Elevate the pinnacle, shut the eyes, breath in and take a look at the air.
Really feel the solar come out from behind a cloud, the breeze offers a kiss on the brow, a caress by way of the hair.
Let the breath out, loud within the ears.
The solar heats the breast, virtually too scorching on the black t-shirt.
Open the eyes and look down on the tree. The bonsai. Dwarf tree, twisted.
Previous as sin, seemingly, however younger because the spring grass after a rain. Verdant, gnarled, historic, new.
The solar flashes off the glazed ceramic vessel whereby the tree lives.
Hand falls over the scissors, curling into the deal with.
Grasp, take a look at, the texture within the hand, the cool metal and wrought form compels a number of observe snips.
Elevate them in the direction of the tree.
Podocarpus macrophyllus. Typically known as “Buddhist pine” bit it’s not a pine. In response to Wikipedia, it’s thought of a conifer (although the fruit, from which the title is derived from, actually podo-“toe”, and carpus-“fruit”, just isn’t in a conventional cone-like construction like a pine cone however continues to be thought of a cone. Morphology is a dying solution to classify vegetation and I might wager cash that the podocarpaceae household can be faraway from the conifer classification (which isn’t even a scientific classification), together with Ginko and yew. It’s a gymnosperm, which suggests “bare seed”, which additional means, a seed that’s not encased inside a fruit. Or one thing like that. I digress although, a Podocarpus neither grows or acts like a conifer. You’ll be able to actually trunk chop them and they’re going to bud from the chop. However that’s simply my ranting. I don’t actually have a say as I’m not a botanist.)
In Japan, the place it’s thought of considerably sacred, they name it “Kusamaki” or “クサマキ” or “Inumaki” “犬槇”.
Which appears like a sushi roll to me……mmmmmmnnnn….sushi sounds good about now.
Maki means “roll” in sushi lingo. However, as I realized within the guide “The Story of Sushi, an unlikely saga of uncooked fish and rice” by Trevor Courson, many phrases utilized in specialised disciplines in Japan have their very own meanings and makes use of. Instance, if we’re speaking sushi, “sake” is the phrase for salmon. But it surely’s additionally an alcoholic beverage constructed from fermenting rice, additionally known as “rice wine”, which isn’t correct both. Someday I’ll work out why they’re the identical phrase. The emphasis is on the primary syllable for the fish, and the final for the drink. I believe. SAH-keh and sah-KEH. And why aren’t they spelled the way in which they sound?
On a aspect be aware (to my aspect be aware, or a extra bonsai particular one I assume) not all phrases we use for bonsai phrases are the identical in every Japanese nursery. I’ve been instructed by a dependable apprentice, who’s from the West, that “nebari”, the phrase we use for the foundation unfold on our timber, wasn’t utilized in his nursery. Go determine, proper (if you happen to put “nebari” into Google translate you get “stickiness”, that means viscosity or how sticky one thing is. Additional, there isn’t any “r” sound in Japanese). It’s virtually like we English audio system needed to give formalized jargon to make us sound extra good. I just like the English phrase for the foundation unfold “buttress”. However I like massive butts and I can not lie……sure, that complete rant was simply to inform that joke…..
Sorry…..Again to our tree! I’ve been seeing some browning branches inside the construction these previous few months, so, this morning, I made a decision to analyze.
It wasn’t as dangerous as I although. Principally inside branches severely shaded out by the dense cover. Podocarpus, although being a full sized tree in nature, are most frequently utilized in panorama functions as hedges (they’re ignominiously used to cover air con items in la florida fairly a bit) as a result of they are often sheared right into a dense hedge. They’re used as residing fences because of this too.
This makes for good bonsai as, in contrast to conifers, you possibly can merely hedge-prune them into a cover. Now, however this method being efficient, I are likely to choose selective wiring, and considered pruning for getting the identical full-canopy impact. Topiary, or hedge pruning does trigger interior department dieback.
To get gentle into the interior branching, we, no matter it being not a pine, can use pine methods on them. One approach is chopping the leaves (or needles, although, to beat a useless horse, they aren’t needles, however leaves) in half.
Subsequently, I’ll do that first. It’s kinda like defoliating a ficus or deciduous tree
My process is simple. Pull the leaves up…
And minimize them in half.
On the stronger rising branches, I’ll minimize the develop ideas as nicely.
Because the tree needs to be a tree, that means it needs to be 100 ft tall, the apical a part of the tree is often extra dense and stronger rising. Very like a pine tree. We prefer to name this “apical dominance” as a result of it sounds similar to it’s. The highest progress will dominate, inflicting the decrease progress to stagnate or die again.
