Black Pine Root Inspection

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I’m in the process of moving bonsai material from my front garden to the back garden where I have more space.  I can then plant some shrubs in the front to fill out naturally and these will look more attractive than small half formed trees with leggy escape branches.This item has been growing in the ground the past few years and I thought it was time to look at the roots and have a direction in mind for the tree anyway.

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I’m very happy with the root base which flares out well.  Not much root pruning was done as the tree was planted on a tile in the ground.  Just one or two thick roots trimmed.

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I’ll start the high nitro feed next month and let the tree establish in the new location before wiring the trunk again.  The sacrifice branch will hopefully continue to do its job and I’ll keep the rest of the shoots short after the first flush of growth in May.

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Assessing a Garden Shrub for Bonsai

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At about this time of the year I usually start lifting material from the garden and assessing how suitable it is for use as future bonsai.  I am fortunate enough to have a reasonably large garden with lots of established and mature shrubs, some over thirty years old.  One or two species have been worth considering and are being developed as future bonsai material.

The photo above shows a variety of cotoneaster that self seeded in the flower bed before my arrival at the property.  I’ve been trimming the top growth each year but nothing else. I’m clearing the bed to make way for bonsai/vegetables so this shrub was being lifted anyway.

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The leaves are a bit large but an attractive shape and colour. I thought I would lift it and have a look at the trunk line and any surface roots.dsc_0416dsc_0417dsc_0418

My conclusion? Put it somewhere else in the garden!  The surface roots are one sided and a bit lacking, the lower trunk curves and is then very straight with little taper.  Pretty unappealing and very little worth keeping as a future bonsai.  Still a nice garden shrub though so it went in a gap in a new flower bed out the front.

 

Kaizen Delivery

 

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I received a delivery of Kaizen products that I’ve been eyeing up for a while.  I’ve tried the Green Dream before and it seems to be pretty good for my more developed trees.  For my garden grown material I’ve always used whatever feed I’ve had handy – usually Baby Bio or chicken manure but this year I thought I’ve try this Green Dream High Nitrogen feed in the growing beds.  Its organic and has a lot of other minor supplements that maybe my material has been missing.  Lets see if it makes a difference.  The bark cleaner/algae remover is for a few rough textured pots that I’ve found it hard to clean up.  Maybe I’ll post about the results at some point.

 

Good Fuji News

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I was afraid that I had lost this Fuji Cherry last summer when it was preyed upon by devouring caterpillars and the foliage withered.  Flower buds are appearing so its definitely not dead! I removed the weeds and gave it a light 0 nitrogen feed so hopefully that’ll give it a wee boost.dsc_0497dsc_0498

First styling of a Hinoki

Bought this mame Hinoki Cypress (Chaemycyparis Obtusa) a couple pf years ago from a friend who had it upright in a drum pot.  I left it initially and then repotted at a new angle to become a future cascade.  I’ve left it alone for the past 2 years.  Finally I’ve wired the primary branches.  Seems to be a fragile wee thing and can lose leaves/branches easily.  Primary aim is to grow an apex from the branch that I’ve twisted upward behind the trunk.

Swelling Buds

Signs of life around the garden the other morning.  I’ve started to walk round and inspect things a bit more often, expecting to see buds starting to swell on some plant/tree species.  I’m looking forward to some flowers within the next few weeks:

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European Hornbeam (Carpinus Betulus)

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Flowering Peach (Prunus Persica)

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Japanese Apricot (Prunus Mume)

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Damson Tree (Prunus Insititia)

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Japanese Maple (Acer Palmatum)