Biggest Bonsai Trees

In this video Padmapriya takes the exposed root Chinese Elm s and show you how to create a stunning root over rock landscape with them.

So today we have padma priya bonsai here and i persuaded him to give a demonstration because he made this beautiful composition yesterday look at it with four chinese arms and these lovely rocks and it’s a group planting like growing on a rock uh face you do see this i remember seeing it even in parts of surrey near godelman you see beech trees growing on rocks like this so it is reminiscent of what you see in the countryside so i’ve persuaded parmita to give us a demonstration of how he created this so we’re going to ask pat as i call him to explain what he’s going to do okay good morning everyone um a little bit nervous this morning so if i am a nur which is what my tendency is i do apologize okay uh so yes as peter says you will see this sort of thing uh in the countryside my inspiration from this is there’s quite a few roman roads around here that run out of london down to the south coast and over years and years and years the trees that were on either side of these roads the erosion wears away all of the uh soil around the roots and exposes the roots in some quite amazing patterns so in fact in each grinstead near the meridian center there are some beech trees which are just like this yeah yeah high rocks at tumbridge wells you’d see something very similar to that yeah so uh so my aim is to try and uh create something similar to this this one i believe we’re doing uh sets on online a kit online so this is a 15 uh pot i’m not sure if that’s inches it’s just a gra 15 so look out for that 17 means 15 go so it’s about 17 inches long okay so this is a 15 okay and it’s got four trees in it i know that that is an unlucky number i know people will probably say that it’s uh yeah lucky and unlucky nor do i and uh it looks right to me so that’s why i’ve done it that way yeah this one is a 17 uh a gra 17. so slightly bigger because i couldn’t find quite such small rocks these are the micro pots we’re using i think it’s also safer to use it because if you use ceramic pot and using these heavy rocks don’t you think the chances of the ceramic well the main problem the main problem with ceramic pots from my perspective is is that as soon as they’re out in the frost and these would be better outdoors they’re just going to break the pots and i love i love these pots anyway these are great for landscapes so i’ve prepped my pots you can do it however you want i’ve done my staples the way i like it and i’ve run through some wires for tying in stuff i don’t quite know where stuff is going so i’ve just put a few in to try and um cover my bases i suppose yeah and the other things that you’re going to need is there’s some clay so this is just uh this was just dug out of the ground uh when we were repairing our fence line because we have clear soil yeah so i’ve kept this if you’re in london you get beautiful blue clay which is really lovely but this is just what’s local to here we’re on the green sand way so it’s quite a sandy sort okay and uh obviously moss okay uh to dress the tree when we’ve we’re finished so i’ve also got a collection of rocks okay in your kit your tree will come like this okay in a plastic pot okay so the first thing to do is to remove all of the soil off of your roots okay i’ve done them already down here just to speed the process along but you get the idea you’ve seen this many times before they are chinese amps yes you’re correct okay so my first thing to do is to start thinking about my rock formation um now uh you could use something like this but this one is way too big for this okay yeah and you yeah you’ve got to be a weightlifter to move it around so we won’t be using that one but this is sandstone it breaks really easy um you can cut it with a saw an old saw i wouldn’t use your parent’s best saw okay um but the best rocks generally are the ones that have frost cracked okay so i don’t know if you can pick up that at the front there but you’ve got these lovely striations in the rocks again i talked about that in a previous video we did so i’m just going to start putting in some rocks where i think i might like them okay now if these rocks weren’t going to hold on their own weight you will need to tie these in okay so the way you do that is you drill holes through your rock and then you fix them in almost like you would do a tree but because i think the weight of this and because it’s not going to be particularly tall i mean if i was doing one up here somewhere then i would be tying the rocks in but i’m not so i’m gonna i think the weight will hold it down so i’m just gonna start placing some things in where i think they might go and just picking some of the nice rocks and what i’m going to try and do is i’m just going to try and layer things up now i’m doing this from the wrong side so you’re just going to bear with me but i’m hoping that you’ll just get a bit of an idea of how we would do it so um just getting a bit of an idea of where my rocks might go demonstrating from