Saturday, November 7, 2009

Yamadora collecting

There isn't many jobs that can be done this time of year, especially when your collection of bonsai is as small as mine is at the moment. The indoor bonsai need normal attention, watering, light trimming etc., but the outdoor bonsai are already starting to prepare for the winter. Protecting them from the cold, especially the cold wind, will be my priority during the next month to 6 weeks. After this more protection is needed for the outdoor bonsai but I will return to this matter nearer the time to show how I prepare my trees for the cold temperatures that we get here in Finland.

What this time does give me is the possibility to search and identify potential bonsai (potensai) in the form of yamadora that can be collected in the spring. One source of bonsai material that I have noticed is simply sitting next to many roads and tracks. Here in Finland there is a trench / ditch along the side of the road for the rain water to run into and for the snow to be pushed into during the winter months.

Trees grow in these trenches which are cut each year by the verge cutters that come along to cut the grass and weeds. The continual cutting of the tops of the trees produces thick trunks that is the heart of any bonsai.

Any type of common tree in our area can be found growing in the trenches as shown in the photos. The most common tree in the photo was Aspen (Populus Tremula) but there was also a Scots pine.

I know that Aspen is not a common tree for bonsai material, but if nothing else it will allow me to continually improve on my bonsai skills. Now we wait for the spring to see how some of these trees look when removed from the ground.

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