How to Learn About Bonsai

How to Learn About Bonsai Tips And Tricks

I’m showing the progression of my Banyan style Schefflera arboricola over a period of 10 years. This was my presentation at the Toronto Bonsai Society’s meeting about tropical bonsai.

Video Transcript

We had the first really cold night last night it went down to minus 21 degrees celsius so i put a thermometer down here in the basement just to check the temperature overnight make sure it wasn’t getting close to freezing here is the current temperature so it’s hovering around 12 to 13 degrees celsius which is just warm enough to kind of keep the plants happily dormant i got a can of spray foam the other night and i went around the basement and i sealed up any cracks around windows and that that i could find blowing cold air in i think that helped keep the basement just a little warmer after that cold night the sun has come out this morning and it’s it feels good in the plant room here so the plant room hovered around 14 degrees celsius last night and now it’s climbing up closer to 20 with the sun shining in the windows let’s head outside now and see how the two greenhouses are doing well here i am outside the road’s been plowed the sidewalks been plowed there’s a few clouds in the sky but it’s pretty sunny it’s not a bad day the little micra has some snow on it i’ll have to clear that off today last night it got down to minus two degrees celsius in the greenhouse two degrees below freezing and right now it’s at four degrees because the sun’s come out and it’s warmed up a little in the daytime i’ve been going around checking all the pots they definitely froze last night some of them are still frozen but they should be fine i mean most of these trees in here are very hardy there’s only the few down here that aren’t as hardy i don’t they didn’t freeze the ones in front of the heater so that’s good they’ll be fine i’m glad to see all my trees are safe and sound and protected from the elements in the greenhouse here let’s go check out the poly house or the plastic greenhouse and see how they’re doing in there yeah nice day today i hope those clouds stay away and i get sunshine in the plant room all day long all right let’s see how things are going in here move my rock out of the way down here well i can squeeze in here close the door behind me well it feels pretty nice in here i’ve got a thermometer back here i’m going to check the temperature it’s about minus four in here which isn’t bad either it’s way better than the minus 21 that it was outside so just you know a small heater like that keeps all these trees looking really good over the winter and you only have to turn it on when it gets really cold at night so i would say you know below about minus 18 celsius or zero degrees fahrenheit for the hardy trees anyway all right everything’s good in here let’s close it back up squeeze back out the door the door doesn’t close quite right in the winter i think my building shifted a bit there the stones back in place to hold the door closed yeah i hope the greenhouse is standing up okay i didn’t get the uh the insulated tarp on it this year i thought you know because i just have the hardy trees in here maybe it’s better to have the sun shining on them and kind of warm up naturally in the daytime i don’t know look at the cedars here they look beautiful yeah you can see the snow on the roof of the greenhouse here all frosted up wow some fancy frost patterns all right let’s head indoors i’m back in the plant room now last night i did a presentation at the toronto bonsai societies meeting and the focus of the meeting was tropical trees other than ficus so i did a talk about my banyan style shaflera here and i did a slideshow that showed the progression of the tree since i started my channel i also have a photo of it from 10 years ago so you can compare the picture from 10 years ago to what it looks like today my chaff arbor started in 1998 from canadian tire nursery stock it’s 16 years old in this photo and it’s planted as a banyan style it just got a pruning and i’m sorting out some of the basic trunk structure i jump ahead to august 2014. here’s the tree after a summer of growing you can see the vigor is on the top of the tree it’s getting very tall the trees are growing in a sea tray surrounded by an oak frame that same day i defoliated and pruned the tree sorting out the structure and restoring the umbrella shape it has no aerial roots yet i jump to march of 2015 over the winter new branches and leaves have formed the group is looking wider my plan is to grow the tree to help thicken up the trunks and hopefully get aerial roots i’m jumping to september of 2015. here is the tree after a summer of growing it’s getting very bushy is it time to prune i’m jumping to december of 2015. i’m still letting it grow over winter it’s getting large notice the aerial roots that have formed it’s very exciting is it time to prune yet it’s taking up a lot of space now it’s april 2016 spring is coming i’m still letting the trees grow the aerial roots are getting woody it’s now june of 2016 and it’s pruning time you can see some leaf burn from the heat of the greenhouse as the indoor leaves get used to the