Pruning a Desert Rose Bonsai

A New Desert Rose and Pruning, The Bonsai Zone, Jan 2022

It’s videos like this that help me get over the fear of “The Chop” LOL. The temperatures you have are so warm. My trees act completely different from yours. I have a spruce that flushed out, even though the soil is lightly frozen. I can not put them outside, although it did warm up to -14C today. Your greenhouse at near 20C, why do your trees not come out of dormancy?

hi everyone it is minus 23 degrees celsius out at the moment let’s go out and see how the greenhouse is doing you can hear how crunchy the snow is here we are at the greenhouse i can always tell how warm it is by the snow on the roof and the frost on the side walls so i can tell it’s pretty cold all right let’s go in and see what temperature it is inside you can see the doors all frosted up okay so the temperature is [Music] it shows it to be minus 3.3 in the greenhouse at the moment and the low was -4 last night and it says outside it is now minus 20.8 degrees celsius the minimum it says was minus 22. so yeah a cold cold night let’s feel our soil here yeah definitely frozen [Music] let me check over here yeah everything’s frozen but you know very lightly frozen it’s not like it went down too low so there we go so the coldest night of the year and everything in here went down to minus four so that’s pretty good for winter overwintering yeah now we are going up in temperature next week and there may be one day where we actually go above freezing which will be really nice so i can give everything in here a water i hopefully i can collect some more rain rainwater if it drips off the roof and it looks like we’ve got full sun today so that’s going to be really really nice my plant room indoors on the coldest night of the year so far it went down to 10 degrees celsius and the basement that went down to 5 degrees celsius pretty cool but that’s until i finish the plant room i think next year when i get it all finished and sealed up it’ll be warmer in there i noticed i have a lot of uh air flow from those outside styrofoam panels the i didn’t never taped up the cracks and it the wind comes in through there so that’s the reason it’s so cool i think today it’s a road trip i’m heading off to tropical expressions in hamilton ontario they have a whole bunch of new stock in so we’re going to meet down there and check it all out i’m meeting jay from blue jay bonsai uh connor from the both clubs and mike that should be a lot of fun i didn’t heat the poly greenhouse the plastic one i uh i thought i’d better keep both heaters running in the glass greenhouse last night because i have a lot of sensitive type trees in the glass greenhouse i’ve got my japanese black pine my osage orange trident maple there’s a few other species that are catalpa that are quite sensitive to the cold so i thought i’d better keep this greenhouse warm and i’ll take my chances on the trees in the other greenhouse hopefully they’ll be all right does look like a beautiful day today i have made it to tropical expressions in hamilton so let’s go inside and meet everyone here’s the gang all together [Laughter] hi everybody great to see everyone again yeah it’s nice and warm not negative 20. well jay he’s been greenhouse hopping the whole weekend all he does he goes from greenhouse to greenhouse cheaper it’s cheaper than florida i told you to bring your lawn chair with you and you can just set it up somewhere here in the greenhouse and get your suntan going [Laughter] it is the next day now i really had fun at tropical expressions seeing all the new trees that they got in thousands of them it was fantastic looking through them all and it was really nice to see the club members there once again i did buy a few small things i got this rickshaw i’ll show you that if you can see it there it is so i thought that would look good in the chinese village penjing so that’s why i got that and i got a desert rose and the reason i picked this desert rose is it reminded me the desert roses that naturally grow on sucatra island near yemen and i eventually want to make like a forest a desert rose forest typical of socata island and i’ll show you some pictures of socata island but first i’ll show you my desert rose i got so here it is so i i like it because it has a really natural form to it it reminds me of those trees growing on the island and it’s not all that big it’s you know higher than my hand but uh not by much so i was thinking this would be the biggest tree in the forest and then i could have plant a whole bunch of small ones around it and create that look of cicada island and i’ll show you pictures of cicada island now so you can get an idea of what i’m after [Music] [Music] [Applause] this tree will be the biggest tree in the forest and then i’ll have to buy a whole bunch of small ones or maybe start them from cuttings to create my socatra island forest i think that’ll be really cool it looks like we might get some sun today so let’s head out in the greenhouse and do some pruning the greenhouse looks much warmer today you can see there’s no ice on the walls and the roof is cleared of snow and ice so it should be quite nice in there for working today what a difference a day makes so right now it’s 19.6 degrees inside and the outside temperature is -5 or 