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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Little maple rework

I picked up a clump of maples at the Arboretum last year and let them grow wild for the season. They didn't do much all year and as the hot summer set in I set them in the shade for safe keeping. This year when they were dormant, I separated them with the encouragement and hatchet of a buddy Jonas, and potted the remaining 2 of 3 trunks. None of them are very strong candidates but I'd like to develop this one as practice for maple techniques and timings. Before and after:



I don't know what was up with that funky bend at the top. I feel like the new line will make a more convincing tree as well as improve what little taper is there. The branch on the left was cut back to a downward facing bud. This may be a candidate for a ground layer in another couple of seasons.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Euonymus Stumps

Euonymus, Spindle Tree, Burning Bush. I traded a few Hornbeams for these Euonymus stumps from Don Blackmond. They came with a good amount of roots and we packaged very well. I potted them up in a 100% inorganic mix of Pumice, Turface, and Gran-i-grit in a ratio of 4:2:1. There isn't TOO much about these trees as bonsai but that shouldn't stop one from trying. 

These are about 16 inches, 8 inches, and 18 inches respectively. 




Saturday, February 9, 2013

Styling a Cascade

This has been sitting on my bench for over a year untouched. It was actually one of the first junipers I bought and had no idea how to go about styling. This morning, in my garage, I noticed it had some wires cutting into it where I had given the apex a rough shaping last winter. I removed them and decided one of the branches on the top of the tree was too long; snip. Then I started to look more into its structure and the next thing you know it's in the kitchen ready to get work done.

Jess came by and together we discussed design and branch selection. She got her first taste of wiring and pruning. 


It took about four hours and I'm not certain this design is final, but it was a great day spent working together on a project. For the first time ever, I was the most knowledgeable person in the room :) 

This is how it wound up. The bottom most pad is in jeopardy. It took a slight crack during a less than careful bend and while it may survive, it may be too far removed to work with the design. 


Thanks for checking in!


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Ursula, the Sea Witch Yamadori Hornbeam

I know it's getting old. but yesterday I dug 2 more. One monster: Ursula.

Both were in very moist grey clay and had a mass of fine roots near the rootball. I feel very confident these two will do well over the coming year.










Simple Bench Design

Here's the second bench I've built now. This cost about $37 since I already had the proper decking screws. I'll be making one more this year... at least


Monday, February 4, 2013

Some Funky Stumps

I snapped a few pics of some interesting Carpinus in the woods on my hunt today. I was in the woods specifically to pick out some shohin sized trees. I was going to call it quits for collecting until next year when I spotted these three very unlikely candidates. I may have to pick them all out just to have some unorthodox materials on the bench... I made a bench btw, I'll be posting that when it's leveled, settled, erected and inspected.

Here are my prospects. Would you dig them?




This one can only be appreciate by looking at it from 3 angles - Left, Front, Right






 How unique is too unique?


Three little birds

It took exactly one hour to find, cut, dig, bag and get these three shohin sized trunks back to the house. The three little birds:







I used a 1:1 ration of pumice and turface. These three all came up with an unusually high amount of close feeder roots from the other hornbeam I've been seeing in the area. I attribute that to them all growing in a wetter, low lying area of the woods where heavy rains would likely flood the first few inches of the trunk. I've read that roots that don't need to elongate to find water, tend to stay closer to the root ball. Here's where the collected collection stands:



Life's a Beech

Last year I stumped this American Beech (Fagus grandifolia) and left it to back bud in the ground. Yesterday Jess and I dug it up. What we found under the soil was a giant clump of large roots that had to be removed. We decided to go at these roots fairly aggressively with a sawzall. Here's some carnage:








If I can keep it alive the season, I'm planning to take out one of the three trunks (the long straight one) and carving down one side. I think it'll better incorporate where the trees been naturally chopped in the past. 

But for now, styling plans needn't be finalized. First, "wiggle your big toe" and keep it alive.