sun here is the tree later that day defoliated for the second time and hard pruned to sort out the structure it’s very important that every branch has sunlight the ariel roots are a mixture of older and newer ones july of 2016 one month later the new leaves and branches are growing in the trees looked their best with the new small leaves the younger aerial roots have dried up with the reduced vigor and lack of shade it’s now september of 2016. it’s time for our fall club show i repot the tree from its sea tray into a bonsai pot and you can see that there’s both aerial roots and new roots that come from the base of the tree both of these roots add interest to the tree and kind of nice detailed features the aerial roots are arranged to hang vertically from the branches it’s december of 2016 now i’m pruning the branch tips of the most vigorous branches to balance the vigor in the canopy this also gets light to the less vigorous branches here is the tree later that day after the top pruning you can see how it looks low and wide typical of a tropical tree you would see in nature the weaker horizontal branches are left unpruned while the stronger top branches are pruned back harder this balances the vigor in the tree it’s now july of 2017 summer is the time to grow so i’m letting the tree grow once again it’s september of 2017 after a full summer of growing it’s time to sort the tree out once again in november of 2017 i defoliate the tree and now it’s time to prune the branches here is the tree after pruning i’m pruning the branches for direction movement and taper it’s december of 2017 by winter the tree is filling in again and beginning to look very miniature we jump ahead to june of 2018 it’s early summer and the growing has begun once again summer is almost over it’s august of 2018. it’s late summer and the trees have grown well in september of 2018 it’s time to prune the tree before it comes in for the winter here is the before and here is the after the trunks are getting thicker and they are getting smoother and more flowing the aerial roots are becoming prop roots they actually support the branches as the tree gets wider they also pull the branches down we skip ahead to august of 2019 after a whole summer of growing it’s time to prune the tree for our club show once again this time i’m displaying it in leaf here is the before and here is the tree pruned up the summer leaves look nice and small with compact growth it’s winter time now january of 2020 i do a light winter pruning to expose the trunks more removing the lower branches so i can get in there to water the tree it’s march of 2020 spring is in the air another growing season is coming soon the days are getting longer it’s mid-summer july of 2020 the tree is growing well over the summer once again summer is coming to an end it’s september of 2020 it’s time to defoliate and prune the tree i’m preparing it for a virtual club show that is in about a month i’m hoping to photograph the tree with the new small leaves just emerging here is the tree after defoliation and branch pruning there are always lots of tough decisions you have to make when pruning which branches to prune and which ones to remove there’s a lot of decisions that have to be made it’s about three weeks after i defoliated the tree and here is the photo i submitted for the club show i didn’t get my timing quite right i think four to five weeks after defoliation and pruning the tree looked its best there’s a close-up of the tree it’s october of 2020 now the tree is looking very miniature and it seems to have attracted a giant python i’m glad it’s just a plastic one it’s january 2021 now by midwinter it’s full of leaves once again it’s february of 2021 now i get good light in the winter with my south facing windows in february the tree begins to grow strongly i keep it well misted it’s january 2022 now another year has passed and i thin the canopy after a summer of growing i did get lots of aerial roots forming this year the tree is getting lots of interesting details and it looks like a miniature banyan style tree here’s a close-up showing all the snake-like trunks and branches this year it will get repotted and hopefully in a new pot if i can find one that matches the planting really well these photographs are taken 10 years apart they’re two different pots the one from 10 years ago is a smaller version of the same style pot the tree is in now it’s hard to believe that these are the same trees i can’t wait to see the changes in the next 10 years here are the other two chefleras that i’m working on the first one is a large leaf umbrella tree the second is a cutting off of my benion style tree thanks everyone i hope you enjoyed the presentation and i hope you might give a shaflera a try that was a look back at the progression of my banyan style schefflera and as i said on the last slide i’m really looking forward to developing this tree over the next 10 years i think it’ll be a lot of fun and it’ll be exciting seeing the changes and hopefully it’ll just keep getting better and better and that’s all for today i’m nigel saunders thanks for joining me in the bonsai zone [Music]

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