Pruning and Re potting my Cedar Clump Bonsai, Part 1, The Bonsai Zone, March 2021

Hi everyone nigel saunders here i’ve been busy today working away on the water barrels let’s go have a look at it so here’s a look at what i was working on so i put all my cement blocks in place i filled the cavity with soil i didn’t want anything living underneath the barrel like rabbits or mice or anything like that so i filled it in and so the one barrel is going to go on here probably this one because i still have to finish my wall here and i have to get the ease trough i called the guy about the east trough he’s going to come on thursday to have a look and they just roll it on site so it’ll be a one-piece eaves and then i’ll have the downspout come down somewhere in this general area so my wife what she’s doing with hers is she’s going to have it just empty into a normal barrel and then she’ll decant the barrel into the big square one so that way she won’t get a lot of sediment and stuff it’ll sink to the bottom of the barrel and then she can decant it and that that’s probably a good solution it just means that you know if we get a heavy rainstorm overnight you have to be kind of out here filling it up rather than just doing it automatically but it’s quite a problem you know dirt and leaves and debris getting into these tanks because you know basically there’s no way of cleaning them out just from the top here so once you get stuff in the bottom here and you basically gotta tip the tank upside down or something to get it out or reach in there with some kind of arm or something like that uh yeah so it’s not as easy as you know open barrel so that might work well just you know decanting it into here use this as storage for the summer yeah so that’s that should be good and solid i i may build up more gravel around it just to make it more so the blocks don’t move at all i don’t think they will it’s pretty strong and then on top of the blocks i’ve got all these pieces of plywood that’ll frame the edges of the blocks so the tank will sit on top of this plywood that way it’s not metal on concrete it’ll have a bit of a buffer zone so that’s all i got done today tomorrow i’ll be working on the bonsai in the front yard here we’ve got lots of spring flowers coming up looks really beautiful all right plywood can go down here like that should be fairly balanced now do you want to lift it on horizontally yeah okay i’m coming on this side okay you’re gonna stay on that side right yeah okay all right i got my bars here how’s that um just uh i don’t know come to your way hey gonna come my way yeah okay okay now i’m at the very very edge that’s pretty good you want to kick this board over a little bit more so it’s yeah more my way like from your side okay i think i’ll have to lift it up good okay yeah [Music] i can tilt it forward a bit to get the cover on it i’ve got my one water barrel in place now so i can finish this side of the room and then i can put the second one in place also today i’ll be working on my clump style cedar or thuja occidentalis pruning it up and repotting it the tree is a natural clump style tree it was dug up this way collected from the wild and it has five trunks total and i really like the way they’re arranged it looks very natural and something you’d see in a forest the tree is starting to get really wide and spreading it doesn’t have a really thick trunk so i need to keep the dimensions of the tree quite compact to make the trunk look even larger so i’m going to try and reduce the height of the tree and bring it all in in size and make it more compact and ready for the new spring growth i’m going to begin up top on this tree trying to reduce the height as much as i can and that’ll make you know the whole planting more compact it’s getting very tall so here is my main apex up here if you can see me standing behind it so i’m gonna take it down as far as i can back to living tissue so that means i can take this branch off here there goes that i’m keeping live branches here and this one can come back to here uh yeah like that there’s kind of a tall shoot out the back here i’ll just prune it back it doesn’t have anything i can prune back to lower foliage on it so just do as much as you can take some upright growth off here and back here pruning everything back making it more compact and then i have a big chute coming out the front i’m going to prune this crossing one off here and i’ve got a lower chute here so i can take off this big one like that i can do a bit of pinching here on these long leggy shoots all right so i think i’ve got the apex as compact as i can get it now it’s just coming up and it’s you know reduced in height a bit so now i’ll tackle this next branch getting that pruned back and it’s it’s getting very long and spreading here so there’s not a lot back here i can prune to so i’ll prune it back as much as i can there is some growth on this branch that’s back further i can prune this top off like that this branch prune the top off here pull this branch off and prune the back more compact that’s about all i can do hopefully i’ll get some back budding in this area someday usually you do just gotta be patient i’m just pruning everything more compact now and that’s about all i can do on that branch it’s prune back as compact as i can get it so there’s a look at the apex now nice and tight and as