Expert Tips to Growing Better Bonsai
It takes time to grow good quality bonsai stock to work on in future years. This little shimpaku started off as an air layer and then allowed to recover for 1 year once removed from the parent tree. I then twisted and bent it in different directions in order to add interest and left to grow. Its now time to rewire and add some more bend into it.
I’m back i’m working on trees again um it’s been um yeah it’s been fun just giving myself some time to do some trees this is a little shimpaku juniper now you know i have done if you’ve been following my videos and channel for a while now um there’s over 350 videos on my channel but you would have seen me do bendy twist bend and twist spinning who’s going to talk about growing good stock and bending and twisting shin paku junipers mainly into nice shapes and contorted shapes over the years they have better stock to deal with this is like a round two this would this tree i’ve done this was an air layer that i’ve taken off a tree maybe three years ago three or four years ago now probably um and i’ve bent it and twisted it up so you can see some of the shape in the base trunk you can see all the nice twists and so on it’s still too young for me to style what i did notice was the wire started to cut in so what that means is i need to take the wire off and put replacement so i’ve saved you the the watching me do that so now i’m at the point of i’ve rewired the main trunks now what i want to really show you is that this is a process you know it’s not like immediate bonsai and and have an immediate result so this has now two nice two size trunks you know two there’s a trunky and there’s a nice trunk here too i don’t know what this tree will become yet but i’m keeping both trunks for now this tree could fatten up over the next two three years five years i’m not sure um and it could transform into a totally different tree so we just don’t know what it’s going to do just yet but what i can tell you is see how for example this this this trunk here has some absolute beautiful movement already it’s got some really nice backwards forwards really natural looking movement actually it’s quite the it’s probably the better trunk than this slightly thicker one that’s there but you can see i’ve wide everything up why the main branches anyway i haven’t mined really the sub small branches yet i’ll probably just let them go um but i haven’t trimmed the tops you know you can see they’re long and leggy that’s so important so that continues to grow next season um i’ll feed the tree pretty heavily um as i do to try and encourage the growth but really it’s just i just want to talk about the next level next step so never think that we’ve done the first wiring now it’s actually taught taking the old wire off and reapplied so i can actually create more interest so for example this trunk has got some beautiful movement as i said it goes backwards sideways into blah blah blah and then it’s got this long straight beat now so i’ve wired that up so the next step is and it’s actually got a small front one too so now you just be creative come up with ideas and look at the tree and try to try to think what you want to try and do having heavy enough gauge wire to twist it up so i’m just gonna i’m potentially thinking you know this could be something quite interesting could even be a small cascade of some sort so i’m just trying to wire i’ve just wired the log the first branch in it downwards and around and twisted it up so there was a small branch down here that i’ve just put put a bench around twisted it contoured it and now it’s kind of squish it back in a little bit to really get the bends into it so it’s important to try and get those bends in be creative don’t don’t be shy you know don’t don’t don’t be too hesitant you want to get some interest happening in the tree so push that back in now i want to do with this top bit um so you can see it’s straight this bit straight this good bit’s really nice and twisted this bit straight so just don’t be shy be creative you know try and try and think of what it could look like or what would you want to see it in the future so i’ve contorted it down a little bit now i’m trying to twist it back up and around trying to create some more interesting movement just take your time i’m trying to get the movement happening this way i don’t want it to go straight back up and go back this way because the whole trunk’s moving this direction so i want to try and create something in that in that flow um so remember you got to go sideways left right but also get back and forward okay very important to get all the three dimensions in so you can see i haven’t cut anything off it i just want to grow and contort and naturally twist up and we’ll see what it eventually comes out to be so that’s really now that’s super contorted super super twisted up left everything alone but you can see all nice contoured it goes back quite a bit so i can shrink the height goes back so that’s that’s one bit done and now i’ll just do the same thing to the other side i’ll do the first lower branch to really try and twist that up and make it a bit more interesting because it’s really straight that first bit a lower branch and because i’m using i’ve used a heavy enough gauge wire and i’ve kept the coils pretty close they’re almost like like a um a tourniquet for the branch that won’t like raffia and and so on because when you have the course so tight it kind of acts like that which is good but it saves me from doing anything too crazy or breaking sorry breaking anything just simple little process of this and create a better train a few years time that’s why it’s important to have lots of stock or lots of things you’re working on never have one or two things you always have lots of things it’s really important so contorting this now i’ve got really two contorted trunks twisted down bent down um ideally i think i like the skinnier trunk better we’re gonna have to you can’t really make anything out of it just it’s all branches everywhere but you see this big pointing upwards they see these bits pointing upwards they’ll want to go to the sun grow stronger stronger stronger get these guys growing get this grower going you know let them let them really take off don’t cut anything on this tree especially the tips i mean if you have deep branches you’re fine get rid of them but leave the tips alone so they can just go on strong don’t touch the roots this nice this nice small pot is actually quite good for it because it will absorb all the nutrients when i feed it the nutrients won’t escape as much if you have a huge pot and the roots are this small the nutrients are going to sit away it’s not really going to absorb it when you’ve got a small pot like this full of roots all those roots will take up that that fertilizer and and sustenance and that’s what i think anyway my work might not um if you’ve got a huge growing bed you know a different story you can chuck these in growing beds and let them grow but at the moment i don’t have anything like that so i just have little you know pots like this that i can try and contain the growth and um and try and speed up the growth of these trees if you can flatten the root system they’ll be even better but um i don’t have the space or room to do that but anyway a little little little uh that’s the next step i always will talk about steps in bonsai it’s never an immediate process unless you’re you’ve got a nursery and you’ve got thousands and thousands of trees you’ve got to turn them out and spit them out but if you’re just not a backyard grower like myself you really got to you know have projects and do step by step and create the right stock and create the right trees and create the right everything so you know from air layer from a couple years ago to a first heavy wiring you know now this is the second wiring producing a much more interesting tree it’s that little step-by-step process this these trunks this trunk isn’t thick enough yet to create an ice tree probably needs a couple more years growth and hopefully that really starts to fill in and come up really nice so that’s what i want to talk about today i hope you guys found that useful um and realistic you know it’s not it’s as i said don’t have thousands of trees if you’ve got a few 10 or so you want to do this process um yeah i do have lots of layers that i’ve created over the years maybe 30 40 50. i don’t even quite a few it’s good it’s good to have those little projects but you go and visit them every year every six months every couple years to see how they’re going and this is just an example it’s a really nice simple beautiful movement in the lower half of the trunk the top half’s now got away and i’ve got to make that same adjustment to the tree to get them looking the same as the lower trunk more interesting trunks and more and twist it up you know eventually maybe one of other whole one i’m thinking either i allow one of those trunks off or that one of those trunks will be a piece of dead wood you know really nice feature with the other with the other trunk living that’s an option too so if you give yourself if you grow the right stock you give yourself lots of options and you can do it anyone can do this this is not hard um however the right thickness of why aluminium i use for these kind of projects um say use kind of almost the same thickness as the trunk the wire so it really helps to um to hold the bra bark in place it doesn’t snap the branches don’t snap and so on so you know guys that’s enough me talking i know i’ve talked about this topic many times but if you’re new to the channel you’ll see that this is what i like to do create interesting stock to really twist and bend up and contour to make much more interesting trees like it looks like nothing right now but in a few this time it should be a real nice tree all right guys thanks for watching i’ll see you soon