Making Bonsai From Squamata

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I'm going to talk a little bit about These large squamata Juniper that I have On the nursery I have done a video about squamata on a Previous occasion you remember I did one Which is over six feet tall and I Presented it to one of my YouTube fans Because he gave me a metal sculpture so In return for that I have given him one Of these trees which I created myself The history of these trees look at them They have all got beautiful trunks the Trunks here must be at least six inches Across at the base And all this beautiful flaky bark and as You know junipers always have this spark And when the bark peels it shows that The bark is expanding this is how they Keep going you know as they go they shed The old bark So like all junipers you've got to keep Clean in the back but this is not the Object of this exercise today I'm just Pointing out that this is how they grow As they grow they shed the old bark So this is Juniper it's almost like Cinnamon isn't it cinnamon bark Those of you who are in the tropics so This is our Juniper's growth now these Junipers I have only brought four here I Have about 50 of them And when I came to the nursery in 1986 In January 86 I planted about maybe a Hundred of them and they were no thicker

Than this not thicker than my finger So after 36 or 37 years Growing successively in the ground and Then in pots I keep digging it up Putting in pots and this is the size They have got to I have pruned them in Several places you see where the cuts Have been made like look at this one This was the leader I cut it off and Then a new leader grew I cut some of the Main branches I cut another cut there so Cut and grow I've got all these twists And bends just by cutting it So you must be wondering why I just Leave them like this I leave them mainly Because I want the trunks to thicken and I also leave the thick branches because Even if they die we can use them for Making driftwood But while they are growing the general Care I give to them is just pruning the Tips of the shoots off by pruning the Tips of the shoots off I get them to Butt back So putting back is again a very long and Tedious process but it is possible it's Just that I haven't been concentrating On these trees for a while but as I Always say as long as the trees are not Dead they continue to live and they will Eventually get used as Bonsai at some Stage they also bought back from the old Wood Other things I can do with it as with

All junipers you can Airline them and Get shorter trees I will explain to you How we approach this so the general care Again you see these long strike issues All this has grown in the last year so If I don't want it to get too long I cut Some of it back and I will get short Into notes or short shoots Growing so All these long spiky bits You should go around And cut it back And you will get The plan to force new shoots from much Lower down on the trunk So all these long shoots should be Tipped Leaving some green of course Always leave a bit of weight So this doesn't just apply to storm Water it applies to All other junipers whether it's the Chinese juniper You know the toy car wants a lot they All have to have this treatment of Budding Back by tipping the shoots So you see I cut it there and so it's Butt back here So these all become potential gin Material That's a live version he force it back [Music] [Music]

Thank you So this one has got green there I can Cut it back there This one I'll leave some green so I cut There this long shoot has got some Greenness so I can cut that And cut that like that If you simply went around and tidied the Whole tree up it begins to look like new For many of you if you look at a tree Like this with so many branches You begin to get worried what do you do With it you know But when you find a complicated tree Like this You should be very happy because it Means that you have a lot of choice the More branches you have the more Complicated the tree the more choices You have to do various things with it So look at it on the positive side never Look on the negative side so I'm going to deal with each of these Trees in turn I'm going to take it into the factory House and show you what we do with each Of these so this is one potential one This is another potential issue So all these trees Have got enormous potential every single Tree has potential [Music] This is going to be a very long video But don't despair

So Before I take it into the greenhouse let Me do all that what we call Dirty Work That means tidying up the tree while I'm Out here I don't want to drag all that rubbish in There so this long should look at it It's about Almost three foot long I have to prune it back I put it back There so it has some green and a butt Further back like this I leave a bit of Green I can't cut this back so all these Long shoots I don't need it that long Some of you must be asking why don't you Do it all the time while they're growing The troubles I've got thousands of trees I don't have time to do all of them but As I say while they're growing It's good it's getting Nourishment The trunks are getting thicker so I don't let these things worried me too Much let nature take its course and when We are ready We have the Plant material raw material I don't like to mention collecting from The Wild what happens in nature when the Trees are growing in the wild they're Just growing you don't worry too much About them At the right time they can be dealt with So all I'm doing at the moment is

Cutting these long shoots back so that In the future I can get more uh new Shoots Great new juvenile shoots a young Shoots boy so I'm just clearing the Debris before I go into the greenhouse Almost every tree here has potential And bear in mind I have another 50 trees In the field like this Which were grown from yellow And they will all be potential bonsai I Have sold a lot of these trees to Especially the club enthusiasts in the Past In the past when I talk of the past We're talking of the 19 80s probably Juniper scomata was a very very popular Tree I remember the days when the Federation Of British Bonsai societies Forbes was Formed They ran a competition to make trees on One side that resemble the federation's Logo And the score Marta Juniper was Certainly one of those very popular Species for using to make the Forbes Logo So I sold a lot of trees to Club people Or next to nothing because they weren't As large as this then they were only About half the height and the trunks Were only like one or two inch thick They're now four or six inches thick so

