Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Scots Pine

This is my little Scots pine that I've been working on for the last 3 years. This year is going to be an important one as its near the size and shape that I want. The shape is simply how the tree expressed itself once I had wired it a little and got some ramification happening. Its very healthy now after being repotted 15 months ago and soon its ready for some pinching and wiring.

Its planted in pure biosorb - with a little pine bark to inspire the Mycorrhizal fungi - so it needs regular fertiliser to keep it happy. I'm still using Canna 3 times a week and I see no reason to change given the results. Once a month I give it a hit of fish emulsion - also to keep the root fungi happily fed and feed the other soil microbes.

The last few years this one has had a lot of flowers on it - I'm hoping not so much this year as they leave a nasty scar/bald-patch on the tree.

I also removed a lot of new buds from it as almost every needle has split and formed a new bud. My poor wife wasn't pleased when she discovered me using her cuticle cutters to remove buds - but they are almost the perfect tool for the job.

Monday, 19 March 2012

New Bonsai book


Authors :
Kunio Kobayashi
Kazuhiko Tajima

Published by PIE International

While I was going through Peter Warren's bonsai blog i saw that The Chief had published a book. I spoilt myself a little and ordered it off Amazon.

It's beautify photographed and presented showing various species at their best through the year. I was inspired by how many orange trees featured and will be carrying on with my Calamondin project knowing that I am not mad.

The book is half Japanese but the English sections are very nicely translated.

Well worth buying. The book contains many interesting species and not just the usual pine and juniper suspects. There are some magnolias ( one of my next targets ) and some good pomegranates and of course the citrus.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Oak buds are out!!

 I was out on the lawn today with the cat doing my daily check of all the trees when I noticed that the Oak was extending its buds.

I've cut it back quite a lot over the winter and done some light wiring to keep it all going in the right direction. With experience growing this species I'm learning the correct shape and size. Its important to match the size of the ramification and length of the nodes with the leaf size. I've also done a better job of aiming the new growth this year.

Really suffering with water stress on the maples after they were repotted. The new growth has been explosive and the poor trimmed roots just cant get enough water up. The terminal buds are aborting on a lot of branches - which leads to very ugly nodes later on. I took them outside and hosed them down to cool them off and give extra moisture. Almost like treating a recently collected tree. Shade and loads of water on the foliage.

Luckily the roots are growing almost as quickly as the foliage and the pot will be full of them soon - if not now already. This one seems to be throwing out big thick white roots - whereas the Deshojo roots are finer. A lot to learn about this subject. The pattern of drying on the Akadama is quite noticeably different to a month ago so the roots are spread much wider already.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Not just lawn ornaments

We made some asian food for dinner tonight. So i though I'd bring one of the trees in to make things look nice inside. We usually make a Japanese meal when the cherry blossoms are out - but I though that the fresh maples leaves needed to attention too - they aren't just good in autumn.

I hadn't trimmed this Deshojo or fiddled with it for display - its just as it is. Vibrant and Vigorous - and somewhat unruly. The colour is still lovely.

I do try to bring them into the home when I can. The average British home doesn't have any display space so I just stand them where I can. This is really the reward for the many years of careful cultivation.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Native ladybirds

While i was on the lawn with the cat today i saw some native bugs on my Scots pines. The red one is the native 7 spot ladybird. ( i think )

The tiny black one is a variety of the native 2 spot. The light was good and the bark on my Scots pine was looking very fine.

Love having them around to eat the nasty bugs.