Monday, March 19, 2012

Taxus Baccata long term project (urban yamadori)

Like every spring I helped grandpa Janez yesterday with the spring work in his garden. But this spring was different than all the other years, this spring was very special. Grandpa Janez agreed that I can start to work on his huge Yew (Taxus Baccata) which is in his garden for who knows how many years. So I started on the preparation for collection.

First I chose the basic line of the future trunk and prepared an operational working plan. After that I started to remove the unnecessary branches. The large bush slowly started to show with each new cut a completely new image. A very nice and promising picture. While discovering the tree I found two nice branches which have a nice potential for individual trees and decided to leave them on the main tree for air layering. So at the end if everything goes by plan there will be three trees, one great tree and two quite nice medium size trees.

Yew (Taxus Baccata) - My new project

Massive nebari

Yew (Taxus Baccata) after the first preparation step

One of the branches for air layering

The future plan for now is as follows. First I will encourage new buds that will form the basis for the development of new branches. After that I will prepare the tree for collection and planting in its first container. Parallel to that I will air layer the two good branches. Then we'll see further. 

The story and my vision for this tree started to mature in my heed about two years ago in the stage of hope that grandpa Janez will give his "YES" for collecting this tree. The “Yes” happened and yesterday I could make the first step towards the realization of this vision.

This will be definitely a long term project and I can’t wait to see the result.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Unusual Prunus Yamadori

Finally the first collecting day of the season happened. In the last couple of weeks we were searching for material. Today finally Janez, Matej, Tomaž and me found the time to jump on a quick collecting trip. We all knew which trees we will collect and after a couple of hours we all went home happy.

My first new yamadori of the season is a bit unusual, strange, but from some reason it cached my attention and now it’s in my garden. It’s an old and very tired Prunus Mahaleb which experienced all possible hard to survive natural influence. Somehow it’s still alive, struggling and fighting for who knows how many years. 

Prunus Mahaleb - Yamadori

Close-up of the trunk

Now it will have better living conditions and while it will gather new strength I will analyze it, make plans for the design and I know that it will be lots of fun and it will turn in an unusual beauty.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Beech and Carpinus trio

Yesterday I spent a great day with an even better company. Gorazd (Gogi), Tomaz and me worked on two trees. Tomaz and Gogi worked on a Beech (Fagus Sylvatica) which Gogi got in exchange for the design of the web page and design of the logo from this year’s EBA convention.

Beech (Fagus Sylvatica)  before the styling

The Beech came in a bundle with Tomaz’s workshop and in a bit more than eight hours they styled a very impressive tree. Gogi has learned more than just the basics of bonsai at this workshop and I hope that he went home with his new tree at least as happy as we ware with his work.

Gogi thinkig

Tomaz at work

Gogi after thinking

Beech (Fagus sylvatica) after styling
The day of course passed by to quick, but very positive. It is especially pleasing when you see how the tree, which you collected from nature and prepared to be ready for the first styling, is making someone else happy. Me like.

While Gogi and Tomaz worked on the beech I was working on my hornbeam. The Hornbeam began, a bit more than two years after collection, to show slowly the outlines of the possible final image.

Caripnus after styling
At this stage I dealt mainly with the positioning of primary and secondary branches. Unfortunately at previous development stages I made some errors, such as for instance the first left branch (marked on the photo below) which is too straight, without any movement. Now it is too thick to bend. An error which is now distracting, which I will not repeat and above all and error I will try to eliminate. For now it will stay like it is.

In the following stages I will start to develop the tertiary branches, define the top and work on additional branch structuring. The direction in which the tree will develop in the future is impossible to describe better that with the virtual image which was drawn today by an IBC bonsai colleague Robert Steven from Indonesia (pictured below right). Robert thanks a lot for this virtual. I really like it and appreciate your effort.

Virtual  by Robert Steven
I think this virtual not only shows the way of development in the future, but how important on deciduou trees it is to focus on building a good branch structure. Except the appex, which at the moment stayed longer that it will thicken faster, Robert Steven used in his virtual all primary and secondary branches of the curent tree. It looks quite good, except the lower left branch of course.