Author Topic: Shohin Barberry  (Read 7213 times)

MattB

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Shohin Barberry
« on: June 28, 2011, 12:05 PM »
I've been reading this forum for quite some time to learn about bonsai as much as I can.  I finally have a few trees that I am working on, so this is my first post.   I've posted this tree on a few other forums, so I wanted to get it on here to hopefully get some more advice with the progression of this tree.

Here is a 3gallon barberry that I got from a nursery late this spring.  I did major pruning on the top of the tree and root pruned about one third of the roots at that time.  I had left one small branch at the top of the tree with leaves.  It bounced back very well and I am now confident that it is alive and thriving.  It now has new branches at nearly all of the major buds along the base.  I have removed anything lower than the branch I am envisioning as the first branch.  One picture shows one of the barberry I got originally this spring (both were nearly the same 2ft by 2ft shrub), the others show 2 different angles as of this morning.  

Since this is my first post on here, hopefully the pictures will show up.

Cheers,
Matt


Edit:  Oh yeah, I just realized there is no size reference.  It is about 1.75in at the base and 8 inches tall. 
« Last Edit: June 28, 2011, 12:09 PM by MattB »
 

bwaynef

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Re: Shohin Barberry
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2011, 01:06 PM »
I have zero experience w/ berberis, but I think it might be a good idea to go ahead and get some wire on those branches/shoots now ...for direction if nothing else.

Looks like a good trunk to build on, and should put on a nice show in the fall.
 

MattB

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Re: Shohin Barberry
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2011, 03:10 PM »
I had thought the exact same thing until I was told to wait until mid autumn on bsite and bnut by several people.  I guess the claim is that barberry need to harden a bit more before they will hold a wire job.  It is also extremely easy to snap new shoots.  I definately do need to get some direction on the branches though, they all want to grow at a 45ยบ angle upwards from the trunk.  I have never wired before, so it will be an adventure.

I also am really looking forward to the fall colors on my two barberry, as well as the spring flowers.  I'm glad I started with this species because the colors year round can be awesome.
 

nathanbs

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Re: Shohin Barberry
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2011, 03:28 PM »
for the purposes of controlling the upward growing angle of branches that most trees do naturally make some guy wires with really thin aluminum or copper wire to hook over the branches to gently pull them downward. You can anchor the wires to the roots, rough bark on the trunk or the pot. Sometimes you can just make a spike with a loop on top out of heavier gauge wire and stick that in your soil like a tent spike and then attach your little guy wire to it.  Most branches require so little tension that almost anything will do
« Last Edit: June 28, 2011, 03:30 PM by nathanbs »
 

MattB

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Re: Shohin Barberry
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2011, 03:44 PM »
I had thought about guy wires as well.  Would you say it is relatively safe to go ahead and get some on the branches this early in development?
 

MatsuBonsai

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Re: Shohin Barberry
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2011, 03:49 PM »
I think you would be better off learning proper wiring techniques.  Guy wires without main wires will likely result in a rainbow effect on your branches if applied improperly.  See if there's a club or someone in your area that can help show you proper wiring techniques.  The young branches should be able to be wired without any problem with proper technique.
 

MattB

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Re: Shohin Barberry
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2011, 04:04 PM »
I checked for a club in my area but they had disbanded it several years ago.  I believe the gentleman's name is Dave Bogan and he still has an active garden about 45mins from where I live.  I plan on getting to his place sometime on my way to Louisville or Cincinnati sometime.  The next closest option I have is Louisville, which I believe you may be familiar with.   ;D

Is anyone familiar with someone in the greater Evansville area that is active on one of these forums?
 

nathanbs

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Re: Shohin Barberry
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2011, 04:06 PM »
i politely disagree, the bow or general shape that may result can later be corrected by wiring and in most cases the branch will be significantly cutback anyways. In my opinion your only real concern at this stage in the development is the location of branches and the angle at which the branches depart. So i think guy wires are appropriate right now. you can always move the guy wires around as they are just a "J"  or "S" hook anyways. If the branch starts to develop a "bow" move the hook over a little. Once the branches lignify(harden) then go ahead and wire to create movement
« Last Edit: June 28, 2011, 04:52 PM by nathanbs »
 

MatsuBonsai

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Re: Shohin Barberry
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2011, 04:08 PM »
Matt,

Contact Dave directly (http://www.bogansbonsai.com/).  I believe he still hosts a study group from time to time.  Even if they're not still meeting I'm sure he would find time to meet with you.  He is one of the first I met in bonsai outside of Louisville, and one of the nicest.

See if he'll invite you over so you can see his "greenhouse".  It's not to be missed.

And, if you're ever in the Louisville area you're certainly welcome to attend the Louisville club and/or the study group that I host at my home in Shepherdsville, just south of Louisville.
 

MattB

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Re: Shohin Barberry
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2011, 05:03 PM »
I tried to email Dave and I got an error saying his email was not valid.  I may have to give him a call sometime when I know I will be on my way through the area.
 

John Kirby

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Re: Shohin Barberry
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2011, 03:33 AM »
Berberis is very brittle. You will want to wire the thin green shoots that emerge at potentially viable points. put a good deal of motion (in all directions) on the initial section of branches), you will prune back significantly in the fall and then repeat the pocess in the spring, and if it grows fast enough, in the fall. The guy wire model will not provide any real meaningful effect for the tree. If you can't wire yet, pruning (directional) is the best place to work until you get those wiring lessons that you need. Good luck.  (I would post pictures of berberis, but all of mine were sold, will be starting some in the spring (big dig). JOhn
 

mcpesq817

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Re: Shohin Barberry
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2011, 11:10 AM »
I'd echo what John said about berberis being brittle.  I have a shohin sized one that I'm playing around with, and I've found that the fresh green shoots can break off pretty easily when you wire.  I seem to have better success when the branches lignified a bit.
 

MattB

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Re: Shohin Barberry
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2011, 11:34 AM »
Currently, the shoots on mine are still red changing over to green.  I would imagine it will not be until late August or September before they actually start hardening off.  I am spending as much time as I can looking at it in hopes to figure out which shoots to leave and which will be coming off, but my lack of styling experience has hindered me so far.  Hopefully my attempts to find someone in my area to look at it with me will work out.
 

MattB

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Re: Shohin Barberry
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2011, 11:28 AM »
After meeting with Dave Bogan this past weekend we've decided to hold off on any wiring this season as the shoots are still too pliable and it would be a bit risky.  Dave advised to err on the side of caution and patience when it comes to barberis.  For the remainder of this year, I will pinch out new growth to maximize the backbudding then in the spring repot into a smaller bonsai pot, trim off un-needed branches, and wire.

For anyone around or between the Evansville/Louisville area, I would highly recommend taking a visit to see Bogan's Bonsai.  They are extremely helpful and genuinely care about passing their knowledge to others.  Although I've not seen many bonsai gardens, theirs is impressive and very inspiring to a beginner of the hobby.
 

MattB

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Re: Shohin Barberry
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2012, 11:19 PM »
Well, surprising news... this tree is still alive.  Will most likely be repotting it in some form on Saturday into better draining mix.  I'll probably add another photo or two in the next few weeks to keep track of any progress I may make.   :)