Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bonsai tree: The Sweet Sounds of Bonsai


Diego Stocco, a computer, a few simple instruments, some powerful little mikes and a little (very commercial and very over-potted) bonsai get together to make some music. I found it on Alejandro Medina Ibarra’s facebook page. It’s entitled: Music from a Bonsai.



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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bonsai tree: Decandling black pine – case study

Source: Bonsai Tonight
Decandling black pine – case study
It’s common to divide a tree’s shoots into three zones based on strength during decandling season. A long-term project of mine had me dividing a tree into three zones for very different reasons.
Japanese black pine – after decandling
The lowest third of this sixteen year-old Japanese black pine is beginning to develop branches that will be used in the final design of the tree – these I decandled. The top third of the tree – two vigorous sacrifice branches – are not decandled. These branches are facilitating future grafts by providing scions and keeping sap flowing past the spots where I need to graft.
The branches growing from the middle of the trunk will comprise the apical branches. I’m keeping the spring shoots here to facilitate approach grafts next season. I’ve never tried approach grafts with black pine and am curious to give it a try.
After decandling
After decandling – first branch on the left
Decandled branch
Spring shoots retained for approach grafting next year
What I’m most looking forward to is removing the top half of the trunk. I’ll do this a year or two after I can get grafts to take near the top of the tree. Then, another five years of decandling or so and the tree may be ready for exhibit at a young 20-25 years old.
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Bonsai tree: Three Bonsai Masterpieces

This full cascade Japanese Katsura tree is from Bonsai Today issue 5. Its overall height (not including the stand) is 31 inches (79 cm).
During its heyday, Bonsai Today magazine was known for its excellent how-to articles by Japanese and other masters, and for its world class bonsai galleries. The three trees featured here are from long out-of-print issues, and present just a very small taste of what lies beneath the covers of Bonsai Today.
This rugged old slant style Japanese black pine is from Bonsai Today issue 3. Height from the base of the trunk to the top is 19 inches (48 cm).
This stately, naturalistic Japanese white pine is from Bonsai Today issue 2 (due to water damage during ocean transit, issue 2 is the scarcest of all Bonsai Today issues). Height 38 inches (97 cm).

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Bonsai tree:Three Trees For Your Viewing Pleasure

Bmania, by Marcelo Martins
Brazilian Rain Tree? Mimosa? Whatever it is, it’s from Bonsaimania (via facebook) and it’s by Marcelo Martins.
I’m pretty sure this compellingly eccentric old tree is an olive (Olea europaea). Unfortunately, I stuck it on my desktop a while back but neglected to label where it is from and who it’s by. Anyone?
Here’s another one that looks suspiciously like an olive. Just like the one above, the artist will remain unidentified until someone clues us in.

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Bonsai tree:A Sweet New Book & One More Day

A piece of a spread from Cherry Blossoms of Kyoto, a sweet and sensuous new book by Kodansha.

…is about to end. Somewhere around 9am Eastern Daylight Time (U.S.) Monday morning (June 28th), we will pull the plug on our long running, ever accelerating sale. This means, that until Monday morning, you can take advantage of some of the sweetest discounts we’ve ever offered.
If you like cherry blossoms (who doesn’t?) and Japanese gardens, then you’ll like this dazzling (and affordable) new book.

Source: Bonsai Bark Read more!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Bonsai tree:Decandling a red pine forest

