Studio Stories – Big John back in the studio!

Sometimes I work on nursery trees, sometimes I work on client’s trees……and sometimes if I’ve been a really good boy I get to work on my own trees. Hopefully these regular visits will give you an insight into what goes on behind closed doors……….
Studio Stories – Big John back in the studio!

18th May and Big John is brought in to the studio. Despite some fungus problems he has still managed to grow well and put on a dense canopy.

It is now time to thin the foliage out, remove some leaves and let some light in to the canopy. You can see the difference in the before and after pictures and what was left on the floor when the tree was moved back outside.

The last picture was taken yesterday, three weeks later and you can clearly see the new second flush of growth emerging. Stronger shoots around the top of the tree were pruned back.

Studio Stories – Demo day Taxus Cuspidata update

Sometimes I work on nursery trees, sometimes I work on client’s trees……and sometimes if I’ve been a really good boy I get to work on my own trees. Hopefully these regular visits will give you an insight into what goes on behind closed doors……….
Studio Stories – Demo day Taxus Cuspidata update

The first pictures were taken in January this year. The tree is now ready for another wiring and styling.

March…..and the next set of pictures show the tree wired and with branches positioned. The crown is wider and much better defined.

April and the tree is just about to be moved outside from his winter quarters. New buds are just starting to emerge.

May…..the tree was budding really well and ready for his first pinching session.

Look back through older blogs to see how this tree started out as raw material on one of our demo days……you will be amazed at the transformation!

Studio Stories – Yamadorii Juniper Japan….repotted!

Sometimes I work on nursery trees, sometimes I work on client’s trees……and sometimes if I’ve been a really good boy I get to work on my own trees. Hopefully these regular visits will give you an insight into what goes on behind closed doors……….
Studio Stories – Yamadorii Juniper Japan….repotted!

Following on the series of repotting trees from my own collection this time it was the turn of a Yamadorii Juniper from Japan.

I was concerned because the the soil was not draining correctly and always looked wet. However, the tree had grown really well last year, looks very strong and has a good colour. Because of it’s condition I was happy to carry out the repotting.

Where possible fibrous roots in contact with soil were left untouched. Basically no roots were cut off. It was a case of trying to remove all the broken down soil which was mostly in the central area of the rootball.

The replacement soil was equal parts akadama and bims but using a much larger particle size in the lower and central areas of the pot. The repotted tree will now drain so much more freely than before and should be alright for 4/5 years.

I also took the opportunity to change the front of the tree slightly to give a better view of the shari, live veins and movement in the trunk.

Studio Stories – Euonymus repotted!

Sometimes I work on nursery trees, sometimes I work on client’s trees……and sometimes if I’ve been a really good boy I get to work on my own trees. Hopefully these regular visits will give you an insight into what goes on behind closed doors……….
Studio Stories – Euonymus repotted!

My last Studio Stories article featured the repotting of Big John. On the same day I also repotted my large Euonymus bonsai.

As they say…..”every picture tells a story!……….”

 

Studio Stories – Repotting Big John

Sometimes I work on nursery trees, sometimes I work on client’s trees……and sometimes if I’ve been a really good boy I get to work on my own trees. Hopefully these regular visits will give you an insight into what goes on behind closed doors……….
Studio Stories – Repotting Big John

Last Thursday my helpers could not get in because of the snow……I was on my own so decided to catch up on some repotting. Big John is a Trident Maple and quite a substantial one. He was last repotted in March 2015.

As you can see from the pictures I did have some help……if you can call it that!!! This is some tree to handle on your own. An excellent root system had continued to develop over the past three years and there was plenty to remove.

Notice the acorns…….can you believe one of our furry little friends is using Big john as a grain store!!

I used a mix of three parts Akadama to one part Bims (a German river gravel ) in two sizes of granules. The whole thing came together well and once again he just fits snugly into his shallow Derek Aspinall pot.

Hopefully he will be alright now for another 3/4 years. The final picture is just another reminder for me as much as for you as to how far I have come with this tree!

 

Studio Stories – Busy day on a recent one to two!

