Monday, March 30, 2015

Black pine

I have had this small black pine for about 5 years now. In this time it has had quite a few different shapes and the crown got smaller and smaller. By choice of course. In the meantime the crown got nicely dense so I had to pluck all the old needles to let more sunlight reach the branches. This will on one hand promote new backbudding and on the other prevent branches from dying due to lack of sunlight.

Before plucking the needles.

How it looks now.

This is the tree before the first styling in 2011.

And a photo from autumn 2013 when it looked best so far.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

English yew

I received this yew as a gift from Tony Tickle in 2011 when I was visiting Burrs. I styled it for the first time at the workshop there.

The tree as I got it.

After the first styling.

Yesterday before the second styling.

Today, after restyling and repotting.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Demo video

 A short video from the demo.


Demo at TORA

Yesterday I was invited to do a demo at TORA bonsai school. I worked on a mugo pine I had since 2012.

Most photos are by Tomaž Kovšca.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Half cascade in final pot

In my experience Larix trees are very delicate about repotting. The one repotting with the most risk is the one right after the first one after you collect it. Once I even had a larch which was practicly finished and when it was repotted, it died. And I have not removed a single root... So the best time is to do it when they start to but.

Now it was finally time to repot this half cascade larch of mine. I placed it into a pre-ordered pot by Erik Križovensky.

The tree last summer, still in the previous pot in which it was growing for 4 years.

Aplying Keto-tsuchi to the rather steep soil level.

Resumed with moss.

The finished product.

And here is the tree when I found it in nature in 2007.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Keeping it busy

The spring season of working on bonsai is still very intense. So today in the morning I put two of my bonsai in the car and drove to my friend Jože where we worked on our trees. it was quite a busy day and we have made a lot of stuff done.

Repotting of his japanese maple.

Then we took off the wire of one of my yew trees. Just look at how much backbudding there will be this year. All thanks to good care and fertelisation.

Next some deadwood work on my smokebush (Cotinus cagyggria)

And then a fun project on two Chamaecyparis. We will try to do something minimalistic out of these two trees. Today only a big reduction on foliage. Below some photos of only one tree.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sabina J.

Last time I decided to work on one of my newer trees. A yamadori Juniperus sabina. Because of the unpractical position in it was standing in the pot took some time for me to figure out in which position to put it so the tree could make its full potential. At some point I even thought of making a cascade or semi-cascade.
At the end I decided for the relatively usual upright position.

So the first task to do was to clean the deadwood. There is a beutifull natural shari going down almost the entire lenght of the trunk. And also some nice natural jins.

Some new shari connected with the old one.

After the work on the deadwood I needed to thin out the foilage mass and to make a general branch selection. Which was followed by wiring.

This is the result so far. As you can see I had a problem. Because of the angle in which the tree is planted in the pot you can not see the trunk all the way to the nebari. I could repot it or atleast remove the upper part of the soil to reveal it but for safety reasons and also because I'm not in a rush I decided to do it next year. Well, because of that I could not propperly style the lowest right branch. Or let me say it this way. I'm guessing it will be positioned a bit lower and more to the trunk in the future when the pot is not in the way. Also as you can see there is a mess of jins on the left side. And they cross each other which they can't. Two are natural and one is new, made out of a branch I didn't need in the design. I will also decide which one I will keep after I repot the tree.

Finished tree on white background.

Side and back views.

Gas station yew

I collected this Taxus baccata in 2009 at a gas station. It took quite a few years before I could even begin thinking about styling it. The reason is that originally it hat lots of big branches which had to be cut and lots of smaller ones. I gad to let these small branches become bigger ant to gain more green mass.

Anyway. Last year I held a demo at our lokal biannual exhibition in Ljubljana and styled it for the first time.



And this year another big step came for this yew. I could finally safely put it into a reasonable bonsai pot which is of corse not final.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Repotting at full speed

The repotting season is in full flow. Quite a few bonsai got new and final pots.

Chamaecyparis in 2014 just after a trade with a friend.

Today. Pot by Erin pottery.

Itoigawa juniper in 2009.


Cotinus cogyggria in 2012 after a trade with a friend.

Today. There is still quite some excess soil in the back, but I did not want to remove more soil/roots then I have. That I will do with the next repotting. The upper right branch will most probably go and I will develop a second top out of the bottom right one.

Prunus mahaleb one year after collecting - 2011.

Today. The top needs some more work and one more overall wiring next year. Pot by Klika.