Source: Bonsai Tonight
Decandling a red pine forest
Sixteen years ago I planted a group of red pine seeds. I made seedling cuttings, watered, and fertilized the trees, but never created a plan for their future. As a result, fate determined their present form. The trees were healthy but ungainly – perfect candidates for a forest planting.
Red pines are a very vigorous variety. Cutting them back hard seems only to trigger more vigorous growth. Timing, in these cases, becomes an important ally for managing new growth. By May, new shoots had covered the trees, but it was still too early for decandling.
Strong growth in May, but too early to decandle
By the mid-June, the trees had filled in considerably. This was a good time to decandle.
Red pine forest before decandling – front
Before decandling – back
It was hard, at first, to get past the new growth and find where to cut. Once I had cleared an opening, the work went quickly.
Getting started
I left stubs at the base of the most vigorous shoots. For less vigorous shoots, I removed shoot and stub. I left the weakest areas of the tree alone so they can regain vigor and help balance the foliage.
Vigorous new shoot
Vigorous shoot removed – note stub
Leaving stubs is a technique for slowing the most vigorous shoots. I can’t explain why it works, but experience has proved it to be a good technique for balancing growth.
I also removed a lot of old needles as I worked. I removed more from strong areas, fewer in weak areas. As with the decandling, the goal is to balance growth.
Decandled branch
One tree down, five to go
After much clipping and plucking, the trees looked pretty bare. I’ve removed a similar amount of foliage from these trees before and expect them to fill in again by late fall. Careful watering and fertilizing will help – a warm summer will help more.
After decandling – front
After decandling – back
Strong area – candles and old needles removed
Weak area – spring growth retained
Mixed area – strong growth removed and weak growth retained
Although I’m confident that the tree will come out well this fall, I know not to expect too much. Decandling is a funny practice. Sometimes the trees come out a bit too strong, other years, too weak. I’ll provide updates along the way and we’ll see what this year brings. Read more!

Bonsai tree: drum pots for a literati pine.

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bonsai tree: Beware the Terriers!

A good mix of freshly carved and aged olive wood. The carving was done by Graham Potter. The aged wood is courtesy of Mother Nature and Father Time.
The shots here are from a wood carving demo by Graham Potter; one of many in an excellent, ongoing series.
Terrier attack!
Finished for now. That’s Graham on the right.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bonsai tree:New Bonsai Book Due in August!

You can judge a book by it’s cover. The wild and wonderful tree on the cover tells a small piece of a story about an American bonsai pioneer who gets it right. Though we could say much more about this unique and beautiful book, we’ll save that for later. Meanwhile, stay posted; we expect it by late August.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Bonsai tree:Decandling black pine – case study

Source: Bonsai Tonight
Decandling black pine – case study
There’s a lot to say about decandling Japanese black pine bonsai. I’ll start with some basics. Here’s a pine going into decandling season.
Japanese black pine bonsai – front
Japanese black pine bonsai – back
And here’s the same tree after decandling:
Japanese black pine bonsai – front
It won’t take much effort to see that I didn’t decandle this year. Why? Last year I showed the tree in Bay Island Bonsai’s 10th Annual Exhibit. Here’s a shot from the exhibit:
Tree as shown at BIB’s 10th annual exhibit in 2009
I repotted the tree before and after the exhibit. Several months later I decandled it. This winter I noticed that the drainage had slowed down, so I repotted again, clearing out a lot of old soil and cutting the tree back heavily, knowing that I wouldn’t be showing it for some time.
As a result of doing this work, the tree came out weak this year. New growth appeared at every shoot, but the growth was not vigorous. The tree needs a break, so I decided not to decandle it this year. Decandling weak trees can slow them down or even kill them – chances I have no desire to take. By letting the spring growth mature, I expect the pine will quickly regain its vigor. And when the tree is again vigorous, I can continue refining it. Read more!

Bonsai tree: Branching tips

Bonsai branching tips. It’s about Pomegranates, but is applicable to any plant with opposite leaves (as opposed to alternate leaves – Wikipedia has a good description of leaf arrangement).
These sketches are applicable to almost any deciduous tree. Our apologies for the small type. If you’d like to see the whole article, with a more agreeable font size, Bonsai Today issue 107 is available at Stone Lantern.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Bonsai tree:Waiting for News

Bonsai Juniper
While we are waiting for photos from the 2nd U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition, thought you might like to see the National Award Masterpiece from the 1st Exhibition. It’s a Sargent’s juniper by Jim Gremel. You can find it and a host of other world class bonsai in the 2008, 1st National Exhibition’s Album. It is also featured on International Bonsai’s website.

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Bonsai tree:accents in June

The sun was shining today and these looked lovely.

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