How To Make Bonsai Herons Bonsai

I show you how to make bonsai from nursery material. You don’t have to spend the earth to create your very own bonsai. I’m impressed by the fact that although you deal in high end bonsai , you make videos which absolute beginners can relate to.

He loves this art so much that he wants to inspire people to take part in it.
Worst thing to happen for an art or hobby is that it becomes elitist. Over time fresh artists will stop coming in.
Kind of counter-intuitive, looking at the fact that bonsai aims at caring for a plant and making it grow into something beautiful, which will never happen if you constrict the roots ;

Years ago I had an outdoor space that was included in my apartment. I grew my own garden sanctuary. Sometimes the ideas would come from first obtaining the pottery. And other times, it would be a shrub, that looked like it could be a bonsai. I would do what you are doing, taking apart the soil. I did not know about looking for the tree trunk. And I don’t know how to wire. I did create several bonsai. One was a Juniper “Motherlode” and the other plant was also a Juniper. I don’t remember the variety. I did work on them a lot. I think if I had learned wiring my pruning decisions would have been much different. Yes, I used a Felco and bonsai shears. I am going to try to find your book. It’s such a pleasure watching you create. You are a master.

I have around 20 trees now, and every single one i have found in the mountain/forest.
I live in Norway, so i am very lucky when it comes to yamadories because of all the mountains and the weather.
Your videos is a great inspiration. 🙂

I’ve just started learning about bonsai and really want to start my own. It so nice to see that I can buy simple garden “bushes” and turn them into beautiful bonsai. Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge and passion for bonsai!

