As the cold days of November reached us, the trees drop their leaves and slightly enter into winter dormancy. The temperatures are not yet at freezing point so it is a good time to do structural pruning and wiring where it is necessary. It is up to your to do this operation now, or in spring just before bud break. Personally, I choose to prune now because I own about 90 trees at this moment. My philosophy is to perform deciduous pruning now, before freezing temperatures are reached because the trees are still able to seal the wounds after pruning. However, if you do this too late in winter, the trees will suffer frost on the cutting locations and they will suffer dye back on the branches. The second option, to prune in spring is legitimate, but it leaves you a small window of maybe 1-2 weeks just before bud break. It depends on how fast the warm days of Spring will get installed. For me, as I have to prune 90 trees, in Spring it is quite difficult to sync my activities with the warm temperatures if I only have a window of 1-2 weeks. So I choose to prune now to make sure that the work is done in proper timing with the outdoor temperatures.
It is also important in this case to ensure a winter protection to your trees that will not cause damage to the trees. I will shelter all the trees that had a difficult year in 2018, or those that will be repotted in Spring and all the shohin ones in an unheated basement. There, the temperatures varies between -1 and 8C. All the larger trees that had strong growth in 2018 and that have larger containers will be left outside. However, these too will be placed on the ground level and grouped. Smaller trees with medium containers will be placed in the middle of the group and towards the sides of the group will be placed the trees with large containers. Around them I will have a 50 cm high plastic foil just like a fence to weep the cold wind away of reaching directly the edges of the containers.
Mainly all the trees were structurally pruned. This means that the branches developed in 2018 were now cut back to the desired length. A misconception is that you always have to prune back to 2 buds. Yes, it is true if you are in refinements with the trees. I am now in development phase, so if I cut back to two, I will obtain in 2019 bush-like trees instead of nice branching. So, pruning to 6-8 buds now and wiring into shape and position will give me the secondary branching. In 2019 probably in May or June I will start pruning back to 2 buds, to start the refinement phase.
All the pictures below are before/after shots of this November’s pruning. You can as well see in my older posts of 2018 how these trees looked in Summer of 2018.
So let’s start with the Carpinus species.
This tree was collected in 2016 in Autumn. It is a large one and it is highly vigorous. In 2019 in Spring I will repot it and it will enter in refinement with the next pruning in Summer.
Another Carpinus collected in 2016 Autumn with very nice branching that will also be reported in Spring.
A semi-raft Caprinus collected in 2018.
A feminine movement Carpinus collected in 2018.
This tree had an interesting growth that facilitated the wind blown style, so this is what it became:
A lovely small semi-raft grown Carpinus, highly vigorous and evenly branched around the main trunk.
The Carpinus with awesome nebari, very nice side branching and trunk movement.
My beautiful raft Carpinus. Awesome growth this year and good looking branching so far.
Hope you find my work inspiring and thanks for your visit.
At the moment I own about 70+ trees that mainly are deciduous collected in 2017 and 2018. As it was exposed in my previous posts, I own several tropical ones as well. However many of the deciduous ones collected this year responded well for the collection and re-establishing process. I usually organize one shooting in each season for each tree and in case I do some major work on them I shoot that operation as well. As follows, I will present the progression of some of the trees that developed nicely over the spring and summer of 2018.
My largest Carpinus in April, then May (before and after), pruned back to two leaves and in July
Another Carpinus that grew well this year and I think I will repot it by next spring. The pictures are taken in April, then May (before and after), pruned back to two leaves and in July.
A flat Carpinus that just loves the new soil, still pictured in April, then May (before and after), pruned back to two leaves and in July.
As they call it in France, “le pièce de résistance”, my raft Carpinus in the wood box. Pictures are taken in April and July. This was not pruned at all this spring.
I bought from a local nursery in June 3 Junipers to be styled in shohin cascade bonsai. After the first prune and reduction of nursery soil, these responded well developing new growth. In spring 2019 I will repot them into their ceramic containers. The pictures were taken in June and July.
I will end my post today with a tree that I collected in spring this year from my father’s garden. In fact it is a grape tree that seems to grow just lovely and it already has grapes on it.
Hope you enjoyed visiting my blog and hope to see you back soon.
So, as promised in my previous post I will follow-up with the new collected material in fall of 2017 and spring of 2018 as well. All these pictures were taken in early April 2018 and by now all their buds are swelling and many of these trees are already leafed out. I will present in a future post their progression as detailed as possible, but it takes me quite some time to shoot pictures of so many trees to follow their growth.
