How to Prune Large Pines – dwarf jade bonsai

This is a cold winter’s day 13th of february and we’ve not had snow like this for a long time but the sun is shining the skies are blue and despite the coal it’s uh i think just uh zero minus one but i don’t waste any time because it’s a lovely day i’m going to go out and work on some of the pines that we grow in the field because we have such a lot of plants we can’t get around to doing all of them in the space of time that we have in the year so every time we have decent weather we go out into the field to do some works so here i am and i will show you what i do with these spines as with all the tasks i always feel guilty when i do some of the jobs and don’t record it i say to myself oh i should have recorded what i was doing so here we are now let’s start with these these are all scot spine these are the ordinary scot spines not the bouvernensis and i will show you exactly what i’m doing so i will get my colleagues to film it while i work now most of these pines if you don’t prune them they get longer and longer and longer so take for instance this shoot here there is about maybe six inches that long branch and two side branches they were all produced last year and they grew from these candles as you can see so if you don’t prune these candles don’t put these branches they get longer and longer so in about three years you’ll get a branch a meter long you can see where we keep pruning every year but despite that you still keep getting longer and longer shoots so what i do i can either just prune the ends off like so or even prune it back to a bud as i’ve told you before you need to give some green if i were to prune it here that branch would die if i turn it here that branch would die so you need to keep some green to make it uh continue living so this is what i’m going to do now this is too long so i can cut that off and keep that bit also this is too long i’ll cut this bit so this is going to keep the tree dense can you imagine a tree like this what a lot of shoots there are so you got to keep doing it to keep on top of the tree so this one for instance i’ll just go around and prune all the shoots and it’ll bud further back where i see buds coming like this one this one for instance you see there’s a bud there so i can safely prune here and then that will bud further back now there are no buds here so i got to keep this short okay i don’t want that so that’s how i put now this one that’s too long if i prune here that will continue to go so that’ll keep it dense so this how i go about doing the pine this is just to keep it getting dense these trees although they are tall as i’ve always said we have customers who can handle these big trees they either grow them as garden trees or they use it for large bonsai whatever they wish so that’s how i go about it so this is another one they were all field ground trees they were planted in my field in 1986 when i came the ones which i left in the ground are now 80 feet tall but the ones i rescued and put in pots they continue to stay small so a tree like this i want these low um flexible branches i don’t want too many of these tall ones so let’s look at this branch for instance do i need it all that long i don’t so i prune it back to about there and hope it’ll burn back and then i also take the tips out now let’s look at this branch now this branch is quite long i don’t want it that long so i cut it back to there and all the tips i can also cut back there’s a little bit of artistic foresight needed here i don’t just cut willy-nilly i have to see what the potential shape of the tree is but the general principle about pruning still remains the same that means you’ve got to leave some green to get it to bud further back like this one for instance getting too long i can cut it either here i can cut it here you can cut the tips and it will but back if i don’t want to get it too long i can cut it there and it will butt back there same with this one it’s become too long i can cut it here and it will go back that’s too long i’ve got buds there i can cut it there so that’s the general principle this is very very long you see so i can cut it there so that’s how i go about looking at all these trees now this one it’s got quite an interesting shape there i don’t want it that tall probably cut it there uh these branches are quite nice unfortunately pines don’t earlier if they could earlier we could get so many interesting shapes but nevertheless these will become nice tall garden trees so they have their uses the scot spine tend to be more floppy and loose whereas the bouranensis pines are more dense so i don’t want that tall so just by doing this i can make this tree compact again i have so many trees that as i said i have a job keeping on top of them but while they’re growing they’re okay i can always bring them back and get them to do what i want it is what we call programming the tree so this will become the i haven’t finished this one so all these long branches for let’s look at this one again i probably don’t want that one the ordinary sectors is the best tool to use see now that one is far too tall i’m in danger of losing control completely so i will do that if i was so inclined i could even cut it there and not let it grow that tall even a tree like this always has a front and a back so