Today’s video is going to be about how to make bonsai from cheap garden plants when I started in once I back in 1964 the first eight or nine years I never ever purchased a bonsai from any of the pondside nurseries all I ever did was beg neighbors and friends for little plants from their gardens or dig little seedlings from the woods and from the roadside and I used to twist a bit of wire on it and make bonsai from that here on our nursery we have some very expensive trees this is a very huge old pine which is what we must have about twenty or thirty of these expensive specimens from Japan which are in five five figures of Palms but this is not what bonsai is really about bonsai is really about creating and making bonsai back in 1989 some of you may have come across this book this is a special one-off cover I wrote a book called create your own bonsai from everyday garden plants and in this book I show what can be done from ordinary garden center or nursery plants so I will take you around our nursery ensure the stock plants that we sell and which you can easily buy from any garden center or nursery here in these beds I will show you the sort of material that you can easily buy from any garden center or nursery these are Hinoki Cypress cuttings this is a larger Hinoki Cypress plant these are in 3 litre pots in fact I’ve just picked this one up I picked it up at random I’m going to show you what I can do with this plant any of these plants will become very nice bond side in a twinkling of an eye so that’s it okay this is a little Juniper communist green carpet it’s at a sort of ground covered juniper so I’ll use this one as well and there’s some more nursery plants here these are already garden center plants and this type of pine you can also easily get so let’s use one of these so I’ve picked three plots in fact I may even pick one more for good measure these are little rhododendrons as you can see we have lots of these selling nurseries for around 20 pounds I think so it’s not very expensive you can even get cheaper so let’s see what we can do with these four plots so we will take these four plants into the nursery and we will show you how quickly [Music] [Music] coming back to this book again create your own bonsai from everyday garden plants I wrote this book especially because I wanted to make bonsai accessible and easy to ordinary people I didn’t want to frighten people off and in this book every project I did I only used the red Felco secateurs I didn’t use a single bond site tool those of you who have this book can look at it and you will see that I have not used any bonsai tools at all in this book so although bonsai tools are useful like these scissors here you can just use an orderly pair of secateurs and get away with that so let’s see what we can do with this little common juniper this variety is called green carpet because this plant spreads like a carpet so they are extremely versatile but they don’t grow upright but because it spreads like a carpet it makes a very contorted trunk so let’s see what there is in this so take it out of the portrait again you see how lovely and strong and vigorous the roots are but you can’t see any trunk in this so this is just a leg little block what makes a bonsai different from any ordinary plant is that all bonsai because you’re making a small tree all bonsai have to have a trunk so let’s find the trunk industry and once you found the trunk hey presto everything will fall into place and you will get a bonsai so let us tease away these by the way are quite young plants I was told that these are only like two year old cuttings and they propagate very easily from cuttings so whatever I cut if you stick this in peat and San you will get a rooted cutting in about three months times so you don’t have to waste it now these very low branches I don’t want because I want to show the trunk so you can see already the trunk is visible when I poured the lower down see you begin to see the trunk and that’s a nice first branch there and if I just tease away just use nice root cutting scissors and you can see that it has a nice twisted trunk because you’ve got to know what to look for when you go to nurseries because not all plants would make nice bonsai they all can be made into bonsai but some are more suitable than others so that little kink there where the tree bends would be very nice so we can exploit that so you can see as I go along I’m trying to separate the broadness so that I get space and already I can see the shape of that tree so we just see it’s already looking like a bonsai but I’ll enhance it by adding a little piece of wire to improve the trunk shape so I’ll put wire on the trunk again with this pair of secateurs there’s a little notch here which is used for cutting wires so I don’t even have to have a bonsai wire cut I can use the secretaries to cut the wire so let’s put a piece of wire around and see if I can improve the shape even more the first branch [Music] for the anchor remembering wiring is quite a simple job but you’ve got to use the correct gauge of one because there are many different gauges of war this gauge of wire is 1.5 one and a half millimeter diameter wire I’ve put that wire on just one piece of wire I’ve already changed the shape of that tree now I’m going to use some thinner wire to separate the branches this variety of juniper is so useful they can be made into cascade fries in Formula pride tree which this style is and with the minimum of wiring you will get an extremely nice shape so keep wiring we’re just finding two branches to wire together remember that two broads principle where you are two branches with one piece of wire in the days when we started making bonsai in the 60s and 70s once iy was not readily available so we always used to use the inside of electric copper cables and we made bonsai using that it did the trick but it was hard work we had to strip the copper cables and then use it there you are so that little treat with three pieces of wire one take a piece to do the trunk and then we can now just cut these roots as you can see the roots are very very strong and the compost we use because this is a young plant is just I think made from Spagna Moss feet and bark that is a standard compost which most growers use for young plants and I’ll put it in a small pot I’ve got choice of two pots let’s see it can’t go in that one now I can go in this one there are so many roots that you can cut these roots with impunity and get away with it so that little raw material you can buy in a nursery in the UK for about four or five pounds and then a little bonsai pot like this is about four pounds and there you are I can make these in three minutes dead but I’ve taken more time because I’m explaining to