Bonsai Study Group Forum

General Category => Tropical Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: Dale Cochoy on June 23, 2009, 11:59 AM

Title: Trying to make it better....a bougainvillea air layer
Post by: Dale Cochoy on June 23, 2009, 11:59 AM
I hope this OK to do and you can bear with me a bit. I started this thread last summer on another talk group which evidently will NEVER be back up again. I finished the job a couple weeks ago, took pictures and now have nothing to do with them! I hate it to go to waste so I thought I'd use them for my first working post here. Unfortunately I need to start from the beginning.
So, here is last years work to those that might have seen it. If not....then it's new! ;D

I had a fairly tall and lanky bougie for a few years and two years ago while over wintering the lower branch died off making the tree pretty much a 'mess' and ugly. So I decided to air layer off the top which had some nice movement. Here are a couple pics of the tree from two sides before showing the dead stump.
Title: Re: Trying to make it better....a bougainvillea air layer
Post by: Dale Cochoy on June 23, 2009, 12:05 PM
I found the area on the trunk that I wanted to use as the air layer but I decided I better go a tad shorter than planned to get around an area where a branch had died of or broken off in the past and I thought would ruin my new trunk line. So I peeled and cleaned the bark a bit above it. If you look in the pictures you'l see the area I mean. It looks a bit like butt cheeks! ;D
I cut some small irregular and varying width 'flaps' in the bark and then cut some tips from some barbeque skewers and slid under the flaps to direct the bark and future roots outward at various widths. I applied KLN rooting mixture to the flaps.
Title: Re: Trying to make it better....a bougainvillea air layer
Post by: Dale Cochoy on June 23, 2009, 12:12 PM
You'll note the 'razor' blade on the knife I used for this. Very sharp . I use these often for this type work and for slicing bark off before jin work. These are fairly cheap and available anywhere you see knives.

Also, in #8 you can clearly see the butt cheeks I had to work around  ;D
Title: Re: Trying to make it better....a bougainvillea air layer
Post by: Dale Cochoy on June 23, 2009, 12:17 PM
I then split a plastic pot, widened the hole in bottom to fit the trunk and filled it with KLN soaked sphagnum moss. I rigged up a couple wires to the pot to hold it up so it wouldn't slide down the trunk. These looped up over branches.
I wrapped the pot with string. It didn't need to last too long.
My first and second branches are pretty nice sized and placed. My first rear branch is a new branch and I'm being very careful with it at this point but it is in a good spot although a bit small. As I always say....you get what you get!
The new front I've picked for the tree with the layer shows these branches pretty well I think.
Title: Re: Trying to make it better....a bougainvillea air layer
Post by: Dale Cochoy on June 23, 2009, 12:27 PM
I did this around first week of June here in  NE Ohio. I waited about 7 weeks to remove the layer. I would love to have waited longer for the roots to get larger but I wanted to get the layer off in time to get it potted and to develope some before I needed to take it inside in winter to over winter under lights.
I carefully removed about half the moss and sawed off the air layer. ( I saved the bottom tree for future use). You will note I left the trunk a few inches long under the layer. This is so I didn't jossle the new roots much in removing it and also because I wanted to plant the tree in a pot sitting on the trunk so as not to require too much anchoring around my newly formed roots. I picked this very nice hand made pot by Richard Robinson which I thought was perfect for size/shape. Once the stub is removed it would go in a reficulously low pot but I feel it won't look right. Also, after 31 yrs in bonsai in Ohio, I no longer 'underpot'.
I set the stump on the bottom of the pot and used hold-down wiring from the branches to the pot to hold it sturdy. No pressure on the new roots.
Title: Re: Trying to make it better....a bougainvillea air layer
Post by: Dale Cochoy on June 23, 2009, 12:28 PM
Here are a couple shots of the potted tree showing my new front.
Title: Re: Trying to make it better....a bougainvillea air layer
Post by: Dale Cochoy on June 23, 2009, 12:30 PM
Here are a couple shots of repotting the bottom part of the tree that I'm saving to re-grow. This will TAKE A WHILE in OHIO. More on this later....much later!
Title: Re: Trying to make it better....a bougainvillea air layer
Post by: Dale Cochoy on June 23, 2009, 12:46 PM
OK, NOW JUMP AHEAD TO JUNE 2009

