Author Topic: Jim Gremel's shimpaku  (Read 16411 times)

Yenling83

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Re: Jim Gremel's shimpaku
« Reply #30 on: January 16, 2012, 08:58 PM »
I've been told by more than one person who are far advanced from where I am, and they both said you can get faster growth in a colander and heavy fert than growing in ground for the same period of time.  And if I'm still here on earth in 10 yrs, I will report back as I have 4 rooted cuttings that I can experiment on. 

this is not correct, unless maybe you have really poor soil or don't feed in the ground.  for the most part, if you keep things similar there's no way any type of pot will thicken a trunk like the ground will.  However, I understand if you don't believe me because you can learn some bad info from random replys on bonsai forums. 

« Last Edit: January 16, 2012, 09:02 PM by Yenling83 »
 

John Kirby

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Re: Jim Gremel's shimpaku
« Reply #31 on: January 16, 2012, 11:27 PM »
Chrisi, Frank Kroeker and I had a similar conversation, oh 7 or 8 or so years ago. Except, I wasn't thinking about Kifu or Chuhin trees, I was thinking Shohin. I had read all these good Japanese articles about raising shohin JBP in Colanders (and Sonare and Shimpaku). Frank is a talented tree grower, and he lived (at the time) in about the perfect place to grow tridents, JBP, Shimpaku, Tosho and Sonare- just south of Oklahoma City. 250-270 growing days a year, strong well, inline fertilization system, etc. I was going to blow his doors off growing pants in colanders in Fayetteville Arkansas, max push fertilizers and water. Well, Frank bought a few hundred colanders from me (from the 1200 or so I bought), put ultra fast draining soil, fertilized and watered the daylights out of them and treated his in ground trees as he normally would- fertilize periodically, water periodically and mulch. Needless to say the trees in the ground have been dug, potted and sold, the trees in the colanders, well, are still in the colanders.

Mine too. May be in a climate like Chicago with its long cold winters and cool springs and mixed summers Colanders can work better. But a talented grower willing to get on their knees and do the wiring and pruning, and who was willing to do the root work up front before the trees went in the ground- no comparison. Now if you just let your trees go, who knows.

So, grow your four cuttings in colanders, I hope you get the tremendous growth and development that you are looking for. If you want some trees we have 800 plus in the ground waiting to be dug, some of them will have bases bigger than colanders after 8 years (and to be completely honest, many won't) and I didn't water or fertilize in the ground the past 6 years.

T-Town Bonsai, you have anything to add to the conversation?
 

Chrisl

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Re: Jim Gremel's shimpaku
« Reply #32 on: January 17, 2012, 11:58 AM »
Great story John!  Thanks for sharing.  Glad to hear others have already compared the two growing methods.  But bummed about the conclusion ;)  Well then, perhaps I'll take two of my cuttings and plant them in the ground and two for the colander.  This way I'll have all my bases covered LOL  I have room to try, so why not.

Also, interesting thought about local climates and growing days.  Hadn't thought of that.  250 growing days is hard to beat...as  long as theres water (thinking OK.) these days. 

Oh, you have 800 in the ground?  Holy smokes!  One, I'm envious ;)), and two, boy does that sound like a ton of work!!
Thanks for the interesting conversation John!  And Thanks for jumping in too Yenling!
 

T-Town Bonsai

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Re: Jim Gremel's shimpaku
« Reply #33 on: January 17, 2012, 12:24 PM »
Thank you John,
I saw this and thought "I've heard that before".  I sold seedlings to BBN several years ago and was told the same thing.  But they were going to grow in nursery pots and get the same results as growing in the ground.  Didn't even come close.  
Here are some examples of trees that are all about the same age.  The colander grown trees are on the right side.  The one in the orange pot may be a little older but not more than 3 years.  And it has been in this pot since 2009, so if it had been left in the ground it would be even larger.  The short stubby one is younger than the tree on the right.  It was styled by Suthin last spring.  The third one also styled by Suthin is probably the same age as the one next to it.

