I finally got myself to sit down and write the blog on grandma Maggie's forest. The past few weeks have been hectic. I started a new business and had to hand over work at my old job. Very exciting times. I will be posting a blog to give you a better understanding of the new venture and how the new company and my bonsai fit together.
It's been a long time since I have really spent any time with my trees. I worked on this tree about two weeks ago. If you are a regular on my blog site you would have noticed that the tree in the feature image has been used in a blog I posted about seventeen days ago for another blog. I took a few photos and captured most of the maintenance work I did on video. I just still need to edit the video footage.
Here is the tree before I started to work on the tree:
As you can see the tree was in need of a trim and a bit of #tlc. It took me two days to get this tree back into shape. The first day I spent removing weeds with a pair tweezers and trimming back over grown moss. I also removed some of the dead moss and loosened up the soil mixture to allow the moss to grow on the open patches. I have small plants that I have planted to cover up the soil mixture so that it does not wash away when I'm watering the tree.
Some of these plants were growing wild so I had to trim them back. These small plant like reaching up when the new growth starts forming so I normally pin them down to cover the open patches in the soil mixture. Having small plants at the base of your trees is a nice little feature but they need regular pruning. If not pruned on a regular basis it just looks like a bunch of plants that came up in the same pot. That would be considered to be a pot plant and not a bonsai.
Here is the tree after the soil mixture was cleaned and the ground cover was trimmed:
When trimming back the ground cover I always keep the tree out of the sun for a few days. If you look at the photos above you will see that the soil mixture is opened up and some of the trees roots are exposed. These roots dry out and die off but I like to keep them alive as long as possible. I spay these roots with water a few times during the day. I do not want the tree to go into shock. When trimming back the small plants at the base of a tree you need to allow the plants to grow before putting the tree back on display. I would not recommend you do this just before a show. Trim back the plants slightly so that they appear neatly groomed for the show. After the show you can cut back more of the plants to give the tree more space to grow and breath.
Ground cover does look at its best when it completely covers the ground but you should consider the trees health when adding ground cover. I normally cut back the ground cover after a show and a few months before the show. This gives the plants time to grow and fill in empty spaces. You could also grow you ground cover in a separate tray and plant it in the pot with the tree just before a show. This is a lot of work I know believe me but who ever said bonsai'ing was "fun"? It's hard work.
On the second day I trimmed the new shoots back and removed all the extra growth from the branches. It looks like the tree has been butchered after trimming back the tree at this stage of it's development. This is all part of the process. With the Australian Cherry tree you need to cut back the tree very hard as these trees are used for hedging and shoots out three to four new growth points at one section. This is great for a hedge but when you are growing bonsai you want to growth two points at the end of a branch. Regular trimming is required for this types of trees when using them for bonsai.
Here is a the tree after I trimmed back the new growth:
After I was done working on the tree I left it indoors in my office for a few days because I liked the shape of the tree with it's newly trimmed branches. I then took the tree out to get some fresh air.
The tree has been back outside in it's original place for a few weeks now and I have not done any further work on the tree yet. I will most likely only work on this tree in September 2019. It's winter in our region so there is not much to do.
Hope you enjoyed the blog. Please feel free to leave your comments in the section provided below.
I wish I knew a bonsai master that would take me in as an apprentice
Don’t we all. Thos opportunities are rare and you really need to work hard 😓 to get in Japanese master get a lot of request but only a few get selected.
Or they happen to be their grandchildren
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