Slender Scots Pine

A pine that I bought as “light” yamadori from the Sirotný family was from a garden planter that a lady had for about 15 years. This was their rough estimate so it could be around 18 years old now and has some decent bark on most of the tree. I really didn’t know how to create an apex on this tree initially but I believed that with some good horticulture, back-budding would occur and the apex would eventually come.

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I’m quite happy with the direction this tree is going in and also the fact that it began as such humble material.

Have a great day.

T.

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New Kusamono

I visited Carex nursery a couple weeks ago and I had an impulse to create a new kusamono as I am not completely satisfied with my current collection and will be creating some more this spring.

I am excited to see how this will look in the spring.

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Colorado Spruce first wiring

Why hello there. I’ve been busy as of late but it’s been another prolonged period without a post so here we go.

I got this tree for a great price from a local nursery in Brno called Carex. They tend to have some good evergreen pieces that are meant to be garden trees but could make interesting bonsai as well. I took a crack at such a piece.

It was re-potted this spring and it recovered quite well and therefore applying some wire and beginning the journey seemed like a good idea.

 

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The poor fella was probably in the same container & soil for years. This was the beginning of April this year with the new buds getting ready to burst

 

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The right branch will probably go in the future but I need it now to push the tree forward, health-wise. A high Alpine tree is what I am eventually going for.

I hope you’re enjoying the fall!

T.

Feminine Yamadori Spruce

Howdy! It’s been so long and I am sorry but summer was hot and I was almost gone the entire time. Yes, the trees got love but I unfortunately didn’t have time for any blog posts.

So, I hope I can provide a quick and fun post and that you’ll forgive my absence :).

I collected this tree about 2 years ago, I didn’t think it was so interesting at the time but it was a Spruce and I had no Spruce, so I wanted a Spruce. It was very easy to collected which prompted my action of removing her from this environment and providing it a great home at the Brno Balcony.

It recovered quite well and even started to develop more bark down below. I didn’t give this tree much attention and was also quite lost with how I was going to style it. Since it was already growing in the pot for two years and getting quite bushy, something needed to be done to move the tree forward, alas, styling time.

IMG_2282This is a year after collection and the growth was much stronger than the prior year.

IMG_3859Removing much of the growth and getting down to the structural essentials, I was still lost with what I should do..

IMG_3858I chose to keep the apex very light and chose to go with an Alpine-style, multiple apices, loaded with auxins, fighting against each other for dominance. I am pleased with how this turned out and I am excited for its future.
We’ll see how this develops right now it’s extremely sparse, light and needs to recover from losing so much foliage. The left side also needs to be shortened in the future to push the flow more to the right.

I wish you a great weekend!

T

Mid summer update

I apologize for not posting new material lately but I’ve been dealing with a nasty migraine the past couple of months and work has kept me very busy as well as Bonsai. I recently took a trip to Mr. Jiri Svacina’s place because pine re-potting season is here and I wanted a nice container for the mugo pine that Mr. Pavel Slovak gave me as an assignment a couple years ago.

I really appreciate his style and I always feel like a kid in a candy shop when I visit, not to mention spending an extra hour or two more than I originally planned.

One pot seemed to fit the criteria I was looking for and so, it went home with me along with a couple other baked goodies. Here is the finished result.

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I hope you’re enjoying your summer and that your trees are growing well. Remember since the temperatures are going up, it’s time to lay off the fertilizer as it competes with the water uptake in your roots.

Tom

 

Moravian Forest

Why are there no mixed species forests or group plantings? One factor could be that different species might compete for space between each other. Another could be the eventual problem with re-potting that you would be disturbing the roots of one tree where the timing is perfect whereas for another species it would be too soon? In either case, the spark was set off by Bonsai Mirai’s Beech forest on Tom Benda’s pot and I knew that I needed to try this year.

When you think about it, forest plantings required a substantial amount of work. Size of pot, finding the pot, can someone make it for me or do I have to get creative and drill an under tray? Where do I find such an under tray?

Rocks, where do I get rocks or stones that reflect the local geography? How do I secure them to the pot? Do I even have the tools to make this happen?

Trees, what size should the trees be since I don’t really know what the layout of the composition will be? How many should I buy? What direction should the front of the leader and secondary tree be? Where are they going to sit in the composition so I can cut some excess off allowing me to fit them in my car and allowing them to compartmentalize in the cambiem before I actually do the root work in the spring.

Can I do this alone? Do I have the drills and other tools to make this happen, what if the rootballs suck? How will I even transport this thing after it’s done if I ever move or eventually want to display it?

These are only some of the questions that were lurking around my head and 4 hours into the actual day of work, I started to question whether or not I was in over my head.

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After visiting all of the nurseries here, I chose 3 stones that I thought could mesh well together. Lava rocks that seem to be mixed with something else as they are much harder than a porous, typical lava rock.

Finding a large under tray, I thought would suit the composition and play well on the stone, bark and foliage colors throughout the seasons. I also placed the rocks around to get an idea of what the entire piece could evolve into and also to mark where holes needed to be drilled along with the supports for each stone.

Then came the work on a beautiful Saturday morning. My good friend Jiri offered that I export everything I need from the balcony and bring it to his newly purchased property where I could make a mess without caring too much. I also had to purchase a diamond based holesaw to create the holes from which water could escape and oxygen exchange could take place.

Following slow and careful drilling, 3 hours later the “pot” was ready.

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From this point on, there is a period of 3 separate days as I was running out of time and had other errands to run, I unfortunately was desperate to finish that I didn’t have much time to properly document all of the work and planning.

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Monday afternoon and after working on my largest bonsai creation ever, with a final application of the sphagnum moss I had left (I should have been prepared with much more). I had to consider how the hell was I going to get this monster to the balcony as my car was much too small. Thankfully, another friend of mine with a handy business van helped me on Tuesday evening and the Moravian Forest was brought home after over 20 hours of work and 40+ hours of planning, searching and finding all the material.

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A few weeks later, most of the trees seem to be doing fine except for a couple of the Carpinus and the main Beech tree. Beech usually open about a month after the Hornbeams so I do hope it pulls through after such a surgery.

Have a great weekend and stay fresh.

Tom

Linden #1

Here’s an update of how Bonsai Balcony Brno’s first Linden is doing. Last year a very poor decision was made to try and create more ramification while an air-layer was cut. A proper decision would be to focus on either the canopy or the system from which trees get water uptake from. This tree will be cut into again and hopefully expand new roots at the site where concentrations of sugars and carbohydrates accumulate. Yes, we know, foliage will not be touched again this year ; ).

 

 

 

May of last year.

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And, from today. The apex is growing out strongly so it’s visually disrupting the shape and as you may have noticed, this tree will take on more of a realistic shape that Linden and very often, Horse Chestnut takes on. Excessively exaggerated branches which grow up but then cascade below due to the weight and softness of the wood.

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I am excited to eventually get this into a more attractive pot and also to create more interesting nebari.

*T

Growing update

Just a quick post of the daily-changing trees with their new growth.

I hope you’re enjoying this period as much as I am.

Thomas

Japanese White Pine #3

A large part of the design died and after a stream of tears, I think it will look good again in a few years. When I think about how it looked and how the price suggested the owner’s value to it, I can wait a few more years.

After some of the die-back. Not really sure why so much lost sap flow, I did provide good aftercare but the time of year may have been bad.

It seems much too even on both sides now and I will have to stretch the design to the left to give it some direction along with asymmetry. For now, removing the bark and keeping the jin should help a little with the flow.

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Have a good day.

T