My Norfolk Island Pine Forest and Grey Barked Elm, The Bonsai Zone, Dec 2022

Hi everyone Nigel Saunders here today is December the 21st it is the winter Solstice the shortest day of the year Here we get about nine hours of sunlight And 15 hours of Darkness so quite a Contrast From now on the days are going to get Longer and longer so For those of you south of the Equator I'm sorry [Laughter] I'm getting some nice Sunshine here in The greenhouse so today I thought I Would work on a tropical tree And here is what I have chosen Can you see what it is Underneath the bag All right it's time for the big reveal There it goes it is The Norfolk Island Pine Forest Let's fly in and have a look at the Forest So one thing I notice is that some of These lower branches are dying off They're just not getting light So all the vigors up top I'm losing my Lower branches which I don't want to do So I've got to prune the top of these Trees way back Putting them back so I get light to the Lower branches and try and keep them you Know growing and vigorous otherwise you Know your trees just keep getting taller And taller every year

And then you end up with well Something that doesn't look like a Bonsai it looks more like a house plant A large house plant So the idea is to try and keep these you Know looking miniature Norfolk Island Pines aren't often used As Bonsai but I've seen some really nice Ones that have been developed and so far These are reacting well to Bonsai Techniques I'm going to start the pruning on the Largest tree in the forest the one That's up front So right here I have Some dead foliage so I'm going to prune That off Start by removing All the dead bits There so there's a couple of dead Branches You can see that the tree is quite tall This will be the tallest tree in the Forest but it's too tall I would rather It down lower So if I rotate it around to the side View here maybe well maybe here you can See I have the trunk line coming up and Then there's multiple leaders here I've Got this Branch going vertical I've got My main Woody trunk line going vertical And there may even be another one back Here Yeah there's another one at the back

Here a short one that's going vertical So I have three upright branches or Trunks so if I wanted to reduce this Back I could either cut back this main One To a lower Branch or I could cut it off And replace this Main trunk line with a new branch that Would then become the trunk line So I have those options I'm going to look at the tree and decide What's the best thing to do I'm looking at the tree now I've got So this Woody the main thickest Woody Trunk line has a lot of branches here I can see that being pruned back in the Past Right up to here So I think I have one out front here I Could use that as the new leader I could Prune it back to here that would be nice Reducing it you know this much off the Top I think that would be High enough that all my trees behind it Would still be shorter so this would Still be the tallest tree I don't want To prune it so far back that the Surrounding trees are you know taller Than the main tree here I think that's a good plan I don't think The Woody part of the trunk flows really Nicely If I were to replace it with this

Thinner one It kind of goes off on an angle I don't Think it'd be as nice so that's what I'm Going to do I'm going to reduce The top of this tree back to this Branch Coming out the front so here I go And I'll leave a bit of a stub All right first big cut coming up There I go just like that and these will Root from cuttings but it takes about Two years before you get enough roots to Uh Kinda Manage the tree or or transplant it Successfully so the first year you don't Get any Roots at all and then in the Second year they just tend to start Growing this these small fine Roots you Can repot it then and then Continue developing it as a bonsai so This other trunk line that comes up the Side here I I want to shorten it so I have a Branch coming out front I have one Coming out the side here Uh I have one down really down low Coming out the front And one off the side so I don't If I want to keep it as a single trunk Uh I would prune it right back Just taking off a dead sheet there And I'm wondering I think I do want to do that I don't Think I want like a twin trunk here if I

Did want to turn twin trunk I would Prune it off to this one but I don't Think I do so I'm going to prune it way Back To here All right second big cut coming up Is gone So you can see now the single trunk line It looks much more Norfolk Island pineish Now there's that one coming up the back And It fans up nicely and then the leader Kind of comes in towards the front of The tree so I'm going to prune the Leader off right there Keeping my back branches So that has got the major Gesture of the main tree pruned up I Just have to shorten these shoots now All right so here I come so this has Been shortened here already and it looks Like it's been pruned here too Um Now that this is the Apex it'll get a Lot more bigger I'll just take this back A little bit further To there There's a new shoot here I'll just take The tip off Like that There's a branch here growing in towards The center of the tree I'll remove that Reduce the length of that one