you what are we so that’s a very very simple bonds I’ve made very quickly using that juniper communist green carpet and now I will proceed to the next one again this is a he notice Cyprus this plant is probably only about four years old and it’s grown in a we call this a three liter pot a typical nursery plant nice and bushy but I don’t know what there is in this so the first thing to do when you find nursery plants and always look at the trunk see what the trunk can offer you because the trunk is the key to making bonsai if you can find the trunk you will have solved the problem so let’s see what is below the root surface here because I always find with nursery plants they are planted deeper than they need to be so if we poured around again look at the beautiful roots so you’re growing in this peat and bark mixture my soft compost just use the teasing tool see what trunk there is below the surface from experience I know that there’s always a lovely loot base there you can already see it appearing but if you didn’t order on the pot you would never know that there’s a beautiful truck below so that is teased a little more there are some gardeners and you will find a lot of professional gardeners in the UK that tell you that if you tease the roots too much you kill the plant this is not so in bonsai we tease the roots and this not only helps the tree to grow better but the tree will certainly not die so it wouldn’t be afraid there’s such a lot of roots here that teasing the roots and taking a few roots away will not harm the plant at all so there you are expose the trunk there so you can see once you show the trunk you get the beginnings of a bonsai and because the tree is leaning very nicely that way let’s simply remove these small unwanted branches and see what we can get from that in bonsai I always say that you’ve got to be prepared to cut if you’re not prepared to cut then your progress in bonsai will be very slow you’ve got to be prepared to cut I know that sometimes you have to think about it but think about it and then make a decision there I’ve shown the trunk day I’ve got one bounce day I’ve got another branch here I got third branch at the back I’m just shortening it because these branches are far too long I know you’ve paid some money for the plant but a lot of these foliage are extraneous to the design so you can remove them and that will enhance the look up to the field and very fortunately this tree has branches in all the right places I haven’t cut any major branch I’m just shorting the branches I haven’t had any major branches off I’m only cutting these very thin branches but all the branches that I need for this design are all in the right place how lucky are we so we just wash some of these the bonsai will emerge so you can see already that the makings of the bonsai are quite obvious so then we choose the right grade of one for this tree and that sort of branch I think I will use two millimeter wire so the cardinal rule two branches with one piece of wire so I’m going to are these two branches or this one try not to trap the foliage [Music] then you go up the trunk and then with that other end we will take it to this branch so with the wire can flatten the branches much more anything hanging below I can remove that and that I can wire these two I can wire together to measure the wire I need and these phones are much too long so we’ll shorten them a little bit [Music] so this is the front of the tree for those who have not watched any of my previous videos you will know that all bonsai I did explain have a front of viewing side and a rear or the back side this is a bit straight if I’m going to do something that the top of the plant to give it a bit of a twist this is nicely twisted so I’m going to link this with the top of the tree so that I get more twists to the top the Hinoki Cyprus the botanical name is kami tsipras obtuse ax Nana gracilis when they grow into big specimens they make really really nice bonsai unfortunately in the commercial bonsai world you will seldom come across this plant in Japan I don’t know why maybe because they are hard to create into bonsai as all specimens but they certainly make nice bonsai [Music] perhaps one more piece of wood think I’ll leave it like that you can refine it more but at least I’ve shown you the basic principles of how to make this into a credible bonsai so there you are that’s the shape I’ve given this is simple informal upright shape and let’s see what pot we can put it in I think that pot is a bit large let’s find something smaller that also is a bit too large so it’s got to be in proportion that would be right so that’s tea song these roots out when you have a plant that has such a lot of strong roots and you don’t want to tease it with the root Drake you can simply use an ordinary saw and cut it like cake like slicing cake and that’ll save you a few minutes of teasing the root ball that’s sufficient root in there for the tree to survive and please enough of that to fit the pot I’m not going to change the salt or bonsai soil at this stage I’ll let it grow for a while for the first season and then perhaps later we will change the soil so this is still in the nursery soil which is just a mixture of a peat and bar I think there’s still a lot of we’re going to cut and I say that’s such a little root that you can safely cut away and she won’t come to any harm big the surface routes you can also cut I won’t take the time to pot it properly but it’s just to show you what has been done so that’s a very credible bonsai in just a few minutes using the enoki cypress the next one is even simpler to make and this is the Mughal pine and the variety is Mughal mops usually these named varieties of pines are grafted and they are grafted because you can get a large plant in a much shorter space of time and it will come completely true to type if you were to grow it from see there’s nothing to stop you growing from seed it will grow from seed but it will take a very long time to get a thick trunk like this so this trunk as you can see is as thick as my thumb and I was told that these are quite young plants so let’s take it out of the pot again and see what we have there and true to form that such a lot of lovely root so what I need to do here is just to separate these branches and see what the branches are like I haven’t cheated or looked at this plant beforehand I’m looking at it now I just picked up any old plant from the bed because I don’t know that every single plant will make a nice bond site back in the 1970s 60s and 70s when bonsai was in its infancy in England many of the bonsai enthusiasts in those days simply bought little conifers like this and put them in little pie dishes and call it bonsai well it does look