i’m looking now critically at this tree if i use this as the front because that’s got a nice bend there so this got a nice shape this way uh i will now use the saw let’s have a look at this tree so this tree this has got a nice trunk line there now this is in the way so i’m going to take this off now this this is spoiling that light so i take this off that’s okay i can develop that now this also is a bit confusing now i think i can take this off let me take the tree from the back out of the way so that it’s not confusing you they’ve all grown into the ground keep it there for now and this one i show you another little trick i don’t want this to go too tall so i’m going to take the leader out and while it’s growing there it’ll thicken no this is an older tree sorry i thought it was a silver birch no it’s an older the ground is frozen solid by the way so i’m trying to see the potential shape of these trees give it some shape make beautiful niwaki or garden trees people don’t realize the potential of the scot spine many of them are allowed to grow too coarse and as a result they don’t have much shape but if you keep them pruned and close and tight they do produce beautiful shapes like the ones in my pond in the mound those four trees there they were produced from material like this only about 20 years ago now this one here is growing up i want the pads to be flat so if you look at this branch here i’ve got these two shoots so i don’t want it springing up so i can take this out and then these because they’re so long just take the tips out and it will butt back i don’t want to rush it but that’s again the general principle all the tips you take out and it will bud back so there are lots of tips here growing the too many shoots that i don’t need them all it can become a bit confusing this is a large bouvernence spine and the history of these trees is that i bought about 50 of them originally from a conifer grower in the uk but he’s now ceased to operate i think he has sold his property and that nursery is now a building uh you know housing estate so these trees when i bought them in 1980 586 were already about 60 centimeter tall and they would have been then 15 20 years old so this tree would be about 55 60 years old and beauvoir lenses pines are unique in that they always produce these multi trunk arrangements look at it four beautiful trunks there so not many pines especially scotch pine they’re very shy to produce multiple trunks in fact there are five trunks and more so this is going to be used as a multi-trunk tree either as a large garden bonsai in our islington project which you’ve seen videos of people give the right arm for trees like this so this has been pruned over the years you can see the cuts where i made i cut that cut that cut that saw and that leader was cut out so the side branches will go so it’s a very very long process in case you think it is you know a seven-day wonder it’s not if we come around to this side because this side is also interesting if you take a bird’s-eye view it’s a nice dense plant from this side but because there’s a lot of branches at the back it wouldn’t look very nice as the front of the tree i could change it and make the front should i decide to uh but as i always say i keep an open mind in fact it might be a nice front so again you see where i cut can you see all these hard cuts that i’ve made there so these branches are have all been cut over the years so over the 35 36 years that i’ve been here i’ve been working on these trees all the time but it’s not a job that you can rush so what i do with these trees again with the scot spines i tip them not just the needles i trip the branches so that it butts further back that’s how i get the the dense foliage formation although i said that that was potentially the front now the more i look at it i think this could also be the front so i usually have to determine quite early on which is a nicer front or not this has posed a real dilemma for me because this tree is nice from both sides this side or the other side so i really don’t know what to do anyway i’ll show you i’ll work with this at the front first if i don’t like it i can always change it so what i’m doing here is i’m cutting it back like so they’re still green and that will grow i can even cut it there because there’s still green there so that’s how i developed the pads now supposing this pad is too high but i’ve got that one there i can take this out see so i get that flat effect now that branch okay it’s a bit weak but if i were to just take the tips out that will encourage butt back the very weak shoots i will get rid of they won’t do anything so we try to tidy each branch as we go along now this one this branch is not doing anything so i will take this one off this branch is very low i don’t think i need this i don’t think it’ll do much even as a sacrificial these are popping up a bit anything popping up i will take out i’m trying to get a flat pad simply by pruning a lot of weak shoots remember if you have too many weak shoots and if they don’t get the light they will eventually die so the trouble is all these trees they require so much attention during the year so when you think that i’ve already worked 36 years on this tree how much labor has been devoted to this tree so i’m still trying to create flat pads there now that