You can see this one was starting to go A bit brownish because it wasn't getting Any light so I'm just going to trim that Tip off And this tip off and now Now that they get light here it's going To You know keep the Vigor in these Branches and they won't wither away So I'm pruning these back ones shorter Prune this one shorter So as long as you leave some nice Healthy Green needles on the branch it Should recover and You have to make sure they've got good Light So here's a branch here it comes off There's a branch to the front to the Rear to the front and then it goes Straight so I'm going to take it off Right here So it divides from one into two One to the front and one to the back It's more kind of Yellowish needles I'll take off here the Tip of that one Take the tip Off here And the tip off here So that has got The number one tree all pruned up it's Looking more like a Norfolk Island pine That triangular Pine shape

I've got stripy stripe out here in the Greenhouse He's hiding behind the water barrel There You are Kitty Hi [Laughter] So that's stripy stripe he's got a nice Fluffy tail Hey Oh you're a good kitty nice white tum Tum Hey He's a good kitty so that's That's the mail One of the males And he's going in to be fixed on January 3rd Yeah we can't have any more little Kittens we have enough So he's just checking out all the plants In here so these are indoor cats we Don't let them outside But I don't mind him out here in the Greenhouse with me Keep me company I don't think he'd do any damage out Here but Hey Kitty So we have one more kitten that's a Fatty Patty Hey you look a little nervous out here Don't you poor Kitty all right I'm going To take you back inside

You will notice that after I finish Pruning this Norfolk Island Pine Forest The trees are going to look very sparse And that's normal and then after a few Months it starts to fill in and looks Really nice and then in the future it Starts getting overgrown like it was Today and you know it's time to prune it And repeat the process once again It's time now to prune up tree number Two so I'm going to do this tree next It's you know very tall and vigorous on Top so here's the height of my first Tree so I want this one shorter So I've got to look for a shoot this is A nice shoot but it's pretty close to The same height I mean that one would do there's a dead One here I'll prune that off There's a dead one in behind here I can Prune that out Some of these lower branches look very Very weak too it's too bad I probably Should have pruned this earlier getting Rid of this vigorous part on top but No time like the present so my best Shoot there's one here Kind of coming out the front so I'm Going to prune it back to here so here I Go This is the Big Top chop Done Just like that So I will shorten this leader here

So now you can see it's shorter a lot of These branches I don't think they'll Live they're too far gone so I'm going To prune them off It is possible you know it might back Butt onto those branches They'll regrow in the future but That's something we'll just have to wait And see It's unlikely but They're not strong back Butters these Norfolk Island Pines You know Stage maybe once the root system gets Stronger maybe they do Um But so far I haven't noticed you know I Haven't noticed any You know major back butting down the Trunks much I'm gonna shorten this Chute here it's a Little long And So there's several shoots the trunk Comes up and then it divides here is one Two three kind of upright trunks Uh again I don't wanna multiple trunks So I'm going to treat them as More like branches so I'm going to prune This one off here Shortening it to this Branch I'll prune This Branch back to here Like that The other one here

I've got a branch coming off here so Prune the top off like that And make sure this gets good light in The future and it should do all right So the rest I think now is A matter of pruning back there is one at The back here that Is getting kind of long I better prune That back so again it's more like an Upright branch Would be yeah Formula leader so I don't want it to Have multiple trunks So I'm putting it off to a more Horizontal Branch Which will be right Here like that it's taking that whole Top off so now I don't know if you can See it we're getting down to the basics Once again on that tree System after pruning these shoots back That This one back to here There's one back here I can prune back And I'll take a little off the tips of These ones not too much I gotta keep These bottom branches fairly vigorous About there I think that's got number two tree Pruned up that is two trees pruned up in The forest so I'm going to work away at Pruning up all the other trees getting Them down to that triangular form if I