the back is very difficult so little things like this i think are really useful so you can see this has got like an overlap on it so we can overlap our rocks something like that so we can get some interesting features so i’m i’m going to say that might be all right i’ll just have a quick look yeah okay so i’ve got something to start with okay so that’s all i’m really looking for i’m going to build up on it as i go but i’ve got something to start with so um i’m going to start with my middle tree um i’ve kind of pre-selected these now you’re not going to be able to choose the tree so uh the middle tree generally i pick the thickest one okay so i think it’s always a safe bet so in nature generally i’ve been told anyway my experience from being a tree surgeon is is the biggest trees tend to be towards the middle of a forest the smaller trees towards the outside so so um that’s why i’m looking for the ones that i think have got the thickest trunks on them so i’ve got two to choose from down here and i think i’m probably going to go with this one because it’s just a little bit fuller in foliage okay so i’m probably going to pick that one to start with so now i’m thinking about okay so where am i going to put this so for the time being um i think i’m just going to sit that there okay um just get a rough idea of what i’d like that already so i’m pretty sure that’s where i’m going to leave that so i think i can tie this in already so again i’ve got my guide wires i’m looking for sorry my anchor wires i’m looking for a thick-ish root but the way you’re putting it you’re making sure that the roots are going to fill the pot yes if you can turn it on we can show you what’s happening okay so so i’ve got quite a bit of space underneath here if i take that out see i’ve got plenty of space and i’ve got a whole lotus area down here that all these roots hopefully they’ll all mesh together um like a raft would do okay so i think i’m going to go for that there there’s a lovely little hook there i don’t know if you can see that if you came in there peter there’s a little hook there so i’m just looking for places that i can pick my roots out that route i think could even go over the top or maybe yeah yeah it’s it’s some of them i’m hoping to get all the way over but it just depends how how lucky we are okay so i think that’s a fairly good starter so i’m gonna tie this this um this tree in so try and get as much of the wire at the back as i can so it’s not gonna show too much okay so that’s that’s going to be that one there now you can see there’s a gap there so immediately i’m looking thinking okay well that looks a little bit too high i haven’t seen anything quite that high off the ground but maybe it happens so i’m just going to put another little rock underneath that maybe your two rocks if they’re two smaller rocks maybe so i’m just looking to build up looking to see which rocks seem to fit the shape so i might even come down on that one rather than find one big rock tool you’re building up the smaller i’ve i thought yeah i find it easier to use smaller rocks uh you want a few big ones to start with um just to get you going that’s got a nice little yeah i like that that’s got a good area there you can again you might not be able to see that there but you can see that just sits in that little groove there so that’s my first tree i’m just going to leave that as it is for now get my next tree so again my next thickest tree is this one so i’ve got a choice to make here this one’s got lots of roots running right down now i should just mention that these arms are exposed root styles so they were especially grown in the exposed root style so people can grow them in whatever way they want but we are exploiting the character of the exposed root to make this root over rock composition which padma prayer is very good at doing so i’m going to place this one again i’ve got a bit of a space here already i can see where i want this one to go so because i’ve tied that in it’s going to be a little bit trickier but i will get that in there so something like that i’m going to worry about the position of the trees a little bit later so i want a slightly bigger rock this time maybe something that’s too big maybe something like that so yeah i’m just going but i don’t want to try not to lose all of the characteristics of the of the roots but you’re going to see these from behind as well so i’m working from both sides although there is a front i am trying to get something that will look quite quite pleasant to the eye even if it’s yeah so again i’m going to wire this one in just to keep this in place it’s a bit tricky when your rocks are in there so again we’ll just tie that off and i’m deliberately leaving these long because i may need to loop them round and tie them in or try another tree in with it or something like that but just to give a i’ll tighten it all up once i’ve got everything in where i want it to be so again i might just slot another rock in there so i’m just going to have a quick look from the front and you’ll get to see what the back looks like at the moment yeah