It’s so important that we make locally grown material for bonsai as we know that it will thrive in our climate and that we make provision for future generations of bonsai enthusiasts.
I have been taking cuttings for over ten years, some take but many do not. I have a parent Itoigawa plant that I have used and have taken over 100 cuttings from this. Once the cutting have reached three growing seasons I introduce movement into the small trunks with copper wire, I also pot on into larger pots, usually shohin pots.
After another three growing seasons they are ready to move on to larger pots and so continue. Some of the cutting are used to graft onto older junipers that are having their foliage changed.
Another aspect of providing for future generations is (if suitable) I replace yamadori collected with a young tree of the same species into the place where I have dug. Here you can see some Yew saplings ready for that purpose.
At the Bonsai without Borders event in China December 2016, 70 artists each had a juniper to work, there were no egos, artists worked alongside each other Kobayashi worked alongside, Serjio, Nacho, Mauro, Bjorn, Ofer, Leigh, Yannick, Nik and many more artists from across the world it was a leveller, NOT a competition but every brought there top game to the event.
Each artist drew a lot and allocated a tree from the number drawn. Mine ‘28’ the tree was not easy from the start, ALL the foliage was far from the base of the trunk and it was not nice foliage to work. It was very interesting to see the differing styles and approaches to the problems presented. The organisers wanted the tree potted up. I was not happy about this but they wanted to see ‘finished’ trees. I selected an oversize cascade pot, the main rootball of the juniper was hardly touched in the repotting so I was happy that the tree would survive this stage.
Watch the video and see the result.
My great friend Michael Mehrmann has let me share this wonderful video of six amazing trees from Omiya, the video is in High Definition so watch it in full screen to enjoy all the detail of these fabulous Bonsai.
The five featured trees are
To watch in full screen HD click the small arrows in the bottom right of the video
One of the best parts of staying over at a Bonsai masters house is that you can get up close and personal to the trees, this video shows ‘The Eye of The Cyclone’ Juniper Bonsai from all angles. It’s an amazing tree and the work done is superb. I first saw this tree when It won the Noelanders Trophy in 2010.
I have had this juniper for over ten years, I bought it because I wanted a Japanese Juniper in my collection, this little tree has been the most expensive tree in my garden, because I paid so much for this tree I have been reluctant to part with it, most of my collection consists of yamadori that I have collected.
This tree was originally Moyogi with set branches in a typically imported tree. However the tree suffered from vine weevil about 7 years ago and lost but one branch! It has stood in my garden looking very sorry for all this time…. In fact…many of my bonsai ‘friends’ have made fun of me for paying so much for a runt of a tree.
Some times a particular pot can stimulate an idea, this is one such pot. My friend from Holland Hans Van Meer, gave me this pot by William Vlaanderen because I believed this tree would ‘work’. The idea for this pot is Hans. I think that this runt of a tree will develop into an interesting bonsai… you saw it here first…what do you think?