Monday, August 23, 2010

Bonsai tree: That Nasty Summer Heat Wave


Both photos in this post are courtesy of Randy Clark of the Bonsai Learning Center.
We just received the article below from Randy Clark of the Bonsai Learning Center in North Carolina on how to deal with the extreme heat that much of the country has been experiencing this summer. I may be a little late for those of us in the Northeast (at least here in northern Vermont), but for those of you further south, there may be more to come.
The Southeastern US is suffering from the heat wave this summer, although not as severely as is the rest of the nation. Nevertheless, temperature which are consistently in the plus 90 degree range present dangers to our bonsai which should not be ignored. Our trees do not enjoy these extended periods of sizzling temperatures any more than we do, but simply pouring buckets of water on them may not be the answer to the problem.

Read more!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Bonsai tree: Laying An Old Misconception To Rest


Flowering cherry (Prunus apetala) by Kyuzo Murata. From his book Four Seasons of Bonsai (sadly, long out of print).

“in Japan, flowering bonsai, need to be displayed with only few flowers. It is considered bad taste to present a bonsai in full flowering.” (from a comment on facebook).

There are a host of misconceptions about bonsai. They often arise when we think there are fixed rules (there aren’t any in bonsai, except maybe in judged contests, and these are often fluid). There are however, plenty of useful guidelines.

One guideline that can be helpful, is to pinch off some flowers. Sometimes too many flowers can be distracting, even tacky (at least in the eyes of some). Another reason for pinching off some flowers is to protect the health of the tree. It takes a lot of energy to produce flowers and too many can weaken a tree (especially if it’s health is already compromised, which is sometimes the case with bonsai). However, sometimes growers choose to leave an abundance of flowers on a tree; often with excellent results.


Satsuki azalea (var Monochidori) by Taiyu Ezaka.

Source: Bonsai Bark Read more!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Bonsai tree: Hinoki workshop

Source: Bonsai Tonight
Hinoki workshop

Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend a Bay Island Bonsai workshop run by Daisaku Nomoto. I selected a tree I’ve been working on for the past 15 years – a hinoki. The tree improves every year, but slowly, as hinokis are notoriously slow growing. A year and a half ago, Boon and I performed some heavy bending to get the main branches closer to where we wanted them. This year the work really paid off. Here are some before and after pictures:

Front – before
Front – after
Right – before
Right – after
Left side – before
Left side – after
Back – before
Back – after
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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bonsai tree: Daisaku Nomoto: Before & After


Sierra juniper after restyling by Daisaku Nomoto. From Bonsai Tonight. Photos by Jonas Dupuich.
Jonas Dupuich is featuring a great series of photos on Daisaku Nomoto’s visit to Bay Island Bonsai. I’m on a short vacation, so this is an easy way to offer you something good with a minimum of effort. Enjoy!

Source: Bonsai Bark Read more!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Bonsai tree: A Powerful Cedar Bonsai (Or Is It?)


I first saw this Northern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis) in International Bonsai magazine (2009 issue 4). It also appears on the Bonsai Society of Upstate New York’s website. It belongs to Marc Arpag and was part of the Society’s 36th Upstate New York Exhibition (2009). It jumped out at me because I have a thing for cedars, but can never seem to find any that begin to approach this natural wonder.

When is a cedar a cedar (or not)? Common names often create confusion. There are only four true cedar (Cedrus) species in the world, yet an abundance of trees that are commonly called cedars. These include Atlantic white cedar (Cham. thyoides), at least one juniper (Eastern red cedar – J. Virginiana), the Incense cedar (Calocedrus decurrens), the Northern white (also called Eastern white cedar) featured above, the Western red cedar (Thuja plicata) and no doubt several others (anyone else?).

The tree of life All the Thuja genus are arborvitaes (the tree of life), though the tendency seems to be to call the wild species cedars and the domestic cultivars arborvitaes (if you’ve read this far, you are unusual (exceptional?) in the world of bonsai enthusiasts – it always amazes me how few bonsai enthusiasts seem to be interested in trees).


This shot puts the tree a little more into perspective (it looks a little smaller than I originally thought).

Source: Bonsai Bark Read more!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Bonsai tree: Larch Roots & TMS

Larch bonsai in full fall display. By Larch Master Nick Lenz.
I know the topic in this post is a bit arcane, but I’d like to know if anyone out there has any more info on TMS.
cover-mediumThe research quoted below is from this journal.
“The roots of 200 one-year-old Changbai Larch (Larix olgensis) seedlings were soaked for 6 hours at the TMS concentrations of 2000, 1000, 500, 250, 125, and 62 ?L·L?1. Mean seedling height, root collar diameter, main root length and number of lateral roots were measured every 15 days during growing season from May 30 to Oct. 20. Experimental results showed that TMS treatments greatly promoted seedling growth and improved seedling quality. The treatment by 500 ?L·L?1 TMS produced the best result, for which the mean height, root collar diameter, main root length, and the number of lateral roots of seedlings were increased by 42.5%, 30.7%, 14.0%, and 31.6%, respectively, compared to that of the control seedlings. As to seedling quality, grade-I seedling and grade-II seedlings were fifty-fifty, and no grade-III seedlings was found. The treatment by 500 ?L·L?1 TMS resulted in the highest chlorophyll concentration.”

Source: Bonsai Bark Read more!