not too bad it looks nice yeah it looks a little bit looks a little bit too uh yeah might try something like that maybe it’s just to get a rough idea to start with anyway so the main thing is just try and get your trees in and then we’ll go from there so again then i’m now looking for my next tree so i’ve got this one here which has got a bit of give in the root system so i’m hoping that if i haven’t ruined it too much see that i’m hoping that i can get this over one of these rocks and leave that in the front so what i might do is just pick that rock up wrap it around it and pop it back in try and get that round there something like that so yeah i think i quite like that i can see what i’m going to do with that from this side i think yes i’m going to leave those roots running down the front now so eventually i’m going to do something later on that’s going to cover them over but once the whole thing is settled in you’ll be able to start washing away the soil again just like it would do in nature and start exposing some of these roots which hopefully would have thickened up a little bit more so this tree i was pretty sure i was just going to put straight in yeah so this one can go straight in there and then my final tree which i’m hoping i’m going to be able to get in hoping to get this in here something like that so let’s just have a quick look see what that might look as a whole composition no don’t like that so that’s not working for me so what i’m going to do i might just try something like that first yeah it might be just that four’s enough again yeah i mean it quite often happens i mean i’ll have that out there like that i think in the final final knockings something like that i like that actually i might try that peter just give it a go okay so again i’ve got some wires here so i’m going to try and tie these in so i’m leaving a little bit giving these wires because then i can move the trees to the position i once wanted once i’ve sort of back filled it all um that one i’m just going to loop around there like that so i think that’s got potential don’t know that i need to um do too much more with that at the moment so what i’m going to do is i’m just going to tuck in the wires that i haven’t used um yep they’re all in yeah so now what i’m going to do is just back fill it with some soil which we’ve got down here so get my arm through so i’m just literally just filling up my tray now [Music] just get that out of the way so just massaging the our standard mix this is for deciduous outdoor so i’d imagine that a kit would probably come with a bag of this so i’ll just do that so just as you would do normally with just planting up trees you’re just massaging the soil in firming everything up basically so that what you don’t want is something that’s so loose that every time the wind blows all of the fine roots that are developing just get ripped off because the whole thing’s moving so you need to try and get it quite tight so normally i’d be spraying this with water but um i’m just going to work with it as it is for now so i don’t know if you can tell but it’s everything’s starting to firm up as i start to press in more and more soil so i’ve got a bit of a style going uh whether you like it or not it’s another that matter but um we got something going so now what i’m looking to do is just place in more rocks just creating more of my landscape so these are smaller off cuts or bits that i’ve just smashed up so i’m just laying them in at the moment just to find a lot or get an idea of where my design might end and you do in the back as well so um although most you know most bonsais do have a front and a back you still want to be dress in the back as well because you never know you might decide in a few years time that actually the back looks nicer than the front and you change the whole design so so that’s what i’m doing as well it also helps to cement everything together if there’s you know you’re jamming the rocks in okay another one in there okay now you can see that those rocks are fairly loose at the moment and it doesn’t really look particularly great maybe um depending on your perspective so this is where i’m going to start using my clay now this is clay obviously but this is not this is clay mixed roughly 50 50 with our levington’s compost so clay i believe he’s largely inert so there’s no real nutrients in it so by mixing in um the uh yeah the organic stuff it’s going to help keep everything alive but also what it’s going to do is i’m just going to start using it now to cement my rocks in place so this is what i’m really using this for on this occasion so i can just start packing this in keeps the rocks together it’s also going to act as the bed for putting moss on afterwards sorry hopefully that is so it’s just going to start firming the whole thing up that’s the plan anyway i should just mention that traditionally this sort of thing when the japanese do the plantings uh with clay they get the clay from the rice paddy fields because when rice is growing in flooded fuels this the soil is really like a thick clay and what is left in the