It felt like the last time I pruned this mini jade was not so long ago, yet, it’s been growing prolifically again. I decided to prune it further to give it enough time to do more ramification until the cold weather comes. This time I didn’t even bother growing the cuttings… I think I’m at a point where I’m sick of tending to all these tiny saplings. Now my new strategy is to aim to acquire thicker and larger trees, while on the other hand, reduce my small saplings, to make room for those bigger trees.
As always, after helping to setup, club members get first digs at the sales area. This show, I picked up a pot and two trees. One of the tree is a Korean Hornbeam. I’ve always wanted a Korean Hornbeam in my collection, but it always seems I’m the only one one in the club without one. But that’s not the case anymore! I now have a Korean Hornbeam to call my own. Kevin Yates also sold me on his twisted pomegranate, the name sounds interesting, and the tree has small leaves, so I decided to pick it up as well. The plan is to let these tree grow wild in my colanders and fatten up. The soil that Kevin had them in were too moisture retaining for my watering habits, so I proceeded to repot them both into my bonsai soil mix and colander. The one on the left is the Korean Hornbeam, while the one on the right is the twisted pomegranate.
The mini jade has been growing all four seasons, so has really put on some growth. It’s time to reduce the raft back into a more pleasing composition. Since they all share the same root, reducing the raft significantly shouldn’t have any detrimental effects. I’ve proceeded to heavily reduce the trees. I was quite surprised of the amount of foliage I took off. But no guts, no glory!
These Chinese elm cuttings have all been sitting in a pot with very degraded bonsai soil. This is the last of my trees with very crappy bonsai soil, I can’t wait to get rid of these. I repoted these Chinese elms, three per grouping, which will in the future, develop into two triple trunk trees.
I usually like to spend my early Spring repotting deciduous trees, and leave the conifers for late Spring. Now’s the time to work on my Shimpakus. I’ll first repot the air layers I put into pots during fall of last year. I love how Shimpaku are so easy to air layer, I got loads of roots for all three air layers. I’ve decided to experiment to see how well the trees will develop in the ground, versus in the colanders. In order to ensure the roots are still spreading while plotted in the ground, I tied the tree to a piece of flag stone, before putting it into the ground. The other two air layers, I just spread out the roots and potted them into the colanders.
The parent plant of one of these air layers is almost complete. Just one more air layer then it’ll be complete.
Hopefully by fall, I’ll have another air layer full of roots.
When I acquired the Cedar last year, I had big plans for it. Since the tree was neglected for some time, I had to slowly and patiently carry out the plan. Over the winter time, the leaves were looking brownish, I was afraid that I’ve lost the tree, but come spring time, the tree put on a healthy green, with new growths. This year, I’ll be working on reducing the foliage to extenuate the shari. I stripped bare the top of the tree, adding more drama to the diagonal spire that extends to the upper left. I also reduced the lowest branch, to bring the viewer’s eyes back into the trunk of the tree. In the future, I may further reduce the shari on the lower branch, because it’s somewhat distracting in my opinion, and steals some of the movement from the main spire. I left more green to the left branch to allow the branch to heal more readily, I’ll eventually be reducing this branch’s foliage more next year as the inner growths strengthens. I’ve also wired the shari to give it a more natural look. After the wood dries, I’ll be applying some lime sulfur to whiten the wood, which will add more contrast to the whole composition. This year, I won’t work on the roots. As seen last year, the roots are overrun and needs some major pruning, but inline with taking slow measured steps, I will work on half the roots next season, then gradually reduce the roots in a year or two out.