compact as i can get it i’ll work away at all the other branches doing the exact same thing trying to make them more compact prune all the foliage down so it’s nice and tight there’s a lot going on with all these trees interacting with each other and i’ve got a major branch coming straight out towards the viewer from this one off to the side here and it would look much better if i remove that totally kind of exposes the nice branch work behind it so this one is coming off it’s a fairly pretty major cut i think i’ll actually use my use my branch pruners on that okay here i go just like that so that was a very major branch coming off and now you can see it looks much cleaner in this area on this side of the tree i’ve got a off of this trunk i’ve got a fairly vertical branch here and i think it would look better replacing with this back branch it would make this trunk kind of sweep out more rather than kind of sweeping out and then going upright so i’m going to take it off it’s also kind of growing up in front of this other trunk so i’m going to take it off so here i go another fairly major cut on this same on the same trunk line i’m going to leave a bit of a stub just so it doesn’t die back or anything all right here i go just like that i like that a lot more you can see these branches sweeping out now of these trunk lines that looks much better this tree was always kind of flat on the front all the foliage was at the back so i’m trying to get more branches coming forward to kind of make it more three-dimensional just see it from the side there’s you know not a lot of growth out this way this the front of the trees and at the back there’s just tons of growth so i’m encouraging you know branches to grow on the front of the tree here i always leave the tree so this the sun is facing this side of the planting now i’ve got to prune this branch is getting really long here i’ve got to prune that one back so i’m just finding a spot i think i’m going to go back to this junction way back here so right back to here and that’ll shorten it quite a bit all right so here i go gone another major branch gone really going at it today so there it is looks much better it’s not so wild and spreading this planting anymore i’ve got a branch out the back here from the main tree that’s kind of growing straight up getting quite vigorous i think it’s starting to grow up into these other branches i need to prune it back so i’m looking for a suitable place i’m going to go to this branch up here so taking a fair amount off the top of the tree here i go like that so that was a fair amount of foliage off now the main tree still is very heavy on this side so i got to get this brought back in so i’ll work on that side now tough decisions it’s always tough decisions on these trees what to keep and what to prune away now there’s a lot of a lot of mass to this lowest branch here there’s a lot of foliage it did quite well there’s not much winter die back on the tree stayed nice and healthy i think this tree was outside for the whole winter on the bench unprotected i’ve got this really cool sweeping branch here but it’s interfering with the other part of the trunk and i’ve got better smaller branches in this area so tough choice i’ll prune it back for now and see how it looks maybe i’ll decide later on today if i’m going to remove it totally it’s a nice branch it’s really cool it is going to rain today and i just felt a drop of rain but i think we’ll still be able to get the work done on this tree i may have to do the repotting in part two but we’ll get it done [Music] i’ve got to think about the landscape too it’s kind of boring just having this flat landscape underneath it so i’m thinking maybe some rocks or something or we’ll think about it i’ve got a fairly major branch coming out the back and it’s overhanging the pot a lot it would be nice to bring the back of this tree in more compact and i’m just seeing what it would look like without that branch if i would miss it i think i’ve just got to clean that area out so i’m going to take that i’m going to take this whole branch off here it’s it’s quite large but it’s just you know from the side view it’s overhanging the pot a lot so here i go i’m taking it off just like that so again a fairly major branch coming off the tree and it looks better for it looks much better from the front there’s a fairly major branch at the back here very long and it doesn’t look very good from the front view you know this branch this trunk line sweeps outwards and then this branch goes up vertical so i’m going to take it completely off i’m just taking a dead piece off here all right so here i go i’m taking it completely off like that it’s getting lighter on that side now you can see it’s not as much mass of foliage here still got a ways to go though we got this huge back branch here that’s all vigorous that needs reducing back now i’ve got to be careful on this tree not to make it look too contrived i’ve gotta leave a lot of natural features on it so it looks kind of wild and natural looking so i don’t want every branch to kind of be in the perfect position and fanning out it’s got to have a few crossing branches and i’m taking some fairly heavy branches off the back here you can see here making them more compact bringing that back in further or closer that should help make the tree look more balanced in the pot yeah