Buckthorn Bonsai And Major Bonsai Styles

The road trip with Xin and Connor continues as we check out Xin’s collection and have lunch!
I’m potting up my giant Buckthorn bonsai into a cement pot and working the roots, just a bit.
Greenhouse updates follow the bonsai work!

I love using invasive weeds for bonsai. They can make lovely trees, but the low investment cost makes experimenting a safer thought. I have Hawthorn, privet, olives as well as lots of varieties of prunus that are collected on roadsides rather than slashed or sprayed. I have saved the trees, and now get to enjoy the bonsai! Good luck with the buckthorn, it has good “bones”!

Video Transcript

so that was the conclusion of connor’s bench tour and we saw his nice watering can nozzles next we went to zinn’s place so we have a few updates of zinn’s bonsai garden so here we are at maybe bonsai with zinn and connor and nigel cool to all be together uh for sure zinn’s backyard we’ll be heading out soon after after lunch look at your that looks really cool eh that’s the hibiscus yep that’s that’s the that’s yours oh cool oh wow that is cool are you doing like a raft style uh or did it fall over no it wasn’t that was that was the way it was okay i just left it yeah without you mentioning it i was going to try to go for maybe a cascade eventually but whatever works i i have to grow it bigger and see what happens yeah let’s put some good color on coming in i cut it cut it back of it it was too tall yeah for sure that’s the silver maple syrup yeah they look good don’t they it’s already starting to change color like it’s quite early i think well i don’t know september just seems to be slipping away on us it’s gonna be october soon i know every time i look at the date it’s like oh my goodness is it ever going by quickly the month wow this is the aluminum wiring here japanese people having my front yard yeah um it’s it’s a weeping kind of huge right i have a few layers of those oh okay weebs uh yeah we’re checking out one of our oh i just look and this is the so that’s what karahimi thought oh i’m looking real good right yeah this thing will backward like no tomorrow okay you have to you have to rub it out a lot i think i’m gonna try to grow this bigger for sure yeah make more of it yeah look at it it’s crazy small yeah you know yeah that is pretty cool isn’t it yeah are they fairly hardy or uh no no uh yeah protect them yeah your garage stays generally above freezing doesn’t it yeah it does it’ll be nice yeah cascade or something right there i know this already has a decent shape yeah [Music] they are they’re so vigorously really staged oh that’s good that’s what i like hello what have you got there a ball have you got a ball no that’s a stone that’s a rock no you can’t play with a rock that’s not a ball come here come here come on are you gonna give me that come on give it up give it up come on come on oh come on but this was this is the air there oh here’s the cena forest down here the southern look good wow the amethyst stones in there this looks great zinn oh this yeah it really looks good it’s hard to control the water on this because i want to keep the moss green but i don’t want to over water the trees yeah that’s a battle i find i missed it a lot yeah this is what i do you just get one of those hand misters and you just keep the moss misted and it’ll stay green and then it doesn’t wet the soil yeah so far it’s it’s okay so first looks really good nice arrangement of stones in there it’s really good is this one a raised double potted one uh this was a oh i don’t know if it’s double potted i’ve never checked oh okay i think it’s possible yeah you styled that recently didn’t you yeah i cut it back a bit yeah i’ll probably fruit over the winter for you yeah i was going to leave it outside until it drops leaves in it yeah they’re weird pomegranates are one of the weird ones they’re right on the border like some people do it like that some people bring them in treat them like a tropical yeah kind of similar to the chinese elm i just i don’t think i have enough room for yeah i think you give them more of their natural uh dormancy anyways i think they’ll be better yeah yeah because i’ve seen them without leaves so yeah i think they’re more temperate aren’t they yeah that is cool you got a hibiscus here yeah that’s looking good it’s flowering dude that’s uh that’s your uh oh yeah but there’s more bloods coming out like flower bud oh cool let’s see that but it hasn’t i thought it was fruit but it’s like it’s not like it’s called wow this has got some interesting movement eh yeah but it’s like oh this looks healthy yeah that’s healthy but then you know oh yeah that’s dead as long as that one that’s what you need though right yeah i guess yeah it looks good like that this is somebody was throwing it out and i i was like are you throwing that out yeah no that’s that’s if that branch lives that’ll be fantastic trunk common juniper maybe uh i think it’s a blue star okay you can always change the planting angle too to maybe get it nice zinn and his wife cooked up this fantastic chinese meal for us it was oh it was so