Lemon Tree Bonsai, June 2017

Lemon Tree Bonsai, June 2017

Hello everyone I’m Nigel Saunders and today we’re going to be working on my lemon tree it’s been just over two and a half years since this tree was repotted today I’ll be working in the upper structure of the tree and then repotting it I want to grow the tree for the summer but I also want to keep the upright trunks in balance so one trunk doesn’t get too thick compared to the others the first operation I’m going to do today is to defoliate the tree there’s some new growth just starting to come in and quite a few places on the tree so it’s due for another growth spurt so it’s a good time to prune the tree back and then allow that new growth spurt to come in all the leaves on the tree now are large indoor leaves you can see they’re almost the size of my hand by removing all the leaves and having new leaves grow in there’ll be a lot smaller so here I go I’m going to defoliate the tree always smells nice when you’re pruning it [Music] leaf pruning like this should only be done on a healthy tree otherwise it could cause the tree to die after defoliation you can see it looks more tree like without those great big large leaves on it you’ll notice on my upright trunks that I have one dominant trunk here and then I have a medium thickness trunk here and then a very skinny one here so I want to try and equalize those a little more they don’t have to be exactly the same size but I don’t want them with this much difference I have to take bigger out of the thickest trunk so proven it down hard my medium trunk I’ll prune somewhat and my smallest trunk I won’t prune at all and that will help balance the thicknesses of the upright branch structure when I’m pruning this thickest trunk down I’m looking for leaf nodes to prune the tree back to because this growth is still green if it was thick woody growth I could prune it off anywhere and would sprout new branches I’m going to take this main trunk off right here there’s a leaf scar here so I’m going to prune it off just above that like that on the other side of the main trunk I’m just going to prune them back approximately the same height I don’t see too many good leaf scars one there I have to take it back to here and this one maybe two here they’re a little higher than I want them but there’s not much developed down below that I can prune it back to I could go right back to here maybe I should I’ll go right back to here and the other one there is a scar out the back so I could prune it too I think I will I’ll take it right back to here too so that’s in pretty hard pruning on the thickest trunk on the medium thickness trunk I’m going to prune it back to here on the smallest trunk I’m just going to prune these longer branches back to a leaf scar just lightly to there here’s a shot of the tree all pruned up now I’m going to do a little bit of cleanup work on some of these stubs that are left over from previous prunings I had to mix up a fresh batch of soil for the lemon tree repotting I didn’t have any composted pine bark or fir bark so I’m just going to use hot perlite and 1/2 surface all the materials are sifted through a screen to remove the fine particles so this is my soil that I’m left over with the first step in repotting will be to remove all this lovely moss from the surface so don’t worry it’ll grow back again as I pull the moss away I’ve seen lots of ants and lots of surface roots that are growing up into the mine so the tree is definitely due for repotting next I’ll go around the edges of the pot and loosen them up and try and remove the tree it’s packed in here very tightly as I said this is being 2 and a half years in this pot or just over two and a half years so let’s definitely do for a and it gives me a good chance to work on the roots balancing them picking out the good roots and removing the ones I don’t like so here we go let’s get it on the pot now there we go whoa lots of roots everywhere I’m going to start now coming out the surface roots I’m going to have to decide if I want to keep it in the same pot or change pots maybe the roots will help me decide if I think it needs more root space I’ll put it in a larger pot if it looks okay we’ll just keep it as is as I’m raking this you will notice I am ripping crossing roots and keeping the radial ones intact and that’s an important part of combing the roots is you will damage roots you will rip through all the roots that cross and roots that are tangled but in the end you’ll get a nice radial root base that’s all sorted out and looks really miniature on a tree you want your eye to go from the soil level curve up into the trunk and up the tree to the branches so that’s the top combed out pretty nicely I’m going to flip it over now and start on the bottom the roots aren’t actually too packed in here they’re actually at a nice level you can see I can comb them easily they’re not jam-packed in and I have to use a saw or anything to loosen them up just you know gentle gentle raking with the root breaks getting them all loose and flowing one thing you won’t pick up on the video is the nice smell that citrusy smell I’m getting right now which just adds to the enjoyment of pruning your lemon bonsai I’m going to give the route to wash now I’ve washed the roots and now it’s time to do a detail combing getting them all untangled and a rake goat you can see some roots have gotten quite long and have no grows a lot of vigor so we want to balance the root system just like we balanced the top of the tree pruning our sickest roots hard and letting the finer ones grow the roots are quite nice flat and radial I think we did a good job root pruning this tree last time I’m going to start the root pruning on the bottom there’s a lot of roots that have grown down and across the center of the root base that can be pruned off that one that one and I’m just pruning them roughly for now and then we’ll go in and clean it all up another thick one here a big long root any roots growing straight down from the base of the tree I want to remove I want all my surface roots to do all the work feeding the tree and