Wednesday, 17 August 2011

The Privet with no roots

One Sunday afternoon in the middle of winter my father was digging some Privet out of his front garden and this was one of the pieces that had been pulled out:

At the time it had absolutely no roots on it but hey it was free... So I grabbed an old ice cream container put some holes in the bottom of it and potted it up. I'm not sure what the soil mix is, just whatever my father had at the time, it is very sandy though.

I don't know what its survival chances are but I hear Privets are pretty hardy so we will see come  warmer weather.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Chinese Pistachio Trunk Chop

Here is my Chinese Pistachio which was given a trunk chop on 07/08/11. I have left the two lower branches on in the hope of fattening the base and the shoot at the top will hopefully draw energy up the tree to prevent massive die back.

Eventually I plan to shorten the tree further, however, I have very little experience with this type of material and I'm not sure how it will react so I will let it recover from this and see where we stand.

(With a 2ltr Coke bottle as a size reference)

Friday, 5 August 2011

Trident Maple Repotted

I decided to repot this little Trident Maple recently. As it is basically just a stick in a pot at this stage (even more so now that it is winter an has lost all of its leaves) my plan for it is to continue potting it up into ever larger containers to build the size of the trunk, all the while working on its roots.

With this in mind I moved it from its black plastic container to what I will admit is a very ugly bonsai pot, however, it is roughly twice the size of the old pot and nice and deep, both of which will help with the growth speed of the tree.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Rescued Trident Maple

I got this Trident Maple in the middle of summer 2010 from a friend who had forgotten to water it for what I assume was a fair while as it had lost all its leaves and the soil was bone dry.

Unfortunately I don't have a photo of it from this time, I thought it would die. Here it is after I gave it a good bath in Seasol and left it in a shady spot to recover for a little while.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Buxus Bonsai Care Instructions

I feel that it is about time I start writing down some care instructions for my bonsai, so here goes.

Japanese Box Hedge (Buxus microphylla v. japonica) care instructions

Watering: Keep them slightly on the dry side, however, I haven't found them to be to fussy.

Re-potting: During very early spring.

Pruning: As it is actively growing, care should be taken to prune so as to let light and air into the inner parts of the tree.

Back budding: Prolific, at least in my experience.

Winter protection: It is apparently hardy to -4 degrees Celsius, however, mine has been OK despite a few -7 nights. There has been some bronzing of the leaves but this is normal.

Wiring: It is possible to wire new growth, however, once matured it becomes hard and brittle, I  wouldn't recommend trying as the bark is also fragile.

Positioning: They will tolerate some shade, however, plenty of sun is best.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Buxus Virt

I decided to put this Buxus up on the Ausbonsai forums in the hope of getting some expert advice.

The friendly people there pointed out to me that my original plans wouldn't work as well as I was hoping due to a lack of taper. Instead they have suggested the removal of the larger right side of the fork and a change of planting angle, something like the image below:
I agree that this will give much more taper and some nice trunk movement, however, I am still unsure of where I should take it from here. The first shoot on the right appears to be a little low for a first branch and the ones on the left would be on the inside of a bend in the trunk. Perhaps I will have to cut it back hard and hope for some new shoots.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Greybark Elm 2006

As I stated in a previous post I have come to believe that this tree was a mistake and the reason for this belief can be seen in the photo below:
You might need to enlarge the photo to see it clearly but the tree has a horrible wound on the top which will not heal nicely for a very long time, the tree also has no taper whatsoever.

My plan with this one is to put it into a bigger pot and grow it on for a bit. This will thicken the trunk and then I may try for a broom style.

Any advice on this plan?

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Greybark Elm 2006

I bought this Greybark elm as mallsai on the same day in 2010 as the Japanese Elm. I think it is perhaps one of the worst purchases I have made so far but I will go into that more in another post.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Our Ragdoll Kittens

I know its not strictly bonsai related but my fiance took this video recently and I thought it deserved a mention.

Dwarf Umbrella Tree Recovering

Here is the tree as of 25/07/11
As you can see I have let it go a little wild. It has had a hard time since that first picture. First it was infected by aphids and just as it was recovering from that my 8 week old Ragdoll Kittens had a few bites of it.

Anyway my plan is to let it grow freely to put a little bit of size on the trunk and get healthy again. Then come midsummer I will go about drastically shortening it. From what I have read you can take these things back to a bare trunk and they will recover fine.
Wish me luck

Dwarf Umbrella Tree 2010

I'm not sure if this one really counts as bonsai but anyway...
It was purchased from a nursery on the South Coast of Australia in 2010. It is a Dwarf Umbrella Tree or Schefflera Arboricola according to its tag.
Sorry about the poor quality of the photo and the shocking angle it is taken from. What is not really clear from the picture is that this is actually attached to the side of a rock with roots trailing down into little pebbles which are then covered with water.

Japanese Maple Duo 2010

The Japanese Maple seedlings grew extremely well. So well in fact that we had to separate them out. Unfortunately I only have a photo of one of them from this period, but you get the idea.

Japanese Maple Duo 2010

During the summer of 2010 my fiance and I dug up these two little self seeded Japanese Maples from my fathers back garden, just for a little bit of fun.
When we got them back home:
(yes that weed is significantly larger than the other plants)

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Buxus 2010

I have been looking at this one for a while but I still cant decide what to do with it. This is how it looks now, but any suggestions would be welcome.

Buxus 2010

I was given this little Japanese Box Hedge in 2010. I have no idea of its age.
After a closer inspection this one has some strange slug creature living in its soil :(
You might need to enlarge the image to see it though

Chinese Pistachio Plans

This is how the tree looks as of 24/07/11
Still not good I know.

I have a plan to drastically shorten the height of the tree. I'm going to cut it back down to the red line shown below.

I would like to eventually shorten it even further but we will see how this goes first

Chinese Pistachio Cleanup

All Chinese Pistachio posts.

A short time later it was all cleaned up

Still has a long way to go though. I am also worried about the large pinnate leaves and if they will ever reduce down to the size required for a convincing bonsai.

I also re-potted it into something bigger to help its growth and took off the dead leader sticking out the top.

Chinese Pistachio 2010

This Chinese Pistachio (Pistacia Chinensis) was given to me by a very generous person in 2010 but I have no clue how old it is.

As you can see it had been left to its own devices for a bit and had gone a bit wild

Japanese Elm 2005

It's getting closer to spring time here in Australia. I decided that a re-pot into a nice oversize pot would do it some good and help fatten it up a bit.
Without its leaves the flaws in its structure become even more evident. I will have to work on this over the coming year.

Japanese Elm 2005

Unfortunately the leaves got a little burnt
I don't have any photos but it recovered nicely

Japanese Elm 2005

 I bought this little guy in 2010, back when I had no idea what I was doing. Not that I know what I'm doing now mind you... just that I was really clueless back then.