Reflections on my vacation leave.

Guess i have learned a few thinggs about our noble art this summer, by not beeing on spot to maintain new shoots etc. Here is what i learned:
  1. Vacation is best taken during a time when my trees are not growing at a fast pace.
  2. All my one year old maples grow insanely fast in mid-summer.
  3. Watering and feeding can be taken care of by good neighbours, but the trees will not pinch themselves.
  4. Never leave an Acer unpinched for more than two days during the summer.
  5. Beeches and birches grow much slower than the maples.
  6. Atropurpureum needs more shading than i thought and are VERY sensitive to dryness.
Thanks to good friends for watering an feeding while I was away:) Next time you will need to learn pinching techniques as well! As a result of my mistake 80 percent of the new branches on my maples, (except the "atropurpureum" species which received to much sun and hence lost most of its leaves which in turn prevented long internodes) will have to be pruned all the way back next spring. All in all I have learned a lot by not beeing there.
Next summer I will be concentrating very much on the pinching of new shoots on the maples and I am considering no vacation at all.
This book is in the mail btw: http://www.amazon.com/Bonsai-Japanese-Maples-Peter-Adams/dp/0881928097/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1218029023&sr=1-11
My hope is to learn more about this species.

Sheltering for the sun.

Since I am having my vacation three weeks from now, i decided to give my trees som protection from the sun. This way they will receive no direct sun. A good neighbour of mine will take care of the watering and also make a good contributon in the everlasting war against the aphids.


Leaves on the beech

I followed this guide on Bonsai4me and did some initial pruning on my smallest beech. All the buds resulted in 5 leaves each so i cut most of them down to 2-3. Here are the result:

Rowan Yamadori (ASH yamadori - red 3. june 2009)

Later found out that this is not rowan after all but an ash tree, the latin name for it is Fraxinus excelsior The same day i brought home my new norwegian maple, I found this little rowan growing beside it.
Seems to be some potential for deadwood on this one. It also have a total of four trunks, so it will be an interesting project I think.
Norwegian: http://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogn English: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rowan

Acer pseudoplatanus

This tiny stick was picked up from around mosvannet a couple of days ago. I guess its not the right time of year to do that but what the heck, a hobby is a hobby. Nice yamadori traning anyway. I got all the roots with me and in a couple of years this norwegian maple may may even prove to be a bonsai. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acer_pseudoplatanus

Spring pictures 3

Larix, extreme closeup. The Kroatian rocks in my beech pot.
My second beech yamadori, (has not got its own project yet)
The beeches are alive and well
Can this work? I do not know the english word (poding) maybe it is grafting???

Spring pictures 2

Acer Palmatum Acer Pamatum Atropurpureum, look at the tiny buds, just where i planned them to be
My newest larch, 1 month old yamadori, not a perfect shape, but it will do. I threw away my last one since it was pretty much dead from the treatment i gave it this winter:(

My first yamadori EVER. The only scrub that has survived the winter. In one years time this has survived over a dozen murder-attempts. Overheating, overdarkening, overwatering, overfeeding etc. etc. It just wont die.
New shoots on my scrub.

Spring pictures 1

Acer Ginalla buds Acer Palmatum in bloom

Acer Palmatum Atropurpureum #1

As earlier announced here is my Acer Palmatum Atropurpureum Project#1. You can allways access posts about this tree in the "MY PROJECTS" sections in the upper right corner. Guess you got it by now.

This one i picked up at Plantasjen in mid-March 2008. I brought a total of five Acers to the workshop with David Prescott in April this year.
This is the only Acer i have wich has a real bonsai pot. I guess the pot has not got the real color or size, but that is a science for later years, remember that I am a Bonsai Neophytt, and am enyoing my adventure as it enrolls, whether wrong or right, this or that.

Back to the tree, David saw some direct potential in it so we focused on the form of the branches and the tapering. The forms potential lies in the shapes and position of the branches. When the new shoots arrive they will sooner or later make the base for a natural Apex around the tree.
The tree was potted in 100% Acadama and enjoys about 1,5 hours of direct sun each day this time of year. Yesterday i saw the new shoots. I counted around 15 of them. To me this is an all time bonsaihigh, and I am looking forward to see the growth continued.