good um after zinn’s we went on a a road trip and that’s where we got these trees we didn’t make any video of that because the owner of the trees wanted to remain anonymous the new pot is a bit shallower than the wooden box it’s in at the moment so i’m going to have to turn the root base over and rake out a bit of the soil off the bottom so it fits in this pot really nicely these large bonsai are not for everyone they’re very heavy it takes a lot of effort to lift them and repot them and they take up a lot of room okay i’m going to get the tree out of this box so i’ll grip it right here and lift okay there we go it is very heavy i’ll take the box away and then i’ll take my turntable away and i’ve got to get the root base so i can comb out the bottom of it so i’ll tilt the tree back on the bench this way and that’ll allow me to work on the bottom of the root base now i’m hoping i can set it down here without hurting anything on it i’ll have to put something underneath here maybe the box i can do that there that’s good the roots on a buckthorn are kind of strange because they’re black in color which is kind of unusual but uh so i’m going to comb them out it’s quite dense in here so my objective is just to take off a layer of roots from the bottom some new roots can grow down into the bone size soil at the bottom of the pot and hopefully you know it’ll slowly regain its vigor as you can see as i comb through the black roots you can see i damaged them slightly and you can see the bright color on the inside where the root is alive but they look like dead roots because they’re black color but they’re not they’re very healthy so the soil it’s in right now is really good i watered it and fertilized it really well this morning it just drains through the soil really nicely so there’s no problems with drainage so i will have to cut some of these roots on the bottom just trimming them off and so far i haven’t seen any thick roots on this tree they’ve all been fine roots so i don’t know there may be thicker roots up in the uh you know surrounding the trunk but so far it’s all been fine really nice fine bonsai roots uh this tree i’m not sure how long it’s been in training for but looking at the tree i would guess quite a while because you know it’s had several major cuts on it that have healed over and so it’s been doing quite well i’ve got the sarissa out of the greenhouse for the first time today i think it’s recovered from the repotting and it’s looking strong and healthy that i can move it to outside so i’ll just continue combing and cutting the layers of roots off the bottom until i have the root base at the right thickness to fit in the pot nicely so i won’t be taking a lot off and probably this much i think it’s getting there i’m going to try turning the tree around a bit get it off the end of the bench there there now i can get it this side a little easier well that’s a drainage screen in the bottom here the remains of a drainage screen so all these roots i’m cutting off grew kind of since it was last repotted because there’s the drainage screens now i’ve got to get some more off this side so i gotta rotate the tree around like that so this tree wasn’t in a pot when i picked it up it was just lying on the ground so i think it was being watered there’s an automatic watering system but other than that i wasn’t getting much care it was uh destined for compost which you know a lot of people would say well that’s a good fate for a buck thorn they’re so invasive here that everyone wants to get rid of them so i’ll be careful i won’t let it i’ll let it flower but i won’t let it get berries on it i think that’s not a bad height now i think i just had to take you know a small layer off the bottom i’ll try it in the pot and see how it fits i’ve got my drainage screens in the bottom of the pot so i’ll put a base layer of soil just you know maybe that thick in the bottom and place the tree on top i’m putting my base layer of soil in the bottom of the pot now and i think that’ll be enough just a shallow layer all right i’m going to place the tree in the pot now so here i go just like that so i do have a little room to move it side to side so i’ll come out front and have a look at the composition i’m looking at the tree from the front now i don’t think this will be the front of the tree i think it’ll be rotated but for now it’ll be the front and i’m going to equalize it in the pot i think it’s more important to have equal space for the roots to grow each side rather than you know play around with the composition so so it’s pushed over to the right hand side now i’ll try and centralize it in the pot it is a little high still too um i could break away that surface soil to kind of bring it down to the right level at the edge of the pot here i’ll try that if that doesn’t work if i’m getting down to too many roots i may have to take more off the bottom all right i’ll move it a little more to the center i’ve got to come over just a few centimeters maybe to there a little more there that looks pretty equal in the pot now i’ll start to rake away the surface soil now i don’t know how thick it’ll