paddy fuse is quite nutritious but also very sticky so that soil i think it’s called keto or something okay all right okay yeah and that is used in the same way that we’re using it but i’ve been using as bad says this london clay parts of the country do have clay and in our nursery here we have what is called sandy loam it’s not exactly clay but it’s still quite sticky so if we dig deep you’ll find the clay recently we installed a ground source heat pump and the drilling rig drilled 160 meters in the ground and quite a lot of soil that came out was pure clay and rocks so there was quite a lot of clear lying around the nursery you can collect that clay well you may be lucky and fine clear yeah so here you can see there’s some exposed roots here so this again is what this clay’s really good at doing is i don’t want any of these fine roots to dry out so by packing in a bit of clay over the top of it it’s going to seal the moisture in so that but not stop the water getting through again it’s just firming up my roots holding everything in place but it’s also acting as a protection so if it’s and the water won’t wash the clear off and not to start with no i mean eventually you’ll have to pick it out but um you know it won’t wash it off to start with no i mean i’ve got some of these at home and i made one at the beginning of the year and admittedly it’s about you know three foot tall and i’ve actually set trees on the top of it as well but um that’s still got all of the clay on it from the beginning part of the year so uh yeah no problems really so again i’m just packing this in and you can actually even sit because it won’t get water logged so much as well you can even set your roots into it a little bit again so it’s just all about holding everything so that the health of the tree doesn’t suffer so just packing this in hiding any wires that i’ve put in the wrong i mean if i did this i’d take a lot more time and i’d weave the wires through so you couldn’t see it and stuff like that but you know for video purposes it’s obviously going to be a bit quicker than that so again just packing this in okay so you can see what i’ve done along the back there now so i’ll work on the front whilst you’re enjoying that side i think we’re almost there so again i’ve i’ve got these exposed roots out the front here now i think that these are so fine i’m just gonna i’m gonna cover them with the moss to try and keep those wet and i’m hoping that that will be sufficient so rather than covering them with clay i’m going this sort of clay mix so it clears more or less like cemented the rocks together yes yeah yeah i don’t want to lose all of the definition of the rocks so i might go back afterwards if i was doing this um and had all the time in the world i would then sort of almost carve into the clay to make them make the clay look like rock you know um but hopefully because we’ve used sandstone with sandy clay we should get a pretty good a pretty good effect um without that without having to cover it all so so we’re getting there so and once you’ve got your uh soil on oh sorry your clay on um it looks a bit funny so just rub you know just pack in some of your normal um your normal uh mix you can just rub it into the clay yeah and it should just it just helps to you know just brings it all together really okay so right so now that’s that’s where i’m at um hopefully that’s giving you a bit of an idea of what you can do so i’m just gonna get rid of any excess saw that i don’t need so this rock it’s got a nice little thing going on at the front i don’t know what you call it but i’m gonna you know you don’t want to bury all of your rocks if you particularly if you’d like me who goes out hunting for decent bits of rock you don’t want to go and bury it all so i’m just going to get rid of this extra i don’t really need and i’ll just hopefully i can expose some more of this rock a little undercut there that’s nice i think so there you go you’re getting a bit of an idea so now just as we would do normally we just finish it off with moss so so um just pick and choose you don’t you don’t want to cover the whole thing in moss in my opinion but you do want to dress all the sides and the moss is as much there to keep the moisture in as it is to you know to act as an aesthetic and different types of moss so that’s like a little clump moss so i’m going to pick a place for that so i think somewhere in there maybe so again it’s contrast so you know i i spoke at length about contrast in one of the other videos we did on the um ficus so if you can get different types of moss which um have different colors to them different textures all of that is going to add to your design so in nature where the water would run the silt would stay so you can pretty much guarantee that that’s where your moss is likely to grow so when i was saying about carving out you see i’ve lost a bit of definition of the rock there so i’m going to take some of that extra clay out there that i don’t think i really need okay so that’s that’s pretty much it [Music] you

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