Saturday, 22 June 2013

a day in the life...............

It was a mild drizzly evening, the trees are all very healthy this year, loving the weather we are getting here and looking great after a day being rained on so i took a few random shots - hope you enjoy some 'real' pics taken as the trees sit in their every day positions, no backdrops, just the way they look every day

big white pine dwarfing my 30" tall hinoki that is looking great after a week in the NEC arena - definitely greener than when it went in.  The pine is one of our fertiliser test trees having come in a bit ignored but it has already gone from pale yelllow green to a happier green now. NFS for a good few years as the energy needs directing to the lower branches and I want to return the tree to tip top strength then style it into a potential stunner. timescale.............7-8 years minimum, probably 10 years until the wires off

Buddlia, pot 26", big tree - base 20", an unusual bonsai subject but they respond well, flower, bud back easily and have great potential - there was a stunner at the Bristol show 2 years ago and this tree is now going to a really talented bonsai artist who will make something very impressive from the material I know. 

5 tree Crenata White Beech group in a Walsall Ceramics large oval pot - unusually the trees are leafing out at different rates this year so we have hardened foliage, brand new paler leaves and new opening buds.
This is an important stage in crenata development - letting it grow out for a while so the tree gains strength before cutting back extension growth to 2 new buds (formed at the base of the leaves). If the canopy is still too dense the outer leaves are cut in half to let more light into the inner tree - this strengthens the weak inner shoots  so they don't die off. (this one is off to a new owner now)

Hinoki Cypress -  this is a lovely tree  that was shown at the Noelanders 2013 show. The tree was delivered back to Willowbog nursery after the show so Ryan Neil gave me a hands on lesson in thinning and styling Hinoki - this was priceless as real proven technique with these is very hard to come by and Ryan had the best teacher there is on the species while he apprenticed with M. Kimura. The tree was shown 'dense and lush' but now we have re-positioned the main branches and thinned the entire tree it looks so much older - the foliage matches the trunk image which completes the tree far better than before.

Juniper communis from the Italian Alps - I repotted to a new angle last winter and have started cutting back the leggy branches - the tree is back budding ok but this will be another 10 year project I think to make the image I want from the material.
fingers crossed it likes me and doesn't die like many common junipers seem to do for others  - patience is going to be the key - and environmental stability - not moving the tree here, there and everywhere

The slanting driftwood juniper looking relaxed and healthy - bottom branch is at the wrong angle but the tree has no shows planned for a few years so it can stay put as it is getting lots of light strengthening the inner growth. The crown is now compressed down probably 8" on what it was originally and the tree is filling out fantastically with new healthy foliage.

juniper Rigida - tosho, or needle juniper.
Looking brilliant, super healthy and no signs of distress from the major wiring and restyling job done last year. Now the tree is at the free growth stage - as the extending shoots slow down they will be scissor cut back - this triggers lots of new buds but the tree has gained strength before pruning - if you pinch these as the buds form the tree weakens and branches die off - feed well, water well, let grow, scissor prune, let new buds grow again, scissor prune again, finally let 3rd flush grow as it will be September....I think this regime makes rigida another simple tree to keep and not one to be worried about, just don't treat them like chinensis and don't follow the old book methods of pinch, pinch, pinch again

Mixed rock planting from my demo last week - sitting under the shade net area to recover but this is another one that sat at the NEC for most of the week and looks perfectly healthy

Scotts Pine in perfect health - needle lengh and candle size is even over the whole tree now - pads are fine wired. I treated the top of the tree like a black pine last year and cut off the whole candle, the inner and lower tree was candle pinched to shorten them. This year the growth was very even so all candles have been pinched to the same length.

Pretty in pink - I keep this one outside all year, let it get cold and let it get rained on - this shortens the time the flowers remain on the tree which is a good thing as the trees are weakened by such heavy flowering displays but every other year I let it show off. 

Pyracantha just coming into flower so all fertiliser is removed at this time of year

Large Trident on its second flush of leaves - defoliated fully this year, this started the back budding we need to rebuild the branch structure. This tree will get better and better now it is repotted and budding well - the trunk has excellent taper.

That's about half the larger trees here, we'll do a similar post with the rest soon


  1. As always nice trees Marcus! And big!
    Glad to see the Stella, although unorthodox is working on the pine!

    1. thanks Oliver, good to see you the other day. the stella is an essential part of white pine development - you need to enjoy it slowly and not fiddle with the trees while the needles are hardening off in the sheaths. touching wp now will damage or knock off the needles, and the tree needs them for the next 2 years