Branch refinement – controlling vigor with decandling…

February 12, 2021 by Jonas Dupuich 7 Comments

It’s been fun watching the branches develop on some of the older pines I’ve grown from seed.

When these trees are healthy, it only takes a few years to reduce the internode length and fill out the basic silhouette. The main challenge at this stage is managing the tree’s vigor to reliably produce two shoots per branch after decandling.

The tree below is a good example of how much the internode length can be reduced over the course of a year. Here’s the tree before decandling last summer (see “Refining a 15 year-old pine” for photos of the previous year’s work).

Summer 2020

Japanese black pine – June, 2020

Continue reading the rest of this fascinating post at BONSAI TONIGHT

More new benches…NebariBonsai.com

Brian VFUncategorized February 6, 2021 2 Minutes

After the first round, I decided to continue. The back yard is rocky, and the houses shadow plunges most of the area in shade by mid afternoon. By moving one bench close to the back fence, it will increase the full sun exposure by a couple hours. Good for pines and junipers. Before:

Continue reading at NEBARI BONSAI.COM

Bonsai Surprises…

I switched off my PC after lunch yesterday and spent the afternoon catching up on repotting my bonsai trees.

It should be all done and dusted by now, but one way or another I seem to have been chosen to be the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland. Always late!

I never like to be late for anything, so I enjoyed the glorious weather and the peaceful company of my trees. It was blissfully quiet in my yard and I could feel the tension leaking from my muscles.

It doesn’t matter how often I visit them, there is always something new going on, either naturally or from outside influences.

Peanut Foliage

Like the time I found these strange plants growing in most of the bonsai pots. Such pretty foliage, which I discovered were peanut plants, deposited by the local squirrels.

I have discovered tiny mushrooms growing and caterpillars munching, but today I found something I had never seen before.

Many years ago, I had an olive bonsai, quite an attractive bonsai, but it never flowered, so no olives! Sadly, I had to give this tree away when we moved house, but a few weeks ago, I found a young bonsai, what they call a trainer plant on Amazon of all places. They said it was guaranteed to produce olives, so I bought it for the princely sum of £9.99 never expecting it to amount to much.

Out of nowhere, it has produced two flower spikes. Too soon to tell what colour the flowers will be, or if I will get any olives, but my fingers are crossed!

Another bonsai that was bought on a whim was this Japanese acer. It was little more than a twig when I saw it in my local garden centre, but the leaves are incredible, so many enchanting colours. It is still little more than a stick, but in time it may develop into something special…

You might like to read this post about bonsai not being perfect too!

Jaye’s Journal… Progress Report!

 

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Progress Report

 

Just when I was beginning to think I wouldn’t be doing anything creative this year, there has been a breakthrough.

It was bad enough before Covid19 but since it arrived, I have been floundering.

I am used to feeling like a ship without a rudder, indeed, I have done some of my best work like that, but this was different. There was no ship, never mind a rudder, no get up and go or even much of a guilt trip about my non-activity.

There was so much I wanted to do this year and it wasn’t really my fault that so much has happened to derail me. Malfunctions of every kind, postponements galore and then along came lockdown.

I would normally have loved an excuse to hole up like a hermit, as I love being on my own. Quite a different thing to be banned from going out and it has really been getting my goat.

I tried to reason with myself, even tried bribing but I wasn’t buying it.

Then something must have happened.

I have no idea what, but my brain started working. I mean, it was cooperating like crazy and before I knew it, I was in my working clothes and sawing wood like a crazy person.

Replacing the old bonsai shelves is underway, and that’s not all…

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One done…

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As you can see, not before time…

I have also been editing the last few chapters of Anita’s new book.

Picked up a book I have been dying to read, Himself by Jess Kidd and am enjoying reading it.

While all this was going on, I managed to get a priority slot with Tesco, so starving is now on hold, at least for now.

I have finally been working on the storyboard for my new WIP, for my detective, David Snow, has won the battle for his sequel to Out of Time. I had the feeling he would.

So, I seem to be firing on all cylinders now and hope it lasts, for I am enjoying being back to my old self. Figuratively speaking, of course…

 

 

Not all bonsai are perfect…

 

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At this time of year, I hover over my bonsai collection like a mother hen, watching and waiting for the long-awaited signs of the new growth that would mean a new year has begun for them.

Most years they all return, bursting into life with enthusiasm.

There have been a few disappointments, like the time the frost was so severe it killed several of my charges.

Or when some obscure tree disease strikes, and a tree sadly dies.

I was inspecting them all this morning, pleased that most of them were on the move, when my eye came to rest on one such afflicted tree that suffered badly two years ago. Only the disease hadn’t killed the whole tree, just half of it.

I bought this tree as a small shrub from a garden centre, attracted by the almost black colour of the finely cut foliage. I had never seen one quite like it before and although it wasn’t yet a bonsai, I was sure we could create magic together.

When the disease struck, I thought I would eventually lose the tree altogether but every year it grows stronger. It is a most unusual shape but its desire to grow and grow well somehow has me rooting for it.

 

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I have some very good trees, well worthy of being called bonsai but also have a motley collection of oddities. I call them bonsai in training but in all honesty, will probably never be good enough for that distinction. They come from just about everywhere, from the garden or seeds dropped by the birds. Some I don’t even know their name but love the look of them.

I may be a perfectionist in other things but not where Nature and all growing things are concerned. As one of her biggest fans, I love everything she does, no matter how odd or unusual.

She does her best to be perfect and that’s good enough for me…

 

©Jaye Marie 2020

 

This week in the Den of Doom…

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The lockdown and isolation has entered the Den of Doom (my office) with a vengeance this week.

We have tried desperately to maintain an optimistic attitude about everything, including all those annoying PC malfunctions. I seem to spend more and more time trying to catch up, meaning I never manage to get around to anything creative anymore.

So much so, our respective muses have been AWOL for days!

Undaunted, I had been looking forward to working on the new bonsai shelves. The wood has arrived and so did the freezing weather. I don’t do freezing to death as my old bones refuse to function below a certain temperature.

So, the waiting will continue…

Shame, for I was looking forward to spending hours away from the computer.

 

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Life isn’t waiting for me…

 

In the middle of the week, I started what I thought was a bad cold, streaming nose and sneezing. Of course, I immediately thought I was dying, but relieved to discover that sneezing is not a symptom of the Covid19 virus.

When the tickly cough arrived, I slipped into denial in a hurry.

The experts say that most people will only get mild symptoms and recover quickly, but not people over 75 who also have serious medical problems like heart conditions, asthma and hypertension, also like me.

Denial is a wonderful coping mechanism and I’m pretty sure I’m not dying. In the past I have beaten some usually fatal conditions, so not expecting to lose this battle either if it turns out that I do have it.

The good news is my temperature is normal and I feel fine…

 

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