Those were the days we used to Sell a lot of these trees because they Were very popular with Club people they Were cheap trees didn't cost a lot to Buy and junipers are very tough trees But for some reason maybe because of the Blue color and also because the squamato Has this bad habit of having a lot to Die back in the middle of the tree you See I'm spending so much time just Cleaning the old dead foliage out this Is the nature of the Juniper You just got to accept it that certain Trees behave in a certain way Again it's like us human beings You know it's like hey you have to keep Trimming the hair so you have to keep Trimming it to keep yourself looking Smart So this is what happens with these trees As well You can't just leave them to their own Devices and hope that they will look Nice At every single moment of its life There are times when they look a bit Ragged And then a little bit of grooming will Be smarten them up so they get some more Long shoots let's do these before we Stick it into the greenhouse The more I look at this tree while I'm Pruning I'm not just pruning for the sake of

Pruning I'm observing everything that is Going on I'm deserving how the branches Twist and turn And what's going through my mind is what Can I do with it see I'm thinking a lot I'm saying now that looks interesting This looks interesting so what what can I do with this part of the tree that Part of the tree so I'm thinking all the Time I've mentioned before that when you have Raw material You should look at it for a long time What I normally do on a nursery where I Get interesting plants And they're about to be worked on Or used for demonstration I leave them In a prominent place so every time I Walk past the tree I say to myself what Am I going to do with it shall I do this Shall I do that so the thought process Is going through my mind all the time so They're not just standing there for Nothing I'm looking at it every time I Pass because I'm assessing the tree to See what can be done with the tree so All the other three trees are equally Interesting I'm going to probably look At those eventually over a period of Time but I will look at each of them Because the more I look the more I see So let's shut the camera off and I'm Going to take this tree into the back Greenhouse and I'm going to work on this

Particular one we won't deal with the Other three at the moment we will go and Look at the uh Main tree which is this one to see what We can get out of it okay I thought I'd show you the one I was Referring to this is the tree I did for Uh this YouTube fan he hasn't collected It but I've gifted it to him and you see How bushy this tree is it wasn't like This to begin with but you see the Growth that has Emerged this is a new shoot that has Only grown in the last year 15 or 18 Inches long This is a new shoot that has grown again So they do butt back and they become Luxurious like this so don't despair What you see I'm going to work on now will become Like this in just a year so this is After only like a Year's work and you See how density has become So this is squamata for you and while You're here let me show you these are The Utah Galas These come from Japan like this another Juniper but we're going to earlier the Top that'll be A subject for another day I always like To Show you what is going on so let's go Back in the nursery and we will Analyze This big squamata to show you my thought

Process Please I found over the years that Most people find it very helpful when I Think aloud and just tell you what is Going through my mind so let us look at This tree with the white background so You can see in detail what we are Talking about This is actually I would say it is or I know it's on a Turntable 18 inches it would be at least Four foot six that means 1.5 meter tall We may not need all the height what I Look for first of all to see the Movement of the tree Skomata by its very nature tends to be a Very straight growing tree most people Use comatas for formal operatory bolt Upright because you can't bend the trunk But because I've done selective pruning Over the years I've created these bends Just by doing cut and grow normally During the spermata doesn't grow and Make twist like this but by cutting them In appropriate places I've managed to Force this twisty and turning effect on This tree so on this tree this part is Straight but you have a lovely Bend here And you have a lovely Bend here and if I Turn the tree wrong I think if you come From this side you have the white Background you can see the tree better Now this is also interesting how

Interesting is that Is ever so interesting Ever so interesting So This gives you a lot of choice but it Also creates Dilemmas for you When you are faced with so many things To choose from what do you choose Choosing the options is probably the Most difficult thing I've said already on one or two Occasions before In life Some of the most difficult things is Knowing what to do So we say that there are two things Which are bad of people fail to do they Do a lot of thinking But they never Act So just thinking and not acting is bad But very often I think The more common thing people do is they Act without thinking And too often I've had Emails and messages Directed to me say I followed your Instruction I cut everything off I ended Up with nothing so that is also bad so What probably they did was they acted Without thinking so before you act you Should think as well So these are the two things you need to Avoid

Just thinking and thinking and not Acting is bad but also if you act Without thinking that is also very bad So while I'm tinkering with this tree Tidying it up I'm thinking thinking what Should I do with this tree So the thought process Is going through my mind and let me see If you can read my thoughts because many Of you watching my YouTube videos have Grown accustomed to me so I think you Know exactly what I think I'm not going to cut any branches that Have green tips on them because I know I Can wire them into usable branches So Let us look at the tree For the Trunk line of the movement of the tree So as I said normally score Martyrs Don't have movement but I have been able To create these odd bits of movement Simply by pruning over there so that's Very interesting So should I want to I can make a short Tree let me bring the famous white bag To form the bag trick So If I didn't want the tree to be too big I can make it To a short shape Foreign I can keep the tree just this high Just this high

