Bonsai for future generations

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.

Yew Bonsai Foliage mass development 3 Videos

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.

Yew technique Part 1

Yew technique Part 2

Yew technique Part 3

What looks older, an Uro or a Jin?

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.

 

Improving the success rate of Yamadori

I have been using this technique now for over ten years and I have finally decided to share what I have learned. The technique is known as ‘sweating’ and is used extensively in arboretorial circles. I use for the following species: Cratageus, Prunus, and most of the Rosaceae family, do not use on evergreen species.

I collect trees with as much root as possible, but I have put roots on trees that have not had any.

Follow this procedure and your success rate in establishing your freshly collected yamadori will improve immeasurably.

  1. Collect as much root as possible
  2. Clear as much mountain soil but do not wash the roots
  3. Use the soil mix as shown below
  4. Clean cut the major roots as close to the trunk without spoiling the nebari
  5. Place the tree in the smallest container possible
  6. Ensure that the tree is well packed in the container
  7. Wire the tree securely in the pot
  8. Make sure that the cut branches are clean and NOT SEALED
  9. Saturate the soil
  10. Pile fresh sphagnum moss on the surface of the container
  11. Wrap the whole tree in a VERY large black plastic bag
  12. Place in a sunny position as the tree MUST GET HOT
  13. Humidity in the bag must be high at all times, mist spray daily
  14. After two or three weeks new buds will appear particularly around the cuts
  15. Ensure that they do not touch the sides of the bag.
  16. When the new shoots reach 5cm or 2” remove from the bag and protect from cold and wind, mist spray daily and keep out of direct sunlight.
  17. Keep watch for the new shoots hardening off, then you can feed with a very diluted solution; do not work the tree for the first 12 months.

Good luck, please do not copy these photos or the text, and share the link freely.