Bonsai Made Easy – DIY Picea

In case you’re wondering why i’m wearing this lovely red hawaiian shirt well today is the 12th of february 2021 and it is chinese new year the year of the ox and i will say to all my cantonese chinese friends meaning wishing you prosperity and good luck so let me continue i’m going to do the number two project of the beginners diy bonsai so what have i got here you will all know by now that these are the small christmas trees these christmas trees are i would say at least three years old and they are let’s see about eight inches tall that’s from the top of the soil eight inches tall so they’re not youngsters really they’re quite large and i can see in the soil that’s beautiful nice celium in there and okay let me just show you what i’m going to do with all my do it yourself projects i’m going to work on two specimens so that we have two different styles although in the kit you will get one tree one tree one pot enough wire and enough soil to make the bonsai so to reinforce what some of you who are regular youtube viewers will know that i begin always by removing some of the compost from the top of the pot because there’s always a lot of root below there and just by doing that look at it i produced inch and half of additional root can you see so you can see the trunk so that’s always the first thing you need to do so there you are and i’m now going to proceed by thinning the tree a little bit so that you can see some of the branches i’m going to thin out the branches and then proceed to wire them up so go on going on from here i will just go and find my trusty secateurs because i don’t want to use the bonsai tools remember i said i’m only going to use secateurs throughout these demonstrations this lovely shirt by the way is a gift that one of my youtube fans has gifted me and you can see it’s a lovely red uh i don’t know whether it’s a circle what but it’s a beautiful shirt it’s got traditional herons and pine branches how appropriate and i’m wearing this although it’s cold outside it’s full of snow outside but i’m in the comfort of my office here i don’t often work from inside the office but since the staff are not here i take the liberty of creating a mess i hope those of you who work from home don’t create this mess so i’m going to wire these two branches outwards like that i just realized that wearing this red shirt is not the best thing because if i stand behind the tree you can’t see it so i have to move away so that you can see behind the wall what i’ve got there now the next thing to do is to wire the branches with these young alberta spruce as i said this is eight inches tall maybe even nine inches tall and the trunk is thicker than a biro but i’m not going to wire this into an s shape i’ll do the next one into it i’m just going to do this as a formal upright which is a christmas tree shape so the thinnest wire i have here i have a selection of one one and a half so i will use the one millimeter wire which is the thinnest wire remember you’ve always got to use the correct gauge of wire if you use a gauge which is too thick not only is it wasteful it can be a bit uh overpowering and it can also damage the branch that you’re going to wire so i’ll just begin reminding my viewers if you’re just coming fresh to this particular video i hope that if there’s anything i have taught you it is to use the two branch principle that means you’re wiring two branches with a single piece of wire i’m self videoing i don’t have the pleasure of having someone stand in front and videoing but i think it will work i can’t get detailed shots i won’t do any cutting yet i’m just going to wire them choose the branches wire them and see how it goes before i cut any of the branches so i’m now looking for the next branch the next branch to wire flat i also need some back branches so this is a back branch i’ve got broad back branch and a side branch i know that working with the secateurs is not as convenient as working with my bonsai scissors but all is possible all is possible you don’t need it so i have two branches here which i’m going to do so i’m still cutting with my secateurs with the sectors because this felco second has got a little notch and the notch enables me to cut wire with it okay so i found the next pair of branches we always talk about pairs of branches don’t try and wire a single branch on its own it’s not impossible but it’s not a good practice the pisceas are spruces they have a lovely fragrance and i can just feel the smell the fragrance now this particular tree you’ll find that quite a few of these pisces you will get the same situation there’s another very strong upward shoot which we call the second leader i stopped to move the camera because i want to show you a much closer view of what i’m doing so the second leader is this one this is the main leading shoot and this is the second leading shoot now i don’t want two leaders if i can help it most beginners get confused with the second leader so if the second leader is going to confuse you i suggest we will cut it off so that’s what i’m going to cut off and i’m going to leave just a single leader going to the top it hasn’t affected the tree straight away it’s beginning to look like a proper large tree now when i try and choose the next branch i always put it down in position to see if it creates enough space between this one and the next one so let’s try that okay i’ve got two branches there let’s wire those two always select two branches in wired if it doesn’t look right you can always use another one but these two seem to work i think this closer view i should have started off with that you get a much better picture good there you go so that’s how the tree is looking so you remember when i started it was just looking like that can you see the difference already just by wiring the branches the whole thing looks different they are beginning to look like large trees now the next pair of branches we will choose and now this one is too close i’m going to take that off the next pair i’m going to take so that i have space between branches so we wire those two still sticking to the one millimeter wire two bronze principles sometimes you can wrap the wire around the trunk to give the wire stability and then wire it out to the branches so all i’m doing is making horizontal branches as i proceed up the tree because the branches are getting shorter the length of the wire that i’m cutting is also getting shorter so i don’t need to keep using same long pieces the bonsai terminology for trees that are straight upright is called a formal upright these are all bonsai terms i’m not a great lover of using bonsai terms because they were invented just to describe certain styles that the japanese and particular use for their bonsai but they’re just ways to describe a particular shape of tree you don’t have to use those styles i think i’ve more or less got to the top there’s a little more there i’ll just wipe two more see these two can be wired outwards to make them horizontal and that will be it sometimes the very fine ones don’t need to be wired let them grow a little bigger before you wire it and then when we come to the top i’ve got to keep looking from the front as i say it’s very hard to work from the back of the tree all the time i know that some of you criticize me and say that you know why don’t you work behind like i’m doing now but that’s not the way i’m looking at the tree i’m always looking from the front okay i don’t need it all at all so i will just cut a bit of the top off always cutting the top stops the tree growing more and more now i can thin the tree so that it’s not so wide so what i do is i just cut with the secateurs cut the tips off to reduce the width of the tree now i have to keep looking at the tree myself to see how it looks there you are so such a simple tree and i think it looks nice from every side so let me show you what an unmade tree looks like this is it without any wiring and this is it with wiring so there’s a difference and as i said these kits will come with a little plastic pot enough wire to wire the tree and all you do usually the original soil is enough to uh pot it up but we will give you a little more soil as well so again to show you that what you’ve seen is not a fluke there is no slight of hand no magic tricks and that is a very simple upright bonsai that i’ve made from one of these bushy little plants so that is what we call an upright style bonsai that you can make and i always say that it is so simple i’ve taken my time to show it to you slowly the object is not to be fast but if you can work fast that’s okay but if you work slow that’s also okay now this other one let’s see what we can do with this one the other popular shape in bonsai is always that s shape the s-shape again the technical term in bonsai is the informal operation in formula operate meaning it’s not upright but we are going to just make it into an s most plants can be wired into an esk if the trunk is bendable mind you if you use a trunk which is thicker than your thumb i’m not saying it’s impossible to bend but it becomes difficult to bend so i can see that this can be bent but to bend the trunk you used to use let’s see this is what thicker than a biro and using the one millimeter wire that’s not going to wire the trunk for bending purposes so if you want to do the s shape i would recommend using the two and a half millimeter wire much thicker two and a half millimeter wide remember what i said the most popular grades of r is one one and a half two two and a half maybe three and three and a half as well but usually with those grades two is by far the most commonly used size of wire for most people’s bonsai okay i’m trying to avoid trapping the little branches although it’s such a bushy tree there’s always danger of trapping it there you are i’m just going around up the trunk keep the wire tight don’t wire it so that the coils are very far apart and don’t wire it too close together if i can just show you maybe let me get let me get a biro or a pen and show you this is a ballpoint pen and let me show you using one millimeter wire the best way to wire let me put this tree aside is what we call the 45 degree slope like so that is ideal wiring some people wire very far apart they will do it like that so wide apart that is not going to be effective if it is so wide apart at the other extreme i’ve also seen people wrap the wire so tight that it’s almost like the coil of a spring can you see that is not very good wiring you see it’s too close so that is not good wiring so i think this is the first time i’ve shown it in such close detail so let me recap the ideal spacing depending on thickness of the branch is such that the slope of the wire is like 45 degree so that’s what we call 45 degree wiring and this is the ideal type of wiring like so so i hope that gives you a good idea is what you should be aiming for so that is basic wiring in a nutshell now let’s return to that other tree may i just remind you that this is what we did the upright tree but i’m going to do an s shape or the informal upright so again to remind those of you who are fairly new to bonsai and have not watched my earlier videos the s-shape or informal upright shape without cutting the wire is like that that’s the trunk shape that i want to create on that piece here also we need to emphasize that the s shape is not just what we call a flat s in one plane it’s a flat esque in all dimensions three dimensions so to create that three-dimensional s i literally make a coil i always like the analogy of stirring a pot i’m literally stirring a pot like that i’m going to just twist the wire so it is like the coil of a spring see that’s a coil of a spring and that is the s that i’m trying to create all right so having already put the wire around that trunk i can now proceed to make the s shape can you see the wire around the trunk so i’m now going to literally do that action stirring action like so can you see the shape i’ve created like that okay now you can’t appreciate the s until and unless i prop it up in a pot so that you can appreciate the angle better let me just get a little pot to hold it up i don’t know whether that gives you a better idea can you see this s shape of the tree now and this is such a bushy tree it’s nice to have a lot of branches but sometimes if there are too many branches it becomes very confusing so again i’ve got to work from the back because i can’t work you know from the back and look at the tree so what i’m doing here i’m going to cut some off too many branches i’m just going to thin the branches a little bit so that you can see the s shape better can you see their shape now can you see their shape here so that’s the s shape coming along so those lower branches i can select and use as my first branch there are three branches here i will keep those three branches because it’s a very commonly encountered principle or problem in fact because i keep telling you to wire two branches together but if there are three branches what do i do i will just wire the first two that is available and then the third one i’ll explain to you what i do now to wire those branches i will go back to the one mil wire because i think the one millimeter wire should hold if not i can always use one and a half these spiciers are nice plants to use because they have so many branches as with all these bonsai projects where we have to wire branches the more branches you have the more options there are if there are few branches then the options are very much reduced and if you have few options then you can’t make many choices i hope that makes sense okay now although we said that it’s nice to have a lot of options you then have to decide which of those extra branches you need to cut i’m not going to cut them all i’m just going to shorten them a little bit shorten it so that you can see the trunk better so i’ve shortened that branch out now the one i’ve wired is this one i’m going to shorten that one so you can see those two branches have been wired out to that side can you see that’s wired out there you can see the s shape as well how it’s coming along and then i’ve got the third branch at the back so what do i do with the third branch i will now wire the third branch to one of the branches that have already been wired ah but i’ve discovered that on the main branch there’s a little side branch so okay it solved the problem so i’ve got another pair although not it’s not a main branch it’s a subsidiary branch of the main branch so okay we can do that so they’re always choices the message which i’m trying to pass on is that wherever you get branches try and find a pair if you can’t find a pair you can link it to an existing wired branch which will form the second branch for you to wire so that is how we execute the two branch principle still a bit confusing because you’re looking at it flat on a camera if it is three dimensions so if you were looking at it live you get a much better idea let me bring it close and show you you can see the s shape of the tree and you can see the lower branches that are wide okay there are so many branches that i don’t want to clutter the trunk with branches i want to have space between the branches so the next two branches will be branches that can be wired together without hiding the trunk so i should be able to see the trunk after wiring i’m trying to speak very slowly so that you can understand what i’m trying to explain these simple bonsais are really to encourage beginners to make credible bonsai and to enjoy the hobby i always understand how beginners feel in anything i remember when i was learning to swim i learned to swim and i was quite old and it was very frightening but when it is shown in a way that is user-friendly the fear of doing it is removed and that is what i’m trying to do with my bonsai classes here i’m just trying to show you how easy it is to do bonsai okay some people may laugh at what i’m teaching but i don’t mind you can laugh as much as you like but there are people who need encouragement and i’m here to teach it via this channel okay wiring literally all the branches there’s still another little pair there so that pair is only a need of a piece of wire about three inches long always go around the trunk once to stabilize the wire if you wish and then go out to the branch and then right at the top because i don’t want the tree to keep growing taller and taller if you want a toiletry then please let it grow but generally i prefer to keep it short okay so i’ve done the wiring and because this is a really really relatively small tree that has come out i can now tease the roots where’s my little i have a little rake and although this is a bonsai rake i remember that when i used to attend clubs and club people are very frugal and they devise all sorts of methods old dinner forks and all that if it works for you and you don’t want to spend a lot of money and you only have a few trees by all means use it nothing wrong with it but if you have the real thing so much the better but it doesn’t mean that if you don’t have it you can’t achieve it and i’m putting it at a slight slant you see the trunk is coming at a slant at a 45 degree slant there’s a bit of root sticking out but because there’s such a lot of roots on this tree i can cut some of this off as well this is the smallest size pot that we sell this little plastic pot i’m looking at it from the front now and you’re looking at the back and i just fill the soil up in the pot you notice i didn’t cut any root because the root ball fits that pot so if it fits the pot don’t cut it so there you are there is your informal upright spruce so you don’t always have to make them straight but you also don’t always have to make it that curly shape so from the same tree i’ve got completely different images so there you go this is doing two trees the kit which are going to be supplied if you should you wish to buy you don’t have to buy them will be one tree one pot and pair bits of wire and a tiny bit of soil so you can either produce upright tree like this or you can produce an s-shaped tree like that so how simple is that these are simple alberta spruce what we call the christmas trees made into a credible bonsai so there is your lesson number two and then the next one will be our lesson number three [Music] you

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