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Posts from the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Erodium accent in a Tofukuji pot

Erodium has long been a favorite accent plant of mine. Especially when they start to show a little trunk. This one has been in a pot for a few years now


Not Candle cutting the JBP

For the first time in 10 years, I decided to not candle cut this JBP. Why? Winter 18 months ago, it got really cold shortly after I wired and pruned it; single digits for several days when I was out of town and the tree sat out of doors.

The result was weak growth in the spring of 2018. I decandled it anyway in July 2018 preparing it for the USNBE, and the resulting growth wasn’t strong enough to show. It lost a few small shoots in the upper right area. This spring, I repotted it into a coarser mix and let it grow. The color isn’t great, and the growth is a bit weak. July 15, 2019:

It was weak, the color shows pretty yellow under the studio lights. It’s not this bad, but it isn’t the usual deep green:

Bald spot in the upper right area:

Instead, I removed dead needles, cut candles that emerged in 3s down to pairs. This:

To this:

And this:

To this:

Next up, aerating the soil. Cleary’s 3336 granular staves odd needle cast, but also creates a crust on the soil surface which needs to be plowed in just a bit. I just used tweezers:

Alternately, use a chopstick:

Then I dealt with moss, using the same tweezers. This:

To this:

The base is spreading after 10 years in a Bonsai pot:



This should prepare the tree for fall work, which will include needle-pulling, thinning branches, and a complete rewiring of the tree.

Be sure to use clean, sharp tools. Sandflex blocks do a good job of removing sap from blades, followed by alcohol to sanitize, and oil to lubricate and protect against rust.

Satsuki Azalea, ‘Kinsai’ cleanup…x2

As the show winds down, from this (May 2018):

To this:

It’s time to remove the flowers, pruning to remove the branches sporting the fat-petal flowers while it’s still easy to tell which are which.

Then trim it back:

And lightly wire:

A few weeks later and it’s filling out nicely.

Fast-Forward to April 2019, nearly a full year later. The tree is growing well and within a month of flowering. I’m debating about the front, and have been toying with this front, which gives the appearance of a cascading first branch. If I go with this front, I’ll re-orient the tree in its pot to center it and keep the exposed roots upright and not leaning. I like the widening canopy as well.

Here is the tree in bloom, 2019:

And in our club show, just a little past peak blooming:

And over Memorial Day Weekend 2019, I had a chance to clean it up again. From this:

To this, with a rough trimming to start:

Finally, flowers removed, and more pruning done. Here is the final result: