• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Bad year for my Bonsai! (One in particular!)

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

johnbaz

Established Member
Joined
30 Jan 2014
Messages
58
Reaction score
33
Location
Sheffield
Hi all

I've been in to Bonsai for over 20 years but this year with the high winds i've had many suffer by being blown off the tables and branches breaking, Also Pots getting smashed but this poor collected Cotoneaster lost a full trunk to dieback and then, The wind blew over some 4"x2" timber that is to make some benches for the trees!!

I opened the gate and the space between the house and the garage became a wind tunnel! :(

As the tree was last year, The live veins were down the back of the tree..


The right trunk is completely dead here..


I set about sawing it off halfway down then carved it in to a shari (Deadwood area) then lime sulphured it..


It needs more carving and more Lime Sulphur but I used it all up, I'll be getting some more late in september at the Bonsai Bootsale at Doncaster

The timber that was blown straight on to it, It split the crown of the tree (It also hit a root over rock Hawthorne and snapped several exposed roots too :rolleyes: ) I wired the two parts back together then applied cut paste to hopefully let it join without losing sap and the edges dieing back..


On a better note, Whilst i've been furloughed from work, I set about a few trees that weren't the best and was quite happy with a couple of them!

Had this Juniper for seven years, I'd no idea what to do with it so it was pushed to the back and just watered when needed, I thought it was time to have a look at it and was pleased with the outcome but I had to remove almost as much as was left!!
Had to use 6mm dia aluminium wire to straighten out tjhe massive bend some, It kept springing back slowly so I just kept bending it and holding it afew seconds every time I went past it and it actually stayed more or less where I wanted it!


Have to say, I didn't like the bottom branch as it was far too low on the tree!


Off it came!


I just have to select a better dish for next spring now then feed it up next year!


John (y)
 

marcros

Established Member
Joined
11 Feb 2011
Messages
11,302
Reaction score
732
Location
Leeds
Interesting.

What makes a good bonsai compared with just a small tree in a pot? I know nothing about these things.
 

AJB Temple

Finely figured
Joined
13 Oct 2015
Messages
3,598
Reaction score
829
Location
Tunbridge Wells
I share your pain. Your Bonsia are much nicer than mine, but I have also had three blown off their stands in the high winds, two pots wrecked and one tree badly damaged.

I am trying to do a small forest of 15 Dawn Redwoods, planted up two years ago and pretty heavy. They were also blown straight off a low table. No serious damage.

Looks like some of your wire is ready to come off?

I am mainly focussed on pines, acers and juniper. A few are still in the ground for the trunks to thicken up. I think I lack your artistic ability. I do better with Niwaki.

Adrian
 

johnbaz

Established Member
Joined
30 Jan 2014
Messages
58
Reaction score
33
Location
Sheffield
Interesting.

What makes a good bonsai compared with just a small tree in a pot? I know nothing about these things.
Hi

The quality of the foliage, The design including the nebari (Surface roots) Leaf size is important as a tree looks daft if it's small but huge leaves!

The dish has to be the correct size to compliment the tree too, A small tree in a huge pot looks bad yet i've seen massive trees in relatively small pots that still look great!, The colour of the pot too can spoil a tree, Mostly greys and browns in a matte finish are used for Conifer, Coloured pots are normally for colourful or fruiting trees

Also, Things like keeping the compost surface clear of weeds, The bark free from moss, It's generally asthetics that let Bonsai down, Most of mine would be laughed at in Japan!

There's so many ways to spoil aBonsai tree it's unreal but when a really good example is presented, Everyone knows it's good- Even people that don't do Bonsai!!

Here's a common Juniper that I was given some years ago, There wasn't much to it but steadily it grew, I wired it to where I wanted it, had to remove the wire a few times and put fresh wire on due to the tree growing thicker and the wire biting in, I wind the wire in the opposite direction just to stop me leaving the new wire in any demnts caused by the old wire!


The point of the deadwood got broken off at some stage, I can't recall how!




