Bonsai Tree Care Tips For Late Spring

In this video I share with you some topical tips for late spring.

It’s almost the end of May and although i’m wearing this hawaiian shirt it is very very cold the temperature is only like 13 degrees today throughout april and i think most of march we had very dry weather we didn’t have a drop of rain so for almost eight weeks we didn’t have rain but in the last 10 days it has been raining almost every day

Video Transcript

 You look at the sky every now and then we get a short sharp shower and this is typical of april and may usually we call them the spring showers or april showers but it’s happening in uh in may and look at the strong wind you see how the leaves are being blown by the wind so this video i’m going to call it topical tips usually in late spring a lot of activity goes on these are our maples which we have potted up and although they were brought up in the in the growing tunnels let me show you the growth all this growth which is almost 18 inches long has occurred in the last month so you have to deal with it most plants even like your roses they have two spurts of growth the first spurt is in spring or late spring and you get another spurt in august so it’s important to deal with the first spurt of growth now if this is an example i will show you what i have to do at this time of the year so all these long shoots i let them grow till they get a bit long but i don’t wait till they’re about uh 70 centimeter a meter long if i didn’t do anything by the end of the year these shoots will be about a meter long and that would defeat the purpose so i’m going to trim them all back just trim them in a conical shape the famous conical shape and that should keep the shape and increase the ramification so that is what we do throughout the year if i want to make a branch strong i will let it grow longer to make it stronger and then i will cut it back but if i feel that i don’t need it anymore then i cut it back to just increase the ramification so this is what i’m going to do with most of these maples so wherever i get long shoots i’m just going to trim it back into the conical shape just to keep it in shape also this this is a ordinary european beach or english beach this tree i’ve grown for years and years look at the beautiful moss and again look at this new shoot here i’ll just cut this new shoot off to show you that is the old wood this is the new wood so in the space of one month i’ve got one two three four five six seven leaves already with another one coming seven leaves in the last month so you don’t want it to grow that long so you cut it back to an outward bud like that maybe just keep two leaves so this whole tree i’ve got to go around and take off all the leaves but two of the new leaves and of course keeping the conical shape i don’t want to spend half an hour just doing that but this is what i will be doing with this so all these maples i’ll go around snipping away snapping away even when i used to go to japan i was always fascinated that this is the job that they used to leave the dear women the mothers who used to do the cooking they in their spare time they used to just keep trimming these trees talking of new growth they’re going to get new growth on virtually everything this is a very unusual type of view and look at the new growth on this view so beautiful i will let it grow to produce little longer branches and then i will come back to it because i’m restyling this tree i want to take that leader up and make it a more conical shape so there’s a long term plan for this one i sometimes don’t rush these projects because they’re long-term plans that i have for it so all these trees which have the new growth i’m going to go around snipping but as i said i don’t want to keep spending all my time just showing you these very mundane chores but there are chores that we have to do so these are the spring chores this is that for scythia that i keep showing you with the thick trunk the flowers are finished i let the growth grow and now i’ll trim it back so that again i will get more ramification on this so same with this one this is alcova i used to call this the organ pipes and all this growth has grown in the last four to five weeks so if i don’t want to keep letting it go add infinitum i will just go around and cut it back sometimes i prefer to use my falco’s because they’re a bit stronger so as long as you do this you will increase the ramification and ramification is what these old mature trees are in need of i will bother about the layering or creating the layers at this later stage so keeping it in this dome shape pruning the long shoots off but remember i don’t prune it straight away i let it grow a bit first and then we will go into it and prune it so that’s that one so as we walk around you will see all these long shoots i’m going to go around and just do that look at that beach you look at the new growth of that all that new growth and while we are here the crab apples which were in full bloom about two three weeks ago have finished and now the fruit are going to set and the fruit will develop big and will turn red by about august september time and they will remain on the tree till about christmas so the lovely spring color is always a joy to watch because it’s such a delicate lime green and of course some trees are late and coming into leaf look at this one this is a celtus and the leaves are just coming out so i’m not in a rush if i had grown it in the greenhouse it would be in the leaf much sooner but this has been out all winter in the open so this is not in a rush to come into leaf while i’m passing here let me show you these projects that i keep doing this is a new cedar forest that i’ve been making and look at all the new growth on this cedar forest look at