Sunday, September 27, 2009

Japanese maple #1

This Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) I purchased recently from Bauhaus here in Raisio. It was on offer at the time and cost only 20€. This price isn't bad if you think that it is already in a pot measuring 20x14x7cm.

The only problem is that the soil the tree is planted in is quite heavy. Ideally this should be changed to allow me to water and fertilize the tree like the others I have in my collection.

Unfortunately this isn't the time of year to start repotting trees. I will take extra care of this tree during the Autumn and Winter months, especially with the watering, until I can change the soil in the spring.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fukien tea

This fukien tea tree (Carmona microphylla) was purchased already as a bonsai from a local store. It was on sale at the time so I brought it. If nothing else it gives me an opportunity to practice bonsai techniques on this tree.

I have earlier had fukien tea trees and they have all died. I think this was mainly due my reluctance then to change the soil fearing that I would kill the tree that was growing so well at the time.

This time I knew that if I didn't change the soil then it would go the way of the other trees and die. I repotted this in the spring a few weeks after I purchased it, this gave it time to acclimatise itself to my home. It has since been growing well in my own soil mix of 1/2 fired clay and 1/2 pine bark.

Bougainvillea # 1

This bougainvillea was started from a cutting. It had been growing in a standard plastic pot for 2 years.
The bougainvillea was planted into this pot in the spring. I have yet to decide how I want this bougainvillea to look so I have allowed it to grow and only cut back the long shoots once they have reached approx. 5-6 nodes.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Weeping fig

This fig (Ficus benjamina 'natasha') was purchased from a garden centre. All three figs were included in the same pot.

I repotted these figs in the spring. The roots were quite tangled together being potted in the same pot, but I managed to separate them enough to plant in this pot. The figs now need some wiring to improve the look, this I will do in the next couple of weeks.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Norway maple # 4

This maple had already been growing for a few years at the bottom of our garden and has a very interesting shaped truck.

When I dug this up from the ground I had already decided that I wanted to place the exposed roots over a rock. I used clear cellophane to wrap the roots to the rock and separate this area from the soil so that the roots would grow downwards. I then planted the tree and rock back into the ground.

I also buried a slab in the ground and placed the tree on top of this slab to force the roots to now grow sideways once they were out the bottom of the cellophane.

The image above shows the portion of the tree that I have planned to keep. This will mean that I will remove the long branch from the final design. I have left this to grow at the moment as this was the only section that had leaves plus it helps to thicken the truck and roots while allowing the tree to grow unrestricted.

Norway maple # 1, 2, 3

Norway maple (Acer platanoides) is a very common tree in the south of Finland. There were two big maples in the garden of our old house and each year new shoots would start to pop up all over the ground underneath the big trees. A few I took and planted into the ground and left to grow there for 3 years. During the winter the rabbits would come and eat away the brackets. We moved house at the end of last year so had to dig them up if I wanted to bring them with me.

The size of the leaves are quite big and I am told that they are not easy to reduce, but I will at least work on them and let's see what happens. If nothing else it will be good practice doing the normal tasks (trimming, pruning, repotting etc.) that is required to make a normal tree into a bonsai style.

The tree below is possibly the variety "Crimson King" which has dark purple leaves. Believe it or not the tree had been the ground the same amount of time as the above two maples but has only grown 10 cm in height.

All these trees were removed from the ground in October 2008 and potted into these pots. I understand that this would not be recommended to do so late in the season, but it was either that or leave them for the new owners to maybe dig up and destroy anyway.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Yellow birch

This birch (betula alleghaniensis) was also purchased from a garden centre.

This tree is probably not one of the best trees to have as a bonsai because the size of the leaves are quite big, but it was the truck that attracted me to this tree. Good nebrei can also be seen which is always an important aspect of making a good bonsai.
It was repotted in the spring and I found that the roots where shallow enough for me to be able to place it straight into a bonsai pot.

Amur maple

This maple (Acer tataricum ginnala) was purchased from a local garden centre.

What attracted me to this maple was the thick trunk and exposed root. The original height was over 1/2 metre and the was reduced at the end of last year. The tops of the branches can still be seen through the leaves. These will be further reduced or removed completely once all the leaves have fallen and I can have a better idea how the new branches are forming.

The tree was repotted in spring in my own bonsai soil mix of fired clay and pine bark roughly 1/2 and 1/2. The maple had to be repotted into a deep pot because of the size of the roots. It was not possible to remove all the big roots until some finer roots have started to grow closer to the surface.