Author Topic: May 2012 Work of the Month  (Read 3793 times)

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May 2012 Work of the Month
« on: May 01, 2012, 07:18 AM »
Good news everyone!  We're happy to announce the Bonsai Study Group Work of the Month.

This is simply a place for member to showcase their work. This could be a workshop tree, maintenance work, or simply a tree they feel is not ready for the Tree of the Month Contest just yet.  Anything from a seed you just planted to a 500 year old collected masterpiece wired and ready for a show.  New and used, young and old, casual hobbyist to the obsessed, amateur to professional.  No judging or voting.  All are encouraged to post.

No restrictions on the number of entries.  No restrictions on commenting.  You're still encouraged to start your own thread in the appropriate section of the forum, but this could be a great starting off point to display your work.

This is something brand new that we're trying.  As such, we've put a 3-month time frame on judging it's success.  If after 3 months it's decided that the members see no benefit we will discontinue the Work of the Month threads.
 

Adair M

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Re: May 2012 Work of the Month
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2012, 10:07 AM »
Here's a recap of my Zelkova project tree. 

I rescued it from the bonsai nursery.  Someone had started it, and it sat neglected on a back bench.  So, I brought it home as I thought it had good potential.

The good people on this forum pointed me to some advanced techniques to improve the nebari.

And, I'm trying to "collar" the bulging that occurred where the branching starts on the trunk.

The first pic is how I got it.

Second is the work I did to the roots.  The trunk is screwed to a piece of plywood from the bottom.  I splayed out the roots using screws to hold the roots in position.  The chopsticks are to provide "undulation" up and down as they radiate from the trunk.

Third pic is it potted up.

Fourth pic is a collar applied to hopefully constrain the bulging at the old  trunk chop.  I'm letting the branches grow out to 1) increase taper in the trunks, and 2) allow the roots to grow so they will begin to fuse and form a plate.

 

nathanbs

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Re: May 2012 Work of the Month
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2012, 10:52 PM »
Here is a JBP that I purchased this year at the day after Thanksgiving sale at Yamaguchi Bonsai Nursery in Los Angeles.  It has very old bark, a nice base and great taper. It was awkwardly straight and at a very odd planting angle. With the help of one of my teachers(John Wang) we tied it in a knot ;). It has since been repotted and is pushing candles very well. I will give several updates as the tree progresses. Dont ask about the rocks, I think they were added to the pot for weight to counter balance the odd planting angle
« Last Edit: May 01, 2012, 10:54 PM by nathanbs »
 

Don Dunn

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Re: May 2012 Work of the Month
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2012, 02:05 AM »
Adair M
Thank you for posting these pictures. There is not much going on with this forum at the time so maybe I can get away with asking some dumb, well uneducated questions. The plywood I believe is to keep the roots in place until they hold like you would use wire. Does the plywood stay when you pot it up? It seems that way but I'm not positive what your intentions are.
I've seen or read where they put wire around the trunk to in crease the diameter  but I have never seen the collar before. Does it just apply an even pressure around that area to keep it from further bulging? Or is the pressure at the base of the bulging area?

I like these type of post because I get to see things I would not see other ways.
 

Don Dunn

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Re: May 2012 Work of the Month
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2012, 02:22 AM »
Nathan
Let me pick your brain again.
Is that gauze, sheet rock tape or what ? I suppose that is in place of raffia. I saw on Peter Teas's blog that he uses a black plastic that he says they call rope in Japan. I was thinking of what I can use in replacement of raffia and so I'm interested in what you are using here. Have you ever or has any one tried rubber from pond liner. It's the same thing that inner tubes are made from. I think it is thicker that a car inner tube. I believe it is 42mm or there abouts. What have others on this forum tried to use?
 

nathanbs

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Re: May 2012 Work of the Month
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2012, 11:36 AM »
The guaze was used to try and protect the delicate bark on tree. It helped some. If you look closely you can see it was then wrapped with raffia and then wire. So far I have yet to use something that I felt was a suitable replacement for raffia. Most everything else stretches and gives more than raffia which is counterproductive to what is trying to be accomplished. You are trying to bind the branch that is being bent to more evenly distribute the tension that is being exerted on it at the bend or bends.
 

Adair M

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Re: May 2012 Work of the Month
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2012, 12:17 PM »
Don,

On my Zelkova...