A Carpinus with elegant trunk movement.
A Carpinus in cascade style. It has a too long trunk for cascade style but it has an extremely well formed canopy for this. The trunk issue will be solved in 2019. If the tree will be vigorous through this year, in May 2019 I will airlayer it in order to obtain a shorter trunk with some possible nebari to get it ready for repotting in 2020 into a tall cascade dedicated ceramic pot.
One of my favorite from the collected material of 2018 is a raft Carpinus with aerial roots as well. It is an awesome tree and it needed a custom made wood container. It is about 1m long. It seems to be doing just good as at the moment of writing this post it is already in leaf.
Another semi-raft Crapinus that is by this time full of leafs and proving to be quite vigorous.
Still in the Carpinus selections, one with aerial roots.
Probably the last Carpinus that I will mention in this post, is one with very dense ramification and the size of the branching from thick to medium to thin being very fast in narrow distances from the trunk. I think that in order to obtain such ramification on demand it takes a lot of skills and maybe some luck as well.
As you probably observed, I collected quite some Carpinus yamadori. I am fascinated by the diversity of styles and changes that I found in yamadori style Carpinus. In my opinion, with this species you can either find or create in time any stile you want from the wide perspective of bonsai styles. Even now, as you can observe in my pictures, it is able to grow aerial roots that usually is common for ficus trees. Of course these so called aerial roots were under ground when the trees were collected, however their feeder roots are now under soil level while their wooden part was exposed to create the perspective of tropical aerial roots.
In future posts I will present other species as well, but I felt like dedicating Yamadori – collected in Spring 2018 – Part I and II only to Carpinus species.
Thanks for the visit,
Here in Romania, we had a very soft and warm autumn and winter as well. This tented me to try and collect as much material as I was able, hence starting from November 2017 till April 2018 I took advantage of the warm weekends and went out there scouting and collecting new trees. This way, I have reached a number of over 60 acquisitions some with high potential already, others considered future investments. However, all of them were collected, potted and kept until a few days ago in my basement where the temperatures rarely drop below 7°C. It is a fact that at temperatures between 7°C and 12°C, only the trunk and the branches are dormant. The roots are growing in a slow rate, but still growing. I considered this an advantage for me, giving the trees a few months to develop new roots in order to start their establishment in the new containers and the new soil, way before they get completely out of their dormancy period. Through this period I was paying attention to not let the soil from the pots dry out completely, still let them dry to the point where oxygen was able to reach the roots. This is important to offer the correct balance of water and oxygen particles around the root system. In doing so, one can make sure that the roots are being treated with proper care and the best survival condition is facilitated as well as their development.
I will not post pictures of all the 60+ trees in this post nor in the following ones, but I will present those that have quite a potential at the moment. However, future posts will slowly cover the entire collection, presenting progression from the collection moment and their development in time. So, this is the first of a series of posts that will probably last for the entire 2018 season, detailing not only the development of the trees, but their after care, handling and fertilization.
A wild Carpinus collected from the top of a rocky hill with a lot of movement and even aerial roots.
A shohin Carpinus, presenting a lot of movement, nice root flare and age.
Semi-raft Carpinus, bent into position using copper wires accomplishing nice movement over its branches.
Wild movement, wild trunk wild aerial roots, this is a wild Carpinus.
Wind blown style Carpinus.
A small shohin Carpinus with an awesome nebari and branch distribution.
Hope you find these trees as full of potential as I do and stay close as more pictures of other ones will come in future posts.
Thanks for the visit!
As autumn is now already here for some time now, the leaves of my carpinus shohin trees got brown marking the end of this season and telling me that they went dormant till spring. Because I like to take my time when I prune my trees, I start pruning them from autumn gaining also space inside my cold shelter where I house the trees till temperatures are above freezing in spring.
Methodically I started this year with my smallest trees. These were all collected in March 2017. One season growth already established the trees in the pots and also gave me quite impressive elongation of the thin branches.
The tools that I use are classical bonsai pruners such as concave, knob, scissors and classical garden pruning scissors for very thick branches.
The first tree that I pruned is a multiple trunk with a very nice taper. This tree was extremely vigorous this year and it was mandatory to prune it in the summer too, even if this a habit that should be avoided in the first year after collecting from the wild. In the first picture is the tree before pruning and the next ones are after pruning, a front and bird’s eye view.
The real shohin carpinus trees that I have are quite small, they have a height of about 12-15cm and a diameter after pruning of about 20cm.