When I was in OK the field trees mostly relied on Mother nature for water.  I did water in the really dry times but I would guess not more than 10 times a year.  The trees in the pots were fertilized everyday with a 28-8-18 water soluble at 200ppm and I also top dressed with organic cakes and osmote.  Many thought that was excessive but it worked for me.
These are the results I got, the trees in the field just grew faster and had better bark.  
I will add that all the trees that went into the field were first wired and trunks shaped.  I mulched all the trees with wood chips.  This made it easier to keep the weeds under control.  I have seen too many fields with weeds taller than the trees which shades out the bottom branches usually killing them.

We are now looking for a new place to live and I hope to be able to field grow again.  I have hundreds of pines that were only in the ground a couple of years before we moved and now are in 6" pots.  Just won't get so carried away and grow so many.  
 

T-Town Bonsai

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Re: Jim Gremel's shimpaku
« Reply #34 on: January 17, 2012, 12:46 PM »
Here are two more pictures.  The two trees are close in age.  The one on the left is growing on a tile and field grown.  It was growing in a colander for several years but I wanted faster growth so I planted it in the ground.  You can see a corner of the tile in the second picture.  All the colander trees are on tiles.
 
It is a lot easier to grow in pots, you can pick them up and have a look at their progress it's not as convenient to crawl around on the ground trying to see what's going on.  And I have a few trees that look like I forgot them for sometime and they are not very good.  But that is why you grow a lot.  

So I guess for me the faster tree grew in the ground.  

Remember when I said to keep the weeds out,  look at those bottom branches.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2012, 12:49 PM by T-Town Bonsai »
 

John Kirby

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Re: Jim Gremel's shimpaku
« Reply #35 on: January 17, 2012, 05:48 PM »
Now, I still believe that you can grow a shohin to a finished tree faster in the colander than in the ground, but it is going to be due to the fact that the roots should be more amenable to a small pot and the scale (trunk size and height) will be greatly reduced.
 

Chrisl

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Re: Jim Gremel's shimpaku
« Reply #36 on: January 17, 2012, 07:10 PM »
T-Town Bonsai, Thank You so much for taking the time for posting such a detailed and informative note!  Well done! I learned a lot!
And well, the pictures speak for themselves don't they? ;)  "Wow", the difference is not insignificant.    The bark looks much more developed/mature with the in ground trees!  Nice.

"I will add that all the trees that went into the field were first wired and trunks shaped"

So T-Town, do you mind if I ask a few questions?  So you wire the trunk for shape on the seedlings first off, and then plant them right?  And do you let them grow untouched for fast trunk development, and then prune back hard to start developing the primary branching after the trunk has attained the right size?   
Or, do you decide on making the primary branches after the trunk has attained the right proportion, and then wire the decided upon primary branches?...so it's a gradual process?
I hope this makes sense.

Oh, how would you accomodate trees in ground, but say, one side gets much more sun exposure than the other.  Over ten years, I'd think it would make a difference?  Maybe did it up after 5 years, and rotate the plant, then put back in the ground?   

Thanks John and T-Town Bonsai for "opening up my eyes" to trying in ground bonsai development! It'll be interesting to see how this pans out for me here in Chicago. 

Chris
 

gtuthill

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Re: Jim Gremel's shimpaku
« Reply #37 on: January 17, 2012, 10:32 PM »
Funny I was working on a tree last night that i have started using the method from the Lindsay Farr's World of Bonsai episode.  Not exactly what i was expecting so far but there doesn't seem to be a lot of info for producing curly trees this way.

I havn't had much luck with juniper cuttings, so i was thinking i might try wiring up some young shoots on some sacrifice foliage of a tree and then airlayer it off once it gets to a reasonable size. 

Anyone else tried this?
 

bwaynef

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Re: Jim Gremel's shimpaku
« Reply #38 on: January 18, 2012, 08:44 AM »
To bring this back to "Jim Gremel's Shimpaku", is the shari at the base of the trunk as low as its going?

 

John Kirby

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Re: Jim Gremel's shimpaku
« Reply #39 on: January 18, 2012, 07:52 PM »
Wayne, we have talked about jinning a couple of the major rots that are high, as we tilt the tree farther back it will be required to continue a smooth transition in to the soil.
 