be so this tree was just kept in the ground over winter it was just kind of buried in the garden they’re quite hardy they’re good down to zone four which is even colder than where i am beautiful bark on these trees it’s also very delicate it peels away very easily so there’s a few roots here that are kind of wrapping around the trunk that i’ll have to correct you know these are often called strangler roots because they wrap around the trunk i don’t think they really hurt the tree in real life but they can cause undercutting on the trunk which never looks good sometimes you get like a ring around the trunk where the root was so i’m just kind of you know these fine surface roots off which might have been growing up into the moss or something quite often when you bury trees in the winter you kind of get a layer of soil on top and sort of clean it off every now and then now i probably should get the spray bottle too and just kind of clean off the base of the tree so i can maybe see the roots a little more clearly all right let’s get this straight down a bit you can start to see the flare at the base of the tree now because i’m exposing it a little more trimming off some of those fine roots near the surface i’m hoping someday to do a thorough repotting where i bare root the tree really sort out all the root structure hopefully it’ll get healthy enough that i can do that in the future but for now this is just a sort of a light repotting almost a slip potting is basically what it is there’s a branch that almost touches the ground here i’m going to remove that it’s kind of in the way i’ll just take the bottom off it and same with this side like that just so i can get it in there a little easier there’s some more of those strangler roots wrapping around the trunk so i’ll have to come in and prune those off it looks like there’s the remains of a a root that’s maybe been pruned at the back here i’ll show you that so right here there’s some wood that’s kind of a bit rotted it looks like a root that was going around here has been removed and maybe it’s died off or a low branch or a sucker or something but there’s some rotted wood in here i’m just going to try and clean it out a bit i’m continuing to clean around the back side of the tree now i should get out the toothbrush i think that would help me a lot [Music] it’s getting rid of a bit of that moss that’s growing up the trunk yeah i think this was just a sucker this one here this that bit of wood that was kind of rotting away so i still have a lot of braking to go to get the soil kind of going down so keep going and just keep breaking away removing surface roots until i want my soil level to kind of you know follow where i want the roots to go so they’ll flow down from the trunk and taper off to the edges of the pod i think that’ll look really good i’m continuing to contour that soil from the trunk down to the edges of the pot i’m going to fill in the spaces each side with bone size soil so my this soil doesn’t go down into the the space there so i’ll fill it up with bonsai soil i’ve got this side filled with bone size soil i filled it up so it’s just below the lip of the pot so i’ll do the other end also okay that’s looking good i’ll give that new bonsai soil of water so it doesn’t dry the edge of the root base out i think i might have to get out the root rake i think that would make this job a lot easier so i’ll get that tool from this lower angle you can see how i’m contouring that soil you know starting at the flare continuing that flare down to the edges of the pot so this side is still quite high i’m looking at the soil level from the front view or maybe that’s the back i’m not sure but see how it’s kind of rounded and that never looks good it looks like the tree is needs to be potting so what i want is the opposite i want it to flow down and this to be concave so slightly rounded into the soil so it it flattens out near the edge of the pot that way it doesn’t look like it’s you know bread baking in a pan and you know overflowing the pot it looks comfortable in the pot so that’s what i’ll do i’ll try and work on that reverse contour there here’s a look at the tree i finished contouring the soil so the soil kind of flows from the vertical line of the trunk to the horizontal line of the soil kind of a fillet i guess uh i’ll come down low so you can kind of see that a bit maybe there it is so i think that’ll do for now um in the future once the tree gets really strong i can do a more of a proper repotting bare rooting it looking at the roots and doing some root correction i’ll show you the tree now kind of up close so there’s some dead branches on it i think this one is totally dead there’s no green leaves on it at all there’s one up here that looks to be dead there’s one here so it’s had a few chops nothing major they’re healing over really nicely one there either a branch or a leader has been taken off if i rotate the tree around there’s a hole here i don’t know what’s happened there if you know it just happened naturally or if there was a branch taken off there i think there was a branch taken off looks like you know