The next tree is my favorite one. I found it close to a field that often was visited by sheep and I thing its size is given by these continuously eating its new fresh growth year after year.I had to use thick wire to move thick branches into their final position. It was very challenging because carpinus wood is very hard to bent and I ha to put a lot of effort into it. But finally the branches reached their right position.
The last carpinus shogin is the smallest of all. I pruned it back quite hard to try and create dense ramification close to the main trunk. Hope that next year it will bud back on the remaining branches as expected.
I apply to all the cut wounds healing and callusing paste by this ensuring that water with diseases will not enter in the cut places and also this will increase the callusing process.
In spring 2017 I collected an abundance of species from the surrounding of Cluj Napoca. Nearly all the collected material survived and some of them grew quite vigorously through the 2017 season. I have lost an Oak, one Carpinus and one Field Maple. The remaining ones suffered some sunburn in mid August due to extremely high temperatures.
In the pictures below there is a huge Carpinus that I have found on a top of a rocky hill. After pruning it back heavily I was amazed by the structure of the tree. That was the moment when I decided that even if it is a big stub, I have to take it home, against my habit of orienting my developments in the region of shohin style. The pictures were taken just few minutes before starting to dig around it. Collecting the tree was a very time and effort consuming job to save as much root-ball as possible.
After potting the tree, it bud out quite slow. However, after it did, I applied a light dosage of fertilizer and it started to grow extremely fast and vigorously. The picture below was taken few days ago (October 2017). The tree was left to grow wild for the entire year to stabilize a new root-ball. It did and I know that because the drainage tray under it, in mid summer, was already full of feeder roots. I cut them back to motivate the tree to replace those with new ones inside the plastic pot that was placed into.
Another Carpinus collected in Spring 2017 is in the pictures below. This tree proved to be the most vigorous tree of all. Immediately after collecting and potting it, it started growing very vigorously. By end of spring, it had shoots with 5-10 leaves. Only because I realized that the tree is strong, I pushed the limits and pruned back the new shoots to two leaves. Normally, in the first year it is not recommended to do so because the tree needs the leaves to create sugars and carbohydrates to grow new roots and to prepare for winter dormancy. However, I new that this tree will be able to take a new pruning. It did, and now, in fall, it has new growth that is more than enough to prepare the tree for dormancy.
Still in the Carpinus Yamadori universe, I collected in Spring a shohin tree that was already “styled” by the sheep that feed with its leaves year after year. It has a nice short and quite thick trunk, movement in the branches and a dense ramification from thick to thin to thinnest. It grew very nicely over the spring and summer. In August however, it suffered sun burn, still visible in the last pictures. At that moment I thought that only the Sun was responsible for the burn. I know now as a fact that I had 50% of the quilt because I did not reduce the fertilizer quantity in the hot days. This made impossible the uptake of sufficient water by the roots to serve the transpiration at the leaves surface.
Still in Spring 2017, I collected two Fagus (Beech) Yamadori. Both are in the range of shohin stye with nice movement in the trunks and quite dense ramification. One of them (visible in the last picture) has a tendency of reverse taper. This did not stopped me to collect it. The plan is to work on the ramification of the tree for the next one or two years. In this time the tree will stabilize well in the pot and I will perform an airlayering in the area where the reverse taper stars. Using a thick copper wire around the cutting performed for the airlayer, I will promote a nice nebari that will complete the structure of the tree.
I am a fan of Acacia bonsai. I just love the trunks of Acacia trees how they look extremely aged due to the rugged bark. I collected a tree and potted it in a taller container as it had quite long thick roots. From the original structure (first picture) I had a die back of of one branch, and somehow I lost half of the canopy. At the moment I was disappointed. The problem was solved one evening when I tilted the tree and saw a new very nice angle that I was getting in this new position. So, when I will repot the tree, I will fix the new angle by the tree’s new position in shallow pot. I will probably repot this tree in the spring of 2019. The deadwood on the lower side of the trunk comes in addition to the tree’s overall value.
Walking the woods, I found a very nice Fern (Asplenium trichomanes) with small leaves. It already grows now for two years in this pot. I collected it with soil from around it, taking even some rocks and rotting leaves with this soil. It seems to be liking it in this pot. I keep the fern out of direct sunlight and I give it once in a while liquid fertilizer.
Starting spring I will continue such series with progression of these trees and also others that were not included in this post. Pruning, wiring, carving and repotting stories will continue the one I have started today.