67 inside and wait for it 22.4 outside so much nicer temperatures today and we do have a warming trend coming it’s going to be above freezing in two days which will be awesome i can collect water get all these trees watered just in time i was having a look at my tools i’ve restored these pruners they’re looking really good these ones just need a touch of sharpening they’re they’re in good shape these two that’s fairly new this one’s good shape this is the scissors i use a lot they reach in and you can do forests and that with them i think that’ll be the next tool that i do a total restoration on like this one putting the gun bluing on it i think that’ll look really good to get that tool in nice shape for the next year and this one also this one is a really nice tool it’s got a bit of rust on it the blacks coming off of it made in japan so that tool also so i think just basically two more tools to do a total restoration on and the others just need a bit of sharpening one of my objectives over the winter time is to get all my trees pruned up and ready to grow for spring the next tree i want to work on today is my mulberry tree this was just a little seedling that i dug up from the backyard it just grew all by itself i dug it up root pruned it gave it a bit of a top pruning and then let it grow for the summer so it’s ready for another pruning now so let’s get it out and begin today’s work here’s a look at my mulberry tree it’s nothing special yet it’s just beginning its second year of bonsai training so today i’ll prune it up mulberry trees make excellent bonsai they’re vigorous they’re hearty and really nice and you can get fruit on them which is kind of an added bonus here’s a look at the tree so the trunk comes up and it’s kind of a curved trunk you can see from this view it has a bit of a curve to it and this part kind of extends that curve if i were to prune that off you know it would be a little more upright and this part kind of ends here it was pruned off here and a whole bunch of branches have grown and really none of those are flowing branches they don’t you know flow upwards so i’m going to prune that half of the tree off of the upper structure off and then develop the tree from these branches here so i’ll get out the pruners all right i’m going to use my fully restored branch pruners for this operation so i’ll come in here i think about there here i go just like that so there’s the cut fairly deep but that’ll heal over nicely i’m going to remove this lowest branch also here’s that lowest branch that part of it’s dead but this part is living so i don’t want to branch that low on the tree so i’m just going to take that off too here’s a look at the tree now you can see it looks more upright it doesn’t have that kind of bend to the trunk so much anymore so it comes up it divides from one into two this part is dead here so i can prune that back like that and then there’s a stub here that’s dead at the top i can prune that off and then i just need to prune back these branches so here’s i guess my strongest leader i can take the tip off i’ve got a bud here and one here i’ve got a branch coming out here i’ll take it off here because i have a outward facing bud here this branch i’ve got a nice bud here i can take the tip off that and then this one i’ve got a branch or a bud that fans out here towards the back so i’ll take the top off like that so that tree is all pruned up and ready to grow for spring [Applause] and these mulberries are very fast growers so i think you’ll see this tree develop really nicely in a short amount of time i will be root pruning and repotting this mulberry tree in spring trying to get that nice beautiful radial root spread and get it on its way as a bone size so i’ll just put it back on the bench for now and then in springtime it’ll get repotted the next tree i’ll be working on today is my romeo dwarf sour cherry tree i just got this last spring from the nursery and i gave it one pruning to get the structure underway and then i let it grow all summer so today i’m going to prune it back once again i’ll spin the tree around so you can see it from all angles so at the moment it’s a bit of a slanting tree but i have no idea i’ve never repotted this before so i don’t know what the root system is really like under the soil so when i go to repot it you know if it makes sense to make it more vertical i will if it makes sense to keep it as a slanting tree i’ll keep it as a slanting tree so i’ll rotate it around i think i think this was my my front view with the tree as it is so coming around to the right hand side coming around to the back the left hand side and back to the maybe the front if i look at this tree it already has quite a nice pleasing structure it comes up the trunk it has a back branch here this trunk comes up divides into two you know everything’s kind of fanning out and flowing so that’s because it’s being pruned once so today i’m just going to give it a prune to make it more compact you can see this branch it comes up here there’s a butt on top there’s a butt on the bottom and there’s another couple of buds out here so i want to shorten the branch back to this outward facing bud so here’s my butt and i’ll prune it just above there like that the apex here you can see there’s a stub from the last pruning i’ll just