Mixed Bonsai Forest Creation

Mixed Bonsai Forest Creation

Nigel, what were you thinking >>>> Here’s a Quick Way to Refine a Shimpaku Juniper Bonsai

I need to check my trees too. I think I need to move the really hardy trees outside or else they might leaf out before spring hits. The forest looks great!

hi everyone nigel saunders here last night was hopefully the last really cold night of winter it went down to minus 23 degrees celsius kind of cold so it’s quite cold in the plant room here when i got up this morning it was 10 degrees celsius in the plant room which is a little cooler than i would like it i’d like to keep it kind of a minimum of 12 or maybe even 15 in here but the good part is we got a sunny day today so once the sun starts shining in the plant room it’ll warm up in here really nice down here in the basement it’s even cooler it’s five degrees celsius that’s quite cool for these tropical and temperate trees [Music] it’s hard to believe in two days time it’s supposed to be six degrees and raining hard to believe [Music] it dropped to minus 23 degrees celsius last night but the greenhouse was able to stay at -2 degrees celsius so it did freeze over lightly but you know probably the inside of the pots didn’t freeze just the outer kind of surface of the soil because my water didn’t freeze over it just had a light skim of ice on the top so it’s not too bad and it’s warmed up to 10 degrees now in the greenhouse with the sun shining today it’ll probably get even higher i’ve been keeping my eyes out to make sure things aren’t leafing out in here i noticed my lilac it’s got nice green buds on it but they’re definitely not leafing out so that’s good um i did notice on my large tree in my large forest down here if i come in everything’s dormant except if i come in here i can see one branch here has two little green buds showing on it so that’s not so good everything else is dormant on the trees it’s just that one branch so i have to keep an eye on that keep this greenhouse cold um what else have i noticed um here there’s a bit of i think it’s privet or something i’m not sure it’s just like a little seedling growing in this pot it has leaves on it must be something very hardy uh i don’t think there’s anything else i did have that one large tree down there it was starting to show some green on it and i put it down here where it’s cooler and it’s just stayed the same it hasn’t developed anymore my amber maple down there that had a few buds that were swelling on it but i pruned those off and i moved it down to the colder floor of the greenhouse here so that should be fine other than that you know everything looks good the buds on the maples here on the red maple they’re starting to swell but they haven’t come out or anything so i think they’re fine you can see yeah there’s a shot of the maple buds so they’re doing all right now we are getting that warm weather coming in two days with rain so you know if it gets too warm in the greenhouse i can always open the doors here the uh the overhead uh ventilation panels they won’t activate unless it’s quite warm out so they won’t open up so yeah i could always leave the doors open a bit if it seems to be getting too hot in here but most of the time it’s cool like at night time it cools right down it’s only it’s only on a warmer day when the sun is shining it warms up in here to like well sometimes almost 20 degrees celsius which is quite warm but you know the pots stay cool you take you know the mass of this pot here this one is still just slightly frozen on top it takes a long time to heat that pot up to you know room temperature so in the greenhouse here it only warms up for a couple hours in the afternoon to those nice temperatures and it cools right back down again so the soil in the pot usually never kind of gets up to those warmer temperatures it’s like a heat sink it just stays cold and uh if they’re frozen they stay frozen for a long time like the ones in my poly house out there you can get a lot of warm days in a row and the root base will still stay frozen in the pot takes a long time to warm that up i’m going to work on my northern bog style forest today it’s on the floor of the greenhouse down here so i’ll get it out and we’ll take a look at it all right there it is here’s a look at my northern bog style forest i put this forest together last spring from trees that jonathan gave me and some of the trees ended up in our edible forest and our first nations garden my northern bog style forest has come a long way since i first planted it i’ve been pruning the trees to get that kind of slim conical form especially to the black spruce in the background the forest has two dead trees in it two dead spruce trees that are sort of the main focus of the forest which is kind of unusual but you’ll see a lot of bog forests like that with dead trees in the middle of the water so i thought you know it kind of adds a realistic touch to it so i’m today i’m going to clean it all up you can see the moss is getting really long i’ve got all my old needles from the larches from last year and there’s a lot of buds that are popping out they’re swelling up and so i can see where i can do some rough pruning on the trees where i can prune back some of the branches to some stronger buds trying to get them you know to that typical cylindrical conical form that you see up north in the uh in the bogs i’m going to start today’s work by doing some weeding so i’ll pull out some of these weeds that have developed i don’t know what they are but i’ve got that uh irish moss in here i got to get rid of that because that’ll spread some branches that have fallen down i’ll get those out of there leaves and bark i’m going to have to get all these needles out of here too now that irish moss is really there i got it out by the roots see that the roots go really deep into the soil and it just spreads like crazy gets these little white flowers on it so it’s a good thing to get i got that out you’d think with this dense covering of moss that it wouldn’t grow in here but seems to be able to manage to grow anywhere luckily there’s not a lot of it i’ll be able to pick it out and if you get too bad a covering of