that beautiful growth so i will keep an eye on it this was only planted a few months ago so it has a long way yet to grow and look at these korean horn beams of us look at the beautiful leaves and look at that beautiful trunk again i’m not in a rush to clear the trunk i will strengthen the tree so i have three of them here so these are a very long term project very very long term project beautiful nebari on all these three trees here now let me show you something else which you don’t often see uh oh look at this one this is a japanese beach vegas granata and because this is growing in the open it’s not been protected in the winter it’s a bit late in coming into leave but it will come into leave let me show you very unusual things and here you are this is our concha tree horse chestnut bonsai i’ll just get this out of the way and it’s actually flowering conker tree in bloom i will take you to the field because last year if you remember i did a video of all our conquer trees that are still being trained in the field and i’ll show you i’ve got about 20 or 30 of them all in bloom so i don’t think many people can produce a conquer bonsai that actually flowers but because i love big trees these big trees actually flower another variety that you don’t often see as bonsai is the small leaf lime these are just being trained we grew them from virtually from seed and these must be about 20 years from seed and i’m going to develop a superstructure on this tree now let’s look at the pines let’s look at the pines if we walk around the nursery i will show you the candles that are developing on the pines i have as you know many many pints this is a five needle pine japanese white pine and you look at the new candles on that so the purple ones are the flowers and then the white flowers are usually the cones so if we look around all these white pines are showing such healthy signs of growth all with the new candles and this one is very very prominent look at that how beautiful is that all those purple flowers it is such a shame to actually prune them off i will just leave it to grow because it looks nice but i really should take those candles off i’m going to explain about the candles in just a moment while we are passing i might show you some of the wisteria that we have the wisterias again are a bit late because we had a very hard spring so this is a purple one and they’ve got this beautiful beautiful fragrance let me show you the white ones that we have before i show you the white wisteria i will just explain to you these are also wisteria bonsai these are grafted trees and this one is not showing any signs of flower so sometimes it happens that trees especially flowering trees they take a rest so one year you will get a lot of flowers and then the subsequent years you may not get any flowers so those again are the purple ones just coming in but over here look at these white whiskey here and you notice that i’m growing them in big pots because i want to strengthen the tree and make them into bigger trees i want a big chunk so i put them in big pots so the reason for putting in these bigger pots is to get the bigger tree with a bigger trunk so these are different um types i’ve got purple blue and white i’ve also got a pink variety but the pink one is showing signs of old age i’ve got to propagate from that and the satsukis are not yet in bloom but i will show you what’s happening to the satsukis we’ve got some we won’t get distracted by all these colorful maples but some of them are already in flower but i will also show you in the greenhouse we’ve got some more which are in full bloom now let’s go into the background okay while i’m passing i will just show you this particular scots point look at all those candles here look at those candles and i always like to remind people that the candle if left unchecked becomes a stem so for instance this little stem here or this stem two years ago it was a candle like that and because it wasn’t cut off it became longer and longer so if i left this to grow it’ll become a longer branch so all these have to be taken off if you don’t want to develop the branch is longer so just go around and share them off you don’t have to choose which one you want and which one but squat spines are so tough you literally take every single candle off and you’ll get back budding you look at this this is what we call back buddy you see all these little shoots here like that these have grown because we took the candle off last year like that so i take off some more i’ll get more budding there so that’s how you deal with so when they call pack candle pinching you don’t have to go around with the fingers to do it just with the scissors you can go around and do that and you’ll get back budding let me show you these two big scotch spines that i’ve been working on for the last only the last year i think i did a video of it these two and it was very straggly but by taking the candles out last year i’ve got it to produce much tighter growth so again this year i’m going to literally take every single candle out as long as you leave the green it will butt back see all this budding back these thinner shoots have come from doing this doing precisely this no sophisticated candle pinching and all that people try to make it more complicated than it ought to be i don’t know why they like to do it they do it because they want to show how clever they are and show that it is a mysterious exercise people hate me i believe because i make things too simple i steal the mystique out of it in some way but there is no mystique there is no mistake these are just plants that’s all you do just go around remove every single candle and it will become more and more compact now even a tree like this i’ll probably take about 15 minutes to do the whole tree but i won’t spend a whole day you see by doing it last year you see how compact and tight it has become and because it’s become tight i now have the choice of taking out the ones that i don’t want you know the branches i don’t want so this is how you develop density in scots points scotch pines usually are very very straggly and floppy trees but by constantly doing this you will get control of it and you will get tight growth and a lot of bud back so i’m not going to spend all the time just doing this entire tree but this is what we just generally do and if you look at this again this is another instance i’ve got to deal with all these in the same way cut every single one off so again back budding let me explain to you these little shoots here have come by doing this this one here which was the best stem and by doing this i’m going to get shoots going further back in the wood so that’s how you get back budding and more density than the pine now this is a very good example here look at that look at all the back budding there see these are new shoots on old wood so if anyone tells you you can’t get it on all wood they don’t know what they’re talking about so you will get it look at that again more examples of that look at all that new shoot on the old wood so this is what happens when you keep pruning it like this you get back budding now let’s look at some of these japanese five needle pine look at this one look at it look at it there’s a few purple flowers here so if i don’t want to let it become a stem or a branch i just go around and literally remove every single one and if i want it budding further back i can take off not just the new candles i can take off some of the old growth so it’s not just removing these i’m actually removing some of the old stem so this how you shape the tree as well these are what we call semi-trained trees i’ve got to wire every single branch that’s going to take time and with thousands and thousands of trees we will do whichever we feel our priority jobs and some people like to buy the trees semi-trained so that they can finish the wiring and refine it themselves so there is method in my madness so you got to respect what customers want and what customers taste ah this is a coke bark black pine which i’ve or a friend of mine has been growing for years and she gave this treat to me because she doesn’t want it anymore so even this one you look at it from this old wood look at the branches coming from the really old wood this is a new branch that has come and these are new branches so by constantly taking out the growing tips i get the density on that one that was grown from a tiny graft it was a grafted tree that was done in this country not imported at all let’s take you for a quick look into our greenhouse there not our greenhouse our this is where trees are constantly being potted up and grown and so on so you see all favorites in all states of development we produce all our own fuji cherry and we also grow uh oh let’s show you the wisteria seed isn’t it now we always talk about sowing seeds there are many seeds here those those are japanese irish seeds coming up but let’s show you what happened to the wisteria seed now this is a very good example here you are now these are seeds which have germinated literally in the last two weeks and we just put hundreds of seeds and look at them all growing up like runner beans almost but this one what happened because it got too hot in april some of my staff took this tray out and placed it outside and the frost got it so the frost killed these so this was a mistake you know well i can’t tell what to do you know um because sometimes the staff take initiative but it doesn’t always prove correct but i’ve got enough there so i will have hundreds and hundreds of mysterious so this is a mixture of both the white ones and the blue ones that we saw and they will all grow into lovely wisteria plants coming into the back greenhouse what do we have here again we have lots of trees in different stages of being developed and grown so this is a bourne answers here and again look at these because it’s been growing in the greenhouse for much longer the canvas have already opened so they’re going to open out into needles but i can still do it by pruning it completely off and i will get bud back you see all these new shoots here this is last year’s butt back so on the old wood you’ll get this if i do this i will get more budding over here so this how we get the tree to butt back simply by removing these candles completely it will butt back on the whole wood see this is what is happening like so that’s butt back so go around and remove every single candle and you’ll get a more compact and dense tree now let’s look at some other trees being of interest these are a lot of newly made ones ah let us show you this tree today is the 23rd of may but about five days ago we showed you that video of bending the unbendable impossible larch and many people commented that they thought the tree would die and here it is about three months later and look at the growth on that tree bending the impossible bend and there you are and this is the future direction of the tree i’m going to develop more of a crown and i can even plant it at a slightly different angle later on and this is what is happening so none of the trees die and look at the callusing here you see how the thing is callousing i hope you know what chalice means callus is the healing of the wound you can still see all that active callousing taking place here and that will heal over nicely and that will be well on its way right as rain so while i’m here we are repotting some of our trees but when we do the re-potting at this time of the year we don’t take much root off so now that i put it in a larger mica pot these are all trees