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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Work with Walter Pall!!!

Here is a note from Walter Pall.....

"I will be at Nature's Way Nursery in Harrisburg, PA at the beginning ofApril. This time we will offer very special workshops. There are morethan 30 outstanding collected trees that we work on. These are RockyMountain Junipers and Ponderosa Pines of exceptional quality. Some ofthem are clearly material for world class bonsai.We will do with the trees whatever need to be done at their stage. Thiswill be lifting form the container, examining roots. taking out olddebris from the root ball, cutting branches, deciding about futureshape, reducing foliage, cleaning trunks, potting into bonsai pots. Theparticipants will actually work with these trees hands on. I willexplain every step, what, how and why. I will go into the horticulturalside at length and certainly also into the artistic side. We will notstyle a single tree, but participants will get a good picture of thefuture of each tree. I will also make professional photographs of thetrees during the sessions. Folks who are interested will get my adviceabout how to make professional bonsai images.Most of the trees are available for sale by Jim Doyle. They arecertainly not cheap though. It is not required that someone purchasesany tree. Prices can NOT be quoted at this point in time. Trees willhave a price tag at the beginning of April though.Dates: general workshops with several participants: Friday , April 4(9am to 5pm) and Sunday, April 6 (10am to 5pm). I am also available onSaturday, April 5 and Monday, April 7 for individual sessions if required.Contact Nature's Way Nursery, Jim Doyle for the workshops and Jim ormyself for the individual sessions.See the trees here"

A real unique chance to own hand picked phenominal trees from a world renowned bonsai master. Most of these trees spent over a year in my back yard so I know they are outstanding quality and ready for work. Bonsai folks on the East Coast should take advantage of this oppurtunity to work on and own some outstanding material.

Mikawa Black Pine part 2

Well, after looking at the tree I decided that it would be best if the lower limbs were no longer part of the design. To my eye, it was too much foliage for such a skinny compact tree. I think letting the right side grow out a little will help in the future design.
Right side


Given some time to reduce needle length, grow out the right and left sides and define layers it will be a much better tree. But this tree has had enough work for the moment and next year it will get more work, if I don't sell it first.
In person it looks much better than these pictures.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Japanese Black Pine, Mikawa

I aquired this tree a few years ago and at the time it was one of my best trees and much larger than it is now.... This was the tree I took to my first ever workshop in 2005 with Boon. Since then my eye has grown and I now realize what we did was not the best. Now it is time to make a better tree....
I thinned this tree of old needles and I bet 200 unwanted buds!! The back budding on this thing was crazy. Some pictures of bending branches,

Now the finsished image for the time bieng.....
I am deciding what to do with the lower branching on the right.
I think 1 of them needs to go for sure while the other gets shortened quite a bit or removed all together. Time to get to work on it :)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Fat European Beech

Here is a field grown European Beech that is very unique. I chopped the main tree because I liked the broken branch as the tree. This was created by elk damage while growing in the field. It has been out of the ground for a few years now and no time better than now to start working on it.

Chop location~ pretty ugly!

Here after some intial carving and branch wiring

Something about the carving just didn't sit well with me. It needed to be more natural like some of the huge oaks and maples that we have growing here in the NW. So, out came the carving tools, power and hand tools....

Notice the chopstick in the picture? That is a pretty fat trunk and good base.

Now we are getting somehwere..... I introduced taper and tried to match the exsisting the deadwood which to me is a very cool feature of the tree.

Now in a new Chinese pot, it is time to just let nature finish off the deadwood. By the summer the trunk should less burnt looking and more natural. If not I will step in and make it look better by getting rid of the char. This is a unique tree that has a ways to go yet, next year I will continue to work the branches a bit. They are very brittle and one doesn't want to move them too much.....

Japanese Maple

This is a field grown garfted dwarf cultivar of Japanese Maple. The trunk and roots are phenominal and have perfect 360 degree roots. This tree was field grown for 20+yrs and was dug in 2006 as seen below

The same tree in late winter 2008 while potting it in a Chinese pot.
Lots of fine roots

Very good nebari

Nice shallow root pad with excellent roots

Nice fat root base, again very good roots

And now in a new pot and the next 2 years will be
devoted to working the new growth, back budding and
reducing the overall heigth of the tree. This has potential
to be a good bonsai in 5 years.
Rough virtual of the future size and potential shape of the tree.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Mugo Pine

Here is a good little mugo pine from a little nursery. This has been in a contianer for almost 12 yrs and has a nice single trunk with good movement.

Here is what I started with.....

From here it looks like just a typical landscape mugo pine. There is a tree lurking in there somewhere.....
Mid way photos, front and back...


While this is a good transformation, I picked all the right branches to save and got rid of the ones that wouldn't fit into my overall vision of the tree. The tree sat like this for about 2 months then I decided to finally finish it. I had to wire every shoot and pot it in a pot by Erin Pottery.


Elevated front

I am pretty happy with how this came out for a first styling. It looks like an almost finished bonsai as compared to what it started as and what I have seen others post with nursery mugos.
There is still room for improvement on this tree, but that will come next year and the years after. For now, I will enjoy this little pine.

European Hornbeam

Here is a field grown European Hornbeam.
This is a nice elegant tree with good lines. I don't have a before photo for some reason so you will have to settle for the final photos of the intial styling. Once this has a chance to ramify it will be a pretty nice tree.

The trunk had some reverse taper that I had to carve away and also some scars that I did some cleaning up on. These will heal in time and look like old hallows you see on old maples and oaks here in the NW.

Japanese Pot before and Chinese pot after.



Front from a slightly different angle.

As one can see it can be a good bonsai from all angles not just the front. Again this is the first time wire has ever hit this tree so it can only get better in the future.

Scots Pine

Here is a Scots pine that I picked up at a very small hidden nursery in the middle of nowhere. The trunk on this tree has very good bark and a nice subtle movement. I started working on this tree on Thanksgiving day with Brother in Law Rich while on mini vacation with the wives.

Here you will see what I started with and what I was able to finish with. Wow, what a lot of fine detail wiring on this one. Wirring this tree really helped me to improve on my wirring skills and now I look at it and am almost embarraesed at how bad of a job I did!! It's not that bad, really!! haha

Before and afters.....Pot made in China

Not a bad transformation. Trunk is about 4" and the tree is about 26"tall. Once this tree has a few years to fill out and then make the final branch selections it will be a very good tree. I do not forsee all these branches staying.... some will have to go!

Sub Alpine FIr

Here is a collected Sub Alpine Fir. It started out as elegant fir in the "mother daughter" or twin trunk style. After sitting on my bench for a few years I decided it was finally time to do something or sale it to someone. This winter I decided on the direction to go with it.

Before any work

Then after trunk splitting, linning the split with aluminum wire and wrapping with rafia the adding more wire to the outside. I needle pruned all the older needles to open the foliage pads up and make it easier to wire to the ends of the branches.

I am pretty happy with the results of the intial styling. Next year I will be able to fix the root sticking up, get it into a much better pot and make fine adjustments to the branches if needed.