prune that flush and then i want to prune the apex down so i have a bud going inwards and one going upwards and one at the back here so i think i want to develop this outwards facing one so i’ll prune it off here just above that like that shortening that down and then there’s a branch that comes off that’s kind of going back in towards the center of the structure it’s not really flowing outwards so i think i should get rid of that entire branch yeah so off it goes like that now if i follow this back branch up i’ve got a vertical section there which is a little too vertical i’m going to remove it like that i’ve got one that comes off to the right hand side a back one to the left another vertical one which could take over as the leader of this branch and i think i will you can see this branch is fairly thick i have an opportunity to change direction and taper here so i’ll take it and i’ll prune off this part of it because you know that way i don’t have this straight branch all the way up to here i can shorten it and get a bit of movement to it and then i want to shorten this so i’ll take it off to here this one i’ve got a dormant bud back there and possibly one here i’ve only got two strong buds at the tip so i’m going to leave that branch alone this one i’ll definitely prune back and i’m wondering do i want it because i’ve got this one branch coming out and it divides into basically two at this point and then i kind of have a third branch here and this branch kind of crosses over top of this other branch and it doesn’t really fan out so i think i’m going to remove that entirely like that that simplifies that structure and i can develop you know more branches out this direction this one out this direction and this branch out this direction so i’ll take a stub off here so this branch comes up and then it kind of goes back i’ve got a section that comes forward and one at the back so they all divide like this comes out divides from one into two and then from one into two again so the branch structure is quite nice actually i’m going to prune this one here there’s a bud here facing outwards this one i’ve got a bud that kind of crosses here there’s another one up here so i think i’ll take it off here and then this back branch i’ve got a stub here i can clean up this back branch i’ve got i’ve got a couple of buds here one pointing downwards i’m going to take it off here and this one just the tip off i think that’s about all i can do there’s not many other strong buds on that branch just those two near the tip so i can do a little cleanup work here just get that stub pruned up a bit like that nice [Music] and i think that’s it [Applause] yeah beautiful little cherry tree there’s a look at the cherry tree a nice simple little tree that can be developed into the future the final tree that i’ll be pruning up today is one that i i’m pretty sure it’s an elm that i dug up from the backyard and i’m just going to tidy up the structure today get it ready for spring if you look at the trunk here you can see all kinds of buds on the main trunk so you know it’s quite possible you could just hard prune it off and it would sprout all kinds of new branches but i’m going to keep the branches branches that i have at least the ones that are nice and flowing and i’ll prune the rest off so let’s have a look at the tree now i’m going to start the pruning now so i the main trunk comes up and it’s got a bit of a curve to it i pruned the main leader off here and this is a new branch that developed it has another older branch here that got pruned off and a new shoot there i don’t really like this division doesn’t really flow nicely it kind of starts off really nicely but then it kind of has a bit of a kink and comes more vertical it doesn’t flow outwards nicely i’m going to remove these bottom branches for sure they don’t flow at all so it’s possible i could remove the more awkward looking branch and keep that one down lower i think i will i think that’s a better flowing branch structure so the thicker one is going to come off so here i go a little hard to get in here without damaging that lower branch there i go i don’t know if i can clean that up any but i’ll try that’s better i could even go a little deeper i think yeah i gotta go deeper in here to clean that cut up like that that’s good that’ll heal over really nicely so there’s my first division and then you can see this new branch here is quite straight has very little taper very little movement so that’s got to be pruned back so where is the question i have about here i don’t have any well there’s another bud way up here there’s a couple here so i’m going to take a chance this is a bit of a hail mary cut i don’t want this branch to go straight for very long so i’m just going to come in here and prune it off here i go just like that so that has got the little elm pruned up ready to grow for spring there’s a closer look at the tree i’ll just rotate it around [Applause] yeah a nice little tree now after just having the coldest day of winter i’m looking forward to some above freezing temperatures in the next couple of days hopefully i can collect a lot of rain water and refill all my barrels that’s all for today i’m nigel saunders thanks for joining me in the bonsai zone [Music]

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