Day With Derek

Monday saw me with Derek sorting a few trees out. Repotting and a little wiring on the agenda.

First up was a maple that had been recovering for a ew years in a box. Now we’ll on the up again we transferred it into a pot. Derek had a few options but most were too small.

We opted to use a round Gordon Duffet pot he had lying around😂 I only wish it were mine. The other gives the tree a little space in which to continue its development

This was the tree back in the late 80s

Next up was a pine, species unknown. He collected the seed from the Botanical Gardens in Dublin many years ago. The tree got a reworking having had some initial work done by myself a few years ago at a club workshop.

The tree was repotted into a Magic Ceramic pot that Derek picked up last year. We even found a nice widening buttress buried in the box. It’s got a longer needle but back buds well and seems to reduce well.

Another repot was this larch which had been a taller tree last year before being reduced to the bottom branch. Pushing hard for a shohin image but it’s on the larger side. It went into another Magic Ceramics pot.

A Chinese Juniper landscape was next. I doubt this tree had been repotted properly in the last 20 years but now under Derek’s care it was time for a freshen up.

A busy day with Derek but productive and great craic as usual.

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Bonsai Mirai: The Junipers

Such a wide range of Native species Juniper on view here that I had to ask a lot of questions. What’s this one? What’s that one? Serria, Western, Utah, Rocky, California etc. Again the main feature was deadwood. Many are in early stages and some in the pics are totally raw but all have quality.

The first thing Ryan said to me was actually an apology for how the garden looked! I looked back wide eyed, you can see for yourself how it looked. What he was referring to however was the phomopsis issues on some of the junipers. He’s been discussing this on Mirai Live and the success so far this year in the use of nematodes to treat the trees to stop the roots being damaged by insect larva which in turn lets the phomopsis in. (I think I got that right!) Combined with the weather in the North West in the last few years, this had an impact on many junipers in the garden. All that said, it looks like he got it figured out as I couldn’t see much evidence on the trees now. Professionals doing the hard work and study on this sort of issue and then passing that knowledge on, has to be commended. It makes life a lot easier for the rest of us.

Here’s today’s gallery. I’m trying to do one a day so I can get this never ending trip finished on here. I’m sure you’re all bored by now.

Steve’s Work

During my time with Mr Warren, Steve Salisian from LA was busy working away beside me. I thought I’d share his work here for you to see.

The first tree is a Sabina Juniper with great deadwood and movement.

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Portuguese Oak

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Another Portuguese Oak

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A raft style Yew

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Japanese Maple

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Thanks for adding to my experiences for the week Steve, look forward to catching up with you in LA in May. 🙂

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Sabina Juniper

Peter told me to pick something out to work on and I fancied a Juniper. With lots of great material to pick from both large and small, I opted for this Kifu sized one. I was left to figure out what options we had for the tree and if possible make it good from both sides. Most of Peter’s smaller (shohin) trees are good for either side, a great option for shohin display stands. Be nice to do the same with this one even at Kifu size. I gave the tree a preliminary clean up allowing me to study the trunk movement and branch structure a little more. Steve and I had a play around with it looking at a few possible angle changes both up and down. However what drew me to the tree in the first place was the angle it was at now. I gave my ideas to Peter just adding a possible tilt forward. I wanted to try and get two apexes on the tree but more separation was needed between the two main branches. As the lower one had shari, we opted to split the deadwood from the live vein a little to allow us to lower the branch further. A slightly risky procedure but fun. First Peter explained that before we carried out the split and bend that we should first look and see what other options we have if it goes wrong as a back up plan. There was a nice tree even if we lost the branch that was to be split.

The back..

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and front…

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Vein to be split from deadwood.

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Making a start

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Raffia applied

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Wired up.

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Initial bend put in place with an option to drop further if required.

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Showing the amazing movement and twisting live vein.

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During the wiring process

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After wiring and lime sulphur was applied. Again the tree was not styled to look refined now. This is a Sabina with flower buds. As the foliage that is flowering now will die back when finished, we leave more of the fresher growth in behind to allow the foliage mass to be rebuilt later this year. There’s no point in fine wiring flowering areas when it will be removed within a year. What is important is the placement of the primary and secondary branches that will form the structure of the tree in years to come. A lesson learned from Peter all week – no point wiring what is being removed soon. An enthusiast may like to create the best image possible right now but is it good for the tree and a speedier development? No it’s not. Do what is required and move on to the next challenge. I still probably wired branches in this one that didn’t need it. A hard habit to break.

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A check to see that it still falls within Kifu size.

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It looks good from the other side too, but I forgot to take a photo 😦  A great tree to play with and I learnt a few things about Sabina along the way. Win Win.

Video

Graham Potter Demo Video

I watched this video this morning, a lazy start to the day.  🙂 It was uploaded onto Youtube by Ian Wright, cheers Ian, and shows a Graham Potter demo at a recent club event in England.

We are used to seeing Graham’s own excellent 10 minute videos but this is a little different and nice to see or hear another side. It’s roughly an hour long although you can skip over from 45 to 53 minutes if you don’t want to watch Graham placing branches. I really enjoyed listening to Graham’s view on preparing yamadori before work and his ethos around this. He makes great sense. The man can talk, but I can relate to that  😛

Root Over Rock Itiogawa Juniper

After waiting to make sure this Juniper was happy after a recent styling, I finally transferred it over to a new pot. Not the final pot, but one that allowed me to adjust the tree to the proper planting angle.

Before styling in February.

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After styling in March.

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Repotted now.

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Some Recent Viewings

Some videos I have watched recently on Youtube. It’s Saturday night now. Pop open a bottle of beer and relax.

One to One – San Jose Juniper

This little San Jose Juniper got a refining on Saturday at a one to one session. A few more issues to address next year but it’s coming along nicely for it’s owner.

Before

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After

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Munster Weekend in Photos

Here’s our exploits from the weekend in photos. A great atmosphere for bonsai, fun but hard work getting done as well.

JP at Work