Fraxinus No.2

This tree was wired and styled in December last year, in this post you can find its story since collection from forest . Since than branches are on its positions and wires started to bite into bark. Obviously the best effective way to remove wires was shorten new growth and partially defoliate the tree. It was done about two weeks ago. Many of wires were still OK, so I decided to leave them there. New leaves just started to emerge I decided to remove rest of the wires yesterday. Only guy wires stay till autumn. 

Before defoliation in middle of  May 

New growth is everywhere, even on places where you do not need it. I have to remove it from same places several times a year.

When going through the tree I find bunch of white hairy aphids in size of small elephants. eating my tree, bastards. I panicked for a while and did know what kind of weapons use against them - chemical, water guns? Than generals decided to use brutal force - brush them with tooth brush. Massacre. But ants will bring them back. We won battle but not war yet. 

Leaves are removed and way to cut off wires is free. 

And final result yesterday, all wires are off. 

And new leaves are emerging already. 
Tree in December 2014 after wiring.
Tree on beginning of its journey in my garden. Picture taken shortly after collecting from woods in spring 2009.

Carpinus betulus No.3 "Gemini"

Wire cutting season for me continues. Now it was just about the time to remove wires from "Gemini" hornbeam. I was planing to do it earlier but it seamed like they can stay longer. Since January, when wiring was done it was enough time, so branches are holding nicely on new positions. 

As you can see on picture which was taken just before last session, tree was one big bush. Obviously there was no chance to remove wires through foliage. So, I partially defoliated the tree. As you can see on final pictures, only foliage on curved trunk was removed. On second trunk it was possible to do it without defoliation. At this phase of development, it was much better for second tree to keep as much foliage as possible, and not shorten shoots. I want to thicken subtrunks emerging from original trunk and for that purpose growth must be as big is possible. Later in the season this new growth will be edited to give it correct direction and shape.  

May 2015 - just before wire removal and defoliation. Massive growth, hmm?
To get to the wires new growth must have been reduced and majority of foliage removed. But it will be beneficial for the tree in terms of ramification improvement. 
And tree after job. On the right trunk all shoots were reduced and defoliated. Tree there is more less finished, I need only work on fine ramification in next few years.
On left trunk new growth is necessary for thickening certain trunk sections. 

After removal of wires.

Guy wires stay there during whole season, They are not posing risk of biting into the bark. And strong new branches tends to bend upwards when growth is strong, so they are very helpful in this phase.  
For comparison tree as looked in January 2015 after wiring.
And at the starting point, just after collection in spring 2009.

Cornus mas No.1 after editing

This bonsai was slightly wired in March. It was growing well, and now it was time to cut it back and remove those few wires. This is one of most water sensitive plants in my garden. When it is too dry its shoots just hang down during the day. We are having quite rainy and cold weather during this spring, according to what it used to be, as I remember. And I have feeling this Dogwood is enjoying it a lot, I do not remember so healthy foliage. And fruits are growing nicely too, I do not remove them. I like them on this tree, and it is strong enough to handle them without problem. 

Quercus pubescens No.4

Oak was bit overgrown and it was time to cut excess shoots. Leaf size is final now. Also one of the bottom branches was wired to get it into better position. There was other branch before but it dried during last year. Now it is better I think. You can find earlier pictures from this year here and here.

Prunus spinosa No.1

Prunus spinosa bonsai tree after trimming and removing of the wires. Tree was wired in January this year, few pictures you can find here. Now it will be left like it is, it will probably grow another flush of shoots in few weeks. You can find many more pictures of this tree, in various stages of development, here on the blog, just use search tool on right side of page. 

May 2015 after trimming

May 2015 before trimming

Mid April 2015
In March 2010 freshly after collection from wild forest and potted into zeolite substrate mix. 

Carpinus betulus No.13 update

Tree was edited back in March 2015, you can see full story here. Today I removed excess growth at the top of the crown. Wires stayed there for next couple of weeks. Bottom branches are untouched. Triangular shape of the crown is more accidental, definitely not final shape. Must more round at the top in the future. 

