New foliage is emerging after defoliation performed on beginning of June. We are expecting extremely high temperatures during next week, so it was time for pictures with undamaged foliage.
This birch bonsai was wired a little in spring. Few days ago it was just about right time to remove all the wires. All shoots were shortened and now tree will grow undisturbed for few weeks and than it will be cut back again. Tree needs another ten or so years to look credible, but that is part of the game with deciduous bonsai. It is marathon, not sprint.
It took about 20 days to decent new foliage emerged on top of the tree after defoliation. It will take few days to harden and mature. But I can see some new branches and it was the purpose, improving ramification. You can see on comparison of leave size between pictures of bottom branches which were intact. Bottom branches need thickening to improve structure, so I will leave sacrifice branches until autumn to gain sizes. They already have about 4 mm-5 mm. I think they could gain few millimeters more. You have to sacrifice look of your bonsai in development if you want to build proper structured tree. I think if you are trying to keep underdeveloped tree in show-able stage you slowing down its development. Try to resits to cut all branches on "proper" length and let nature do its work. It will pay of in long term.
During last few days I was working on this hornbeam. Now this is lucky tree, it grows well and it is producing a lot of foliage as you can see on "before" picture. Tree was partially defoliated, on top mostly and shoots were shortened. You can find few words about its history and some pictures from its development since 2010 here.
|Here you can see reverse tapering, must be solved in future|
|New growth appears already on top|
As one can see, it is challenging tree. One point is that it is terribly heavy, moving it around in the garden is nightmare. When I do it I always wonder if I will not leave this hobby and go back to collecting stamps instead.
But this is minor problem compared with design challenges ahead. Tree has revers taper as you can see on some side pictures. I think about solving it by embedding rock into nebari and grow new roots over it, but that's just idea for now. Nebari from front is too wide and I think I will narrow it in the future. And big wound on front needs carving but it is not so problematic, just needs time.
Tree was defoliated in May and it took less than one month to fully replace missing foliage. On the pictures you can see the tree in its current stage. I will remove foliage from its top again in few days.
When I was young kid we used to play ice hockey on our street. Actually, it was only hockey, without ice. We were pretending real hockey on asphalt with old tennis ball. All members of the team were pretending they are somebody else, some former or present Czechoslovak hockey stars. I recall just few, but I will not bother you with names. Due to my level of hockey skill I could chose somebody from second line, tough.
In bonsai art trees pretend a lot, also. They pretend they are older than its actual age mainly, among other things. And many acers and hornbeams pretend they are aged pines, unfortunately.
|April 2015 after restyling|
This oriental hornbeam was restyled in April this year. It is collected yamadori tree and from design point of view I consider it to be quite challenging. Even after last styling I was not quite sure where we are heading. As tree grow through spring I left it untouched. Time to remove wire was approaching in late May. I removed them and I was planing to cut back fresh growth. As tree was standing on the shelf during late spring, with overgrown shoots, I was looking at it daily.
When asking for help on club meeting have you ever get recommendation to wait “and tree will tell you”? I used it few times, as joke mostly. Trees will not tell you, usually.
As I keep looking on this tree, I stared to have feeling it is trying to tell me something. I had feeling it keep telling me it does not want to be pine. And it was whispering me it wants to be weeping willow. Strange isn't it?
And we are back at pretending. If dozens of acers can pretend they are perfect pines, can my hornbeam pretend it is weeping willow? As it was standing on turntable, after I removed all wires, I had feeling it will be the best option for the tree. Idea is little bit unusual, I know. I'll keep listening what tree will tell me during next seasons and I will see.
I shortened shoots on tree anyway to work on fine ramification. You can see result on the picture.
Larch bonsai was wired in winter, repotted in spring and now I had to remove all wires. Few spring shoots are here. Looks untidy but it is very healthy and it is growing well. I have to be careful and provide him a lot of water these days. In case it dries too much it will shed needles and turn yellow. So I water it a lot, as all of my trees. I will apply more guy wires soon to get major branches into better positions, since they go up always, as soon as wiring was removed.
In middle of the May I posted few pictures of this Linden bonsai. It was partially defoliated since it was growing strongly. Now tree is back in shape, and in few days I will remove leaves again. But for now I will enjoy its current stage.
Since my last post about this little tree it was time for some editing. New growth was reduced and it was partially defoliated. Few weeks ago I applied new moss but it is not the best one. But in current hot weather it will do the job and it helps a lot to keep tree wet during the day.
During last few days I had to work a little on this group of hornbeam trees. They were wired in April and wires in upper parts of crowns started to bite in. As usual trees were partly defoliated, more at the top and less at bottom sections. Almost all wires were removed. Some which were still safe were left to do the job.
|April 2015 after wiring|
It was time to cut back this oak tree during last days. I had no time to take decent picture with foliage, but believe me, crown was huge. On current pictures you can see result of defoliation and shoots reduction. Two branches with foliage are planned to use for thread graft in future. They must grow bit longer to do the job.
Today my blog went over 250.000 views. I would like to thank to all returning visitors for watching my bonsai journey. :)
Maple is growing well. Wires had to be removed, since they started to bite into bark. Now it will grow freely to let branches thicken.
|Early May 2015|
Update of hornbeam bonsai tree, initially styled and wired in March this year, its full story could be found here. Now new growth was reduced, foliage defoliated and wires removed. Now tree will sit on full sun and I will wait for new flush of foliage in next few days.
|June 2015, before new growth and wires removal|
|...and after session|
|March 2015 after wiring|
|March 2015, shortly after its collection from wild.|