I have been working this tree for 5 years, collected in 2011 its hard to imagine that this is the same tree. This is a photo when the tree was first potted up. the tree has been turned 180 degrees.
The tree has undergone two wiring, the second one today. Its been a process of building strength in the tree, developing branches and creating a dense foliage mass. I guess that it will be at least two more years before the tree is anywhere near showing. I have a lovely Gordon Duffet pot ready for the tree when it is potted next April/May.
Yew are one of the best species for creating bonsai, they have beautiful hard deadwood, lush evergreen foliage and beautiful red live veins. In these three videos I explains how he builds branch structure and creates dense foliage clouds.
Here are some of the images from the videos, Click on the video links below to watch the movies.
My passion are deciduous trees and in particular Hawthorns, regular readers of this blog will be familiar with many of the hawthorns in my collection, this post is about the Raft and the Uro (holes) I have created over many years. I am not an advocate of jins on deciduous trees, mostly because the wood is soft and will rot in a very short time making the work pointless. This is different for hardwood trees such as Oak, Yew, Juniper where carving can enhance the appearance.
When I create an Uro I cut deep into the tree to make a ‘dark’ interior, I want to create shadows and character. I also seal the cut with paste because I want callusing to occur, I want the callus to ‘roll over’ the hole. In some instances, the Uro has been completely seals by the callus.
I sandblasted my first deadwood way back in 1992 and I guess I have blasted over 50 trees since then, I have perfected the technique of protecting the live veins, foliage and soil so that the aggressive nature of this technique does not upset the wellbeing of the tree.
As will any intervention on a bonsai the tree MUST be in great health. Never work on a tree that is recently collected yamadori or is not in the best health. This tree has grown well over the last three years and the deadwood was desperate to be worked. If I had waited another year the foliage would have restricted the access to in inner part of the tree, this is where the most interesting areas of deadwood are on view.
A few days before I removed an upright trunk and disguised by carving and stripping the cut, this can be seen in the photos as a bright orange area.
- Gather the foliage up and bind with fine wire so that you have access to the live vein.
- Using air-dried modelling clay cover the live veins right to the edge and at least 4mm thick, When dry (about 3 days) cover with Duck tape.
- Completely cover over the soil and as close to the base of the trunk as possible, I use rubber inner tubes first then bind with commercial cling wrap.
- Wrap the foliage in an old towel and then cover with a thick plastic bag.
- I use a commercial blasting service, you can find these locally via the internet.
The results are simply amazing, the deadwood is clean the splinters are removed from the branches I have snapped and all the detail is revealed. I do not put Lime Sulphur on immediately, as I like the wood to weather slightly prior to application.