that irish moss there’s no the only thing you can do is repot your tree into new soil to get rid of it it just can get really thick and those roots just develop a mat and makes it hard to get water down to your tree roots so that’s why i never grow it in my plantings i know it’s tempting because it looks nice but very invasive and it just it’s hard to get rid of there’s another clump of it right here got that by the roots sometimes you don’t get it by the roots it breaks off but you just got to keep trying you’ll get it eventually next time it pops up you pull it again hopefully you get it all out and it’s kind of like insects on your trees you know if you keep up with it if you remove any of that irish moss when it first when you first notice it it won’t spread it’s when it you know you neglect your tree and it starts spreading and it covers the whole surface and then it becomes a real problem really hard to deal with but if it’s just the odd little tough here and there if you get it in time you pull it out you stop it spreading and you keep keep it under control there’s another one here now it’s same with weeds you know if you pick them off when you first notice them they don’t spread you can keep up with it but if you kind of let your let your landscape go and becomes all weedy and makes it awful awfully hard to awful hard to get it back under control almost impossible unless you repot it so it’s a good you know that’s why landscapes like this or force they take a lot of time and maintenance to keep them looking good you know i really like forests and that but i know i spend way more time on my forests than i do on my other bone side just because they need it they need landscape maintenance tree maintenance otherwise they just get out of control it becomes too big a task to do now i’ve got moss growing up the trunks of these dead trees and in this case i’m going to leave it because i think it looks cool i won’t have moss growing up the living trees i’m going to prune that away because it’ll destroy your bark texture so i’ll clean the moss away from the base of all these larches and this moss sure has grown well i watered this bog forest a lot because larches these north american larches they love water and the black spruce love water and the moss loves water so everything in this forest loves lots of water so i water it lots and fertilize it a lot and it yeah it’s looks really healthy the trees did amazing last year so my whole goal i want to keep the trees fairly miniature i don’t want to grow them into great big trees but i want to get the profile that conical shape slimmer a tighter instead of a wide spreading cone a very very tight one if i can because if you look at trees up north that’s how they grow they’re very tight conical forms and it’s uh it’ll be a challenge to get that form but i think once i get it all these trees will look like little daggers pointing out of the soil i think it’ll really help give you that feeling of being up north i’m getting all the needles out of the trees the ones that are still stuck to the branches on the larches and then i can clean them up on the from the forest floor [Applause] there’s no point cleaning the forest floor if i’ve got more needles that are going to fall down all the trees that i plant in this forest survived which was amazing because some of them had good root systems and some didn’t but they all managed to survive which is just awesome that i got them all to live and hopefully you know they’ll all do well this year i don’t anticipate any problems with them but you never know you can see on this tree the moss has climbed up to some of the lower branches so i gotta get that cleared out of there even though this bog force was just created last year it is one of my favorites i just love the miniature look of it and i think it’ll just keep getting better as i work on it over the years i’ve been working on clearing the moss from around the base of these trees and now i’ve got to come in with my curved scissors and start pruning the moss it’s getting way too thick and kind of out of scale so i’m going to prune it fairly short underneath the trees and then longer in the open areas to sort of represent grasslands but i don’t want it really thick under the trees because they’ll be in the it’ll be in the shade there anyway and normally you know not much grows in the shade not tall grasses anyway usually and i might prune up some of these to look like moss bushes i’m going to prune away the moss from the lip of the pot too i just come in with the curved scissors and i just print it away from the edge of the pot so you can see the full lip of the pot it always looks neater like a picture frame you don’t have to worry about pruning the moss too far back because it’ll grow again once you know spring comes and the rains the moss will start growing like crazy and i like to just you know do one little section of the forest at a time imagine you’re a little person standing there and you look around and you want you don’t want it to look realistic so a variety of moss sizes shapes so it looks like a real forest i like to make the moss in front of the tree trunk short too so it doesn’t block the root base of the tree so i kind of have like a a viewport into the roots of the tree you don’t want anything growing up in front of the the roots otherwise you know you’re it’s not going to look as miniature when you get down low like this you really see it looks like a forest it’s really cool you can really see what to prune what looks out of scale kind of really work towards that miniature forest look so here’s another tree here so i’ll need a like a view into the root base so i’ve gotta kind of cut my moss short in this area so you can kind of look down and see the root base of the tree because the root base really adds to you know creating the look of a miniature tree yeah you don’t want it obvious that you’ve created a path in there you want to kind of break it up with some bushes and that so it looks very natural that’s just you know there’s no right or wrong way of doing these for us just what appeals to you and i think you know it’s important to be out in the actual full-size