And perhaps gin the top That would be quite dramatic because That's going to be dramatic that could Be gin and this could be probably bent Down or something done to them so that Is one option Before I go too far Looking at the nibari or the base is Also a very important part of the Process of creating Bonsai because the Base of the namari very often determines The front or the back of the tree Looking at this tree This is a distressed feature for some Reason it got split there And that split has made it look really Interesting Look at that split and it spreads either Way Powerful Roots going into the ground so This makes it a very nice potential Front So if I were to make a short tree This is what I would end up with nice Short tree But if I wanted to do something else What else could I do this tree has got Movement further up the tree as well And if you look at the chief at the top Here there's another movement there and Another movement there So that is also possible Lovely thick trunk maybe take that off Show more of the trunk

So we could have Tremendous drama going that way Let's see what it is like on the other Side This is it from the other side You've got this movement you've got that Movement And you've got a bit of Shari there So that is also possible So remember that although it may not Have back budding from what I showed you Of the tree I did a year ago you see how Well it backboted I'm confident that it will burn back Very easily so I've got a possibility of Using this as the front as well I can use this as the front So this is going to be very dramatic So we are faced with so many many Choices The other choice too is if you were a Bit timorous or not so bold and daring You could even earlier the tree over Here If you Elliot here you get a short Bonsai with this movement This movement Or you could aerate from here and you Will get this movement early listen you Can get that so there's so many Possibilities they're too alluring Possibilities straight away So what a lot of choice we are faced With

So I really do not know what to do And this is where I'm thinking aloud Because the options are so tremendous That I don't want to just show off and do Something Silly just to show how clever I am I think I will have to think carefully Before I do anything So now the crunch time And I've only spent like 15 or 20 Minutes But I still have to take a decision I Can't do that forever So the First Choice as I explained a bit Earlier was this short option That means the tree is only like 60 Centimeter with this dramatic twist here To make this the leader and this tree Would just end up this high So that is one option Very credible option and this can fill Out very quickly in about a year and I'll get a nice short treat If I didn't use this option what else do I have I then have these two dramatic twists Here Beautiful lines this twist and this Twist I've got these two twists So the options for these as I said would Be to possibly early these back ones can You imagine how interesting I would

Get from these two trees twisty trees Enter it as short tree But who wants short trees we have short Trees by the hundred thousands over here I think a large tree is always dramatic So Knowing Peter Chan he loves his big Trees so I think I will go for the large Option Large option means I'm going to keep Virtually everything Keep everything so I'm going to have a Little pad here Another part from that dramatic part There And then as yet another pad there So let us see how we go about doing that Right so Let us take the obvious unwanted Branches out That Tune is going to be too long this Could possibly use this could be used Okay there's certain things that don't Need to be used This would end up as a June Foreign Just to give me thinking time now this One crossing the trunk here if I'm to Keep this at the front I'm more or less Decided it's going to be the funnel Mainly not mainly because this is a very Nice feature I want to emphasize that so We'll keep this as different This could possibly be used as well now

This is crossing the trunk there so do I Need it not really I will probably Make a chin feature with that one This is the scary part once you cut it Off you can't put it back I can tidy that thing up in a more If you have a problem cut it off This is a famous saying from the 70s and 80s Maybe because it was possibly also John Locker series if I remember right if you Have a problem cut it off And if you've cut it off you still got a Problem then you got really a big Problems Okay So that is that song so this is going to Be a small tree in its own right I'm analyzing every step of the way What can we use what can't be used that Will end up as gin Now this is going to be a nice little Head Over here This is a bit long Bite the bullet as they say we're not Making Gin from that Pretty I don't drink because when you Keep talking about gins I'm the last person to drink gin I've Never drunk gin in my life I don't drink spirits Every time I think of it making these

Religions I'm not just wasting time I'm Thinking All the time thinking Okay so this is going to be one card as It were one head A Crossing Branch you can go to the back Like that So this is going to be a tree in its own Right A lot of ginger Begins there Full of gems Too many genes in fact But at some point we may have to bite More bullets There's too much going on That one I don't think we need Foreign Stuff I'm going to just shorten the bronze but I will make gin from it And then the back Foreign I can then remove it completely at the Latest stage Let's assess what we've done so far Foreign Waiting to see during the next year how It will get new shoots New foliage But knowing the species I know I will Get it very quickly like that Victory I Showed you within a space of just a year Or 18 months I've got all that new

