Crataegus monogyna

My slightly neglected hawthorn was trimmed. During last session back in May this year I left bottom growth untouched. Now branches were reduced including bottom growth. In winter I plan to wire it and it will have basic structure ready next year. I plan to achieve umbrella shaped crown for the future. In summer I left one of the flowers on tree and now I have little haws (or berries?), I wonder of my favorite black birds will have them for lunch when they ripen. 

August 2015 before work

and after reduction...

May 2015

August 2015

Carpinus betulus "The Wild Boar"

We are having terribly hot weather during last month or so. Every day is over 35°C and it is not funny anymore. Man has to be really brave to go outside during the day. During heatwave like that you have to take care about your drinking regime. So, when I was working toady on this hornbeam, I had to be careful not to lose too much water and minerals by sweating. 

There is hardly anything better for the job as Czech beer. We have been living in one country with Czech brothers long enough to learn how to recognize good beer. 

So, tree was defoliated two months ago, mainly on top of the crown. Since then new foliage appeared and new shoots emerged. After last trimming there were little stubs which I leave on purpose. I'm trying to avoid cutting branches to close to the last bud. I think it is much safer, you just have to go around the tree when new shoots grow from bud and are strong enough. Then you just cut the dry stubs off to create nice transition between old and new part of the branch. 

Some new shots grow in wrong direction, and are too dense, so it must be cleared.

Shots get quite long in top section of the crown. 

Where I see those I cut them off. My favorite bonsai job.
And tree looks like this after one beer and few cuts. Only low point is moving this beast around. 

My feeding

Recently it was about the time for another feeding session of my bonsai trees during this season. I try to keep things simple. So it is with my feeding. I use organic chicken manure in granulated form. It is very cheap and effective. 

Chicken granules in amount for one tree

I'm using Agro brand, nothing special. Works well, price is good. If I remember correctly below 4 euros for 3kg. Enough for 2 fertilizing sessions. 

Overdosing with this kind of fertilizer applied on plants in inorganic substrates like I'm using (zeolite, Teramol) is almost impossible. Trees gets all they need with every watering. I'm trying to bury granules into substrate sometimes, but most of the time I just throw it on top. 

High nitrogen content is beneficial for trees in development, which is valid for all my trees (and about 95% of the trees globally I believe - even is owner would disagree with it in many instances).

For several seasons I'm introducing into my feeding regime Osmocote fertilizer. Simple to use, safe regrading overdosing as well. When used it feeds plants with every watering so you can be sure trees gets nutrients every day. 

I mix it into substrate when repotting and then few times during the season applied on top of the substrate or mixed into top layer of the substrate. I'm especially happy that it is in my substrate when I have busy periods in my life, which happen quite often frankly speaking. During those busy days, you have no time to mix liquid fertilizer in correct ratio and use it weekly. 

Of course you have to decide on your own, how you will fertilize you trees, according to your conditions. One thing is clear. Whenever you apply any change in your regime, be it change of fertilizer type, dosage or anything else, test it on few trees with low value. I'm pretty sure all of have them. They grow in same substrates and are treated same way as high value trees, but you will not cry your eyes out, when they die due to misuse of fertilizer. I have seen in my garden tree dying during 1-2 days when made this kind of mistake. Fortunately I haven't killed this way anything of significant value for me. So be careful when using new stuff, watch your trees after application for a week or so, and when everything is OK go for more plants. 

Carpinus "The Yossarian"

Shots on tree had 8-10 leaves and new growth lignified. I was expecting leaves to gorw bigger after spring defoliation, but fortunately, they stayed rather small, compared to size of the first flush. With this kind of foliage tree looks much more sexy. 

New branches already hardened so everything was shorten on 2-3 leaves

Carpinus betulus No.3 "Gemini" - removing sacrifice branches

During the weekend I decided to remove sacrifice branches on this hornbeam bonsai tree. As you can see this is not one but two trees. Looking on older picture made shortly after tree was collected from wild, it is clear I have to use different horticultural approach to each one of them. One must be kept rather compact all the time and focus is on developing fine ramification. That is why it was defoliated back in May
Second one must grow and structure of the crown must be created (from zero in 2010). As you can see on pictures straight trunk was left untouched till recently. Long shoots are very long and have large leaves and lot of foliage. Obviously this leads to thickening of particular trunk segments, which is main target of the operation. If you want to have thick branch, or thicken the trunk, you have to let grow massive amount of foliage over it. 
More foliage equals more photosynthesis - more photosynthesis equals bigger transportation routes for created energy- more routes for energy equals thicker branches or trunks. 
One thing you have to keep in mind. If you leave sacrifice branch grow too long, you will have to deal with created large scar, after removing it. So you have to keep balance. On other hand you have to resist cutting your tree too soon. With doing so you will make your tree looks tidy, but hardly be able to achieve design target soon. And it is sometimes not so easy to find that balance, but you can learn what works best for you and your tree. 

Picture of the tree after work session during the weekend. 

after picture from other side. 
So this is how tree looked before i took pruners in my hands. Longest shoot is close to 2m high from base of the pot, just to imagine its size. Sorry for rather lousy picture, I realized too late, when checking it in my computer, that I have wrongly set up the camera. 
This is picture from May after removing wires and partial defoliation performed on left tree. 
And this is how tree looked like after editing and wiring this winter. 
Here is visible thickness of the sacrifice branch gained in few months.

You can see difference of leaf sizes. This is from left tree, which was defoliated. 

And this is from one of the sacrifice branches. So bigger leaves, more leaves, more energy, thicker branch...:)

And those are part of right trunk which I would like to develop and thicken. It is obvious I need several more seasons to achieve convincing transition between original trunk and new segments. But I have the time. :)
...and this is how tree looked when it was collected in 2009.

Fraxinus ornus No.2

This little Ash was worked a little recently. It was defoliated back in May this year, foliage was regrown few weeks back already. Now it was time to thin out foliage from the top of the crown, to let more sunshine in. Also many shots were shortened and terminal buds removed, which will help to improve ramification in the future. Main picture is possible future front, but tree looks nice from more sides, as it should be in naturalistic bonsai. Tree was feed with Osmocote granules on top of the soil, to prevent their flushing out they were covered by fresh zeolite on top.

Picture of the tree shortly after collecting from wild in 2009

Carpinus betulus No.14 "Old Sam"

Hornbeam was defoliated in June and foliage regrow since then. Now branches were cut back. One more season a it start to look like a tree. In current pot nebari is hardly visible, after next repotting it will be much better. 

after trimming today

before work today

In June after defoliation

In winter after wiring and styling

After collection in 2012