Sometimes I work on nursery trees, sometimes I work on client’s trees……and sometimes if I’ve been a really good boy I get to work on my own trees. Hopefully these regular visits will give you an insight into what goes on behind closed doors……….
Studio Stories – Busy day on a recent one to two!

There was certainly plenty for me to do on a recent one to two with Rob and Bob.

The Arakawa or cork bark Maple had been wired ready for branch positioning and repotting. We will refine this tree further once it is in leaf.

The Juniper Squamata Meyerii and the Chinensis had also both been wired ready for styling and branch positioning.

The large Larch was also styled and then pruned back to it’s profile. The Larch forest had grown really well and required extensive pruning. Lower branches were left long and will be allowed to grow further to thicken them.

Hard work before the class in terms of rewiring meant that we could achieve so much more on all these trees in a single day.

Studio Stories – Some recent restyling!

Sometimes I work on nursery trees, sometimes I work on client’s trees……and sometimes if I’ve been a really good boy I get to work on my own trees. Hopefully these regular visits will give you an insight into what goes on behind closed doors……….
Studio Stories – Some recent restyling!

It’s a time of year when we can catch up on some wiring and styling work on some of the trees on the sales benches.

Some of this work was carried out with the aid of my helpers and Some was carried out during an academy session.

It’s a chance to take some trees to another level but this work only provides a base from which we can build during the coming growing season.

The cascading branch on the root over rock white pine was too straight and was also weak. The stump will be made into a Jin and eventually will run into a shari.

The Black Pine has a new angle and front. The Yamadorii Spruce also has a new front.

Studio Stories – Its that Larch time of year again!

Sometimes I work on nursery trees, sometimes I work on client’s trees……and sometimes if I’ve been a really good boy I get to work on my own trees. Hopefully these regular visits will give you an insight into what goes on behind closed doors……….
Studio Stories – It’s that Larch time of year again!

The majority of Larch trees have now lost all their needles so it’s an ideal time for pruning and wiring. December and January is also the time when we start to repot Larch Bonsai on the nursery.

The pictures below show some of the Larch which have turned up on classes recently. It’s a bit like spot the difference……..hopefully you will be able to tell where the scissors have been!

 

Studio Stories – My Kiyohime Maple

Sometimes I work on nursery trees, sometimes I work on client’s trees……and sometimes if I’ve been a really good boy I get to work on my own trees. Hopefully these regular visits will give you an insight into what goes on behind closed doors……….
Studio Stories – My Kiyohime Maple 

You may recall that in an earlier blog this year we detailed the history of this tree. How it had suffered from frost damage as a garden tree and almost died.

I had resurrected the tree and been growing it in a large Bonsai pot. In Spring this year I repotted it into this new shallow cream container. The tree has done good!

Today I took off the remaining leaves, cut off all the dead pruning snags, and carried out a light pruning of the fine twigs where necessary. You can definitely see signs of improvement and refinement in this tree.

I hope this good progress will continue on his journey to the next level. It’s good to photograph your trees each year at this time so you can compare and monitor their progress.

The first three pictures were taken in Spring, the middle three were taken in June and the last three were taken in November…..all 2017.

Studio Stories – Pruning….. a Midweek workshop!

Sometimes I work on nursery trees, sometimes I work on client’s trees……and sometimes if I’ve been a really good boy I get to work on my own trees. Hopefully these regular visits will give you an insight into what goes on behind closed doors……….
Studio Stories – Pruning….. a Midweek workshop 

Interesting mix of material turned up at a recent midweek workshop and included the trees below. All of them required some autumn pruning!

The dwarf honeysuckle Lonicera had been allowed to grow freely and now required some definition. Extended shoots were selected and pruned back to a basic structure. This will now form the framework for next year’s growth and allow branches and foliage clouds to be developed. To a large degree this tree benefits from being treated almost like topiary.

The Cedar is developing really well and was pruned back in anticipation of wiring. This next wiring should really define this tree and show a good image.

The small half cascade Blue Carpet Juniper has a lovely intertwining live vein and shari. Once again it was lightened and pruned ready for wiring.

This small needle Pine is probably variety Zuisho. It stands now without wire and was pruned to refine its appearance. You can see how much was pruned out but this is almost like a “spot the difference puzzle”……can you see where it came from? Excellent tree!