forests to get ideas and develop your eye for what looks natural in a forest and what doesn’t you know if you’ve never been in a northern bog forest then maybe you don’t know what to you know what to style your trees to look like but if you’ve been up north a lot and you’ve seen northern bog style forests you kind of develop an eye for what looks natural in a forest of that type so yeah you know going out for walks in the forest it’s a fantastic way to study trees and nature and you develop all those ideas and miniature in your bonsai forests or pinching this mosque can represent ferns you know anything this forest unlike my large forest i want it to look like you’re not invited to come in and walk around in it you can see how i’ve left the moss kind of long in the middle between the trees and i like that it’s like you know it’s okay to walk around the perimeter of the forest but you don’t go in deep and that’s what a real forest is like you know you can’t really walk in many forests they’re thick and overgrown so i’m kind of liking that look with the long moss in the middle of the forest and kind of trimmed around the perimeter so i’m just working away working away at all the moss coming down you know at eye level here and looking and imagining this is a full-size forest and then kind of pruning it accordingly to make it look even more realistic oh oh i hear sirens could it be could it be the zombie apocalypse i think keeping the lower branches on the trees the ones that you know are just above the surface of the soil also kind of add to that look of you know stay out of the forest like you’re not invited in because it would be very difficult to walk between the trees there’s all kinds of branches and that’s you know i’ve seen many a forest like that there’s just no pathway to walk in anywhere so i was working away cleaning up needles and that and then over here i noticed this tree at the end here is coming out in leaf or needles the little arch on the end it’s the only tree in the whole forest that has green needles coming out on it so i have no idea why but it is so i’m going to have to uh prune it because i can see what growth is coming out you can see on some of the branches i can prune them back which is good and i’ll just have to keep the force in the greenhouse here it’s fairly well protected keep it cool and hopefully all the rest will stay dormant yeah that’s about all i can do now usually you know even if they’re at this stage and they get a frost it usually doesn’t damage them too badly and if you do get a heart frost i found that sometimes all these will die off these buds and then it’ll start back budding i don’t know on a tree this small though this one i would protect it i wouldn’t let it get a hard frost on it so it’ll stay in the greenhouse here and i’ll just have to keep it cool try and keep it as dormant as possible and that’s all i can do i am going to add a little trail to this forest and not a trail for humans but like a deer trail it’s a very narrow one that deer would you know come through this area of the forest so just be like a little almost like a little ditch running through here very narrow overgrown in the sides just you know wide enough for a deer to run through so i’ll start doing that i’ll just start pruning away the moss little strips and have it wind through here a bit and it should add a little bit of realism to the forest so it comes in right here just take the moss out in that area sort of like that sort of like that so it’s you know a little narrow trail i’ll just have the trail kind of wind and disappear out the back here and this will grow in quickly but i can keep trimming it in the future you’ll always see it there and quite often you put a feature in a forest like this and then at first it may not look totally natural but then you give it a little bit of time and things start filling in and it starts to take on a really natural look okay i think that’s looking quite nice so i’m continuing to get the moss around out from around the base of the trees stop it crawling up the trunks i was thinking with my trail here maybe i should have some interconnecting trails some that go off in different directions because you often see that in the woods in the forest that you see you know the intersection or the meeting pace of two different trails so i might do that that would look kind of cool yeah keep this moss under the trees really short again i want a viewing angle to look in at the tree base from the front of the planting so it’ll be in this direction now i can see it’s really climbing up this tree all kinds of moss at the base here get that out and this tree also has a lot of moss climbing up the trunk yeah i’m really looking forward to seeing how this forest develops this year year two it made way more progress in year one than i thought it would i was able to prune it a lot more than i thought year two well hopefully we can continue with good progress in getting these trees slimmed down to a conical form now i could grow this these trees larger if i wanted to if i can get them slimmed down so they’re very tight conical form i could grow them taller and you know thicken up the trunks a bit so we’ll see maybe that’s an option for the future that way the trees would look even closer together like a tightly packed forest i added another deer path here so you can see i have the one on this side and one over here and then they kind of meet and then go off i think that looks good kind of breaks that front section up a bit to add some interest yeah so i’m working away at this section now getting the moss from around the base of the trees pruning it uh a little shorter the moss in some of the areas cleaning up the trees i’ve got a lot of pruning i’ll have to do which is good i can get these uh larches slimmed out and the spruce i’m looking for buds on the spruce yeah i see buds lots of them wow that one has one two three four five buds all coming six buds all coming from one spot there wow yeah a lot of buds gonna be an exciting year you can see how high the moss had climbed up almost halfway up the trunks you can see the wet spot where it was amazing so yeah i really took that moss