John :)
 

johnbaz

Established Member
Joined
30 Jan 2014
Messages
58
Reaction score
33
Location
Sheffield
I share your pain. Your Bonsia are much nicer than mine, but I have also had three blown off their stands in the high winds, two pots wrecked and one tree badly damaged.

I am trying to do a small forest of 15 Dawn Redwoods, planted up two years ago and pretty heavy. They were also blown straight off a low table. No serious damage.

Looks like some of your wire is ready to come off?

I am mainly focussed on pines, acers and juniper. A few are still in the ground for the trunks to thicken up. I think I lack your artistic ability. I do better with Niwaki.

Adrian
Hi Adrian

My faves are Acers and Junipers, I'm pretty rubbish with Pines as they always end up really leggy with foliage just on the tips! :giggle:

I've a few Scots Pines (Sylvestris) and all are too long in the limbs due to me not pinching the candles!, The others are worse than this one!


I wired three branches, It took me four hours! 😬😕



John (y)
 

AJB Temple

Finely figured
Joined
13 Oct 2015
Messages
3,598
Reaction score
829
Location
Tunbridge Wells
It's a challenging thing to do. I've tried numerous times over the past 20 years, and have one survivor from when I started. We have Herons Bonsai about 30 mins drive from us, and when I go and look at some of his specimens I realise I just need to give up! We are creating a Japanese stroll garden and I am once again trying to develop Bonsai for the area near the kitchen and Koi pond.

We find that Acer Palmatum of various kinds grow exceptionally well in our soil, as do the various junipers. However, they do less well as Bonsai, so I am trying the field growing technique. In the meantime I am bringing on a few black pines. These do well in our Bonsai pots but we are only in the early stages so far. I am experimenting with things like Taxus and Szechuan pepper trees too. We have planted one in the Japanese garden area about three years ago and that has done exceptionally well.

I don't have anything (unlike you) that looks truly mature. This year I am going to try much harder with over wintering in a more natural way.
 

Steve Blackdog

Established Member
Joined
24 Mar 2008
Messages
456
Reaction score
9
Location
Cumbria
This is all very interesting. I have tried growing a small tree in a dish, but the leaves were standard sized and it looked all wrong.

Can I make a Bonzai tree by tray planting self seeded tiny saplings, or is there much more to it than that?

Looks like a great hobby for the next Lockdown!
 

johnbaz

Established Member
Joined
30 Jan 2014
Messages
58
Reaction score
33
Location
Sheffield
This is all very interesting. I have tried growing a small tree in a dish, but the leaves were standard sized and it looked all wrong.

Can I make a Bonzai tree by tray planting self seeded tiny saplings, or is there much more to it than that?

Looks like a great hobby for the next Lockdown!
Lots of people go the seed method of growing but it takes an age!

A great way to make a Bonsai is to keep an eye out for people removing hedges around their property and asking to take some away!, A friend of mine set off on holiday with his family and saw a chap digging a Hawthorne hedge up, It turned out he had a garage at the other side that he wanted to start using for his car instead of storage, My mate jumped out and asked if he could take some if he helped the chap, The fella was more than happy, This was over twenty years ago!, They were around ten inches thick at the base, He still had a couple when I went to his house in around 2010, They were superb trees!!

He actually left the wife and kids outside the house whilst he took the trees home and made sure they were in put in to compost!! :oops::eek::LOL:

You could also start by taking cuttings or maybe air layering a shrub/tree that's growing in your garden!!

Here's a Larch (Larix decidua) that I have that's a little bit tall so Ithought about air layering the leader to make a new smaller tree, The last branch then can be wired up to make a new leader, It will remove a few inches from the height making for a nicer tree with better proportions (y)


This would be the new leader..


And this the new (Extra!) tree!


The same tree fully clothed, I think it's about 26" tall overall..


I've never tried air layering before and apparently Larch isn't easy to get to root!!

EDIT- Forgot to say, It's better trying a shrub or tree that has small leaves to begin with as reducing the size isn't always successful!
John (y)
 
Last edited:
Top