the formation of a branch and the wood there the pattern so i think a branch was taken off it’s healing over really nicely there over here there’s a bare spot on the trunk with no bark so i don’t know what happened there it’s kind of a hole in the tree there’s remains of a branch up here a few pruning scars which is you know good it’s got a good shape to the tree so yeah it’s got a lot of potential i think it’s got a fantastic trunk line some good branches it’s a nice tree you know the leaves are a nice shape for bonsai a nice size lots of work to go on it but it’s a fantastic start to a tree so my priority is just to get the tree healthy growing really well and then i can do further work to it i’ll be keeping the sarissa outside on the warm days and then at night time i’ll bring it into the greenhouse to keep it warm because it was repotted kind of mid-summer i’m trying to grow as many roots in the pot as i can getting it good and strong to overwinter it so and i’ll keep it cool for the winter down in the basement at kind of 10 degrees celsius around that temperature if i can and it should be happy all winter hopefully in spring then it’ll grow like crazy my european buckthorn should be fine in this light it’s getting towards the end of well actually i think it’s fall soon so the light isn’t very strong or intense so even though it was just repotted i didn’t do a whole lot of root work just removing some of the roots maybe probably not even 10 percent and it should be fine there’s lots of roots in there i’ll keep it well watered i’ll keep it in the sunshine and you know hopefully it’ll start to gain a bit of vigor before fall comes and all the leaves drop off i’ve moved the buck thorn from the workbench here over here and it’s got its own pedestal a garbage can turned upside down so it was heavy it’s uh a brood of a tree so there it is it’s a good spot here i think you’d get lots of sun while i was over at zinn’s place he gave me a lavender plant so i’m going to plant that today also all right i’ll get the lavender out it’s not a cutting it has some root on it zinn has a patch of lavender out front in his garden and it i guess it gets underground roots or something and they pop up all over the place or maybe it’s from seed i don’t know so this has a drainage screen built into it so i’m just going to place it in the pot i would say about there fill it in with soil like that a little messy but and i’ll place it in a shady spot in the greenhouse until it recovers because it’ll take a little while to adapt to the soil and grow roots and start growing with vigor so okay into the greenhouse it goes i placed a rock on top of it to kind of hold it steady in the pot over on the other side i have the tiger bark ficus basking in the sun and heat and humidity of the greenhouse so that should stay pretty happy in here my last task today is to plant all these seeds some of the seeds are from zinn he got them at ray’s and some of them are from connor and they’re all kinds of different exotic species i didn’t label them i just mixed them all together in a bag and i’m going to plant them in a seed tray and i’ll figure out what they are when they come up hopefully hopefully something will come up and i’m just going to plant all the you know tropicals with the hearty ones and just see what happens so that’s what i’ll do now so here’s one of my seed trays and as you can see there’s two ficus cuttings in here ficus benjamina that have survived so i’ll plant all the seeds in the empty spaces in here [Applause] i find it’s best with seeds just to kind of plant them and then worry about them when they come up otherwise you spend a lot of time making labels and you know dedicated seed beds for certain species and nothing comes up it’s all just kind of a waste of time so just plant them all and whatever you get then you worry about identifying them and planting them in their own pot later on so i just sprinkle the seeds on top here and see what happens so i’ve got to get them in the soil so i’ll just push them down all kinds of seeds in here from hornbeam to beach to exotic tropical species that are from singapore i think or no taiwan i think yeah taiwan all kinds of seeds in here some are from mail order seed companies some are collected all kinds of different sources for them so i think i planted like three cuttings of the ficus in here one didn’t make it but two did that’s what you have to do with seeds cuttings if you know it doesn’t work out just keep trying because eventually you’ll get them germinating or if you have cuttings they’ll take and root you just keep at it try different times of the year usually summer’s best when it’s nice and warm or spring okay so that’ll do i’ll put that back in the greenhouse and that will conclude the work for today i put the seed trays in the greenhouse because if you don’t the squirrels will come and dig up all the seeds you just planted and eat them or store them away so whenever i plant seeds i always protect them somewhere in a greenhouse or an enclosed area somewhere where mice and squirrels and whatever raccoons can’t get them it’s time now