Watering with Noah

So with my job being quite demanding time wise and with the birth of the newest addition to our family Maria, I have found it difficult the past while to get into a proper routine with my trees. But yesterday my son and I decided to go and give my trees a bit of TLC. So when I went investigating some of the wire on one or two of the trees Noah decided to jump right in and grab the watering can.

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After getting stuck in and getting more wet than the trees themselves we decided a smaller can would probably be more appropriate.

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And there we have it, now my little man is looking after my trees when im at work. Now my wife will have to listen to the two of us wanting to water the trees. Well done small man.

Tree full of Jins

I have passed this tree many times on the way to a local nursery and have been meaning to take a photo of it for a while. While out yesterday with my son, i decided to pull in and get a shot of it. Looks like it was taken in the middle of winter not the start of July.

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Noah Looking for Trees

So yesterday myself and the small man decided to go for a spin to our local nursery. He was delighted trying to grab all the shrubs and plants he could. Hes getting a great start. Next stop an apprenticeship in Japan and he can come back and teach me everything he knows 🙂

Here he is ready to get stuck in.

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Checking out the Mugo Pines

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In the Jungle

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oh that looks tasty…..

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And next to his favorites, the Japanese Maples

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Pinus Mugo Update

So i bought this Dwarf Pinus Mugo from a local nursery in 2013. I had my eye on this nursery for a while as they usually have good stock. There was a lovely Scots Pine there but a bit on the expensive side, so decided to pick up this mountain pine as it was nice and cheap.

I know Pinus Mugo have a bit of a bad reputation as bonsai but I have read they are quite easy to train and style. That said i also have heard that certain cultivars are touchy and can react badly to training. So all that in mind i still think its worth a go. Here are a few pics i took today (summer 2013) in the Irish sunshine, something which is quite rare.

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Used this bottle as an indicator to the true size of this Pine.

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A few different angles004

Another angle003

And another

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One in the sun033

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A few different views for possible styling028

Decisions decisions ;)

So at the Munster Bonsai Club workshop January 2014 I got a chance to get started with styling with this tree, just ran out of time to finish the wiring but thanks to Ian I got a good head start.

Heres a before shot

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And heres the after shot

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So now we are in June 2014 and i decided to remove the wire as it was biting in, and re apply some nice new wire.

Here is the tree with the wire removed

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Before wire

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And after wire

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A little pad

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And fully wired

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Himalayan Ceder progress

So this is my Himalayan Ceder, which i bought last summer 2012 from a local garden center. It was there for quite a while i say. It was a lot taller than what it is now and decided last year to cut it back, Since then i just shortened the branches. Next job is to decide what branches to select and allow it to grow freely untill next season as it could do with a repot then.

Here is the ceder when i acquired it last year before i shortened it.

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This is it now, after being shortened and is growing quite well.

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Still has a lot of filling out to do.Especially as one side is quite bare compared to the other

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I was thinking as there is practically no movement in the trunk as going with formal style. There is quite a lot of work and time will be spent on this tree but i can see the end product in my head, nearly 😉

So in march 2014 i decided to bring the ceder along to our club meeting to give it some wiring.

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As it turns out i only got half the tree wired that night, me taken my time as usual 🙂

So i have been looking at it since march and haven’t gone near it except to water it. So in June 2014 i decided to finish the wiring. This is the way it has been on the bench for nearly 3 months.

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So get wiring

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I could tell the top was sucking all the energy from the lower branches. So gave it a small haircut also. And finished off the wiring

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So thats how the tree stands in June 2014, just want to get plenty of ramification on the branches now. Will keep an eye on it 🙂

 

 

Juniperus Procumbens Nana Part 1

This little juniper was in my local nursery, not far from my house. I have seen it for a while now and was considering picking it up. A few weeks ago I met the owner of the nursery and he gave me a discount of the already reduced price of 8 euro i think ( I strike a hard bargain 🙂 ). So i decided to pick it up as I read that they make nice bonsai. Anyway the past few weeks I have been looking at it during watering not knowing what to do with it. 083   The reason i liked it and had been watching it in the nursery for so long, was for the little twisting of the trunks. But each time i gazed at this tree from different angles, i was lost as what to do. So today I decided i was going to grab the bull by the horns and just get wiring. I am usually quite conservative when it comes to making decisions with my trees. But I feel just getting stuck in, while taking the health of the tree into consideration is the only way to go. Its the only way I will learn. So I decided to have a look and see where to go. Here is a look from one angle 085 A look with out the pot 087 And another 088   First bit of wire to go on the tree. 092     And a closer look 093 And a second helping of wire to help with the bending.   094   Continuing with the natural bend of the trunk. 095   Another angle 097   While bending the tree I heard the dreaded ‘crack’. It turned out not to be too bad. On further investigation my dear Watson it looks as if my lack of wire on the first run may have been the reason for my crack. Maybe if I had continued with the wire it may have protected the branch where the crack happened. 100

So out with my trusty wound sealer. Hopefully will do the trick.

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A few different Views.

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So this is the tree now, with the pot cut down to size and a lighter for height comparison. I think I will look at wiring the other trunk into semi cascade and some of the smaller branches over the next few days. I didn’t remove much foliage, but will be looking at that the next day as well.

Before

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After

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Japanese Maple

Heres a little tree i picked up a few months ago in a local garden center. It wasn’t grafted and I liked the movement in the trunk so i said i would pick it up, Heres a photo of it at the march meeting of the club. 032

 

 

After a bit of discussion I wanted to do a bit of chopping with Marks nice new branch cutter. So we cut of the branches we didn’t want and sealed what we cut. Here is a photo of the tree a few weeks later repotted in the same pot but with different medium.

