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!

Studio Stories – A busy one to one…..

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 – A busy one to one…..

Andrew recently visited the studio for a one to one and what a busy interesting day it turned out to be.

One small needle white pine basically just needed cleaning out. This tree will be fed well next year and allowed to grow freely in preparation for wiring and styling in the autumn of 2018.

Multiple trunks had to be removed from the Taxus Bacatta to create a better more impressive nebari. A first branch selection was also made. This tree will be allowed to grow freely next year.

The second White Pine had originated in Japan but had then been field grown in Europe. Needles were cleaned out, branches selected, and then together we completely wired and styled the tree.

It was decision time for the Mugo Pine. The image was not really working with the two well branched trunks. We decided in favour of the smaller trunk which was then cleaned out, wired, and styled. Bark was stripped off the taller trunk and it was made into deadwood. With a smaller pot this will develop into a very dramatic little tree.

This was a good day with much to see for our deliberations and hard work. Andrew has already booked his next session……wonder what he will be bringing with him then??….

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Studio Stories – Two of Keith’s Junipers wired and styled

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 – Two of Keith’s Junipers wired and styled

These two Junipers had been in Keith’s collection for many years. They were now ready for restyling.

After spending considerable time wiring every branch, including fine shoots Keith brought his trees to the studio for branch positioning.

It was a pleasure to be involved in taking these two great trees to their next level.

Studio Stories – Student John’s Juniper Pfitzeriana

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 – Student John’s Juniper Pfitzeriana

This Juniper has recently attended two classes in the studio and you can certainly see a difference.

On the first visit we discussed the tree and it’s possibilities. I pruned away all the branches that I thought we would not require. John then had to take the tree home to be wired. This included some raffia and longitudinal wires on the main trunk as we envisaged some serious bending being required.

On the second visit, with most of the wiring completed I was able to set about positioning all the branches hoping to bring the foliage much closer to the trunk. The result is quite a dramatic change.

This tree has a very impressive substantial trunk with interesting deadwood and Shari. The foliage silhouette is now much more compact and in keeping with the nature of the trunk. This tree has a great future to look forward to!

Studio Stories – Black Pine…..preparing for styling.

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 – Black Pine….preparing for styling.

This tree had been in our growing beds for a couple of seasons and was lifted/ potted last autumn.

It has grown well this year, is vigorous and a good colour. It was taken into the studio for seasonal pruning and some thinning out of needles to allow light and air to penetrate the canopy. Lots of new buds inside will now be encouraged to develop further.

Hopefully the tree will be ready for a wiring and styling during the coming winter months.

Studio Stories – Taxus Cuspidata from Japan

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 – Taxus Cuspidata from Japan

This very old hollow trunk Taxus originated in Japan. I am not sure how long it has been in Europe but I have had it for about 5/6 years.

At the end of April I repotted the tree and carried out some general structural pruning to prepare the tree ready for styling in the autumn.