Acer palmatum

It was time to remove wires from tree which was edited on beginning of April. All top shoots were removed and wires too. Tree was partially defoliated, even if from the pictures it is maybe not so visible but amount of removed foliage was quite significant. Shoots on bottom of the tree were remained intact, it will help to thicken them. 

overgrown and ready for work

 ... and after ...

And for comparison after wiring session in April 2015

Ulmus session

Just about one month ago I did first styling of this tree. Fact is, I did it quite late, should have been done in winter or so. So, due to relatively late wiring it was clear wires will not stay on tree too long. And time has come and wires are down already. So this is the stage with fresh foliage. I did cut off just few small branches on wrong places inside the crown. Now I let him grow for another month or so and than I will cut back top growth. Bottom branches will stay untouched this year so they can thicken as much as possible. Hey, and I did selfie size comparison. 

In mid April 2015 after wiring and first styling

Cornus mas No.3 next phase

In March I wired this tree, you can find few pictures and its short history here. Tree is growing fast and when I was checking wires they bite into bark a bot on some places. So I decided to remove them since branches were holding in positions. Now I will leave it to grow undisturbed for the next few weeks. Than I will cut new growth back to promote back budding. 

Before work, still with wires

New shoots all over the trunk, all must be cleared

And after work. Wires are gone, trunk cleared and substrate cleared from weed. 

Other side, one of possible future fronts.

Aerial view of crown.
Two months ago, after wiring
And few weeks after collecting, in May 2012

My bonsai watering regime and few myths

During last few days we enjoyed ideal bonsai weather in my area. At least, according to my taste. We had few showers, sometimes multiple times a day. We had some night rain also. During the day temperatures reached over 20°C, no cold nights. During the day shower changed onto sunny day. Ideal for the trees, right?

I recently visited garden of one of my good friends. He is doing bonsai also. And we were discussing watering regimes, among other topics. I told him that I'm watering my trees 2 times a day already now in May. Because we have quite windy weather too often now, and wind dries out my trees quickly. I prefer more wet environment for my trees than dry one. I personally do not believe, that for good root growth you need to let your substrate get dry. (Remember, I do not do conifers too much) So I explained to him that I'm using water from my well, with temperature which is constantly at around 16°C, almost throughout the whole year. I do spray this water all over my trees, on substrate, on the foliage, to do it quickly and effectively. And I do it in the morning, evening or during mid day. Actually, when ambient temperatures are above 30°C, I try to do it minimum 2 times a day and sometimes 3 times a day(at least during the weekends). And my garden has direct sunlight from 7:00 till 16:00 in summer.
And than came the question. If there are drops of the water on leaves of my trees, on direct sunlight, isn't it dangerous? Since it can burn the foliage, right? Since drops of water works like magnifying glass, or? I think this is very popular myth, which refuse to die.
In case it works like this, my garden would be burned already several times to ashes. After summer showers, or after my midday watering sessions. But what about foliage of trees in the woods after such summer storms and showers changed onto hot day again? Wouldn't they burn also? And what about tropical forests where this kind of weather is even more intense and temperatures even higher?
Picture from yesterday, after rain. Drops works like magnifying glass and leaves will burn now?

Picture of the same leave today. Again after rain. But point is - no burned spots. No really scientific experiment, right? Test sample is small, test methods are questionable, sun was may be in wrong angle...But for me it was and is myth. I took this pictures just to poke my friend a bit. :) but, ...what if the leave is not the same, hmm? :) 

My experience is, it is no problem for the foliage. I do it for many years without any problem. No burned leaves. No fungus on leaves, even if I water trees over the foliage in the evening. No problem with cold water even if its temperature is 16°C and air temperature is +35°C.

Important note is – I keep all of my trees in inorganic substrates – mixtures of zeolite, Teramol and so on. Any watering regime is strictly related to your own environment, climate, substrates used and feeding regime. So it is quite complex system. But if you understand how it works, it is pretty easy to find out what works for you and what isn't.

Bonsai Winter Protection