for today’s updates and today’s updates i’m going to go back in time two days ago and i’ll show you what i did on the greenhouse and show you some plant updates too i’m expecting a load of piston this afternoon so that’ll raise my floor up to the correct level and then i think i’ll put some big paving stones for the main pathway in the middle of the greenhouse that’ll be nice to walk on and then i’ll have the pea stone underneath the benches for humidity so the load of pea gravel is coming in now we’re parked way down the street here so he’s just getting it off the truck and here it comes just fits in there there it is just gotta make his way out here now without hitting anything oh boy what a tight squeeze thanks a lot [Music] [Applause] [Music] i better make sure before he leaves that it is the right product i’ve got here awesome okay i better get to work putting that in the greenhouse i’ve been working away on the greenhouse this afternoon i had to switch a few things around um this one roof truss on the end here uh the one that’s here now was over on the back end before so i had to switch those two around because there’s a hole in it that you mount the door slider bar on or the yeah the guide i guess so i had to change those around um we checked the back crossmember we had that turn 90 degrees so i had to change that i put these two bars in the front here on i’ve slid the two vents up on the roof there i still have to there’s a screw holding the one from sliding down further it’ll be opposite this one vent here so it’ll be down one window section so i’ve got to remove that screw the screw is holding the fancy peak on the little sharp points on the peak so i don’t think i’m going to use that because i may throw an insulated tarp over the roof for the winter to keep both you know the light and the heat in uh what else have i been doing oh these corner pieces here these braces i’ve got those in the correct position now so we had these turn 90 degrees too so i went and looked at the old video figured out where they go so that one’s correct i’ve got to fix up the ones in the other corner still so yeah just minor stuff just some tweaking other than that everything is going really well on the greenhouse before i put the door on i have to do the glazing here because if we come around here the mount for the door goes in front of the windows both the two triangle windows there and the triangle window here so i’ve got a i’ve got to get the glazing in the front face there before i can mount the doors and other than that you know the glazing and the doors a bit of framing around the vents there and attaching the the the automatic openers and then the sun shade it’s you know that’s about all i have left to do on it which it’s fairly complete and then once i get the benches i’ll be putting those in and my problem my cement walkway down the center then i’ll have to start the landscaping around it that’ll be kind of fun building it up so i don’t have to you know come up much of a ramp to get into the greenhouse here yeah it should be pretty good i’m glad it’s off the ground you know because you don’t want water heavy rain water kind of runs down this backyard and i don’t want it running into the greenhouse so for the the bottom where the aluminum goes on the concrete here i’m going to put caulking inside and outside and hold it down with those cement screws and i think that’ll be quite good it’ll keep the water out it’ll be secured in place i think that’ll be perfect yeah so now i’m going to just fix that one vent up and then i’ll start with the gravel work filling the rest in here [Music] i’m down to the last wheelbarrow load of gravel so i’ll put that in spread it around and that’ll be it for the floor where is it the gravel came out to a nice level in the greenhouse just to the bottom lip of the pavers that are on top of the foundation so when i put the pavers down from my middle pathway and some underneath the legs of the the benches there it should come out just perfect it’ll look really good i think i will be keeping the greenhouse down here i’ve got to do a bit of fixing up of the plastic on it but it’s a good greenhouse for overwintering trees that’s where i overwintered a lot of my hearty trees last year and on the really really cold nights i just put the heater on it warms it up a bit inside so it keeps the trees really healthy until spring the sun is setting on another good day of work progress and excitement for the bonsai zone here’s an update to my snow queen hibiscus it is in flower the first flower of the season so quite quite nice i like how the color of the flower kind of matches the pink tinge on the edges of the leaves it’s pretty cool i’m excited to start working on that tiger bark ficus that will be for auction to the club members of the toronto bonsai society so that’ll be coming up soon that’s all for today i’m nigel saunders thanks for joining me in the bonsai zone [Music]

To see previous videos of the Buckthorn bonsai, click on the playlist here…

To see previous videos of the Glass Bonsai Greenhouse, click on the playlist here….


You May Also Like