that way you get a nice trunk flare still a few congested areas here that I’ve got a fixed getting rid of all the downward facing roots keeping our nice radial roots getting a flat word based on the bottom and the top will curve gently into the soil Kumar to reach again from the top okay so the rough root pruning is done now now we’ve got to go in and do all our detail work on it give it a water make sure they stay nice and moist okay here I go now in the detailed work let’s say over this route it comes out from the trunk it kind of snakes around and it’s got a root that’s kind of growing in and across here that I’m going to remove there we go I’ve got another root that’s beside it here that kind of grows underneath so you definitely want to encourage it to grow on this side just going to untangle all these yeah they’re growing quite well there’s a root growing on top here I don’t like over here I’m going to remove it [Music] [Applause] that want to get these roots to flow into the ground so I don’t want anything sticking out too high on it this root here is starting to get a little thick on the end I remember last root pruning I took quite a piece off the side here that’s healing over nicely there’s a root here I can remove I eventually want to get this root base to the rule of one root dividing into two I have it one dividing into a whole bunch here this root certainly is quite long it could be cut back so we get subdividing earlier on in the roof base it does dip down a little here so we could prune it off there and get rid of this whole long section here and just seeing what that would look like yes that would look better in the future possibly this route does look quite nice because it’s got mature bark on it maybe I should keep it I think tough to get roots with mature bark on them like that be ashamed to prune it off and you know develop roots closer to the trunk but we do have to think what’s good for the future of the tree I think I’m going to cut that off yeah okay I’m going to do it so here I go I’m going to have to I want this to flow into the ground eventually so I’m going to cut it right here [Music] like that so we’ll grow a whole bunch of new radio routes coming off here and it will flow down into the soil better I could turn this food off also it is becoming a problem I got knobs on the end of it and I do have a route back here so this main routes will divide into two here I could remove that completely and I think I will so here goes there we go that’s going to help the roots flow into the ground better I think the rest of the roots aren’t too bad this one sticks up a little high but it’s not too bad compared to these ones it’s been a good root plane I think I’ll just prune around the outside just kind of balance it a bit and that’ll be it so let me do that by pruning around the outside like this the roots that have grown toward the outside get pruned a little harder and the ones that are developing on the inside don’t get touched at all so it helps balance the root system that looks pretty trim I’ll have to test fit it in the pot and see how it fits before I plant the tree I want to rotate it around checking for alternate fronts something that looks better and I’m kind of liking this is the front of the tree it has to be thicker trunk up front which is nice the back branches their trunks fan out nicely this was the front here and you know it’s okay to my tough decision and I think I will plant it this direction I think that’s a better front for now so let’s get planting if this is the new front of the tree the hot to go in the pot like this so I’ll have to do a little bit of trimming front back and a little more off the back here that looks good [Music] I’m checking the tree now for position in the pot because most of the mass kind of leans towards the left hand side I want to move the tree slightly to the right so I’ll do that we’ll just shift it a little bit over maybe sit there let’s have a look at that yeah that’s not bad I like that it’s just off-center the main trunk but balance of the tree is almost on center the height in the pot it looks a little low so I’m going to raise it up a bit so we see a bit of the surface roots that’s pretty good there I like that okay let’s fill it in with soil [Music] with this nice dry soil it’s just flowing in around the roots really nicely so I’m just getting rid of any air pockets in their trees firming up in the pot I’ve got the tree settled into the pot really nicely now nice and firm in there so now it’s time to give it a good watering and we go there we go I’ll show you the roots at the back where I cut them back severely so you can see them how they kind of go into the soil I’m a pile a little more soil up in there so we get some good roots coming down into the soil there just put a pile up here there we go and I’ll water that that’ll help those roots heal there’ll be new roots growing down into the soil from the cut points and it will all look quite natural someday so back to the front of the tree that’s all the work I’ll be doing on the lemon tree today I’ll be taking really good care of it so it recovers nicely and begins growing again I hope you can see it starting to look a little more tree like it’s not just a stick anymore it’s got a bit of a bit of a canopy on it now so I think once the smaller leaves go in it will start to look like maybe a tree for the first time in its life it’s time now for today’s update today’s update is my Tiger bark ficus and it’s sprouting new growth and doing well so I just thought I would show that to you this little tree was severely Ruth pruned and top runed to get a short stubby trunk and will grow a nice canopy of branches up here so it’s got a nice pleasing line to the trunk it just needs to be developed now it’s time now to check out our viewers pick today come from mine in Belgium we’ve got an interesting variety of tropical trees [Music] you know [Music] so thanks mark sending in those pics that’s all for today tonight Joe Saunders thanks for watching and we’ll see you next time

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