Species Specific > Satsuki Azalea Bonsai Discussion


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Adair M:

I agree satsuki can be quite brittle. Extreme care should be taken when wiring and bending.

Looking at the wire on your wakaebishu, I noticed that you used a single wire, wrapped very loose near the bottom, and at the top, the spiral is fairly elongated.

In Naka's book, he usually triple wrapped with aluminum, using fairly tight spirals. Lots more wire. This serves to support the wood better. Elongated spirals tend to allow pressure points to be at one point, making it easy to snap. You could also wrap the trunk with raffia, then wire. Even more supportive.

I have the book. I'll see if I can take a photo if one of the pictures in the book and post it here.

Leo in NE Illinois:
My wiring job gets a C- at best. The Hankurei might get wired when I work on it removing flowers and buds this weekend. I'm planning on putting 3 or 4 hours in on it.

Thanks for the wiring tips. That is one of the areas I know I'm weak on, I've been shown how to wire properly. Often when I do actually wire, I'm rushed and don't take the time to do it right. A raffia wrap would be the way to go if I do wire one of these three up again. Their main branches are all mature to the point of being brittle. Once a branch or trunk is over a year old, bending it is no longer a trivial task to do. Pines spoiled me that way, because pines stay flexible seemingly forever. (by comparison to azalea)

The Waka Ebisu is actually without wire at this moment - that photo is from June. It was almost completely defoliated after that photo was taken, wire removed branches trimmed, lowest branches cut off completely. Right now it has a nice flush of tender buds developing, so I will be leaving it alone until theyall pop, and then grow to harden off in autumn. Then I select the ones I want to keep and get rid of the ones that definitely won't be needed. I like the vigor of this cultivar. Hopefully a few new buds will be in just the right places.

I have the Satsuki book by R. Callaham, it is a pretty good book. I'd love to see a photo or two from the J Naka book.

Leo in NE Illinois:

--- Quote from: Sorce on July 23, 2014, 06:09 AM --- <snip>..............I want to see that elm trying to sneak in the photo!

--- End quote ---

It is not much of anything yet, not even sure it is an elm, a volunteer seedling about 3 years old harvested from my sister's back yard. Candidates for its identity include American elm, cedar elm, Siberian elm, Sugarbush hackberry (Celtis laevigata) regular Hackberry, or possibly Ostrya virginiana. All were growing within a couple hundred feet of where this seedling was growing.

Right now I am thinking Elm, will take pictures later in the week. It is still thinner than my finger at the nebari, so it needs to grow out a while before anything is done to it.

I have one that small. Elm.  Swisher cigar thick. It put out three shoots with just those giamt leaves and the base is getting really strong. It just took the 3 story plunge, when guy wiring it steady, I broke one shoot. :-X however. Only a project, and now I get to see what it will do!


Leo in NE Illinois:
3 story plunge ? - didn't anyone tell you the balcony railing is not a work bench?

(Just teasing) it is a reminder why photos of bonsai gardens often show the trees tied to their benches. I still don't do that, and for a few of my more top heavy plants I really should. 


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