one is too low so if i just bring the saw i will cut that off i know that i always say that having these low branches are sacrificials but there comes a time when i can’t wait forever also this is growing on the inside should i use this at the front this can come off don’t ask me how i’m doing it i’m doing it from i think instinct more than anything else now that branch is going that way so i can make a pad going that way but i can still keep the front open now if i were to use this at the front do i need this i don’t need this i’m not a great lover of gin so i don’t keep these someone wanted to make gins they would keep these stubs so i’ve opened out the front there i will clean these up later on there’s no rush to clean it so you can see the pant formation there the pad formation here so in fact looking at the tree now from this side look at it it’s got a lot of potential at the front from this side if you view from here it’s a beautiful view of the trunk so all i have to do now is keep taking the tips out and it should encourage more bud back if you have too much density and the light can’t get to the inner twigs and branches the inner branches die now this is growing upward too much so let’s encourage some branches to grow outwards don’t let them grow inwards you see the inwards ones they all die back so again lack of light the inside branches are not much good during the year i should go around the tree and keep removing a lot of the unwanted branches you see that’s growing inwards i don’t want the inward growing one too much growing there if i were to give you a pair of secutors i think you would feel a bit intimidated as to know where to start i once had a guy who offered to be a volunteer but he was terrified when i gave him the secateurs and he just didn’t know where to begin even though i had shown him so this comes with practice as i always say practice makes perfect the more you practice the better you become for the time being what i’m doing is just opening the front out keeping the conical shape you see there is a conical shape there and you can see the beautiful trunk there this would make a beautiful specimen look at the trunk and if you can get it tight you can make a bonus like this size not impossible now this is a long branch there take that out i’m going to work on about 30 or 40 trees it’s only 12 12 o’clock lunch time but by four o’clock i should have worked on about uh 40 or 50 trees but i’m not going to show you all of them i’ve got to get on with the work because my volunteer josh here he’s going to help me do some of the pruning so look at it look at all this pruning that i’ve done so you’re beginning to see how the shape of the tree is so although i thought that the other side was the front i changed my mind and i’m keeping this as the front and this makes a very credible front the front is open when the branches are spreading out that way and so i’m now just going to go around the tree and take out the weak shoots and tip all the shoots tip the shoots take some of them out so that that would shorten it and make it grow denser and tighter not letting it keep extending more and more so that’s all i’m doing at the moment see all these simply go around like that and take the tips off just by doing that you’re going to get it to bud back we don’t have time to pinch the candles i once had a guy come on the nursery and said do you pinch all the candles of these trees a tree like this would have about 2 000 candles or more how can i spend time taking every single candle every butt has three or four candles nobody i just go around and prune it with a secateurs so you know you can learn the theory but you’ve got to be practical as well so it’s the question of using common sense a lot of people do not use common sense they follow what one or two people have told them and they follow it slavishly i don’t know whether some of you noticed a comment on one of my youtube videos one of our fans gave me a very nice quote he said rules are like paper clips they hold everything together but they can be bent easily and they could be put out of shape so that is what rule books are like paper clips so there you are i don’t know whether i’ve spent five minutes or ten minutes but i’ve opened the tree out so i’ve given it a good basic shape and this would become a very credible tree as a large bonsai or whatever and mind you in japan i used to visit a lot of gardens there are contemporary styles of their so called niwaki or garden trees where the shapes are more contemporary like this they don’t have to be the classic bonsai in formal upright shape so i will keep an eye on this tree so if you look around we’ve got scores and scores of trees let me just walk you to another one there’s another big one here there’s one here and they all have these multiple trunks now this is leaning to this side but look at this one here this is a massive tree everything is frozen but this would be the same h tree as the other one uh so this will be thinned out and given it a shape i wonder whether i should do this one okay let’s have a go at this one because this looks interesting so what do i do when i look at it straight away i can see that this is leaning slightly it’s got a nice shape it’s got a nice dome shape but it’s too dense much too dense so let us begin by taking some of the