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And here it is last week

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My Hinoki Cypress Update

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This is my Chamaecyparis Obtusa Nana Gracilis. I acquired it just over a year now from a small garden center in the middle of no where, it was just sitting in the corner minding its own business until i came along. The garden center owner was more than happy to sell it cheap, I think I paid 6 or 8 euro in the end for it.

I have not attempted to style it in anyway, only keep it alive and healthy. When I first got it I reduced the size of the pot it came in by cutting the top down and removing a small amount of top soil. On doing so I revealed the second trunk and a nice enough small natural shari. I reduced it further this year to get to the base of the trunk.

I just pinched the new growth to allow sunlight to penetrate to the inner branches, as I have heard a Hinoki will never back bud on old wood. I was hoping to maybe begin to style it this summer and repot it next summer as I don’t know how long it has over stayed its visit in the pot it is in. Anyway here is some photos I have been meaning to up load a while since starting the Blog.

I really like this shot from underneath

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Some growth I am trying to protect and encourage

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From above

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Just need to decide now where to start with styling. Plenty of thought and research before hand ;)

At the Munster Bonsai Club workshop, i had the oppurtunity for Ian and Phil from NIBS to have a look at this and see what they thought.

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After some discussion it was decided to remove the lower branch and begin to wire it.

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It was decided the whole tree needed to be wired in the end, with help from Ian it finally got done, Here me grooming my balded tree 🙂

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The before image

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The after image, Finally 🙂

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So that’s where the tree stood after our workshop in January 2014. And heres how it looked after a few weeks..

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And here it is in May 2014. Starting to fill out a bit.

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Here is the pot i have recieved from Phil In the Northern Ireland Bonsai Society.

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So after a bit of deliberation we decided to have a look at the roots and see what can be done to get one step closer to this pot.

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There was quite a lot of long roots wrapping around the pot. So we removed any heavy roots that we didnt need,

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Me and Piotr getting stuck in.

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When we got through a lot of the roots we could move out of the way the main tap root was quite strong and hindered the potting chances of going into a shallow pot. Just like what i have. The decision was to remove what we could without compromising the health of the tree. As we removed earth and roots we discovered what we had originally thought was the nebari was just the beginning of the nebari. It turned out to be quite powerful. A major bonus. Although what i had originally set as the front may be changed due to the find.

Here is a shot of the newly discovered nebari.

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It was decided to cut down the original pot and place it back in their untill new roots had developed and we could look at removing more of that heavy main root. Probably next season. Anyway i was able to put the tree into some nice akadama i had recieved also from Phil (Major plug for phil, top man for supplies in Ireland)

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it turned out we had cut the pot too short so we had to put some of the trimming back on.

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So here it is after stage one of root trimming. Quite happy to have found that inside the pot.

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So thats how the tree looked after the club meeting. A few days later i decided the time had come to remove the wire that was on the tree since january as i was quite close to biting in. Here was the tree in the end of may 2014. Ready to remove the wire.

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A look at some of the wire

 

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I think this is the first time I can truly say that i badly need proper tools. I have seen how nothing compares to proper concave cutters or wire cutters that snip right at the tip of the cutting blade. It makes a massive difference and I am in the process to get my hands on a decent kit, especially after the time it took me to carefully remove the wire without damaging the branches. I should have known from being a mechanic that the right tools make all the difference.

 

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Heres the tree with the wire removed

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And a look around the side and back

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A closer look at a jin that hasn’t recieved any lime sulphur yet.

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When we removed the hinoki from its pot and rmoved some roots and soil, we discovered this lump of nebari. since its not wet and dried since the last photos i said i would take some photos and show you it a bit closer.

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So thats the newly acquired nebari, that we didnt even know existed. That were the tree stands at the moment.

 

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Next step now is to re wire the tree the coming week. Should be fun 🙂

 

 

Munster Bonsai Club May Meeting

So that time of the month has rolled around again and we were not lucky enough to have acquired a room in our usual location. In the end we ended up having the meeting in my house. Which is only two mins from the original destination, which makes it easier as everyone more or less knew where to go and we saved a few bob (money) in the process. Anyway it turned out to be just four of us, and it was still quite a busy night. We had plenty to talk about and had a bit of time to get our hands dirty. Thanks to my little Hinoki. Everyone had a tree to work on, and some got a nice few haircuts.

I was gutted that i missed the workshop last month, and felt the effect of not having a regular meeting regarding bonsai. It really does give you a jolt and a buzz about the trees that may just be sitting there not getting any attention in our busy schedule. The last two months for me felt as if there was no bonsai club, but it really does show you how lucky we are to have it. Just a space to talk bonsai, and nothing else for 2 or 3 hours. You feel on cloud bonsai afterwards. I felt like going straight out afterwards and dig up that juniper down the road. I had to restrain my self. Believe me. It really is brilliant that we have this club. Especially when i see Ray drive over two hours to get to the meeting, Fair play to him. I have it easy, but most the lads have to travel.

When i think back over the course of the past few years and having no club, especially when i am so new to bonsai it makes a huge difference to have a club. It can really drive you on. Anyway rant over, I am going to show some of the photos i took the other night of the meeting. Which i must say i find hard to get time to take as all Im interested in is talking and looking at trees.

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Ray and piotr getting settled in.

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Where to start?

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My Hinoki and its future pot, thanks Phil 🙂

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Out of its pot and ready to get a trim down below.

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Look at the new pot

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Piotr getting stuck in

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Getting raked

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Well that was unexpected

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Back in the room in its original pot halved.

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Ghostly Ray and Peter

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My tree stage one complete.

Cherry Blossoms in Kitakami Tenshochi

Yet an other amazing video from Discover Nippon. I have been passing all the cherry blossoms around cork the past two weeks and have never taken as much notice as i have now. They are absolutely beautiful. Great video yet again. Enjoy