Finishing up My Bonsai Show Trees

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Hi everyone Nigel Saunders here after a Cool night it’s time to bring all the Trees out of the greenhouses back on the Bench for the day to get some good Sunshine and then at night time I bring Them all back in again I’ve got most of the trees out of the Glass Greenhouse just a few more to go Today I’m going to be Mossing up my Franken Ficus or my Ficus benjamina Fusion project I will be keeping the trees that I’m Putting in the Toronto show in the Greenhouse here I don’t want the Moss get picked off by The birds so I’m keeping them nice for The show they stay warm in here and they Get good light so this should be fine I’ve got my asparagus fern up here you Can see the Moss is already Greening up It’s looking quite nice and I’m getting Some aerial roots Growing from the top up there Which is kind of exciting too My Eastern White Cedar Forest is being Outside but I’m going to put this in the Greenhouse tonight also I’m going to Work on the landscape a bit today fixing It all up and then it’ll stay in the Greenhouse until Showtime In the poly house here I have a lot of Trees in the center aisleway so I’ll Have to take these out for today Water everything in the greenhouse here

And then at night time put everything Back I’m all ready to Bike is Benjamin Omorphous of the soil now so you can see There’s a lot of bonsai soil showing There’s a lot of nice fine Moss that Naturally develop between the roots here Which is good I’ll keep that so I’ve Just got to kind of fill in this space From this outer layer of soil to the Inner layer of soil so I’ll have to pick Out all these kind of large chunks That are sitting a little high on the Surface of the soil This is a reptile bark That’s decomposing quite nicely Ideally you want to use composted pine Bark but Hard to find in small pieces like this So The reptile bark works It just uh you know as it’s decomposing It probably takes out a little Nitrogen out of the soil but If you’re fertilizing well Should kind of compensate So I’ll save all this decomposed Pine Bark and add it with my bonsai soil and That’ll kind of Be a nice mix You can see this outer layer of soil is Still sitting a bit High I could take it off

Remove some soil and plant it back I did prune the top of it it was getting Very fluffy looking and that will green Up I think before the show but um I may have to do that I think it’s just Sitting a little too high Yes I think I’ll definitely have to do That remove this Moss And lower my soil level and replant it It’s just Too high I don’t want it sticking up Above the lip of the pot Want the tree to look really good A few Roots growing into it So I’ll just um scrape away a bit of This soil Lowering my soil level So we’re going to add the Moss it’s at The perfect level [Applause] Yeah I think that’s a good height With some of this perlite out between The roots here Just removing some of the perlite here We’ll have to get moss in there Oh it’s kind of thick there [Applause] Okay that’s looking much better I think I’ll start with the Moss around the Roots and work out towards the edge of The pot The Roots sure have grown since the last Repotting Lots of new fine roots

[Applause] Let’s get some nice pieces of moss so I’ve got the ones I collected last time They’re they’re really nice pieces So I’ll begin I’ll start pressing it in Between the roots here Not covering up any of the roots just in Between them you want to be able to see All those cool roots There’s a little weed there I gotta pick Out There And I’ll put one in here There’s a big cavity there I can fill it With moss That Looks good Um I’ll put a piece in here And again I’ll have to split it there’s A root coming down the middle so I don’t Want to cover that up That’s sort of worked Just put a bit more Moss there [Applause] This Moss should really give it a kind Of a tropical Reinforest a very Lush look So I always leave my moss on after a Show I You know Try and keep the moss on all the time it Helps stop weeds Seems to hold the moisture in the soil

Better and stops kind of Soily or moisture evaporation from the Surface of the soil it helps buffer that And I haven’t found any negative effects Of having moss on the surface of your Bonsai I’ve only found positive effects it Keeps the weeds down It’s a little harder to water you kind Of have to pre-wet the Moss You know by watering it and then come Back water it some more and maybe even a Third time if it’s really dry But eventually Waters normally once the Moss is wet it Just Water is like soil So that’s looking much nicer out front Now it’s looking kind of lush and green Once this is all pressed in place you Got to go back and pick out any little Pieces of Soil or Perlite Any Roots sticking up you got to trim Off any weeds pull them out Yeah do a real fine Well go over it with a fine-tooth comb Have a look at your planting and see What looks at a scale It looks too lumpy or I’m working away at the Moss you can see A lot of it is mossed up now and it’s Looking much much nicer

