reduced and back budding will be allowed to occur. It will also allow branches lower down…

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Maple Progression

Bonsaiplace

This Acer stands 35 cm tall and is still very much in training. This photo was taken in May 2013 and it shows the tree in full Autumn splendor.

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Soon after this photo was taken the tree lost the last of its leaves and the branch structure can clearly be seen here.

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The branch on the right is too straight, but the tree does need a bit of width. The smaller branch above it still needs to grow to fill that gap. The three branches going almost straight up is also disturbing on the eye. What cannot be seen here is that the tree has very few back branches which means very little depth.

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Skip seven months and this photo is from the other side. A back branch has now been pulled down by the guy wire and the second branch on the left (previous photo right) is filling in…

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Repotting and Restyling Some Trees with a Friend

Robert Nocher Shohin Bonsai

I paid a visit to my friend Gerry’s garden today to help him get started with the seasonal work on his trees. Here are a few pictures of some of the trees that we worked on.

The first to be tackled was this tall larch.

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I gave this tree to Gerry about a year ago because I felt that it would provide quite a few challenges for someone that’s new to the hobby. It’s quite a tall tree (36 inches high), it has a straight untapered trunk and the nebari needs a lot of work also.

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After some discussion on the pros and cons of the material, we decided that we would first remove the tree from the pot and do what we could to improve the poor nebari. We discovered that the base of the trunk had sufficient roots to allow us to remove the large thick root which protruded…

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A Miyabi maple?

Nichigo Bonsai

During my last trip to Japan I worked on what might be a very special maple. Oyakata brought it to me to cut back and wire in preparation for the following springs growth.

He said it was a very famous tree that had been sold, miss-treated, had gone backwards and was now back at the nursery to be re made under Oyakata’s care.

The tree in question. The tree in question.

The tree had supposedly featured in the Gafu-ten special tree album “Miyabi” that recognised important shohin bonsai masterpieces and pots.

Of course, I quickly dug out the album and tried to locate the tree. But, it was not so easy.

The best match I could find was the tree below.

The same tree? The same tree?

I am fairly sure this is the same tree although it has obviously changed a lot since that picture was taken. I am guessing it’s been about 10 years between the two pictures…

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The best tree for beginners.

assortednoveltrees

The very best tree for a beginner to own, bar none, is one that she or he has researched extensively. I’ve always kept a small zoo of animals and if you look online this snake or that snake is always described as being a ‘beginner’ animal, but the truth is these creatures want to live and if you provide the appropriate environment they will. The same is true of trees. Critical to bonsai is correct effort and the correct time. If you know what those actions are, the time they are to be performed and can provide the correct environment for your tree you would have to be very unlucky indeed to kill your tree.

With that said, the reason that both trees and snakes are described as ‘beginner friendly’ is because they will tolerate your fuck ups.

Advanced artists can make a triple axel look easy, the cultivation of…

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