The pipe collar is an experiment on my part to see if it will suppress the bulging that already occurred, and keep it from getting worse.  I showed the pictures of my tree to Boon, and he said it probably wouldn't help.  Rats.

Now, the root work is something altogether different!

The plywood was kept in place when I potted it up.  That's the whole point... the plywood is screwed onto the bottom of the trunk of the tree so it can't move.  Then, when the tree is stable, the roots can be spread out flat.  I used screws to position the roots evenly around, and the screws are just holding the roots in position.  They aren't thru the roots.  You could use nails instead.  Boon said I should have been more aggressive on my root pruning.  That is, I left too many roots on when I did this.

But the tree survived and grew out well. 

HOWEVER, Boon suggested that I prune all the major branches back to about 1 to 2 inches!  Right now, from where the branches begin on the trunk they grow up about 6 to 8 inches before any significant branching occurs.  I'll never get good taper in the branches.  So, I need to do a major chop on all the branches!  I'll do this after I go back to Boon's in late January.

Boon found a photo series of a Zelkova in Contempory Bonsai showing the process.  So, as much as I like having a decent broom, it will not be as good as it could be unless I cut back those branches.

I will remove the pipe clamp, and take some pictures of what it looks like now, and then this spring, I'll update it with the "post-chop" photos.

Thanks for asking!
 

John Kirby

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Re: May 2012 Work of the Month
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2012, 12:41 PM »
Adair and I quote myself from when you ran this thread and did the repotting:


"About this tree, I didn't say that it would be allowed to grow unchecked all year, what I said was don't pinch and let it grow, etc. there are major structural issues at the top of the tree that won't be fixable with Bands or clamps or rope. However, let's fix one thing at a time. To control the top, you will want to prune the top branches back to 2-4 leaves after it starts turning woody (lignifying). Should start happening in mid to late May. If you keep effectively pinching the tree now, while you are pushing for roots, you will slow down your progress.

Thinking about the top, you will eventually need to use big pruners, a saw and some chisels. Just be patient."

The nice thing about pulling the top back in with pruning, it may pop back below and give you a place to start. But the top will have to go. John
 

Adair M

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Re: May 2012 Work of the Month
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2012, 02:11 PM »
John,

You are, as usual, correct!

Boon said I may have to completely start over  with the top.  An idea might be to airlayer the top off, and use it for a "Clump Style" group planting, and then start over with a new top.

 

nathanbs

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Re: May 2012 Work of the Month
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2012, 02:40 PM »
What happened to this thread anyways?
 

John Kirby

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Re: May 2012 Work of the Month
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2012, 05:09 PM »
Adair, yep, good strategy, the clump would be pretty interesting in and of itself. Restarting could give you a very nice medium sized tree.

Nathan, i think the little Matsu Sprout has taken a good deal of his time and thought. This is a great way to promote work, I am sure it will be resurrected.
 

MatsuBonsai

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Re: May 2012 Work of the Month
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2012, 06:48 PM »
Until such a time, you're encouraged to start your own threads, as many as you like, on any bonsai related topic, in any category you feel is appropriate.  ;)
 

Don Dunn

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Re: May 2012 Work of the Month
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2012, 10:48 PM »
If Adair does air layer the top then can he be pretty sure he will get buds on the remaining trunk, even though there are no lower branches? I know a redwood or azalea would  have a pretty good  chance of re-budding. Is there a list of trees somewhere that back bud easily? That may be another uneducated question but that's how you get educated.
 

nathanbs

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Re: May 2012 Work of the Month
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2012, 11:42 PM »
Yes an elm definitely will,  sure thats how the tree got to where it is with all of its branches coming off of a flat cut that was performed before. As far as a list of trees that will bud back on old wood with or without foliage being left behind good luck. I think your best bet is to always ask here first
 

Adair M

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Re: May 2012 Work of the Month
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2012, 11:59 PM »
Yes, Don, that is how that zelkova was created to begin with.  It was cut straight across the top.  Then, it budded out, and nine branches grew out.  Unfortunately, they did not properly bind the new bases, and the unsightly bulge was created.  At some time, it was airlayered on the bottom.  Wonderful radial roots system was created.  That's the best part of this tree.  My work on the roots is an attempt to make them even better, and create a "plate" nebari.

After beginning Boon's Intensive classes, I've set my standards higher.  I'm no longer satisfied with mediocre bonsai, and I'm striving to create top quality.  If that means "starting over", c'est la vie!