Author Topic: Transforming a JBP bush to a bonsai  (Read 7576 times)

Chrisl

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Re: Transforming a JBP bush to a bonsai
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2012, 12:20 PM »
So many new terminal buds.  I forget, when do select only two buds and get rid of the ones in the wrong position? 
 

Adair M

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Re: Transforming a JBP bush to a bonsai
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2012, 12:58 PM »
The terminal buds, the ones on the end of the branches, will be cut off completely mid-July.  The photos I took of the branches show a lot of tiny new back-buds!  Some previously dormant adventitious buds, and some previously dormant needle buds.

These previously dormant buds will be untouched this summer.  They will be very weak, and will need a season to strenthen up.  Maybe summer of 2013 they will be strong enough to decandle.  Maybe not.  We will just have to wait and see.

Since these two branches are the two lowest on the tree, when it comes time to decandle, I will cut them off straight across right at the base.  Then, we will see what adventitious buds develop, and choose the best two.  I'll probably wait until "Fall cleanup" time to make that decision.  That's when I'll pluck all the needles you see here.

Up higher on the tree, when I cut the candles, I'll leave a little of the "neck" (as John Kirby calls it).  The reason is the neck will contain a little of the hormone that indicates to the tree it has an active candle.  It doesn't, actually, we've fooled it into thinking so.  The purpose is to balance the growth.  Since the tree still "thinks" it has candles up top, and doesn't on the bottom of the tree, it will spend more energy developing growth on the lower part.  Eventually, it will figure out that it needs growth up top, too, but it will be less vigorous than usual, giving the tree more "balance".  At least, more balance to our, human, eye.

The tree, left alone, would prefer to produce all top growth and let the bottom growth get shaded out and wither and die.

Once the now emerging back buds get stong, I plan to shorten the existing branches back and regrow them with much shorter internodes.  I may be able to start that process (shortening) this fall.  We'll have to see how it develops this season.

For now, I'm delighted to see lots of back-buds.

And, for what it's worth, this trunk will have lots of scars.  It's now about 18 inches tall.  It was probably twice that when I bought it.  Whovever grew it, must have just whacked across the top of the field of pines at about a 3 foot height.  It did limit the height, and forced the lower branches to grow, but it also promoted whirls of branches.  At about 12 inches up, there were a zillion branches.  Whirl upon whirl.  I've managed to reduce it to a several branches and chose a leader for the apex.  I've had to cut back considerably on the trunk.  I've done it in stages so as to keep good sap lines going to the top.  The long term plan is to hide all that with apex folliage so it won't be too ugly.  I have seen where you can hide a lot of scarring by using the grey cut paste, and then applying some bark to the outside of the cut paste.  Done well, you don't notice it.  Meanwhile the scar is healing.
 

bwaynef

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Re: Transforming a JBP bush to a bonsai
« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2012, 01:36 PM »
A point of note, some of what look to be terminal buds could be pollen cones.  They do nothing but slow down the rest of the growth and can be removed.

I'm not sure, but I think (at this stage) the pollen cones are spotted, and fall away pretty easily when pressed against.
 

rockm

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Re: Transforming a JBP bush to a bonsai
« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2012, 03:00 PM »
As bwanef points out, those aren't really needle buds. They're pollen cone buds. They do slow things down. They've plagued my JBP for years. You might get lucky and some will have needle clusters at the ends of the shoots, but mostly they're just useless cones that release clouds of pollen in April.

 

mcpesq817

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Re: Transforming a JBP bush to a bonsai
« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2012, 04:17 PM »
You can easily brush off the pollen cones with your thumb once the reach a certain size.
 

Adair M

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Re: Transforming a JBP bush to a bonsai
« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2012, 05:34 PM »
No, no, no... I'm not talking about the pollen cones!   LOL!!!  

No, the nearly microscopic adventitious and needle buds!  Sorry for the bad photography!  I used my iphone.  I guess when I reduced the image to where I can post it, it loses something.  

But there are dozens of BACK BUDS at the nodes where branches didn't happen before.  They are tiny.

Tell you what, I'll wait a couple of days until they are a little more prominant, and take the same shots.  They'll be easier to see.

Yeah, I hate those pollen cones.  I usually knock them off as soon as they've separated a little from the candle itself!

Edit:  They're a little bigger today!

Look on the skinny part just past where it grows from the thicker part.  You should see 2 or three buds there.  Those are at a node, and there's probably 5 going all around the twig.  Once they develop, I'll choose two to keep, and remove the ones going straight up and straight down.

