I was over at my new Bonsai friend Ben's house exploring his growing collection of trees. I was there to help him with some trees, teach him some Bonsai technique, and have some laughs. We were walking through his trees and this Burtt davyii nana was a tree that caught my eye.
This tree was bought from my good friend Mike Rogers. It was bought because it's a ficus and hard to kill. This tree was begging for some love so I told Ben this tree would be a great way to start the day and teach him a few things. So we got to defoliating and trimming
Some ask why defoliate trees. The reason is to be able to see into the tree and make it easier to wire, but to also reduce the size of the leaf. Now it is time for wire and placing branches.
Something I was always taught and I told Ben this, is to do all the tree work in the current pot because if you take the tree out and put it in a new pot then try to move branches... The tree isn't secure in the pot so you will be shaking the tree which isn't good for the tree's roots.
Now that all of the tree work is done, lets take the tree out and look at the roots.
This tree looks like it hasn't been repotted in a few years. The soil is very broken down and is in need of new soil. Lets go to the hose to see what roots we really do have.
That big tap root needs to go! Then those circling roots. Lets get to cutting! Here is the result
Now it is time to choose a pot.
I found this pot. Ben said the pot is by Tani Ranzan and we both agreed that the tree would look great in the pot! Here is the pot.
So then I showed him how to tie the tree into this cool pot.
Here is how the tree turned out.
The top of the tree needs to be moved right but I didn't because the tree was cracking. This would give me nice movement. Mike the original owner thought the tree came out nice. Ben and I both were very happy with the result and can't wait to see what it looks like in a few years!
After reading the title, you are wondering a pine!? I've never done a post on a pine. This pine is from one of my great bonsai friends Mike Rogers. We were going through his nursery and I found this little guy.
I had the idea to put a piece of wire on it and put some movement into it. I asked Mike to help me since I did not want to break the tree in half
So when I did this, it was February 16. I took the pine home and it has been living on my bench for a few weeks.
After taking it home, I wanted to find out why it was called a Mikawa Black Pine and not just a regular Black Pine. I found out that Mikawa is a place in Japan where these pines are found. I found this out from Peter Tea's website. This particular Pine was grown from a seed.
So on February 28, I repotted the Pine into a colander. The reason you repot into a colander is on this website. So now it's time to take the tree out of the pot.
Wow! Look at those roots!! I did not expect that many roots!!
Now if you notice the white stuff, many may think it is a bad thing to have in the soil. But it is actually very good for the tree. Some plants rely on this stuff for survival. The white stuff is called Mycorrhiza which is very good for the roots and the tree! Mycorrhiza is a symbiotic relationship between the roots of a plant and a fungus. According to Wikipedia, at least 80% of the land plant species have mycorrhiza.
Now it's time to rake the soil off the tree. I usually bare-root the tree with the hose but you should really try not to bare-root conifers. So for this tree, I will use my trusty root rake.
The soil came off a lot easier than I expected! After getting rid of the soil, it seems there is more trunk then originally thought. This will make it an even better tree! If you notice in the picture there is luckily some extra wire that was used for the original styling that can be used. Now, time to make this tree even more interesting!
Before I show you the finished tree, here is the before picture.
And the after
Wow, what a transformation!! I can not wait to see what this tree looks like in a few years!!
Hope you learned a lot about pines and will see you next time!!
Recently, I was learning about forrest planting. Then apply what was learned to a forrest planting using cypress. Me and 2 other people created a 5 cypress forrest planting. We picked out a nice yellow looking pot for all of the cypress to go in.
The first thing to do to the cypress is prepair them to be put in the pot. After being prepaired, then we had to figure out how we wanted the cypress arranged... When arranging a forrest planting, you do not want what they call a "picket fense", you want to make it interesting and most importantly... NATURAL
As you can see, we have the smaller lookng trunks torwards the front. The reason for this was to make it controversal. We wanted to get people talking!
Now postitioned how we wanted it, it's time to chop the cypress to different hights. You do this to make it more interesting. If you go outside and look at a forrest, not every tree is the same size and thickness. That's why you use skinnier and thicker trees, and taller and shortet trees.
Off it goes!
And that's it! I'm going to show you the after picture but first from the sides... When you do a forrest planting, you need to be able to see each part of each trees trunk. Take a look and see if you can spot all 5!
And here is the front. I love the way it turned out and can't wait to see what it looks like all full and grown out!
It's almost the end of October and it has rained, A LOT! Everything has grown, A LOT! All of the trees look like they have grown into one huge tree! Some trees where really being clingy to one another. We have an ilex next to a ficus and it's root's were wrapped around the pot!
Below is the root that was attached to the tree above.
Our Brazilian Rain Trees have been growing a ton! I got down to look at one of them that when looked up to, it looks like it could be a massive tree in the ground, but is really in a pot. Below is the picture.
It really does look like a real tree! Maybe one day I will see a tree that looks just like this in the future! If you look hard enough, you may be able to see a face!
Hope you have enjoyed,
~Ben Jamin Lorber
Ben jamin Lorber
I LOVE Bonsai!! I have participated in many styling competitions and have even won! I have also displayed many trees in many exhibits!
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