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HomeBonsaiRy2Tree2 Bonsai Weblog: A Simplified Protocol for Yamadori Assortment, Restoration, and Preliminary...

Ry2Tree2 Bonsai Weblog: A Simplified Protocol for Yamadori Assortment, Restoration, and Preliminary Bonsai Coaching

            In preparation for the 2nd Annual CBS / Columbus Recreation & Parks Division Invasive Honeysuckle Yamadori [Wild Bonsai] Dig occasion, I wished to place to phrases a really simplified protocol for methods to take a freshly dug yamadori from the forest and methods to start to coach it as a bonsai tree. Clearly the velocity of growth varies primarily based on the species and well being of the tree and a few steps could even happen at seasonally completely different occasions particularly in case you are in a unique local weather than me right here in USDA Hardiness Zone 6, Ohio, USA. Noting that these exceptions are sure to hit you sooner or later, let this be a place to begin and take it for what it is value. To exemplify that protocol, let’s comply with the event of my further massive honeysuckle raft yamadori which I rescued from culling in a neighborhood Columbus park ultimately yr’s first invasive removing collaboration. You may examine our earlier expertise internet hosting that occasion right here, and you’ll see different examples of famend honeysuckle bonsai right here


  1. Occasion Description – 2nd Annual Columbus Bonsai Society / Columbus Recreation & Parks Invasive Yamadori [Wild Bonsai] Dig
  2. Normal Protocol for Temperate Deciduous Species Yamadori Assortment
  3. Normal Protocol for Yamadori Restoration
  4. Normal Protocol for Preliminary Bonsai Coaching – First Repot, Early Pruning, and so forth.
  5. Bulletins
    1. I formally utilized with the state of Ohio to begin a nursery. Contact me to enroll in my first workshop on Tanuki! See particulars right here. The second workshop can be on Sunday, 4/23/23 from 12pm-3pm. Contact me if you need to request an extra date.
    2. 4/15/23 – 2nd Annual Invasive Honeysuckle Wild Bonsai Dig with CBS and Columbus Recreation & Parks @ Castro Park. It is a free occasion. Enroll right here.
    3. 4/16/223 – Columbus Bonsai Society Assembly – I can be presenting on the ins and outs of digging Yardadori/Yamadori/Wild Bonsai. All are welcome. See occasion particulars at
    4. Seeds can be found right here.
My extra-large honeysuckle yamadori raft, now freshly repotted into its first coaching bonsai pot.

            Though invasive vegetation will be the bane of conservationists and native plant lovers, of their native vary their intrinsic magnificence motivated their authentic use in landscaping. Within the case of the invasive honeysuckle, one can get pleasure from their pink and white flowers, and purple berries could make, and their indestructible nature makes them an excellent supply of free and low-risk plant materials for newbie bonsai artists (see examples of honeysuckle bonsai right here). Transplanting bushes for bonsai is a dangerous enterprise, so what higher to observe with than bushes which can be almost indestructible and simply replaceable within the worst-case state of affairs?! Moreover, their invasive properties are simply restricted when the vegetation are container grown as fruit will be pruned off earlier than stepping into the setting. As a consequence of these elements, the Columbus Bonsai Society is proud to collaborate with the Columbus Recreation and Parks Division for the 2nd Annual Invasive Yamadori [Wild Bonsai] Dig. We welcome all who’re curious about bonsai to affix us at this occasion. Attendees will get to carry dwelling free plant materials, are entitled to three free CBS Newsletters to assist inform your first steps as bonsai artists, and you might be all the time welcome to carry the plant to a CBS assembly for recommendation. Discover the month-to-month conferences at
This yr the occasion can be on Saturday 4/15 from 9am-12pm at Castro Park. Enroll right here.

For a broad overview, the method of turning wild vegetation into bonsai goes as follows.