like a bonsai but they hardly ever get any wiring or shaping to the tree but if you were to make it a really nice one so I think you have to spend some time doing some wiring and shaping to it but it’s all a question of taste some people would regard this as a very nice bonsai nice pom-pom broom shaped tree but if you look closer you will always find that there is scope for improving it looking at this tree although you can plant it as a round ball shaped tree I can give it some curves in the trunk see that trunk is bending there I can see what I can get by bending that so I will take this upward growing branch off and I’m going to do something really drastic I’m going to take virtually half the tree out this part of the tree I’m going to cut off you may or may not disagree or agree with me but I’m going to cut that off what I’m going to do is I’m going to use the smaller branches to make the bonsai now this is where if you’re new to bonsai you are afraid to cut thick branches a common fault with most people who start off in bonsai is that because they are so scared to cut the branches they tend to leave the TIC branches and they use the thick branches in the composition of the tree but what you should in fact be doing is use the ten branches rather than the TIC branches and the reason why you use the ten branches rather than the thick branches is because if you use a thin branch the contrast between the tin branch and the trunk will make the trunk look thicker if you use a thick branch by comparison with the trunk the trunk doesn’t look so thick so you may cringe and say you are now but I’m going to remove another thick branch I’ve removed half the tradeoff i’ve removed half the tree but I’ve now got ten branches to use for this composition so I will continue to remove some more branches this is what we call quality not quantity so I haven’t used any wire at all so you can already see the bond sign there just by pruning I have achieved that shape and I could put it in a pot and certainly get away with that as a bonsai so I will show you how much we’ve got in fact the other half has fallen behind the bench so I’ve certainly moved about I would say 60% of the tree I will just do a little bit of wiring for good measure just to enhance it a little bit and see if it improves it the bottom box just don’t need one so we can now choose a partisan at little brown unless token um a pot it’s a bit large for this tree but I think as the initial part I’ll prefer to grow it in a slightly larger part and then reduce it in the following year but it would be better for the health of the tree and again this massive root ball rather than to tease it I will do my usual kick slicing trick cut away all that most of the roots tend to go to the edges but there’s still a lot of roots in the middle you spoil the nebari so I’m going to cut that root off and encourage the surface roots to grow these Mughal Pines I think are rooted on to Audrey Scots pine stock it makes a strong tree so that massive Ebola reduce to that much I still have to reduce it because it still won’t fit that pot so I can still tease it anymore [Music] but those of you who are able to come to herons to attend the classes this is what we show people how to make on the bonsai class and if you attend even a half-day class you can make at least a couple of these in the two hours so this is that little tree and this is what we cut off as you can see that was the major branch that came up from the back so I reckon we took off 60% of the foliage and 40% of the foliage was left there to make this very nice bonsai so that is the third subject I have one more subject to perform this variety of rhododendron is called rhododendron impede item it’s got little more flowers and very small miniature leaves so with the small leaves it makes it an ideal subject for bonsai if it had big leaves and the scale would be wrong so let’s see what we can make out of this and always we start by choosing the base because there’s usually quite a lot of nice trunk or root base at the bottom which is wasted so let’s see what there is and because it’s got such a lot of stems rising from the base it will make a lovely multi-trunk tree and the multi trunk is a popular style for one side but we’ve got to show the trunk even if it’s multi tron we have to show the trunk is not hiding from although there are so many trunks coming from the base we won’t need all of them and we’ve got to be selective in what we use and we’ve got to reduce the overall height of this tree because there’s far too much there so I’m going to think aloud and tell you what is going through my mind when I look at this tree I want the branches to God radially so this branch goes out nicely this goes out nicely this is very straight very straight and I don’t think it is so attractive so I think I can get rid of this but rather than just get rid of it let me see if I can save it and make another plant from that but sometimes they are rooted at the base and you could get another plant but I don’t want to spoil the shape of the trunk perhaps I just resist that and just cut it off I’m gonna cut the ticker branches out because I’ve got to reduce the overall size of the tree also that one at the back is very straight so these very straight ones may take away I’m still determined to save some of these plants because they will be rooted on I can’t get another plant for me that’s not a lot of room attached to us so I may not be able to route it the game that it’s a very straight one so fortunately that as well so again it’s this principle of being bored and not afraid to cut can you see how much I’ve cut I have more or less cut again more than half of the tree already so this is the amount you have to be prepared to cut sometimes I’m not saying as a rule you have to do that but in bonsai like in many of these n arts less is more so the less is more principle is being applied here and all I’m doing now I may have to sacrifice some of the flowers because although it’s springtime and the flowers are about to bloom I may not see many of these flowers this year because I want to structure the tree fortunately I’m cutting quite a lot of flowers off next year so this one may be not as dramatic as the classic bonsai but it’s just a multi trunk tree and when it comes into flower it will be quite dramatic rhododendrons and azaleas are very fine wood so you can’t see massive roots but in here all these very fine roots so I can put it in a shallow pot like that again use the saw this is the front to some more of the roots I will pop this up now ensure the finished article of what we did I hope you’ve enjoyed this video thank you very much why [Music] you [Music]

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