As much as I hate doing anything twice I Also get bored very very quickly and I’m Always looking for something new to do. Some new challenges and I like being in A position where I don’t really kind of A lot of the time know what I’m doing Which if you’ve watched many of our Videos you’d be aware of Uh the beauty I find in Bonsai is that There’s so much variety and every now And again a trail throws a curveball and That’s exactly what this tree has done.
This is a Golden Privet and while it’s Not everybody’s favorite tree because of The strange foliage color it came my way For nothing, so I figured it was probably Worth putting some time into.
What you can see if you look carefully Is that parts of this tree different Colors for some reason a large part of It is reverted to its natural green Color that Peru has and I’ve sort of Scratched my head for a little while Because you know exactly what we’re Going to do with that but I’ve got an Idea and I’m going to show you.
A Technique which we’ve been using here on The nursery for several years and it’ll Help us to be able to deal with this Particular issue so the first thing I’m Going to do is give this tree a good prune and then you’ll be able to see Exactly what we’ve got and what we’re Working with.
Part of the tree may have looked quite Random but it’s all about building up a Nice dense bronze structure so that when We come to style this part of the tree We’ve got lots and lots to work with so We can produce a nice mature image very Quickly but now that it’s brewed you can See the extent of the problem in as much As we’ve got all this uh Golden Privet Here and we’ve got conventional green Privet here Conventional wisdom would be just to Strip this off and carve it and make a Nice feature of it but in this case We’ve got a different solution that we Can use and surprisingly it’s not air Layering but what it will do uh [Music] Is involved one of these At this point you can see the extent of The yellow growth on this tree comes Nicely to here and then from here on We’ve got a clean break where it’s Reverted to its natural green form so What I’m going to do is just use the saw And just zip through this real quick [Music] Thank you
[Music] So there we go nice clean cut that pizza Is gone the whole of the remaining tree Is now the golden foliage uh so now We’ll just take this piece put this Outside and turn our attention to [Music] This piece It’s fairly obvious now that we’re going To be propagating this part of the tree So the first thing I need to do Is remove some of this excess foliage Because by the time we get this rooted We don’t want this foliage or to have Dried the material out completely This is a technique that works really Really well With several varieties particularly Obviously primit it works uh it works Well with olive I’ve also had it work With Trident Maples and Field Maple Ace of compostress at all so Uh Hawthorne on one or two occasions I Wouldn’t suggest necessarily doing this Straight off if you’ve had no experience Of it and taking one of your best trees And cutting it in half because uh Sod’s law it’s not going to work for you But we’ve done this dozens and dozens And dozens of times particularly with Privet and uh We’ve never actually had a failure so It’s quite a reliable technique I also Uh I’ve seen this technique used with uh
Bougainvillea as well With regards to the timing of this Technique it really is best done in Mid-summer when growth is in uh in full Swing and you’ll usually find Within Depending on the Vega of the material That you’re starting with of course You’ll usually find that it’s rooted Within two to four weeks [Music] And then after a year in this pot you Can you can treat it much like you would Any other Bonsai material You can see here the reduction of this Is not particularly much silence to it We’re just getting rid of lots of Foliage Mass [Music] [Music] It’s not a good idea to remove all of The foliage The uh the foliage that produces the Energy in the tree that actually Produces the routine so if you were to Remove all of the leaves you would Probably still see the material root but The process would be severely And much higher risk so that’s about as Far as I’m going to take that so now I’m Going to show you the bit that’s really Important So in order to get this cutting to root What we need is a pot just a regular Plastic pot holes in the bottom for some
Drainage the deeper the better in General we also need some fine chipped Bark something that’s fairly moist and Wet particularly for privet will work Very well Where we’ve cut the uh the end of that We just clean that sawdust off and out Of interest if you look at uh if you can See that part of the tree You can see here we’ve got a very pale Yellow line and then we’ve got we’ve got A different color in the middle and this Dark line the center of this tree is Completely dead the only Life part is All Around The Edge there that Brown Line is what stops the rot from the dead Part of the tree Corrupting or infecting the live part of The tree and that’s why you never need To worry about a tree in its Health if It’s completely Hollow because the tree Has this capacity to compartmentalize Damage that it may have suffered and die Back over the years So what we’re going to have to do is Bury this trunk quite deeply in this pot So just kind of [Music] Throw a couple of inches above in the Bottom there and we got to get this About as deep down in there as we Actually can do So Just make sure that’s nice and clean all
