Welcome to my blog. I started this blog to share with the public the joy of my creations. I hope more people will join me on this journey. Bonsai is a very peaceful and rewarding passtime, hobby, craft or art. Make your choice. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy and Cheers. CJ
The first time I air layer a Japanese Maple was about 6 - 7 years ago. I vaguely remember that it took less than 2 months to strike roots. Other than that air layer, I have not done anything to this maple which I bought from an ordinary nursery in 1999. I am kind of disappointed with myself. Two days ago, the beautiful foliages of the Japanese Maple at this time of the year inspired me to have a close look at it. Finally paying some attention to my neglected Maple. My idea is to make use of the trunk and develop all the branches. There are also potentials to get a cascade and a shohin maple bonsai from the top part through air layering. Below are pictures of the air layering process. CJ
The neglected Japanese Maple
Potential for cascade and shohin.
First, I cut off a width of bark about the diameter of the trunk at the point of cut. I then completely scrapped off the shinny layer of cambium. For vigorous and difficult to root specie, this is critical. Any remaining trace of cambium will complicate the rooting process.
Then I mixed my rooting powder into a thick paste:
Applied rooting paste to the upper cut:
Finally wrapped spagnum moss, soaked in seaweed extract solution, around the cut. I tied the lower part tightly to minimise water sippage. The top is tied loosely to allow water from rain and watering to wet the spagnum moss. It is critical that the spagnum moss is moist all the time. Now is to wait for result.
Meanwhile I got results from air layers I took in April and May. A large bottle brush. More than 10 cm dia.
JBP. The cut is different. The upper cut is in Vs and inverted Vs. The Vs bark are raised and supported with tiny pebbles.
I air layered this Japanese Maple about 6 -7 years ago. Since then I have not done anything to it. I am kind of disappointed with myself. Part of the reason could be the not so nice appearance of Maple during our hot summer - burnt leave. This is the result of our extremely dry weather. The only way to overcome this is to put it into a greenhouse with artificially high humidity. However, in Spring the Japanese Maple looks fantastic. Yesterday I was inspired to spend sometime working on my neglected Japanese Maple. This is the tree before work.
The tree after work. It is obvious that twin trunk is the way forward. This is the first styling and it will probably takes many more re-styling as well as many more years to grow this tree into a decent bonsai.
This Letpspermum Polygalifolium also known as Leptospermum Flavescens, was one of two trees I work on yesterday afternoon. I have been growing it from an ordinary nursery stock for over 12 years. However I only pay close attention to it over the last 3 years. It is coming along nicely and should be show ready in 3 - 5 years time. The top part is completed and only needs maintenance. It is the first two branches which I am trying to grow thicker. Hence I am giving them the freedom to grow wild. This is the fastest way to thicken up. This variety of tea tree has white flowers and bloom in early Spring. I also found it to be the most hardy of all the types of tea tree in my garden. So if u r game enough to grow "the ultimate forbidden bonsai", then this is one specie which will increase your chance of success. I remembered many years ago one of my neighbour told me the story of the Leptospermum Flavescens Pacific Beauty growing in his garden. He said that it was planted when he moved into the house about 25 years ago. He came from England with his family. On a stormy day, the tree was blown 25 metres away from its' location. He picked it up and replanted it. It survived and grown into a nice tree. I took a large air-layer from this tree. It is growing very well. This will be a subject for another day. CJ.
The tree before work:
The tree after trimming and branch adjustments. I am thinking of moving the front more towards the right. I also used some old discarded branches for positioning purposes.
The BSWA annual show is in Oct 20th n 21st 2012. This Callistemon is growing very well and blooming. So I decided to prepare it for our annual show. When a bonsai is blooming, it is telling the carer that it wants to be shown to the public. That is my interpretation. This Little John was air-layered from a larger tree in 2006. Some efforts are necessary to bring a bonsai up to show standard. Besides patiently growing and training a bonsai into a beautiful tree fit for exhibition, there are certain refinements which needed to be attended to before a bonsai goes on show. The tree needs to be tidied up. Dead leave and branches removed. Old wires removed. Adjustment to the soil level. Placement of moss. Cleaning and oiling of the pot. So the next time u visit a bonsai exhibition, do remember that for every tree on show, the owner has spent lots of time and effort into preparing it. CJ.
Tree before final preparation:
Tree after removal of old wire, soil adjustment and placement of moss.
Tree after adjustment to branches. Hopefully the flowers will last long enough for the show.