Foliage doing [Music] So I'm more or less rationalized the Tree So the plan is to make a feature here With this tree This part Another one this part and then a head Forming the third part So The rest is really just wiring the tree A little wiring to do So the next stage will be watering we Stop for what So I'm just going to start a bit of Wiring I'm not going to show you each and every Bit of wire I do because there is a Practical limit on the time of each of These videos I know many of you say you Don't mind watching Videos which are are and more longer but I don't think that applies to everyone So just to be practical We've got to be sensible and only Film The essential parts All I'm doing is wiring the branches to Get a conical shape The branches are quite flexible And provided you don't do crazy things They shouldn't Snap On You Whoa From this

The park always fascinates me So I'm just wiring everything so that it Comes down Foreign Again you're just going to be sensible With the choice of wire I'm using here This is I would say two and a half mil And that was three mil But It's only a Rough Guide because Different Species and different ages of trees have Different flexibility So you just got to judge Once you keep doing More and more wiring the more experience You will get as to what grade of wire to Use [Music] So you can see how I'm creating a Conical shape I'm going to do a conical Shape with all these branches all these Branches okay I'll stop videoing for a While Let me show you what I've done so far I've been wiring This little tree on this side first So they're going to be like three Bonsai In one three in one so this is going to Be a bonsai in its own right or wired Down I'm not sure about that I may take That off probably Don't need that So this is going to be the

Look of this part of the tree So that's one part and then there will Be two more little trees on the other Side This what I want to show you is butt Back I mentioned a moment ago that these Trees may they may look a bit bare here But they do but back if you come close With the camera let me show you these Little buds here Can you see these little green buds they Are shoots that are growing even without Me heading back the tip of the Chute and On this Branch here look at all these New shoots here So don't despair You will get a lot of new growth if you Be patient and simply by cutting the Ends of the shoots you will get a lot of This butt back groin so A lot of people say oh I can't get these Plants to bug back But junipers do butt back and this Variety which most people think don't Butt back do butt back very easily When you wire any ordinal stubs if you Clean them up makes the wiring simpler Usually trees of this size can take you Days if not a complete week to do But knowing me I will probably work on It fairly quickly The branches are in the wrong place Okay I've done that much I'm now going

To buy the other side 15 minutes or so Once you've made your mind up as to what To do The rest Comes easy because you have a Objective or plan in mind So the rest is just executing the plan And then just making adjustments as you Go along Always remind people that when you do Bonsai it's not a Race Against Time but Because I I'm naturally a fast worker I will probably Maybe spend Half a day more on this tree And I should be able to see the results I will be doing some carving I will have To dig out my carving Tools my router and other Machines And do some rough carving Foreign A rough conical shape Surprisingly Easy to bend these branches without Cracking or breaking So I'm going to use this as the Apex and Make a cone out of this part So all this is detail wiring I will Tackle in due course to make a cone out Of this pot Many of these distracting branches I

Would have to decide whether to get rid Of them or not because then there'll be Another corner at the top to this one Corn here another corner there These I will leave for now in case I Decide to use it Won't rush to cut it off So you can see this is going to be a Large natural tree the sort of trees That you find growing in nature maybe Even in I've never been to a Yellowstone National Park but I would get some of These great big sequoias Resemble this type of image that I'm Trying to create tall stately trees Not a thick squat one but tall elegant Tree with a lot of pads and foliage and We will see how it goes from there just A remark we were taking some of the bark Off so where there's a contrast with the Old bark and the new bug that's quite an Interesting feature So that's something to bear in mind all These little stubs will either be Removed or we can make little Interesting gyms out of here so watch This space And I have here Adam who has come all the way from Northern Ireland Dairy Northern Ireland I showed him on the workshop video So he's been my cameraman today So and he's hopefully been observing What I do so what are your impressions

Oh that's great so far Yeah look at this beautiful bark on it Okay you don't get a chance to work on Big Trees like this not very often more Okay All right say something about your Bonsai Journey uh so I started bonsai At the beginning of lockdown when I had Really nothing to do I was stuck in the House but there had been a few garden Centers open at the time And for my birthday I got given uh it Was a sweet Plum bonsai tree which had Died because the soil it was in was very Very Compact and composty and then I Started watching Peter's videos and I Was able to learn from there and learn Different techniques and working on Certain species And I suppose a lot of people you've Been here once before haven't you Haven't been here twice twice this is my Second time here nice okay last time I Was here it was over fellowman for a Bonsai documentary yes Peter was in and Uh did you see it yes yes Um so that's on YouTube at the moment And I think a lot of people's first trees Die and to do bonds they shouldn't give Up after your first three days So your tree is still there no that the Sweet Palm okay but that one's half dead Anyway yeah okay

So you're really serious about Bonsai You want to do a little business as well Oh yeah okay good luck to you thank you Yes I wish you all the best all right Okay thanks for filming today Thank you

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