Of that cut material from the saw is Gone we’ll push that down in there as Deep as it’ll go and it’s just settled On that bark in the in the bottom there Now we’ve got to do Just realistic [Music] There’s no ticket assignments to this But what we want to do is make sure that This trunk is at least three quarters Buried [Music] So just keep going around here settling This barking packing it in nice and Tight and like I say once this trunk is Three quarters buried and the branches Then are just above the ground and then That’s as far as we need to go I’ve now Got this bark in here this is pressed in About as tight as I can get it it’s Important to make sure that that bark is In good contact with that cut Edge and That’s not wide in there and as you can See that’s nice and firm There’s about yay much of the trunk left Sticking above the surface and then Obviously all the branches we haven’t Buried any leaves uh that was what the Pruning was for so now what we want to Do is give this a good soak You want to thoroughly thoroughly wet This uh Wet this box [Music]
We want that absolutely sopping wet [Music] Just keep going at it and going at it Until the water puddles on the top and He’s running nice out at the bottom as Well Give that a good settle and then the Last part [Music] Chuck a bag over there [Music] Then all we have to do is take that put That somewhere warm it doesn’t want to Be in the shade it wants to be in some Good light but you don’t want any wind On it we want to keep it nice and warm And the warmer it is the faster that’s Going to root Once you start to see extensions of Growth after a couple of weeks or after Say four or five weeks if you begin to See roots coming out the bottom of the Uh the holes in the pot then obviously You know that you’re rooted you’re good To go so the bag can come off the plug Can go outside and it can continue on Its way [Music] I’ve been about four weeks since we took This cutting and there’s roots coming Out the bottom of the pot you move the Bark inside and you can see roots and Also the main Telltale sign after the Leave drop when it’s cut you quickly
Begin to see new buds forming and as Those new buds begin to open and extend You see the roots then the plastic bag Can come off and this has been in the Greenhouse since the bag has been off About a week and now the trees beginning To do very well one of the things I’ve Done is just gone around the surface and Started to remove the bark because if You remember we buried most of the trunk Under Barb and what we don’t want is Roots coming out of all different places So but gradually we’ll reduce that bark Down and expose more of the trunk and so Ultimately we will get Roots forming Around the base of the trunk where we Need where it was cut off and so that’s Going to be useful for down the road When it goes into a pot but from this Stage on this is treated like any other Tree can go outside it’s water and it’s Fertilized in the regular way because Basically it’s a it’s a rooted plant so You can just treat this like any other Material [Music] [Music] It’s now been four years since I started This privet project and life got busy in That time it got pushed to the back of The bench and forgotten however I Recently dug it out and being winter Here in the UK I decided it was time That we got this finished so I’ve taken
All the leaves off which took an age and It’s now ready to start to get into this Where we cut the Big Green Piece off at The top obviously it left a great big Cut and over the intervening years all Of that dead wood that comprise the Center of this tree is rotted out so We have a dig around in here you’ll see There’s all sorts of very soft material Here that’s just basically broken down Over that time And one of the big issues with privet Particularly in the UK is that the wood Or dead wood is ostensibly garbage it’s Very very soft it rots very quickly Because of the time that’s that’s gone By with this tree it’s made all the Difficult decisions for us so what I’m Going to do now is basically get into This start cleaning out the dead wood uh We’ll get some water we’ll get it shaped Up and styled and see what we end up With the tree has died all the way Through the front you can see none of This has been carved it’s all happened Completely naturally we can see on the Back here We’ve got some wonderful bracket fungus Uh people worry about fungus in trees But this bracket fungus is basically Consuming the Dead part of the tree and We can have a look at that because Around this area is completely dead all Of that Wood’s going to have to come out
And then once it’s all cleaned out we Can basically get some wire on it and Get some shape into it So here you can see these bracket fungus These have grown over four years each Year it produces a new horseshoe and These are great they’re really really Hard and they’ll sit on there for years And what it was saying was that these Are basically consuming the Dead part of The tree They’re not bothering the Life part so This part here I can see by the color is All alive this piece is alive and here It’s dead and if I just take this knife You can see That goes all the way in there’s just a Skin on there and then behind it we’ve Got dead material and you can see there That just comes out And you can see here Just as soft That wood has become inside There’s nothing we can do with that Obviously it’s completely rotten so the Work is going to involve initially here Basically going through this Removing everything that’s dead And then everything that’s soft and We’ll see what that leaves us But you can see this wood has just Turned to uh I don’t know it’s not even got the Consistency of wet cardboard it’s just
Complete mush and you can uh This goes all the way through to that Big Hollow that runs all the way down The front And various other parts of the tree There are large areas of dead as well so We’re going to end up really with a Completely Hollow skeleton of a tree Here once we get all this soft material Out and as I say there’s no good trying To keep a lot of this uh a lot of this External material because even though It’s relatively hard a couple of damp Winters and that’s just going to rot Away as well so throughout this whole Tree we’re going to clean this back to What is solid and good and strong Material that’s actually uh alive and Then we won’t see any more of this Decay Happening so just coming in a little Closer to this hole you can see here That this is very Very deep see that swallowed six inches A knife so that shows us that that’s Gone right the way through part of that Is because when this tree was potted uh The base of it was cut flat so that we Can get it into a shallow pot that’s Left a large area of wood exposed to the Soil which is never going to call us Over and as a consequence a lot of this Rot has come up from underneath So there’s a massive Hollow here and on This edge here you can see there’s no