I think it’s looking really good So I’ve still got more to go around the Back here I’ve got my Ficus all mossed up so next I’ve got to go in and clean it up so you Can see there’s small Pebbles everywhere A bit of A few weeds and stuff and Debris so I’ve just got to clean it all Up you can see there’s a bit of perlite Showing over here I’ve gotta get some More moss in there Detail work So here I go on that So I’m just going in with the tweezers Picking out any dead bits of moss any Little stones on the surface Kind of fine detailing it Making sure all the Mosses Pressed down properly So I need a little bit of moss here I’ve got a little piece here I can put In That little space There’s a bit of perlite showing here I Can dig that out There Make sure it’s all Push down around the lip of the pot here Like that that looks good Now I think I think I’d better give it a good Watering And that’ll help flush away some of the

Debris on the surface Some of the soil and mud Give it a good clean so I’ll give it a Water now All right here I go Draining really well the soil Thank you Okay [Music] Uh oh sounds like the zombie apocalypse So I’ll continue super detailing this Getting rid of stones Perlite Maybe And that stands out as being a little Unusual Just want a nice Lush Moss Here’s a look at the tree now with the Moss applied to the surface of the soil It makes a big difference it makes it Look makes the tree look larger it makes The whole planting look more miniature Foreign Has repaired an old stand I had which I Just got At the thrift store and I cut the longer Legs off I think it was like a end table Or something I’m gonna see what the looks like on it Just to try it out There’s a look at the tree on the darker Stand It looks okay I don’t mind it It’s darker than the pot it makes the

Pot kind of shine a little Um do I like it better than the maple One I’m not sure I’m gonna get the maple one out and try It again Here’s the tree on the maple stand now Definitely uh brings it up higher Um Both stands look good This is a better size stand for it the Other one’s a little big I think I still like this as the the Stand for the ficus I’ve got the trees set up like it would Be at the show Just checking it over seeing if there’s Any branches that need pruning or Anything I think everything’s looking in Order I was trying to find a better Piece of wood to put under this figure This one’s warped and it’s old so I’ll Have to look around and see if I can Find something better that kind of Matches the stand Let me have a look and see what I can Come up with I couldn’t find anything better so I ran It under hot water and soaked in hot Water for a while I put it upside down on this slab of Granite with a rock on top so I’m hoping It kind of straightens it out

Once it dries so we’ll see I would like to plant something in this Pot of moss like a little Plant sticking out just you know ideally A little flower or something but Again I don’t know if I have anything I’ll look around I could put like Sedum in there maybe Sticking out but I’ll look around at Something a little more colorful Would be really nice Here’s the look that I’m going for Just you know a little flower or Something sticking out of the pot So I I don’t think this would be alive By Showtime but I have more of them so I Could you know maybe just cut off a few And Replace them at the show if they wilt We’ll see how this one does I’ve got the newly mossed up Ficus Benjamina in the sunshine that’ll help Green up the Moss And when it starts cooling down tonight I’ll put it back in the greenhouse I have got the cedar Forest on the Turntable So I think I’ll begin at the back here And do some weeding All right Lots of weeds to pull out here [Music] Seem to be coming out with the roots Which is good

Now even though these weeds are kind of In scale with the planting It um It it looks confusing The Mosses doesn’t take your eye off the Trees if you have too many variations in Your ground cover It begins to look very jumbled uh it’s More realistic but it also Kind of takes your eye away from what You’re supposed to be looking at and That’s the composition in the trees Now it may look good in some forests Like if you’ve got a really realistic Looking Forest It may be nice to have some ground cover Here and there But in this case I I just don’t like it And I think that’s often the case if You’re I watch a lot of Photography channels And you know when they go to a forest They find it very difficult to To photograph trees in a forest because The backgrounds are so distracting So they generally like to go out when It’s foggy So the background is all Misty and you Can’t see the background much or it’s Very muted and then the tree pops out And it’s same thing in Bonsai you kind Of You know there’s realism Which is nice but then you also kind of