You can actually see both needle buds and adventitious buds on that twig.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2012, 05:51 PM by Adair M »
 

bwaynef

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Re: Transforming a JBP bush to a bonsai
« Reply #21 on: March 22, 2012, 08:39 PM »
No, no, no... I'm not talking about the pollen cones!
\

I was talking about the ones you can see on the right in this photo:

 

Adair M

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Re: Transforming a JBP bush to a bonsai
« Reply #22 on: March 22, 2012, 09:02 PM »
Yes, Wayne there is a pollen cone in that photo.  But that's not what I was trying to photograph.  Unfortunately the little buds don't show up well in the photo.  They are about 1/2 of a millimeter.  (I can see the buds on my iphone screen.  But when I make the image smaller to allow it to post on this site, the resolution is lost.)

The photo in my last post of the single twig shows the buds.

But, yeah, the tree is covered with pollen cones.  I'll pull them off as soon as I can.  They need to get a little bigger before they break off easily.

And I misunderstood what someone was saying about "so many terminal buds".  There is only one terminal bud.  The other "buds" are the pollen cones, and they form on the "neck" of the candle.

Since this has come up, I'll photograph the cones development for all to see, and then show what it looks like once they're removed.

Oh, Wayne?  It was either John K or Matsu who thought you ought to check out my Zelkova thread.  I show "in progress" photos of potting.  I took the photos with my iphone.  I will admit to some soiled bluejean trouser legs as I wiped my hands off before I picked up the iphone to photograph...
 

Chrisl

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Re: Transforming a JBP bush to a bonsai
« Reply #23 on: March 22, 2012, 10:39 PM »
No, no, no... I'm not talking about the pollen cones!
\

I was talking about the ones you can see on the right in this photo:



Exactly Wayne, that's what I was talking about too.

And Adair, I too am excited to back budding on my pines and shimpaku's and even my  JM's!  Spring growth just feels so.....rejuvenating isn't it? ;) 

Sorry for the confusion
Chris
 

Adair M

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Re: Transforming a JBP bush to a bonsai
« Reply #24 on: September 19, 2012, 09:18 AM »
Here's an update.

I did the "fall cleanup" thing.  A little early, I know, but I got a new pair of bent tip tweezers, and I just had to try them out!  And, I wanted to get some practice in before I go to the fall Intensive...

So, I pulled last year's needles.  Wow, what a difference!  I did cut some needles on newly popped buds.  Last winter, I got an extraordinary amount of back budding on old wood.  These buds produced only about two bundles of needles, but have strong buds for next year.  The needles grew to about 6 inches!  So, I've shortened those needles back to about 2 inches.

As I was pulling needles, I noticed I should get another round of back budding again this winter, as I could see more buds forming.  Pulling the needles should help stimulate them as now, they'll get more light.

 

Chrisl

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Re: Transforming a JBP bush to a bonsai
« Reply #25 on: September 19, 2012, 12:20 PM »
Looking good Adair!   :)
 

cbobgo

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Re: Transforming a JBP bush to a bonsai
« Reply #26 on: September 19, 2012, 01:26 PM »
how about rotating it a bit so the first trunk section is not strait up?

- bob


edit - lol nevermind just went back and looked at your first post and saw that you posted a pic with it rotated.

« Last Edit: September 19, 2012, 01:28 PM by cbobgo »
 

John Kirby

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Re: Transforming a JBP bush to a bonsai
« Reply #27 on: September 19, 2012, 01:40 PM »
Adair, Hint: Don't take bent tip tweezers, you will need straight ones, like the Asakuni's but don't waste the $56. John
 

Adair M

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Re: Transforming a JBP bush to a bonsai
« Reply #28 on: September 19, 2012, 03:07 PM »
Oh no!  No bent tip tweezers?

I already have a pair of straight ones.  Masakuni.  The kind with the "spatula" on the back end.


bob,  Thanks for the virt!  Yes, it will get rotated to the right when it gets potted next  winter.

I'm also thinking of taking the whole top apex branch off, and letting the little buds I have going at the base of that section become the new apex.  That would shorten it about 3 inches.

And there's still some long internodes that will be removed as the back buds get a little stronger.  It's come a long way in about 18 months.

John, any more tips for the Intensive?
 

John Kirby

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Re: Transforming a JBP bush to a bonsai
« Reply #29 on: September 19, 2012, 05:42 PM »
Go with an open mind, the best way to learn is to forget what you think you know. It took me two or three trips out to figure that one out. It will be a blast, you will get three days of education, fall work on great trees and some good friendship and comraderie.

As Boon told me after I had completed the Intensives, "the hardest thing in bonsai is to teach someone with 30 years of experience". I guess I was hard on him........