There’s no uh Live material there at all but that’s All fairly hard but going upwards as Well you can see that’s all completely Soft in there as well so Like I say if we’d have been hollowing This A few years ago when it would have been Hardwood that would have been a Significant uh task to get in here and Sort all this out but because it’s gone Completely soft and mushy the tree has Made all of that decision for us and so You can see this is literally just Become fluff [Music] Thank you [Music] We’re looking here at the back of this Tree and you can see here was a branch Removed from here and an older one from Here and again another example of this Have him rotted through basically you Can see this is all just Completely rotted through all completely Dead and this is a really exciting Prospect for material like this because You don’t exactly know what we’re going To get But I can pretty much guarantee that It’s going to be uh really nice and Really interesting and you can see just How easily all this soft material comes Out this is the place where we cut the
Green piece off originally and you can See all of this is rotted out completely Naturally the bees have been in there in The wasps and dug it all out and if I Shove a knife in there You can see that Basically the whole tree Is starting to kind of come apart Because basically the wood that holds it All together uh has gone but we’ve got Live areas down both sides of the tree Down the front the back all around so What we’re going to be able to do with This is basically Hollow this all the Way through take all this rotten Material out all this here is all dead All of this is soft so we’ll Chase all Of this back to the point where we hit The green wood and What’s Left Behind is Going to be really solid and hard so There’s no danger that this tree is Going to fall apart or not Be useful for development and and Progression as uh as the years go by but Uh I appreciate that at this point it May freak out a lot of people but like I Say you can see this is all quite Flexible which might give us some Potential for moving that down the line When we get to actually style it but Another thing of note having waited so Long to get to this stage is that I’ve Not been uh the time’s not been wasted You can see here we’ve got a massive uh
Head of twigging and where this has Grown from its original cuts on the Trunk you can see uh we’ve got some nice Thick branches here and they’ve been cut So one has become two and then two have Become four and then four have become Eight and sixty so we’ve got loads and Loads of quite fine ramification here And even though it’s not been wired so It’s not shaped none of it is so thick That we can’t bend it so all of this is Going to be able to be uh moved quite Easily with wire to create the structure That we want for this tree there’s Probably a lot more branches here than We’re going to need in the final design But better to have them than not so what We do is clean out the soft material and Then just to finish this off which I’ll Show you we’re going to clean this Remaining soft material out and we will Leave the hard stuff behind and that We’re not going to cut through So all that all I do for that is just Use little flexible shaft on a small Power tool with a wire brush and that’s Just going to gently just brush all that Out and as always with wire brushes we Use them as a reasonably the slower Speed that we can [Music] [Applause] And you can see when the the soft Material comes out
[Applause] We’re just less with that nice dark wood Underneath and that’s as far as we need To go we’re not looking to strip any any Wood away from any wood away from this It’s just the rotted material that we Want to get rid of Foreign You can see and you can hear this is all Nice and hard we’re going to have to use An end brush to get into one or two Little holes here but overall that’s as Far as we need to go in terms of Cleaning out this uh cleaning out all This riding material [Music] Thank you [Applause] [Music] Foreign [Music] [Music] Thank you [Music] Everything [Music] [Music] Foreign [Music] Fake Foreign [Music] Autumn here in the UK and after a good Summer’s growth I think both of these
Trees are starting to look quite Presentable they’re far from being good Quality Bonsai but the point of this Video was to take a technique that Perhaps you wouldn’t have been aware of And show you how it works and I think That the results are reasonable the Yellow tree is looking a bit worse for Where we’ve had a scorching summer this Year so there’s a few Brown ends on the Leaves and some of it’s waited out a Little bit because they don’t like too Much sun anything variegated or yellow Prefers a shady position but foolishly I Left it out in the sun so it kind of got A little bit squashed the green bit has Got a little bit of dark green on it Because again just too much sun but Overall the trees have done quite well I’m quite pleased with the results I’m Quite looking forward now to taking These trees forwards and developing Developing them a lot further in the Future so hopefully like I say that’s Given you an insight into an unusual Technique and I think it’s quite unique To see two trees which are actually the Same tree one is green and one yellow so Thanks for watching [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music]