By being extra aggressive chopping the stronger rising branches, and fewer harsh pruning the weaker ones, we steadiness the….no, not power as is commonly said, however the hormones, principally the principle progress hormone known as auxin. (I break down all of the hormonal interplay within the article I exploit some fancy phrases to justify my defoliation behavior, go determine. in case you’re . I used to be very , so I wrote a complete article on it). Why do I insist on saying hormones and never power? As a result of hormones are what trigger progress, not power. Vitality permits for continued progress, however you possibly can over prune a tree and it’ll die, as a result of it runs out of power, as a result of the hormones preserve pushing new progress.
I’ll additionally use the chance to edit out extra branching, to prune for taper and motion, and many others. all of the issues I speak about when refining a longtime tree.
Instance: there are three branches, I minimize to 2…
And additional, minimize these two down for higher backbudding.
This yr, in late winter/early spring, I had repotted this tree. Once I try this, I often enable the tree to develop unchecked all through the rising season (permitting for the tree to retailer power). Essentially the most I did was prune off the strongest rising branches to maintain the cover tight (hedge pruning, mainly. There’s a place for that approach, in spite of everything).
However now it’s time to get selective.
Hey, have a look at that, we will see the deadwood once more!
All finished, and, rattling, I made a multitude.
It might appear that autumn, or fall, isn’t the most effective time to do that heavy a thinning, however, in Florida, it is a prime time to do that work on this sort of tree. I’ve talked about why individuals hate us lonely Florida growers earlier than, and one motive is we’ve got, within the Fall months, what we name, “Second Spring”.
Jim Smith (grandfather of tropical bonsai within the USA) coined the time period. The day temps are within the 70’s and 80’s F (21-26c), nighttime temps are within the 50’s to 60’s (10-15c) and, importantly for progress, it’s not raining as a lot within the afternoon and evenings.
Vegetation develop at evening (a tree creates sugars, photosynthesis, and transpires, utilizing co2, sunshine, and water to make carbohydrates, (sugars), releasing oxygen within the course of. At evening, a plant makes use of oxygen to burn these sugars, known as respiration, releasing co2. Very like how we use sugars. The catch, is that in photosynthesis, the co2 is introduced in by way of the leaves. In respiration, the oxygen is absorbed by way of the roots. If the roots are saturated by water, like a night rainstorm or watering your timber too late within the day, your timber gained’t develop as quick. One motive to not water late within the day. The opposite is fungus, however that’s one other article. My Florida readers will chime at this level in and say, “so why do my timber develop a lot in the summertime wet seasons, Mr. Smartypants?” Simple, it will get scorching sufficient for our vegetation to dry out by night, as we’ve got afternoon rains).
Anywho, we will now see our tree, virtually denuded.
Now I’ll use a brush to scrub up the deadwood and bark a bit.
Do away with the moss rising up the trunk.
Now can be a superb time to use lime sulfur, however I’m not within the temper for it. Lime sulfur has fairly the aroma. However I’d quote Gurney Halleck, from Dune at this level:
“What has temper to do with it? You struggle when the need arises—regardless of the temper! Temper’s a factor for cattle or making love or enjoying the baliset. It’s not for combating.”
Dune, Frank Herbert
And because the tree is in a develop section, I’ll eschew wiring (I adore it after I get the possibility to make use of “eschew” in a sentence).
We don’t need wire marks, in spite of everything.
I used to be known as out within the final publish, within the feedback, about wire marks on the branches. I may trip within the remark part, but it surely’s simpler to reply it right here. When growing fundamental branches, it’s greatest to permit the wire to chop in a little. The 2 phrases to note are “growing” and “slightly”. These fundamental branches will thicken sufficient that the wire marks will develop out. I’ve finished it and seen them go away. However, you don’t preserve branches with extreme wire marks anyway. Often in an preliminary styling, the branches you need to use both thicken sufficient to erase the wire marks, or one other department grows in a spot that’s higher for the design, so you possibly can minimize off the offending department. It’s a matter of time. The tree will mature and your wire marks will go away otherwise you minimize them out. In the event that they persist, you possibly can sand them off. That’s one other publish too.
Right here’s the tree, pruned, partially defoliated, weeded, fertilized, and many others.
And, to provide you an concept of the event, right here’s the tree from a number of years in the past:
It seems to be like I wired it at the moment. I imagine the image was after I let it develop freely for a number of years to recuperate from when it was on show on the 3 month lengthy Epcot Worldwide Flower and Backyard Competition at Disney World.
Every time you’re employed a tree, it ought to present progress. I let it relaxation in between main work, as I did this yr, or as I did after the Epcot present. Your timber will respect it and develop higher for it.
Earlier than this session:
Perhaps subsequent yr I’ll discover a higher pot, although I just lately noticed this one on the market on-line for one thing like $800. I say a greater pot as a result of, for perspective, I purchased it for lower than $100 about ten years in the past…..such is life, I assume.