JBP, ‘Arakawa’ 2019

Here is the previous installment for this tree. I ended up repotting it in 2018, and wiring it in 2019. Here is the starting point:

Reduced the right branches in hopes for a back-bud closer to the trunk.

Trimmed back; Arakawa forms lots of buds, so trimming back took a while to get down to the bifurcation branch structure. before:

Thinned out:

Wiring started:

Grafting:

Wrapped in parafilm:

Scion prepared:

Inserted:

Cut paste to seal out water, then wrapped in parafilm, and then raffia:

Complete:

Branches tweaked a bit more, and ready for the 2019 growing season.

Two weeks later, and the grafted bud is starting to move, a positive, but not definitive sign yet…

As of 4/1, the bud is 1.5″ long.

And at the end of the month…

5/27/19:

I won’t be ready to call it a success until I see a new candle growing from it next year.

Memorial Day weekend, 2019. It is growing well, if not a little unbalanced, and the graft so far is still growing.

Around the 4th of July holiday, it was decandled:

To this:

Notice the graft is also growing at this point.

In early November, here is the graft:

The tree will be ready for some more work this winter, needle-pulling, bud selection, and some wiring.

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Fall cleanup (and unexpected show-prep) on a twisty Itoigawa

I did some work in February, and let it mostly grow wild into October. So we start here:

The tree is one-dimensional, and has a few long branches extending on the back side, and a bald spot in the back left.

Below, my hand is covering the back left branch that needs to be shortened, and the bald spot is visible above my hand:

And the back right branch (this right side is the stronger side, and it’s pretty dense):

It does look ok from the front. However, you can’t limit the viewing angle in a show…

First, cleanup undersides and prune it back a bit. Here is that back left branch, removed:

First phase done:

Next, cleaning up the loose bark with a knife and scrubbed up with a toothbrush:

Soil surface mossed, and pot oiled with baby oil:

Finally, a coat of diluted lime sulfur on the deadwood:

Fall cleanup and show-prep of a corkbark Japanese /Black Pine

I have shared this tree on several occasions, and managed to do fall cleanup work around this time last year as well. Here is a link to that post. I’m not convinced the tree has changed any this year, except it has stayed healthy and green. Little victory!

First, cleaning off the moss without destroying the flakey cork bark. The Hachi-gen cultivar develops flakey bark, or tortoise-shell bark, rather than the wings and valleys in many of the nishiki cultivars. If you want to read about it, check out Evergreen Gardenworks’ website. Mine came from there, and is cutting-grown, so I’m ok with the appearance.

First up, remove the moss with tweezers, before:

After:

Pull old needles, and balance out the tree. Since I learned that I’d be showing this tree in Asheville next week, I left it a bit fuller. I had no plans to show it, but it should show ok.

Notice college football on TV? Bama beat Ole Miss pretty easily after the work was done. Light pruning:

A little light wiring to coax some branches into place, moss the soil, and oil the pot…

Good enough for this time. If I wasn’t showing it, and wasn’t in a huge time-crunch, I’d probably prune it harder, thin it out even more, and do a full wire job. Maybe this winter.