Judy

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Re: Jim Gremel's shimpaku
« Reply #40 on: January 19, 2012, 01:50 PM »
Great Tree, Great Thread all around.  Really like the idea jins on roots..
 

Chrisl

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Re: Jim Gremel's shimpaku
« Reply #41 on: February 14, 2012, 11:09 AM »
Japanese will not tell you everything unless you are students and work side by side with them.
John Kirby is correct.  wiring young whips of shimpaku cutting is the key. 
no wire = no bend = no curve = poor bonsai material


Sorry to bring this up again, but I bought some more Shimpaku seedlings/10 more that I'm going to plant in ground this spring.  I've been looking at a lot of finished Shimpaku's, and have wondered about the twisting nature of this tree's trunk growth.  Is this natural for the live veins/trunk to twist over time or does the twist also have to be wired...it's not exactly clear from Boon's note here, just bending and curving.  Which makes sense.  But I just don't know how these grow naturally, but many of the Jap. yamadori Shimpaku's have a very twisted trunk, so I'm guessing it's natural but just want to make sure I get it right from the get go.

Thanks!
Chris
 

jtucker

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Re: Jim Gremel's shimpaku
« Reply #42 on: February 14, 2012, 09:37 PM »
As is my understanding, from other threads on this board and speaking with club members, extreme twists and bends in actual yamadori come from several different factors such as environment (wind, rain, snow, ice, drought, fire, erosion, animals) and genetic mutation/predisposition to twisting.

Jim Gremel came down to San Diego to our club meeting and did a workshop with thumb-thickness shimpaku whips. The main thing we did in this workshop was to wire the whip from roots to tip very tightly with two parallel wires going up the trunk (after applying tight raffia). The further up the trunk, the thinner the wire we used. Instead of butting the parallel wires right next to each other, Jim had us put one wire halfway between the coils of the other, and then we bent the snot out of the whips to make "yamadori" style trees.

The theory is that, once these wired trees grow out for several years with the wire left on to bite into the bark, a dead vein will be choked off between the two wires, creating a ribbon-like shari. Jim told us to leave the wire on for 2 years. I up-potted my tree and it's been about two years since the work shop, and I haven't yet removed my wire. Therefore I can't tell you from actual practical experience what the results of this method are.

I'm not sure if the tree in this thread was created this way, or if this was a new experimental method that Jim was showing us. I do know that pretty much all of our trees looked totally stupid when we first tried to bend the snot out of them, and then Jim came by and tweaked them into looking halfway respectable, offering us ideas and help without making us feel belittled or dumb. The main difficulties most of the participants in the workshop all had in common were not wiring the tree correctly (the resulting shari might not happen or just look horrible) and bending the tree artistically and convincingly. This is where Jim Gremel is both a craftsman and an artistic genius.

Even if he never touched a tree in his life, he would still be a brilliantly intelligent person worthy of great admiration. On top of that, Jim's contribution to American Bonsai is such that I think all clubs around the USA should try and get him to present or do workshops if possible. I only wish I had been a little more advanced student a couple years ago when he came down to our club, so that I could really appreciate and absorb more from him.
 

Chrisl

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Re: Jim Gremel's shimpaku
« Reply #43 on: February 15, 2012, 11:53 AM »
Thanks jtucker!  That's a great story!  And very lucky of you to have an opportunity to have a workshop with Jim! 

Makes me a bit disheartened though to read this as I was hoping it was just natural growth.  Now knowing that there's a lot more to this, like you said, Jim's an artistic genius, which I am not lol  I'll approach my club to see if there's anything we can do to have him out here for one of our shows. 

Do you happen to have any photos of the work done in the workshop, or your tree as it looks now?  That'd be a great help jtucker if you do.

Thanks again for the note, I really appreciate it!
Chris
 

jtucker

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Re: Jim Gremel's shimpaku
« Reply #44 on: February 15, 2012, 07:29 PM »
I don't have any pictures, sorry. I'll try to grab some of the tree as it is now. It's actually raining here in San Diego, so I'll be busy running around screaming in panic ;-) for the next day or so. But after that I'll try and snap some pics.