Thursday, 22 May 2014

trident time - no rest for the wicked

it's puzzling sometimes..........if I watch Rocky 1, Alien, Apocalypse Now,...... Mandy will say "how many times have you seen THIS" yet the other evening The Full Monty is on again and she sits up till the end enjoying every bit

What does that have to do with bonsai..........?

Not a lot -the song is a good stripping and exposure tune, and that is what the Trident group needed this week - I see more wasted & sometimes ruined deciduous trees than conifers due to the growers just keeping them to enjoy the lush canopy of outer leaves rather than understanding the inner buds,shoots and leaves are the future of the tree as they are needed to replace older outer growth. Cutting off the light and airflow from the inside of the tree makes these important inner bits die off - it is the large and dense outer leaves that cut off the light so they have to be dealt with. Some trees will have the outer leaves reduced in number, some will have them reduced in size, and some will have them cut off totally ! 

 This Trident maple forest planting was imported from Japan this winter and leafed out fully while in the sheltered environment of the quarantine polytunnels. I was after two or three good specimen deciduous trees to include with our bread and butter stock and this one was basically a perfect example of its type so had to become part of our stock

25 trunks, very dense leaves, in my personal taste this is perfection. I will be very sad if this tree sells as I'm not sure I could buy another one so good quite so easily. 
So now as the current owner it is my duty to maintain and try to improve this tree rather than bugger it up like so many trees are in the years after import. The inner leaves and weak shoots need some light and simultaneously the thicker strong outer growth needs reducing and encouraging to form shorter finer growth (and a by-product is smaller leaves too)

2 1/2 hrs later this shows the way I defoliate tridents (and zelkova) all upper, outer and strong inner growth is removed but the well placed inner areas that are very weak (but needed) in future designs is kept intact. Now the inner bits get 5-6 weeks of sun so they survive and the outside will open the small and dormant buds to give me a finer ramification and even better leaf quality.

One other important point to consider - -- buying deciduous trees should be a winter past time but we are all tempted to wait until they are in leaf - then it becomes a slight unknown where we hope the tree has the suggested ramification that a true specimen bonsai should have - defoliating this one confirmed we have a winner

What happens if you are scared, unsure or unable to care properly for your deciduous bonsai ??

in the blink of an eye they are set back years !!!! this next trident group was originally sold by P. Chan, Herons Nursery and was probably really nice -  but poor pruning, no defoliating etc let the inner shoots die out and then the outer growth to get leggy

this is after we've had the tree 9 months and have started forcing the growth back in again but it will be a long time before this group ramifies like the last one....but it will improve month after month and to put it all in context this tree is £160 while the previous group is £1.9k.

Update: The blue pot group has now sold to a friend to continue the process of refinement 

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