Author Topic: An over pinched Itoigawa  (Read 23930 times)

Adair M

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An over pinched Itoigawa
« on: August 01, 2015, 10:15 PM »
I happened upon this one at Plant City Bonsai. Steve took in a collection, and this root over rock Itoigawa was part of it. Imported about 8 years ago by Brussel's, Steve bought it from Brussels, and sold it to a collector. Who, unfortunately, was ill informed about keeping Itoigawa happy.

He sheared it. Not just pinched it. Sheared.

Some gory pictures:

 

Adair M

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Re: An over pinched Itoigawa
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2015, 10:25 PM »
Not only that, he was training it backwards. That is, he had a mudman on the tree, and I'm assuming the mudman would be on the front. Well, that side was really the back, because the apex was definitely going back from ghat angle.

So, brown tips everywhere.  Lots of juvenile foliage. Excess soil mounded up from the edge of the pot. No thinning had ever been done, at least not in six or eight years. Some ineffective aluminum wire was placed on the largest branches. But it was wired one branch at a time. No anchor. So, while it was fairly large aluminum, without an anchor, it didn't do anything.

But the rock is nice.

Here's the rock:

 

Adair M

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Re: An over pinched Itoigawa
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2015, 10:44 PM »
Ok, so I bought it. I figure I can rehab it, take it to a couple shows, then sell it.

First step was to go in and trim out all the dead twigs on the inside of the canopy. That took several hours. Removed the aluminum wire. My hands kept brushing the top of the soil, do I swept off the excess soil. It completely filled a one quart zip lock bag!  Now that it has level soil in the pot, it already looks better.

So, I started wiring. I know the first thing to do is clean the branches removing all the weak inside stuff and downward growing stuff, but this was ALL growing either straight up or straight down. You see, it was sheared all these years trying to keep it the same size. So, the branches all crowded together. And rather than growing sideto side, they grew up/down!  So as I wired, I had to twist the branches to have them branch side to side. Which means that until I made the twist, it was difficult to figure out which side branches would be pointing down until after I made the twist.

And also, lots of the branches just exploded with many many branches from one spot. I had to thin considerably to get them down to just two branches.

Here's a picture of the excess soil, a bad tuft needing thinning, and my progress in wiring. For now, I'm just focusing on getting the wire on, and thinning as I go. Once all the wire is on, I'll come back and set branches and create individual pads.

 

M. Frary

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Re: An over pinched Itoigawa
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2015, 08:16 AM »
   Kind of like talking to yourself here Adair.
 Need to post some pictures of tumbleweeds on here.
 
 

Adair M

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Re: An over pinched Itoigawa
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2015, 10:35 AM »
Much less activity here than the Nut, for sure. But there are a few who post here and not there that i greatly respect.

Their comments are worth waiting for.

I'm wiring again this morning. And have already called Jim Gremel for a wire refill!
 

Judy

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Re: An over pinched Itoigawa
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2015, 11:30 AM »
Looks like a really fun project Adair.  Which cost more the tree or the wire?  :D
 

Adair M

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Re: An over pinched Itoigawa
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2015, 03:01 PM »
Lol!! The tree.

I've put a ton of 18 gauge wire on it, and I'm nearly out of 20. So I ordered more 16, 18, 20, and 22. I've never used 22, may never really need it. Maybe for guy wires. And some detail wiring.

 

John Kirby

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Re: An over pinched Itoigawa
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2015, 07:52 PM »
Bargain. I am sure that you will have long runners soon. When do you repot Junipers in your neck of the woods? February/March? I look forward to seeing this one progress, I really like Root-Over-Rock Junipers, as rare as they are. Good find.
 

Adair M

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Re: An over pinched Itoigawa
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2015, 08:20 PM »
We repot Junipers feb/Mar. This one was recently reported, or do I was told. The soil looks reasonably fresh. However, assuming the previous owners repotting skills were similar to his pruning skills, I think I'd better plan on a half bare root repot next spring!

After today's work:

 

John Kirby

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Re: An over pinched Itoigawa
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2015, 10:22 AM »
time for a  mint Julep.
 

Adair M

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Re: An over pinched Itoigawa
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2015, 12:56 PM »
Indeed!

Wiring, while tedious, is the easy part. The thinning... That's another story!

There's two issues here. One is no selective pruning has been done in a decade. It's been in the hands of the collector for 8 years, and prior to that in quarantine for 3. So, there are zillions of branches. I'm wiring them all for now. The second issue is the foliage. Since its been sheared, all the current foliage is on weak stems. It's been sheared, and sheared, and sheared. Sure, it has back budded, back to a crotch. And budded again at the crotch. Over and over. Many of these have 10  or more weak little stems. And I'm trying to prune them back to the strongest two. Even then, lots of them "hang".  Especially on the lower branches.

And a third issue:  all those crotch buds all competed with each other for the sun. So they arranged themselves one on top of the other. When wired down, they align in a vertical alignment. So, I have to twist them to get any kind of side-by-side arrangement.

Well, I got this partly as a learning experience!  I got my money's worth on that part!
 

bwaynef

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Re: An over pinched Itoigawa
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2015, 01:28 PM »
As we learned this weekend, if you need an extra set of hands, I'm not as far away as I thought I was.

This looks like its going to be a really fun project for you ...and equally as fun for us if you'll share it with us. 

Can you go through your thought process when it comes to thinning this tree?  Pictures preferred, but I get that's a lot of work. 
 

Adair M

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Re: An over pinched Itoigawa
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2015, 08:34 PM »
My thought as I was thinning?  I'm thinking, "Geez, how could this guy go 8 years without thinning this tree?"

Ok, sorry...  (I DID think that a lot!).

I'll see if I can find that overgrown tuft, now that I've thinned it. And photograph it.

Generally, I found it easier to thin the top of the tree than the bottom. The top is stronger, has almost all mature scale foliage. The bottom is really weak, with a lot of juvenile. The catch 22 is, it produced juvenile foliage because it's weak. So, if I prune it, it weakens it more!  So, I tried to thin out the hanging foliage and leave as much as I could on the bottom. I was a lot more aggressive on the top. It's really full up there (or I should say, it WAS full) so thinning will let a lot more sun inside, and stimulate the bottom of the tree. Also, pulling the branches down opened it up. You can now "see through" the tree.

Hopefully this will all help send the juvenile foliage away!

I'm almost finished wiring. Just a little left to do in the apex. Then, I'll set pads.
 

Owen Reich

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Re: An over pinched Itoigawa
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2015, 09:28 PM »
Where did the mud man go?!?!  Gotta create some asymmetry.
 

Adair M

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Re: An over pinched Itoigawa
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2015, 01:51 AM »
Steve Cratty kept the mudman!  He had a nail glued to his bottom to keep him in place. The mudman used to hang out on the backside of the tree, under an overhang of the rock.

If I were to show this at the NC Expo show, maybe I could stick a toy Bambi there. They'd like that there!
 
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