Can And then we'll come back and have a look At it it'll look very sparse but Hopefully this Sunshine will help fill It out for the future Oh okay this one can be pruned off right Here Got a good strong Branch big cut coming Up Oh Wow It was a lot off the top Wow that's a good horizontal Branch back Here Um Big cut I have taken a lot of foliage off these Norfolk Island Pines Yeah a lot of foliage Let's see how the forest looks now Here's a look at the shadow of the Forest so let's fly in now and see how The forest looks [Music] Foreign [Music] Forest a watering I notice it's a little Dry at the back here so here I go [Music] So this Forest is in my plant room where It's you know kept on the warmer side [Music] The work is all done for today on the Norfolk Island Pine Forest it'll be

Interesting to see if I do get any back Budding Or if it's you know all up top Um hopefully you know ideally it'd be Nice to get something pop out down below But We'll see I've noticed on the force that some of The roots are getting quite thick you Can see one here So they're due for repotting Um I'll probably do that late spring or Early summer somewhere around there It's time now for today's update Today's update is my Gray Bark Elm this Was grown from a seed by Michael in the KW club and he gave it to me as a young Seedling and I've been developing it Ever since so today I'm going to give it A pruning up getting the structure Back on track I'm going to start today's Work by finding the front of the tree So this is where it's planted in the pot Has a lot of back branches so I assume This was the front at one time I'm just Rotating it around see if there's a Better front you never know Like it's quite nice from here In fact it's very nice from here From here it kind of has all the Branches go left right yeah it's very Looks very organized I think that's a Good front is somewhere Kind of here

I'm going to mark that as a front Just looking to see if there's anything Better No no Yeah I think you know right about here Is a good front So that's how I'll style the tree All right I'll begin the work so if this Is the front I'm gonna work this branch Is fine I don't need to touch that one This one comes off to the left hand side Part of it goes out to the back And then I have a vertical part I want To prune that off I don't want the branch going vertical There So I'll prune it off right Here Like that So now from the front you can see it Looks much better And then I want to shorten it it's too Long Got a good bud there another butt here So Take it off right here Okay I think that's looking reasonable I have A few new branches here and here Um It's possible I could use this one in The future you know maybe take this one Off and replace it with this one Give a little more separation between

These branches It's possible this one I don't think I'd Ever use so I'm going to take that one Off Like that So that's got this Branch cleaned up This lower branch is fine the way it is So let's move on to this one now so here I've got a branch Ing in towards the center of the tree I'm going to remove that bud Foreign This is a nice Branch here but this one Crosses back on the tree so I'm going to Take that upper part off Like that Maybe even get a little closer there Like that I should do it nicely There is a Dead stub here I can remove like that I'll shorten this one Now Ah I got another one coming out the back Here I don't think I want that one No so that one's coming off Like that so there's a look at the front Now so these branches are sorted out Well let's continue up now so I don't have a lot coming forward this Is a stub here I'll remove another stub Here

Another stub up here Like that and another one here However we'll eventually get something So this would be a nice kind of leader I'll take that tip off get it growing a Little more vertical Uh Yeah it's getting a little tall this Tree so I need to prune it back I'm Going to prune it back to here I'm going to prune this back to here And I don't think I want anything going Vertical here at all so I'm going to Take that right back Like that So you're looking at the front there I Think that's Looking quite nice Yeah I think that's the start of a a Good looking basic Branch structure Now looking in there Let's fly in now and have a look at the Gray Bark Elm [Music] Thank you [Music] Today in the greenhouse it is 12.2 Degrees Celsius or 54 degrees Fahrenheit This morning it was much colder it was About six degrees Celsius out here I Don't know what that is in Fahrenheit But it was darn cold but it's been

Warming up with the sun shining in That is all for today on this winter Solstice December 21st I'm Nigel Saunders thanks for joining me in the Bonsai Zone [Music]

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