I decided it was time to finish my air layer job. It's been a year now since seperated and spent almost 7 months indoors under lights during that time. After it perked up a bit outside this late spring I decided to finish it up.
 I trimmed it and removed a lot of leaves for this next step.
I removed it from Richards pot and raked out the sphagnum very carefully and checked the roots. Nice! All the way around the circumfrance and plenty of them! varying distances from one another and a couple different heights a few mm apart.
I used some large Masakuni root cutters to remove the stub that was about 21/2" long right down to the new rootbase.
I put a little KLN around the new fresh cut at bottom of root base just in case I might have gotten into the cambium.
Title: Re: Trying to make it better....a bougainvillea air layer
Post by: Dale Cochoy on June 23, 2009, 12:47 PM
Here is a shot of the Masakuni cutters I used.
The boards are 5 1/2" across for scale.
A couple car payments there!! ::)
Title: Re: Trying to make it better....a bougainvillea air layer
Post by: Dale Cochoy on June 23, 2009, 12:57 PM
As I mentioned before, this would go into a pot about 1 1/2" deep which I thought would look bad and be risky for me so I picked a NICE pot for it!
I used an old hand-made Japanese pot which is worth far more than the tree. I liked the shape and size for the tree. Not TOO shallow but moreso than the first one. I think the color will also look great with the flowers.
I used a similar method to hold the tree into the pot as I did with the air layer. I still don't wish to tighten wires over my rootball yet so I looped them through drainage holes and up over the two main branches. I used aquarium air hose as branch protection. I use this stuff a lot!
I also enclosed a better old picture of the pot which had an azalea in it for years until I moved the tree during a repot this spring.
Later this summer we'll get into some wiring of the branches and new shoots that are coming out. Right now I'm just letting it grow and root up.
I hope you enjoyed my first story here.
Dale
Title: Re: Trying to make it better....a bougainvillea air layer
Post by: Rick Moquin on June 23, 2009, 02:53 PM
You gotta love mother nature and its handy work. A far better rendition was possible and a job well done. What colour does she flower?
Title: Re: Trying to make it better....a bougainvillea air layer
Post by: bonsaihunk on June 23, 2009, 03:16 PM
Super work!
Thanks for sharing Dale.
Jerry
Title: Re: Trying to make it better....a bougainvillea air layer
Post by: Larry Gockley on June 23, 2009, 03:19 PM
Great job Dale. Do you think the BBQ skewers made a big difference, and would you use them again ?  Larry
Title: Re: Trying to make it better....a bougainvillea air layer
Post by: bonsaikc on June 23, 2009, 07:37 PM
Great progression, Dale, and may I say that this kind of thing is what I've always thought bonsai forums should be about. "Here's what I did, here's what it looks like, here's the results." All with great photos.

Super Job!
Chris
Title: Re: Trying to make it better....a bougainvillea air layer
Post by: Dale Cochoy on June 23, 2009, 10:23 PM
Thanks guys.
Rick, they are bright pink flowers. If I get any this year after all the 'whacking' I'll post it.
Larry, I think the BBQ skewers help in getting the flaps out horizontal to get your new roots going in the right direction. Also, you can use them to vary the angle of the 'flaps' so that the roots vary a bit. Yes, I'd use them again....I have oodles! ;D but, you could use many things. I would stick with something however that will eventually rot away.

Later this summer I'll take a pic of the removed bottom. It's coming along pretty slow here in Ohio.

Dale
Title: Re: Trying to make it better....a bougainvillea air layer
Post by: andy graham on June 24, 2009, 06:44 AM
Dale,

Thanks! Excellent job, very nice tree.

Andy
Title: Re: Trying to make it better....a bougainvillea air layer
Post by: clrosner on June 27, 2009, 09:29 PM
Hi Dale:
A superb job of describing the work/play in one of my favorite plants.  I think it is almost time for you to make a special pot of your own design for that beauty. 

Warmest regards,
Carl

PS: Welcome to the new forum. Please note that some of your Bonsai colleagues are also here!
Title: Re: Trying to make it better....a bougainvillea air layer
Post by: Dale Cochoy on July 11, 2011, 02:06 PM
I was hoping to get a shot of the bougie flowering this summer but so far....no flowers. However, it flowers MOST of the winter , in the house, under lights, as do my other bougies!
It looks pretty much as it does in the photo above but a bit fuller and more twigy.

I'd not spent much time with the lower original trunk. I just let it grow wild most of the time and this winter it grew up into my fluorescent lights and also bloomed all winter.
I finally got it cut back seriously to remove the long tendrils and put on some loose wire quickly. Here is a shot from this AM.
If I keep working on this tree and don't sell it i think in 2 years it will be a nicely shaped and twigged tree.

Now, if I could just get it to flower when I want!

BTW, I KNOW that this in no way compares to a Florida grown bougie, but, I think it's doing ok for a stump job in NE Ohio where it gets an outside season about 5 months....maybe
Title: Re: Trying to make it better....a bougainvillea air layer
Post by: Dale Cochoy on July 11, 2011, 02:34 PM
Here are a couple shots of the main tree from today. Before and after a light trim.
It's time for a full wiring job on this and a bit of easy carving on a dead area in the rear. This will only require some dremel work with a small tricut.
Title: Re: Trying to make it better....a bougainvillea air layer
Post by: bonsaihunk on July 11, 2011, 03:07 PM
Dale,
Nice work!!
Jerry
Title: Re: Trying to make it better....a bougainvillea air layer
Post by: Sam Ogranaja on July 15, 2011, 09:46 AM
Great job Dale. That blue pot is exquisite.