bits out take it gradually now one of these branches or the low branches i think they were used for sacrificials these two i may continue to keep them as sacrificials but they i think eventually might come off because it’s getting a bit congested here but i will just thin it a bit for now just in case you never know i might have use for it now that branch has dried completely so that’s a dead branch not enough light a lot of stubs no point keeping stumps because i’m not making gins with them opening the tree out so you can see the shape the more i look the more dead twigs i find and after i’ve done this i’m going to tip all these i will go around the tree and tip them all so that i get butt back further in the tree lots of dead trees in here countless that trees such a biggest tree it’s also very vigorous i don’t think if that’s doing anything you must be asking why don’t i do this all the time but as i say we’ve got hundreds of trees it’s hard to get around to all the trees all the time but while they’re growing uh they will be there they’re not going to run away so i can always get to it and do what i want and rescue them let’s look at this cluster here you see this cluster has got so many branches here and that’s growing inside so i take this one out so i let it go outward so i don’t want it to go back inwards see like that i don’t want it grooved but back inwards i prune that you see all these inside branches they will eventually die they’re all dead so you might of take it out now and let it go outwards take the tip out so that it doesn’t keep growing taller and taller and the booverinensis produce a lot of cones and they do seed themselves and the this the plants do stay small look at the beautiful cones so that is what i’ve done i’ve cleaned it out you can see the trunk so this is going to be the potential front so i’ve got the structure right so it’s always about the structure once you get the structure the rest will fall into place so you always think of the basics the structure is like the basics and the inside again lack of light so much dead there all the dead twigs lack of light so we might as well thin it while we get the chance so i’ve taken a fair bit out so you can see the shape of this tree coming along and this is how we deal with them so if ever you get the chance to come to the nursery you can see all the material that we have so for making large garden trees and this as we say is the dwarf scot spline while i’m here i’ll just take you for a walk and show you some of the material we have so these are all governances pines used mainly as garden trees but some of them can be made into bonsai this for instance can be made into a largish bonsai so this has got potential this is an ordinary no this is also bhuvanese this is not a scotch pine and this is one of the experiments i did where i leave the wire inside the trunk and you see the wires popping out at the end here and look at the beautiful trunk that i have created there so that could become a very nice literati tree this has got so much potential as literati and looking at it i’m almost you know uh excited to say the least this is a bhuvanensis not an ordinary scots pine ordinary scotch pine is more long in the needle now to get it to bud back all i need to do is to cut the tips off and by the end of the growing season i’m going to get lots of bud back i don’t need all of them so let’s reserve all the energy for what is left and by doing this i’m going to get butt back here because i need these branches literati style is a tall tree i don’t want it that tall though now this is quite interesting you don’t often get a situation like this but i’m not going to cut it in case it becomes useful now not all of it can be used you see where these go long if you don’t cut them they just become longer and longer and longer so not taking out the candle out at the right time makes it grow long so we don’t need them that long so let’s keep the potentially usable branches head them back head all of them back so this can be wired back this way i can assure you by the end of the growing season this will all be budding back further so this is going to be potentially a nice tree i don’t think i could possibly even use this but i’ll keep it in case i want to gin this part it’s possible to gin it so let’s keep it so i have here a potentially very interesting tall literacy there so i’ve done the basic pruning on that one the trouble is there’s so many interesting trees i’ll never stop filming but let’s take you for a walk this is what we were talking about these are all the bhuvaneses that we have here and we’ve got more while i’m passing by this is a this is one of our siberian elms and it’s just about to fly if you come close look at the lovely flower buds here they shatter and produce a lot of pollen now this tree if i can show you it’s obviously become too big and because elms are very easy to early i’m going to alien a tree here and get a bonsai here so this is the plan for this one i’ve got big trident maples here that i tried to do some air layering it didn’t work but i will air layer it again and these trees are constantly cut back you can see where i’ve cut in the previous years i cut it there and it’s become bushy there it was cut here and produced a new leader here so this is how this tree is progressing