Have to Make it artistic too that you know your Tree stand out that the the You know the ground cover isn’t Distracting from what you’re supposed to Be looking at Foreign Really feels like I’m in a forest when I’m looking at this It’s so cool I’ve got a lot of the landscape cleaned Up now so I’m just going to add some Moss now Just little patches here and there where You know some of those weeds were just Fill on some of the bare spots Here’s a look at all the debris I I Cleaned out of the forest lots of Weeding It’s looking quite nice now The last thing I want to do to my Cedar Forest is to oil up the pot and you Should do this four or five days in Advance of the show so it doesn’t look Too shiny at the show it kind of soaks Into the clay Looks like a matte finish and should Look pretty good I brought my Ficus Benjamin inside the Greenhouse now So it’s getting good sun in here and It’s nice and warm and humid so I thought I better bring it in it was Starting to get shaded out outside and

The temperatures falling I’m going to use linseed oil to oil up The pot Linseed oil is one of the ingredients in Varnish so when I rub it on I think It’ll leave a bit of patina to the pot And maybe A bit of coloring to the pot too just Very subtly I think over the years it Builds up a bit of a coating And should look quite nice in the future I’m going to put a bit of linseed oil on My rag And just rub it onto the pot so here I Go [Music] Here’s a look at the pot You can see it’s all kind of a uniform Color It’s got a slight gloss to it So as this pot ages it’s a fairly new Pot this as it ages you’ll find it’ll be It’ll get subtle patina the clay itself Will darken in some areas Yeah it’ll look much better as it ages It is such a beautiful day today Nice and sunny and warm out So I’ve let the pot sit for about five Minutes So now I’m going to come in And wipe it down All right here I go Let’s get the excess oil off You can see it on the paper towel there

Quite the lip down here The feet Foreign Okay I think that’s looking really good When you take a tree to a bonsai show You need to bring a misting bottle with Rain water in it you need to bring some Oil in a rag just to touch up your pot If you missed a spot Some scissors just to do some last Minute pruning if something Sticking out of the profile Some tweezers to clean up your Moss There may have been some debris fall Down in the car ride to the show that You may have to pick out so you need a Few tools just to make sure your tree is Looking really good some people also Bring Some furniture polish and just pulse up Their stand too You want your tree to look the best it Can in the greenhouse here I have all my Show trees safely tucked away nothing Can get in the greenhouse So I’ve got my Cedar Forest down here I’ve got my root over at Temple Ficus Benjamina here Beside it I have my Franken Ficus my Other ficus benjamina And then up on the bench here I have my asparagus fern My asparagus fern has a matte glaze on This pot so I don’t want to oil this one

Up I just want to keep it matte And I think you’ll see this glaze over The next couple of decades It’ll get a really nice patina to it I Think this pot will improve with time The moss on the asparagus fern is really Greened up with the sunshine today It’s looking very very nice My cheflera in here is starting to Sprout out all kinds of new growth where I cut it back hard So that’s exciting It’s coming around quite nicely The sun is getting lower in the sky so I’ll have to bring all my tropical trees Inside the greenhouses soon just to keep Them as warm as possible overnight and Tomorrow is going to be a really warm Day I’ll bring them all back out again And see all these trees are Pretty well in Shadow now out in this Side My Northern bog Forest over here is Getting some really nice fall colors on It so it has the Larch planted in front Of the black spruce So you can see the Larch now turning Yellow With the spruce in the background which Are still green And I think this will just keep getting Better in the future as these trees Mature I’m going to keep them to the

Really tight Conical shape I’ll grow them taller but I’ll keep them as Slim as possible To look like those Northern type trees And yeah I think it’s Looking really good I really like this Composition I think I’ve got to grow more of these Kind of Cylindrical trees that are very tight I Have the other black Spruce that I may Plant in this Forest too I’ll show you That Over here on this bench I have That taller black Spruce that I was Going to grow as a specimen But I’m thinking it would be a nice size To go right in the middle here Especially if I grow these trees a Little taller right now kind of the Focus is the dead trees But I could definitely plant that Spruce Just behind them kind of they would be That height I think it would look pretty good So yeah I’m very excited about this Planting I think it’s a Yeah it’s going to look really good in The future I think all my trees are ready for the Toronto Bonsai society’s fall show and Sale coming this weekend it’ll be very Exciting I hope to see you all there That’s all for today I’m Nigel Saunders

Thanks for joining me in the Bonsai Zone Foreign [Music]

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