Sticking to what I know during these trying times

in #bonsai3 years ago

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This past week has been a very difficult time for me. I am depended entirely on the events industry and with the #corona virus infections escalation in South Africa most of my work/events up until the end of April 2020 has been cancelled. Although there are still other smaller events that will still come along and installations that may take place that will not be enough to support my company through the next few months.

Despite all the negative news and the impact it has on me personally I have decided to stick to what I know and continue with my blog and youtube videos.

Last night after supper with my family I worked on my Cedar bonsai tree. I have wired the tree a few months back and the wire has been cutting into the bark. I could have removed the wire sooner but from past experience I have learnt not to remove the wire from Cedars to soon. They tend to bounce back and the branches move back to their previous position.


This was the tree before I started to remove the wire. From this angle you can only see the wire that I applied to the trunk and the main branches. I applied wire to the entire tree but I tried not to wire the smallest branches. In the next photo you will see just how much wire has been applied to this tree.


If you look at the photos above you will see that I wired the tree all the way to the top. When you styling a tree the last thing you have on your mind is removing the wire after the tree has set into place. You learn along the way what works and what to avoid like.
Here is a list of things to avoid:

  1. Wiring small young branches.
  2. Not using the right gauge of wire.
  3. Wrapping the wire around the branch in the wrong direction.
  4. Trying to apply wire once you already started bending the branches on the tree.
  5. Applying thick wire after thinner wire is already on the tree.

The above mentioned points make it difficult to remove wire from a tree. Steering clear from them might save you time and a lot of head aches.

Another point that I would like to bring up once more is the correct way of removing the wire. There are two ways of doing this.

  1. Cutting off the wire.
  2. Unwrapping the wire.

Which of these two methods is the correct way to remove wire? There is no right and wrong way in my mind there are just risky ways and safer ways to remove wire and the risk is dependent on the individual tree your working on at that moment. If for instance the tree I'm working on is a medium size tree with plenty of room around the branches I would prefer to unwrap the wire to reuse it again. If I'm working on a smaller size tree and the spaces between branches are very small I would cut of the wire.

I choose to unwrap the wire on this tree as there was more than enough space to do so and I also I like to reuse my wire as much as I can as it is pricey. There were a few places on the tree where the wire cut deep into the tree's bark and I had to almost dig out the wire. I might have ring barked some of the branches during this process but hopefully the tree will be kind and not penalize me for my actions. There are two areas that I am concerned about.


The first one looks worst and will most probability die off. This is not the end of the world. Cedar trees have dead branches on them in nature so why must every branch on a Cedar bonsai be green? It's not ideal but it is part of the process. If the branch dies off and the tree grows strong and produces a branch close to that area I will cover up that spot. It is way to early to start planning for that but at least there are other workable options. I took a photo of all the wire that came off the tree.


As you can see it's a lot of wire for such a small tree. If you think about it all that wire would have been wasted if I cut it off. That wire is about R180 per roll and that could amount to one roll of wires right there.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Hope you enjoyed it. Please feel free to leave you questions and comments in the section provided below.



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Many conifers will plump up around the wrinkled bark after the wire is released. You got some deep grooves there. These trees can surprise with their resilience. Sometimes so much, they return to old stubborn ways. ;)


I am curious about your opinion on our informal bonsai community. Eventually someone will probably create an official bonsai group for people to search through in the communities. I am afraid someone seeking self gain might do so.

I think it would be good if one of us from the original community formed it, and made the others into mods, to ensure plagerized photos are not rewarded more than original works. Not sure I trust any one person to be admin, as I feel the community belongs to everyone. We do not have a bonsai token to give as a reward, but I think creating an official hive community group actually earns rewards that can be given to community member posts, which sounds like a good thing.

Any thoughts?

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