Sunday, 12 May 2013

Masahiko Kimura comes to Cornwall.......or at least a tree from his nursery does

This little stunner was bought from the nursery of Mr Kimura last year and has now cleared QT in the UK and has become one of the high quality trees available from my Bonsai@16 outlet. Today we cleaned the bark with an electric toothbrush and clean water, trimmed back the extension growth in the stronger parts of the tree and moved the tree outside to a sheltered part of the garden to acclimatise it. The change in conditions a newly imported tree has to go through is an important and often ignored part of our bonsai hobby so sometimes a little effort and understanding is needed to help a tree settle in. The tree has lived all its life in the climate and latitude / longitude of Japan, then it spends several weeks in a container on a ship before being unloaded into a wintery United Kingdom. There they are tucked up nice and safe in tunnels until all the paperwork and inspections are complete then this one was moved from one of the coldest parts of our country to one of the mildest - no wonder a tree can be unsettled.

It depends on the species how they cope, and it depends on what work needs doing  - I am very cautious of major styling on newly imported trees and have reserved most of the bigger projects to trees that have been in the country for a few years at least- It is very common that newly arrived trees are in desperate need of repotting but i feel doing this the same year as import is unwise unless the tree is in risk of deteriorating.

I brushed off the moss and watered the tree until the water pooled so I could watch  and was pleased to see the water seep into the pot. Checking underneath there are roots visible in the drain holes so repotting in spring 1014 will be planned. Until then pruning will consist of taking extension growth back to 2 or 3 leaves depending on the direction wanted for the new shoot and if need be a defoliation of the outer tree to let light into the inner tree. This actual variety seems very user friendly - the leaves are very small and are tinged with a deep red colour - I think we will get good Autumn colour from this tree as it often follows on from nice spring colour. It will be interesting to see if the leaves stay small - I think they will as the Zelkovas with much bigger leaves are also a very pale green so are probably a different variety of the same species.

I have 3 smaller Zelkovas from Taisho - en here too - pics to follow, and a whole selection of other species too. Talking of Taisho en we have a very showable tree from there as well - pictures tomorrow though as it's dark now

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