that we train we buy these japanese white beaches very small trees from japan these came all in the early 90s i would say when they were only like finger thick and they’ve been grown in the field to thicken up so it’s taken like 20 or more years 20 or 30 years to grow in our field and then we get this thick trunk and i’m going to train it in a natural style beach more branches there i may carve that but whoever buys it may want to choose another front so this is how we develop these trees this is a little experiment that josh my cameraman here has done little dawn redwood giving it a severe bend and a little more wiring and this is going to be delightful little small shohin bonsai this is dawn redwood what else can we show you in here okay there’s another thing which i just noticed and it is this uh juniper this is san jose juniper that i’m in the middle of working on and many people will look at this tree and they will throw up their hands in horror and say oh this tree looks as if it’s dying why is it getting all that yellow foliage now those of you who are less experienced may not realize that even like human hair as you get new growth the old growth drops off so the old needles are like the old leaves as you get the new leaves the old foliage will shed so don’t panic when you see that happening you look at the tips how strong they are going the tips are growing strongly so the old foliage at this time of the year around late spring we call this late spring you will get the yellowing inside just as you get the yellowing of the pine needles in october many of the conifers like the junipers and texas they shed the old needles as the new needles come look at all that new growth there now i’ll move on to some other junipers as well mind you you won’t get it on every juniper but if you see it on some junipers do not panic because it is quite natural see that one that is a toygawa there’s some traces of yellowing in there so again that one will get some yellowing foliage now let me take you to this one here this is a typical chinese juniper the variety is kisu which is a very common one and look at this one look at the yellowing here that is all the all needles falling off so i know that this is not dying it is just getting the yellow foliage and when they rub off they should be okay the same happens with some of the use this is a japanese u texas crispy daughter and you look at all that fresh new growth here this fresh new growth has happened in the last month and inside the tree the old foliage look at that the old foliage is shedding okay i will now show you with english u now this is english view i have in fact two trees and there’s lots of new growth here look at all the new growth on that and the old foliage sheds this is what they do so again as long as there are signs of new foliage do not panic look at the one next door there that also has a lot of yellow foliage but i know that that tree is not dying it’s just shedding the old leaves and you’ll get the new ones as long as it’s fed well it will continue to grow and in i would say four weeks time it will be covered in new foliage so do not panic there’s certain times when you see these things happening you get extremely worried but there’s no need to worry because they will all come again now while we’re at this end of the nursery let’s show you these satsuki azaleas oh this is new growth on juniper rigider but this one hasn’t got yellow foliage some of them have but some of them are cut these are more projects and this is these satsuki’s you must be wondering why they’re in here because many of these had one or two branches die but i’m restyling the tree regrowing the branches and giving it a new shape i keep a close eye on the air layings i’m doing this ceiling was done in late autumn i think september october so this was an experiment in doing late air layering no signs of root yet but i’m sure it’s going to happen very shortly yeah very shortly will happen there are signs over there okay so we’ll follow the progress of that and while we’re here let’s show you this is that great big latch that we earlier with a six inch diameter trunk look at all that new growth i then pull it out but i know it’s growing strong and this famous air layering which is about more than 20 feet long this is only six or 12 feet of it i cut off the top 10 10 feet because it wouldn’t fit the greenhouse so i hope i’ve shown you enough of the topical tips that you should be aware of main thing is not to panic just keep an eye and let it grow so there are lots of projects that you may recognize while i’m passing i will just show you what to do with some of the new growth on larches again larches are almost like pines they don’t have candles as such but they get the new foliage which is long like this so you simply prune them off and that’s how you keep it dense this is my famous windswept lodge which i’ve now made into a cascade tree it’s shown in all my books and talking of books i better make a plug because for the last five days i’ve been working on the pictures for the remastered version of bonsai master class there has been such a big clamor for my book bonsai master class to be reprinted and fortunately because that’s one of the few books that i have the text copyright i’m getting someone else to republish that book and using new pictures and i’m going to update that book so there’s no need to pay 200 pound or 300 pound for second-hand copies you will getting a very new very shortly a brand new version of bonsai master class updated by me so that is the good news i have for you so i hope you continue to enjoy the videos as i said my videos are really meant to be a teaching aid and as long as you enjoy it i will keep doing it [Music] you

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