Have a great weekend
Sam
Title: Re: Trying to make it better....a bougainvillea air layer
Post by: Dale Cochoy on July 15, 2011, 12:01 PM
Thanks Sam, the antique blue pot is worth well more than the tree!!.....
I stumbled on this pot during vendor setup at the ABS Denver show in '97ish from a lady who was getting rid of all her late husbands bonsai stuff ( West). Also some LARGE Masakuni tools, Naka Satsuki books and other pots all sold at the old prices that were on them. The real treasure was an old large Toshio Kawamoto Land &Water pot and a hand made scalloped round with rivets.

Dale
Title: Re: Trying to make it better....a bougainvillea air layer
Post by: andy graham on July 16, 2011, 11:34 AM

Very nice job Dale.


Andy



Title: Re: Trying to make it better....a bougainvillea air layer
Post by: Dale Cochoy on July 18, 2011, 03:06 PM
Thanks Andy.
Now, If I could just get some of those 'Next to the Mexican Border'-sized tropicals......

Zone envy....
Title: Re: Trying to make it better....a bougainvillea air layer
Post by: Nigel Parke on October 07, 2011, 12:21 AM
Dale,
I love the tree, the progression really helps to show how you got it to where it is now. Here in Jamaica we deprive our bougies of water when we want them to bloom...you could try that with yours next summer when its warmer, also feed them more heavily with potassium to encourage blooming.

Nigel
Title: Re: Trying to make it better....a bougainvillea air layer
Post by: Dale Cochoy on October 11, 2011, 12:57 PM
Nigel,
Thanks, I've tried everything, including those and denying water until wilted. They bloom great in the winter here under lights though!  :(
I know a large dealer who can plan flowering at shows almost to the day by drying between watering.

D.
Title: Re: Trying to make it better....a bougainvillea air layer
Post by: Dale Cochoy on May 28, 2012, 12:58 PM
OK, it's been a while, but, since I already had this thread here I decided to update it today with a quick shot I took today. A couple weeks ago I defoliated and trimmed back these two bougies from this thread after I brought them out from my basement winter light racks where they were growing up and around the fluorescent lights.. They immediately were sunburned and then frosted a week later. ( I have too many to do the 'tropical 2-step' so once out, they are on their own) After I decided there would be no more frost I defoliated them, did a bit of wiring and here they are a couple weeks later. I repotted the air-layered tree out of the old valuable container and into a smaller container. I don't like it as well but I intend to sell the tree and don't want to get rid of the blue pot. This one is a fine Sara Rayner pot.
the original tree 'bottom' is coming along slowly but eventually will be pretty nice I think.
I'll get a shot later when leaves are all filled out.
D.
Title: Re: Trying to make it better....a bougainvillea air layer
Post by: Dale Cochoy on August 02, 2012, 09:36 PM
A quick update shot on these two trees from this morning 8/2/2012.
I didn't really like the looks of the pot last used with the air-layered tree early this spring so I repotted again into this Raynor pot. I think the pot looks better than the last one with a bit more soil area, plus, a still sale-able value.
The original trunk and rootbase are doing pretty well with the summer we've been having!
Here are both together, front and back.

Dale

P.S. Even after sizing down my pictures so that it isn't automatically done , the picture quality here sure is worse than the originals!
Title: Re: Trying to make it better....a bougainvillea air layer
Post by: tmmason10 on August 02, 2012, 11:03 PM
They look happy Dale. Glad to see you posting and hope you and your family are doing well. I think it's interesting you don't use your own pots!
Title: Re: Trying to make it better....a bougainvillea air layer
Post by: Dale Cochoy on August 03, 2012, 12:36 AM
I have no problem with using some one elses pot if it fits and looks good. I spent many years buying other folks pots and have lots of them. I also use mine, Chinese and Japanese. I have about 175 trees left now after selling many. But, that is still WAY too many trees to have in my pots, plus, many of my trees are large and it's just easier to use Chinese or Japanese pots than make them myself, plus if I want a fancy rectangle, oval , lotus, etc. it's much easier to buy an imported cast pot. I think I'd get bored looking at all my trees in all my pots!
But, mainly, I can't afford to use my pots  ;D , and when I do, they are usually flawed ones that I can't sell.
Title: Re: Trying to make it better....a bougainvillea air layer
Post by: andy graham on August 03, 2012, 09:41 AM
Dale,

These really turned out excellent. The original chopped one has come a long way in its development.

andy
Title: Re: Trying to make it better....a bougainvillea air layer
Post by: Dale Cochoy on August 03, 2012, 11:18 AM
Thanks Andy!
I was wondering if anyone would look back to the beginning of the thread  ;D
I'm actuually VERY suprised it did that well in three years here!
I never planned on keeping either of these as I have two big bougies . This was mainly done to get two 'sellable' trees from one that really wasn't. I might take them both to my next show in October.

D.