Almost, anyway. The aggressive wiring, followed by exceptional freezing conditions in January 2020 resulted in a disastrous year for this Japanese Maple. Here it is in December, 2020, as most of the leaves have fallen:
Continue reading over at NEBARI BONSAI to watch the progress on this poor tree!
Here’s an example of a little tree that you might run across easily, at a retail store or maybe your club’s raffle table. Hell, I’ve seen them at Walmart before. It’s a willow leaf ficus, Ficus salicaria (often misnamed Ficus nerifolia, F. Salicifolia, F. Subulata, et al).
This one happens to be a root cutting , meaning the “trunk” used to be a root off a larger tree that was chopped off during a repot, saving the smaller hair roots, and planted in its own pot.
In the spring, with healthy Japanese maples, bud-pinching is a common technique to keep internodes short on refined trees. It is a simple procedure, and needs to be performed about daily as Japanese maples are waking up in the spring.
The earlier you can identify the 2nd node and remove it, the shorter the internode will remain. In this example, I’ve waited about a day too long, but it helps illustrate the process.
This hawthorn has grown rather slowly over the last few years, and I attribute it (right or wrong) to my increased use of fungicides. Regardless, over the last few years, I have let it mostly grow, and now it’s time to sort out what it’s done.
The tree has a tendency to throw upward- and downward-growing shoots at junctions. It makes the tree look more ramified than maybe it is, but time to clean it up.
Sometimes wrapping a branch or trunk with wire doesn’t have enough holding power, and using rebar as an anchor point for guy-wires is more effective.
This is my Kiyozuru Itoigawa, purchased from Chikugo-en in L.A…which, from all I have been able to find, is the origin of the cultivar in the US. I bought it to have the cultivar, but wasn’t enamored with the trunk. It has a nice twist at the base, but then straightens out. The yellow line is the area where things get pretty dull.
It has been container-grown and according to Gary Ishii, it was 25-30 years old when I bought it. Growing slowly in a pot means the trunk is stiff with dense wood. Therefore, wiring the straight portion isn’t really an option.