  1. Be taught to determine invasive honeysuckle or different species of curiosity in your space. Typically, invasive honeysuckle are ubiquitous all through the jap US and are a mixture of 4 species as I mentioned in final yr’s articles. These species have widespread traits – white flakey bark, leaves that emerge early, white flowers of distinct form, purple berries, and so they are inclined to develop upright as small bushes or shrubs. Do NOT confuse them with the vining honeysuckle species that are native. See right here for extra data. We are going to assessment identification on-site on the occasion.
  2. Discover fascinating specimens within the forest. Bonsai will be fabricated from woody vegetation of any form and dimension so long as you’ll be able to dig and elevate it out and put it in a pot. Simply notice that smaller vegetation are far faster to dig and survive far more simply! Engaging traits for bonsai embody motion, particularly within the decrease trunk, deadwood scars that present age, taper within the decrease trunk thickness, engaging floor roots, and helpful branching. See the dialogue of untamed honeysuckle and their engaging qualities/potential future designs right here for examples.
  3. Chop off undesirable lengthy, straight, taperless sections of the trunk and branches which is not going to be used sooner or later design. Honeysuckle and lots of different deciduous species backbud simply so it’s okay if you happen to’re left with a naked trunk.
    1. Many deciduous species are additionally tolerant of trunk chopping to arrange bushes and induce backbudding whereas leaving them within the floor in your forest. You could need to do that out when you’ve got an space you come back to yr after yr. I will share extra on my outcomes with this later.
  4. Dig a trench across the tree and pry beneath the tree. Sever massive roots till the tree is eliminated. Absolutely eradicating the foundation system is the one herbicide-free methodology of eliminating invasive honeysuckle from the setting. 
    1. Spring is the perfect time to dig for survival of the vegetation, however some species can survive summer season digs too. In chilly, snowy locations, fall digs are attainable if you happen to use a heatpad or maintain the roots above 32F all winter with a heated chilly body. this may assist your survival. Fall/winter digs are additionally achieved in hotter climates which hardly ever see snow. There’s numerous regional variation right here!
    2. For some species, if there may be solely a taproot and no high quality feeder roots close to the trunk, it could be unlikely to outlive the dig. It is higher to go away these bushes alone and save your time for different extra fruitful bushes. A floor layer, air layer, or different “root enhancement” sort strategies could enable you to make use of those in case you are versatile on the removing timeline.
    3. For exceptionally massive bushes which have the next failure price following transplantation, it’s possible you’ll need to get an exceptionally massive rootball or do a partial trench of the tree in prior years to enhance your success price. I’m nonetheless experimenting with this as effectively. Fortunately, this isn’t wanted for honeysuckle!
  5. Wrap the roots in a trash bag (sturdy black contractor baggage are most popular!). Electrical tape can also be helpful to tightly bind the rootball so there are minimal air areas between the bag and the roots. This helps maintain the moisture in. It is a non permanent answer to get the plant dwelling.
  1. Pot the plant right into a container it matches into. Some further root pruning could also be achieved however not an excessive amount of or it could not survive. Advantageous roots have to be left on the tree when potting as they’re the engine of your tree’s survival! Honeysuckle will not be choosy, use any potting soil you could have out there, however bonsai soil is most popular while you get extra superior or for older bushes and extra delicate species that are difficult to transplant.
    1. This half can get nuanced for superior practitioners. I will simply go away you with the concept that 100% pumice is the popular bonsai soil to encompass freshly dug rootballs as this enables numerous air into the pot and promotes numerous high quality root growth. Perlite is allegedly comparable, cheaper, and extra broadly out there however my very own experiments with this are underway so I can not say but. Attempt for your self and let me know!
    2. Giant bushes will be put into custom-built wood pots. You might additionally go away them within the black contractor bag if you happen to used the sturdy form and poke holes all through for water and air to get out and in of the rootball. I’ve achieved this with success, however I am unable to say that it’s higher or worse. I am nonetheless accumulating information on this methodology however it’s VERY handy (on time and value), and my trainer Dan Robinson has used this methodology with success for years.
  2. Depart the plant within the shade whereas it recovers from the dig for at the least the primary summer season as a result of stress of warmth and water loss. Don’t fertilize for the primary few months of spring both as extra ions from fertilizer can dry out delicate new roots and kill the tree’s restoration. Water often. Hold the soil moist however not soaking moist.
  3. Water often and fertilize flippantly all through the summer season. Honeysuckle ought to develop abundantly to proceed recovering; different species recuperate far more slowly. Survival is barely assured after 1 yr. Don’t prune until you might be assured in its survival.
  4. In winter, insulate your roots from and defend them from fry winter wind. This is identical advice as most bonsai, however very true for delicate freshly dug vegetation! You’ll nonetheless have to maintain the soil moist as it could possibly dry out even in winter.
  1. If the plant is clearly wholesome, it’s possible you’ll prune the plant again within the fall to do away with undesirable branches and to shorten the branches you need to maintain. Crops that didn’t have a lot new progress or new backbudding will not be but vigorous and shouldn’t be pruned but! Wait till you see indicators like this.
  2. If the plant is clearly wholesome, you possibly can repot the tree within the first spring after assortment to cut back the rootball and plant it in good bonsai soil. A partial naked root is the conservative methodology which is least dangerous for the well being of the tree, however on small or younger specimen, or sure species, a full naked root could not hurt the tree and lets you most shortly do away with the native soil which is overly water retentive. Once more, save the high quality roots as a lot as attainable. The primary repot is a really delicate operation on an previous yamadori!
  3. Enter a cycle of periodic pruning and wiring of the branches to suit your design of alternative. Once more, do these primarily on wholesome bushes. If the plant is recovering from a nasty yr, it could assist to let it develop out and prune it again once more later!

A. Spring 2022 Digging

            See final yr’s publish with footage and descriptions right here.

B. Fall 2022 Pruning

                The tree grew vigorously with out pruning all summer season! Therefore, I pruned it again to some future department/trunklines within the fall. You can even see right here and within the subsequent part that I left the massive and oddly formed rootball within the contractor bag for the primary yr with no sick results on the tree (as mentioned in Step III-1-2).

C. Spring 2023 Repotting + Pruning

            The tree leafed out early whereas I used to be nonetheless busy digging new yamadori, so this repot is a bit late. Fortunately, the indestructible honeysuckle offers you some leeway!

You may see there is a lengthy stretch on the left which I didn’t use within the design. It was too lengthy anyhow! That additionally had roots and can change into a separate tree.

One potential entrance. The deadwood has interesting sides on each instructions. Ultimately, I will have to get it right into a thinner pot.

Good hollows! Aka “uro” in Japanese.

Hollows and deadwood from the opposite finish.



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