down and you can see trunks on the trees now now i did notice right in here there’s a butt on the second tree that’s just starting to get a bit of green on the tip yeah well i’ll just keep it as cool as i can it does help having it down here on the floor it’s a nice cool spot down here i’m really enjoying doing this landscape work it’s really fun the only trouble is is that it is only eight degrees out here in the greenhouse and i’m getting really cold so i’m gonna have to go in and warm up for a while i’ll show you what i’ve got you know done on the forest you can see the moss is all cleared away from these larches i’ve got a deer path in there lots more work to go i’ve only begun um yeah this might take me multiple days to get this forest done i’ll try and uh get back out here this afternoon hopefully the greenhouse will warm up a little once the sun hits it which should be in another couple of hours maybe get it a little warmer in here you can see it’s all frosted up those are uh some really nice frost patterns up there too wow they’re really cool very feathery yeah so we’ll come back um i’ll come back in a while have lunch warm up and hopefully it’ll warm up in the greenhouse and i can come back out here and commence work on the bog forest i’m back after lunch and it’s much nicer in the greenhouse here now it’s gone up to 19 degrees celsius so that’s not a bad temperature for working out here be a lot better than the cold i was working in this morning so let’s get to it i’m going to turn the forest around and start working at the trees at the back getting that moss cleared away around the trunks so here i go like that wow look at that clump of moss that really grew yeah so now i can get to all this moss that’s around the base of these trees clear that away so it doesn’t climb up the trunk i see more of that irish moss at the back here get that out a few more weeds in here these weeds look nice when they’re small like this but generally weeds grow up to be huge so it’s best to pick them out when they are young before the roots get established that makes it a lot easier to do your weeding if you wait until they’re giant weeds they got this huge root system very difficult to get out there’s some more irish moss here now i’ll clean up around the lip of the pot it’s always nice to make the back your planting look as presentable as the front that includes cleaning the moss off around the lip of the pot here just pruning it back that moss was really thick you can see it was up to here and here’s the level of the soil good couple of centimeters thick i’d say it is absolutely beautiful in the greenhouse right now sun’s shining in it’s warmed up i still have my jacket on but it’s a lot nicer than it was this morning you can see there’s a large tree that has a branch that’s reaching out right out to the spruce another one here it’s even got green needles on it still i’ll have to be trimmed back while i can see the back of the trees here i’m going to do some pruning some of those crossing branches so there was a spot here i could prune this back shorten this branch i’ll have to come right back to here i think i will try it here see if a bud develops if not i can prune it back to a shorter branch i’ll put it back shorter now there’s a large reaching out here i’ve got to prune it back so i’ll take that branch off there taking that long tip out and there’s another one growing out here so i’ll take it off here taking that off it gets rid of some of those intersecting branches so i can’t do you know too much pruning until it starts leafing out but i can do get rid of some of the real obvious areas that can use a bit of pruning there’s a branch facing the other tree i can take that out give a little air circulation between the two trees yeah this one i can definitely shorten back it’s got all kinds of branching coming off of it so i will take off the tip like that bring that back if you look at this spruce branch here i’ve got lots of buds at the tip but it’s all i’ve also got back budding down lower on the branch so once it starts turning green these buds start shooting out i can prune the whole top off that branch and develop these buds down lower i’m going to do a little shaping to this ball of moss here kind of get a little trimmer it’s getting a little large i’ll prune it back it’ll look a little brown but it’ll green up again once it gets some rain on it that’s looking better now it’s getting a little close to the tree behind it here so i’m gonna have to prune part of that back too all right i think i’ll flip it back around and go to the front view again and keep working away yeah i can get rid of the winter jacket too it’s kind of nice now i’m back to the front and i’ll continue clearing away moss from around some of these trees it’s nice to know the moss has been growing really well seems to like it in here it’s tricky getting into these trees the only thing i can reach is these long tweezers it’s like working on a ship in a bottle gotta reach in there and try and get the moss away well it’s certainly looking like a miniature world down liking this the sun is getting lower on the horizon i made a lot of progress with my bog forest today my mixed planting larch trees and black spruce trees and yeah i got all that moss cleared away from around the trunks i got my moss pruned down i put a few little deer pathways in there i did a little bit of pruning i haven’t done much pruning yet because i’m going to wait until it both the spruce and the larch are flushing out with new growth now i can see which buds are alive and what i can prune back to but yeah a lot of progress today [Music] i’m hoping that last night was the last really cold night of winter i’m hoping it slowly kind of starts warming up a bit until spring i still got a couple more months before it warms up but i definitely got spring fever that’s for sure i made a lot of progress on my larch and spruce bog for us today getting it kind of pruned up there’ll be more work coming on it in spring when i go to prune the trees but that’s all for today i’m nigel saunders thanks for joining me in the bonsai zone [Music]
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