Oh, happy day, with all the warm days and summer just around the corner this is the best hobby in the world:)

The man with the plan

Here is a photo of me from the workshop with David Prescott in Stavanger.
At this moment i was working on my Acer Ginnala wich was cut back harshly as adviced by Mr. Prescott. This tree will soon have its own project, in the "My projects" section to your upper-right.
Here you can find more info and pictures from our workshop. (Norwegian article)

Beech - Yamadori

My first beech-yamadori. It has a trunk approx 5 cm in diametre, and a relative good tapering i think. Well, the day after, a quick visit to Clas Olsson to buy a new shovel (Trygve broke the last one), I parked the car a few hundred metres from the site. Put on my cap and sunglasses and went into the forest to do the job.


Well, the job is done and now the real work begins. The tree had deep roots and if it does not survive I only have myself to blame. I lost a good deal of the root ball when taking it up from the green bag, but time will show. Next time I will be even more careful when pulling it up from the ground. Anyway, it will be a good traing for me, with all those branches to ruin and cut of:).

The beech is repotted into a wooden growing case i made the day before with some old shelves from my basement. The soil used is a 20% plant-soil and 80 % Cat Litter from Coop.


An interesting detail from the base of the trunk.



The tree so far. I do not have the heart to abuse it any further at the current time. Maybe I should have cut it some more back, but it will do for now. It is spring time and I am looking forward to see if this tree survives my evil doings.

"Nine empty pots and a sack of bonsai."

Yesterday I threw away a total of nine sticks. These where my early projects, all potted in poor soil, and really not fitted for bonsai at all. So now i have nine more pots for future yamadoris:)





I am Bonsai

This is how my bonsai interest came to life.

Two years ago i finally reached adulthood when i rounded 30 years. As a birthday present from my good friend Trygve I got a, guess what, you guessed it. It was a no good nursery stock SAGERETIA THEEZANS /CHINESE BIRD PLUM mallsai wich came in a small blue polished pot. During springtime last year I did all the wrong things right and by the start of June i could throw the dry stick in the garbage.

But the Bonsaiist inside me had awoken...

So we started collecting. Everything wich could be called a hedge, tree or scrub we dug up and brought it home for a new pot; yamadori, Still I did all the wrong things right, but by the start of november i had 18 pots with sticks in it, wich I considered then a good job done. Then after reading dozens of articles about the harsh winters in Norway regarding Bonsais, I did a last, but interesting mistake. I kept them inside and ended up with 18 frustrated and confused trees with not too much life in them.




Well now, however things were, this year has started different. I joined Stavanger Bonsaiforening and I check in at our beloved forum almost everyday to get the hang of things.

Out of the now 21 pots I have outside my backdoor in Stavanger I see a small potential in at least 7 of them, so i have decided to post some pictures of them, not so much for a growing audience, but as a kind of diary of my own hobby. Here is the list of trees I am currently interested in:

2 * Acer Palmatum

This image was taken outside Horpestad Plantesalg in Bryne. I later brought them to the workshop with David Prescott earlier this month, and both of them are now cut down to the bone.

1 * Acer Palmatum Atroporporeum

intro/image to come

1 * Acer Ginalla

intro/image to come

1 * European Larch (Larix decidua)

Now this one is my first real Yamadori, i almost drowned trying to get it in the fall of -07. I can see from this old picture that I would have saved more of the branches and the trunk if i was to cut it today. It will have to grow a few years still to become a real Bonsai, but i love this one anyway.



2 * Beech (Fagus Sylvatica)

Intro/image to come

1 * Birch (Betula "something")

One of many sticks brought down from the mountain last fall on one of my hunting sessions. This is the first tree I planted in a soil entirely made of Cat Litter and it has survived through the winter, with new green shoots now. This image was taken november -07.




So, as my story continue I will post some pictures to follow up these trees during this interesting time of year for Bonsai. See you later.