Arakawa JBP Update 2017 Part 2

In early July, it is time to perform summer candle-cutting on everything except the right branch, which is allowed to grow out with the hope of creating some buds closer to the trunk.  Before:


And now, October 2017, and it’s time to remove tightening wires and old needles.


Bud selection and a fresh set of wires are on the schedule for winter ‘18 and repotting again in 2019.  For now, here it is:


Arakawa JBP Update 2017 part 1

This is the Arakawa variety of JBP.  Not a Nishiki cultivar, but a rough barked variety.  The bark is nice and rough, but so far, rather flaky and not yet persistent.  That’s ok, the bark will improve as the tree is refined.  I chose a front and completed the first styling in March 2016:

and took it to a Kathy Shaner workshop in March 2017:

I started with cleaning out old needles, and reducing each shoot to a pair of buds and 10-12 pairs of needles:

Getting it into an easy-to-wire state:

Which I did, and Kathy adjusted:

And here is the end result for now:

Notice the trunk has been tilted to the right a bit?  I started by excavating the left side to confirm the base would look good at this angle.  With it confirmed, I repotted it the following weekend:

I broke down the left side of the root ball first:

And enough from the back and front to accommodate the change in planting position:

Then it was allowed to grow until mid summer:

Cleaning up a mossy situation 

This YouTube video is the critique Kathy Shaner offered on my Japanese Black Pine.  Interesting pearls of wisdom.

In my defense, I had no intention of showing this tree this year, until about 14 hours before I had to bring it in…and I was out of moss, out of stands, out of time, and out of season to candle-cut…but we needed trees, and our show only had 2 other JBPs.

Excuses aside, I took her advice and spent part of Memorial Day cleaning moss off the trunks of several JBPs.  As she suggested, slowly and meticulously, with tweezers and dental picks, nearly all the moss was removed. 

In case you’re a pot freak, this is a Nakawatari; antique Chinese, from the ShouYouKouSei kiln, probably 130 years old.

By the time this is published, it will be 3 weeks to candle-cutting time!  Remember, find your area’s first frost date, and count back 100 days,  that’s when you candle-cut JBP in the summer.





And after:

This is a fat ‘Arakawa’, same drill:

And a corkbark cultivar, ‘Taihei’:

This one had gotten really out of control, with this “Irish moss” that is aggressive and has a big root system.  For this tree, it’s best to scrape off the top 3/4″ of soil to get the moss roots out, and replace the soil with fresh.  This is called Soji, and helps not only with removing moss, but also when the soil becomes difficult for water to drain through.

Pretty soon, this Taihei will be worked and wired…gently.  Here is a shot from 2011, and one 6 years later.  Slow going:

The bark is developing, but the tree hasn’t advanced much.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad!  And happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there!