Last Friday, when Graham brought this Larch Forest to my house for some work it was admired by some of the other guys there.
Hugh was one of them and a few days later he sent me this photograph that he took in Connemara. It’s a Pine wood growing on an Island at a place called Lough Clare. Hugh said that the larch group reminded him of this photo and he looked it out for me. If you want to view a bigger image just pop over to my FlickR account, link on the side bar.
As much as I like Graham’s larch Forest, it has a ways to go before it matches this beautiful scene. I feel a Summer trip to the West of Ireland coming on 🙂
This is Hugh’s Scots Pine. I sold this one to Hugh about 6 years ago. It was originally collected in Scotland and was the first Scots Pine I ever owned. I was delighted to see it again and help with a restyling.
No after photo as yet as we didn’t get it finished on the night but we’ll keep you posted.
Out of interest, I looked up some old photos of this tree. This first one dates back to 1997.
This is young nursery stock that has a long way to go before it will be ready for any real work. However, this doesn’t mean we just leave it as is. The centre of the tree is of no use in the future of this tree as a bonsai. It is too straight and is without branches for some distance. We looked at viable branches with some ramification at the bottom of the tree and removed all the branches that were not needed in the future. This tree will now be left to grow and will be pinched during the year to encourage more back budding and ramification.
I see a lot of material like this and in many cases it isn’t suitable for bonsai or at the very best, it’s a long way off being ready for work. However, that doesn’t mean that people new to bonsai like John can’t learn from working on this tree for a few years, seeing how it responds to pruning and pinching.
Graham brought this Larch Forest to the garage night yesterday. It’s made up of young larch seedling and was put together by Graham a few years ago. It’s planted on a slate slab. This was the first time I had seen this planting as Graham had been hiding it in his back garden until now.
The photo doesn’t do it justice as the slab actual zig-zags a bit and adds interest to the composition. He had lost a few trees from the back and we discussed if they should be replaced. I liked it as is but felt that the tree to the far right might be better added to the rear behind the main tree. A few others where adjusted and shortened. This was the result.
Still a few tweeks to be made here and there but I think he’s made a fantastic job out of this using what was very young and cheap material. The slate was from the base of an old pool table. Here is Graham with the forest for scale.
This is a Beech that Stan brought along for some thinning out and general discussion.
This is the tree after thinning and with a slight change of front selected. It will need a slight readjustment in the pot and then it’s good to go.
Commiserations to Stan today, he’s a Manchester United Fan and insists on wearing his Utd top and scarf to my garage nights. Being a Liverpool fan this is somewhat inflammatory!! A pity the workshop wasn’t tonight, the jacket may have been left in the car 😀 Just for Stan, here’s a photo of Utd Goal Keeper today ‘Dylan DeGea’ lol
A few mates came over last night to play with trees. There was plenty of variation, from raw material to Forests, and fine tweeking.
Michael, as promised brought this Juniper that I discussed HERE on the blog. It isn’t a Common Juniper as we thought, but a Squamata variety with a short needle. We all had a good chat about the options for potting angle etc. A few things worried me. Michael said that it has suffered a bit this year and some of the foliage on the lower branch was weak. I also wanted to confirm the limits of the live vein before we went any further. A few places looked like it could have retreated since the carving work. I wanted to confirm if this was a cause of the weakness shown during the year.
Here you can see an area that I felt may be no longer alive.
On a brighter note, I felt there was a better front on the tree by adjusting the angle. The foliage also looked to be making a come back with new strong buds appearing.
We used a makita with a wire brush to define the limits of the live vein and it soon became apparent that there was one live vein which started at the back of the tree and extended to the apex. To ensure that we could see where the vein starts from the bottom we had to consider the back being the new front. This actually turns out to be a far better option for the tree.
The area marked in yellow below is still alive but I think this will also die back this year leaving one narrow vein from base to apex.
This is the proposed new front.
As you can see above and here, the shari now extended to the top jin. In this pic you can also see the split in the trunk created by Michael to get the initial bend in the trunk.
Here’s Graham Potter latest video looking at collecting trees from gardens. This probably where many bonsai enthusiasts collect and is a great way to get a cheap bit of material. All you have to do is give it after care and time to establish before working.