and this in case it has escaped your attention is a very large juniper the variety is called robusta green look at the ivy growing around it i dug it up about four years ago with a digger and put it in a pot so this will be worked on one day and i will just switch the camera off i’ll show you another area where we have a lot of boulevard lenses so here we have this is another bouever nancy look at it this is a triple trunk boovernensis how interesting is that but they have had pruning in case you think i have not been pruning the centers have been taken out i always take the centers out so there’s quite a bit of pruning done to this already but we have to keep on top of it and keep the shape so that’s partly pruned so let’s take you to see more governances both left and right these are long-term jobs and long-term experiments we do a lot of experiments on the nursery because these native species are not often used for bonsai and because they’re not used for bonsai we keep doing experiments to see what works and what doesn’t work and i’ve noticed also that there are some woven bouvenances that have a slightly different color i don’t know whether it is the effect of putting different types of fertilizer that’s another type of experiments we’ve been doing if you look at this bhuvanensis it’s very blue in color whereas if you look at this one just next to it it is more of a normal green so i’ve got to experiment to see why some are green and some are blue so again you see there’s another boudinances with multiple trunk another one here another one here i would have had more bhuvanensis had i not uh been so careless and digging them out these were dug out from the field it’s all woven us the snow on the wind has blown them all over so these are smaller boovernances here now i will show you some really massive ones as i said these have been put in the past for the last 20 years and when i first came here in 1986 they were grown in the ground for the first 10 years and in 1996 or 97 i dug them up with a digger and i was a bit careless in digging some of them up and because i was a bit careless i think i must have lost about 20 percent one-fifth of all the bhuvan dances so that was a tragic loss look at that beautiful san jose juniper this will be another youtube project one of these days so it’s been partly trained in the ground and if you take a bird’s eye view of these bhuvances i did some work on it in the summer of last year so you can see the lovely shapes that are emerging like this tree this this tree from here i did do some work last summer it’s on one of my videos so are these so these have all been worked on last summer these are all large bouvenances trees look at the beautiful flaky bark on the trunk beautiful trunks if only they were not so tall they would be incredible bonsai but they are nice as large garden trees there’s a juniper garden tree and this is another stunner of a bouvour nancy look at the trunk on that one that is every bit 9 to 12 inches in diameter and i’m not showing you all of them because we’ve got more in different places that’s a big juniprist chinensis gray owl and this i’ve had in the nursery for the last 35 years 36 years but i brought them with me from my previous house in pearly and they were bought from a british nursery which specialized in growing these trees in the open ground but nowadays no one grows these trees anymore in the open ground and look at this for a san jose i don’t often show you this raw material look at that i’m not going to make it into a small bonsai these will be large garden trees and then there’s one here this was a bonsai at one point but i wanted to grow it bigger so i’m going to tackle this i’m going to thin it out and restore it to its rightful bonsai shape and these trees like this they’ve never had any work done except for cutting some of the central leaders out see bits like that were taken out but upon for that i haven’t taken much else out so have a good bird’s eye view so these are all the bhuvanensis we have at herons so if ever you want a nice bouvenensis we have them here they’re not exactly cheap they start from a few hundred because most of these are at least 25 to 35 years growing in the nursery ah while we are passing this is not an ordinary scot spine this is the golden one which is called pinea silvestris aurea so it’s a golden scot spine and that is the true color it’s not the lack of nitrogen or whatever so that is the natural color and i also do my wire trick on some of my bhuvanensis so this is a booven lenses that i’ve kept the wire on and i’m going to work on this at some stage so there’s lots of material to work on these will make a nice medium-sized bonsai so we will have a woven answer workshop at one point look at this one now this one i was a bit drastic i took the main leading chute out completely from this tree and just kept the side branches so this is going to be made into a very nice tall bonsai so we have so many projects in the pipeline i don’t know whether we’ll ever get around to doing them all but it just shows the wealth of material that we have here at herons so i hope you’ve enjoyed this little exercise and we will now do work but unfortunately i won’t be filming it because we are both using our hands and there’s no one to film there you go [Music] you

You May Also Like