Having seen Sequoiadendron Giganteum I was keen to see the best of the Sequoia Sempervirens or Coastal Redwood. This meant taking a bit of a detour between Redding and Klamath Falls. We left Redding and headed west through some beautiful country in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest dropping down into Redwood National and State Parks. Stunning views along the way and even the roadworks at a landslide on the 199 didn’t bother us as we got to stop and see a stunning river gorge.
Our first stop proper was the Lady Bird Johnston Grove of Redwoods. A compact walk through old growth Redwoods with loads of character and a quiet spot with very few tourists about. We were able to stroll through and take it all in. Another one of those special moments on our trip.
We then moved on to Prairie Creek, home of the BIG Redwoods which were a treat to behold. I had a stiff neck the next day, and no wonder, after staring skyward for long periods of the day.
Photos just don’t capture the immenseness of these trees. It nearly takes you to have someone standing in each photo to help capture the scale of what you are seeing. These trees are survivors with many showing signs of fire damage. The deadwood in many places was as exciting to view as the living.
I’ve added some wildlife pics and coastal shots too. A coastline that doesn’t get talked about very much but stunning. I’ve tried to make the images run chronologically but they may be mixed here and there with some from the camera and some from my phone. Enjoy. Next up is Crater Lake, probably my favourite piece of America so far, and that’s saying something.
Did a little more work on my Sequoia Sempervirens last weekend. An odd choice of tree to work on especially in the UK, but I have enjoyed growing this from a 6 inch nursery tree to this. Been trying to pick up a few tips from the West Coast Americans on their traits as bonsai with varying advice being given in return.
Some carving in September with Peter Snarts assistance and advice.
Trying to get the rising branches to behave. They have a natural tendency to pop up. Here you can see the first branch wired.
This was done before raffia and taping up in an effort to set it more permanently in position. A groove was cut along the length of the branch for the initial 6 inches and then sealed with paste, raffia’ed and taped. I did this on a few of the heavier branches.
This was the tree after wiring and thinning out. I’m learning a lot about this species as I go along. A fun journey. It continues to grow when most other species have stopped. I now see what branches are likely to be thrown and how to work with this, hard to explain. Give this tree another 3 years and I reckon I’ll have a pretty decent image, but then I love tall trees.
I field grew this Sequoia for a number of years and last year I did a little basic styling to get the main branches placed. Here’s a previous post. I don’t know a lot bout the species but I’m fond of having novelty trees 🙂 I did a little looking about online and it soon became clear that they can make a rather nice bonsai. They appear to readily ramify. I decided that it was worth investing a little more time in this tree this year. It’s been in this pot for 3-4 years and it feels tight as a drum so the first step will a repot to establish exactly what I have here.
This is what I found in the pot. It’s been a strong grower. It was planted in a mix of moler and grit 50/50.
You will notice however that the top few inches appear empty and even a little at the bottom. I therefore had to investigate where exactly the nebari of this tree is. The base is swollen considerably, which is common with the species. It also sends out feckin hundreds of suckers!!
There was some serious growth in the middle though.
After removing the top 2 inches I eventually found a more suitable base level even though I had to remove a few heavy roots. This is it placed in a mica training pot. It will be given able time to recover and then some foliage refinement will be carried out. I also plan some carving at the base reaching up to mid tree. All a bit scrappy at the moment but this years new growth will make a massive difference.
And this was it earlier in the week. As you can see it has put on a little growth.
This is it after some further wiring, mostly primary branches and a few secondary.
I felt that the image was a little uninspiring and wanted to make a slightly more dynamic image, well, as dynamic as you can with this style! I opted to remove two of the lower branches to give the overall image more movement to the left.
It’s obviously still a little unkempt as no fine wiring was done but the basic structure it there. I was reluctant to do much fine wiring as they seem to like to throw branches that are over handled.
I’ll try and give this tree a little more attention now over the next few years and get a balance of growth and refinement. A shari on the trunk would also help add interest, something to think about.
Any of the American followers who work with this species, I’d be delighted to hear your tips for care etc. It’s a rare sight here in the UK.