I find mid-summer to late fall to be an interesting time of year in bonsai. It’s a good time for the little tasks – the maintenance work. In cooler seasons, I can bring one or two trees to a workshop that will keep me busy all day. This time of year, I tend to load up many trees and spend just a few minutes with each. This month was no exception. My winterberry, for example, has been growing vigorously, but big cutback isn’t scheduled until the end of the growing season. For now, I’m content to remove a few unnecessary branches and wire the new shoots.
Late spring is a good time to work on satsuki. My small azalea has grown dense since spring so I thinned out the new shoots.
My Yaupon holly has budded back wonderfully this year. Like I did for the winterberry, I removed a few unnecessary branches and wired the new shoots. Major cutback will come later.
Not everyone in the workshop busied themselves with such mundane tasks. Here is one of the three ficus that received a basic styling while I was busy with my trees. What a fun project!
I also had a chance to partially defoliate my trident maple. I’d hoped to do this work a month ago, but August has been cool and my trees have been growing slowly. Instead of removing all of the tree’s leaves this late in the season, I removed a lot of the growth at the ends of the branches and all of the big leaves.
New leaves revealed after removing the large leaves
Partial defoliation complete
Watching the interior shoots make slow progress has made me wonder about taking a more radical approach next year. Although I have plenty of time to consider what I’ll do with the tree next spring, I’m already looking forward to seeing what will happen.