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Bonsai school 24 aug

August 24, 2013

It has been getting hotter and hotter every day. Sweet is pouring and you have to walk around with a towel. To make thing worse, I bought some tuna sushi that was not OK. I went to my flat ate it and soon after that headache and stomach pain started in the middle of the night. I have no phone here, and no way to contact the people at the nursery, plus that I could not even stand up….just crawl. What to do? I thought I am just going to be found dead in the morning.

Thank God I studied medicine for 5 years….it helped. I managed to crawl to the toilet, and pushed too fingers down my throat. Vomited somewhat, and went to bed…after 5 more trips to vomit, I finally fall asleep. Now here is 02 hrs, and I am posting this….

Feel much better.

We had a Japanese student here 2 days ago. He was asked to style a itoigawa juniper.

The next day the tree was brought to me by oyakata and told to restyle it. I asked, if he is not coming to finish the tree, to which oyakata angrily replied he is not coming here ever again. Not sure but it seems he was chased from the school.

So yesterday I had to trim the tree, clean it and restyle it, after removing the wires he had put. Today I painted it with lime sulphur, and oyakata said I need to repot it in a week. Forgot to take a picture after the lime sulfur.

He made me wire the small branches on the apex, which I did not wire, since they were just too small. Here is the final result. The tree has still lots of growing to do. Pads need to be formed and maintained, but the basic structure is set for now



And me with the tree

I shall post pictures of before later.

The important things I learned with this tree are:

Make the pads flat, if there are no branches to bring volume on top. Later when some branches are available wire them towards the middle of the pad to get vertical volume. Pad should be highest in the centre and slopping from there in all directions.

Make sure you make provision for pads all around the tree, especially at the back. Gaps which you see in the tree now will be filled later and new pads developed as the foliage grows.

If you have a long branch that has lots of small parallel secondary branches all along it’s length, like a fish bone, think of combining the top branches into a separate pad, sort of making two tires along the main branch.

Look at the picture of the front, and notice the lowest right branch. That was one of those branches with secondary branches from top to bottom.  Notice how the higher branches were arranged to form a second pad above the lower pad.

Remember that the tree and the pads will grow. Make provision for that. Ones you know how much the pads eventually will be allowed to grow, you should not worry about how much gaps you have in the outline of the tree at the moment, but you should consider that a space should  be left free of foliage between the pads and above them. Ones the foliage grows, the space between the pads will be reduced. I personally, like well defined pads, with space in between.

Branches should never cross each other horizontally or vertically and the general direction of all branches should be outwards.

Make sure you have the same volume of foliage at the end of each secondary branch, and that after wiring them their outside profile is even, and there a is no foliage dropping under the pad. Remove anything  sticking down bellow the pad.

In junipers is hard to notice the level of each pad, unless you look at it from all directions and concentrate on observing the profile of each pad. On deciduous trees is easy to notice that, but on conifers you really need to look and make sure that the pads, are at different levels, and the branches coming from above have shorter pads that are positioned above any lower branches. Some time bending the higher branches might be necessary in order to shorten them as long as you don’t forget that they need to be pointed outwards.

Avoid positioning branches that are a level up, directly above the lower branch. They should be positioned in between two lower branches.

Here is the final product. I have noticed that many beginners defoliate the primary branches and form pompons from them. Pompons are formed only on the secondary branches, and are used to form the pads. You need to keep the foliage on the primary branches so you have what to use as secondary branches. Secondary branches are cleaned and pompons formed, in order to create the pads, and bring light to all parts.

I have noticed that most of the juniper primary branches are only three. The apex some time will be bent and used as one of the lowest primary branches. The second branch will be used as the second primary branch, and the third will be bent to form the apex. From it branches can be developed to fill gaps behind

As the tree develops branches will be grown from left righ or above to fill the gup on the left. At the moment there was not sufficient foliage to do that.

Notice the triangular form from all directions.

The apex will be rounded later as more foliage develops,

Space was left between the lowest right pad and the one above. The second pad will be grown some more and when the foliage on the lower pad develops, there will be some space between the two pads.

Notice the distribution of the foliage all around the tree.

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