i was able to reduce the back really nicely a lot of choices a lot of good branch choices back here you see that now it’s really come in these entries are almost kind of cascading trees that kind of come out on the most the greatest angle and then the foliage kind of hangs down same with this side here so i think yeah it gives a nice feel to the planting um on this back tree here i’ve got three branches coming from kind of the same spot i’m going to take one of them off definitely that inside one it doesn’t look good [Applause] that comes off and maybe just the top off this one make it a branch i’ve got the tree all pruned up and i’m having a look at it from the front here definitely looks more compact um i think the branches on this side could still use some reducing they they’re looking pretty long i don’t know how much there is i can reduce it back to but let me see that’s a little better i’m not even sure there’s a branch coming straight out towards me i was trying to keep some foliage coming forward but i don’t know if that’s in a good place it’s probably better to grow that front branch out into that position so i’m gonna get rid of that one i think that’ll just bother me in the future too so off it goes like that yeah that’s better that looks better i think i’ve got a tall one at the back there too that i’ve got to reduce yeah that’s better on that left-hand side it’s kind of brought it in a bit a bit of the mass is taken off there’s a bit of confusion there’s a branch that same branch there it kind of i might get the right one kind of comes up and there’s a bit of confusion in this area there’s a branch that kind of comes back so more reduction in that area there’s a hanging branch right here i think the top could come off that and keep it more of a horizontal or cascading type branch so i’ll take the top off you know that looks a little better yeah and hopefully i’ll get some back budding in that upper part and i can make that all more compact too but i think that was a lot of foliage i took off that’s getting down to the minimum and i think the tree looks much much better now looks more tree-like looks more miniature i’ll give it a good watering um i think we’re going to do the repotting in part two i think it just i don’t want to rush it into a you know one video because the repotting can be quite a process especially if i’m going to do sort of a pension landscape trying to get some rocks in there and yeah so i’ll give it a good watering now the tree all right here i go with the water give it a good spring soaking and hopefully i’ll get that rain today that’ll water all the trees out on the bench my spinning tree bonsai turntable is indoors that’s why i’m using this old wooden one i’m transitioning slowly to the outdoors okay that is thoroughly watered that soil is nice and porous still it drains really nicely all right i’ll do a little cleanup here getting all my leaves out of the soil and then we’ll come back and have a final look at the tree for today here’s a look at the cutting room floor you can see how much foliage i’ve taken off this tree quite a bit considering it’s a fairly small tree i’ll rotate the tree around so you can see it from all angles so here i go i have a playlist for this tree so if you want to go back in time and see how it started out in its first prunings and first repottings i’ll put the playlist link in the description below i’m going to do an update for today i’m going to work on my ginkgo tree just pruning off some of the lower branches here’s a look at the ginkgo biloba it grew really well last year nice and tall i only want to develop this main leader here so it eventually blends in with the trunk line i don’t want these lower branches scarring and thickening up the bottom portion of the tree i want it to be a nice graceful flowing tree someday so today i’m going to prune off these lower branches because i had repotted this tree i left all the foliage to grow on it just to grow the root system once again so now i can take all these lower branches off so i’ll start there’s a double branch here i’ll remove the back one first like that then this front one and then i’ll clean up the cut point coming in from above here here i go like that so that’s a nice cut there a little bud forming here i’ll take off now i’ve got a thick back branch here time to get rid of that all right here i go like that i may have to take that back that’s going to leave a nasty bulge there so i’ll take it back a little further that’s better that’s probably good and then out the side here i’ve got another small branch you can take that off like that and then a fairly large one here looks like the tree’s good and healthy it’s nice and green where i cut it all right here goes that last branch like that and then i don’t know this is gonna leave a bulge too but i’ll take it back a little further you can see this one’s healing nicely it’s getting a collar around the wound the one on this side you can see scar tissue forming here so they will heal it’ll just take a long time on the top of the tree i originally did a beaver cut cutting it to a point that way the water runs off the cut and it doesn’t rot out the trunk in that area i’m going to prune it back a little bit making it more of a slanted cut now to allow this leader to grow more so whoa tough wood that’s yeah pretty tough wood in that area i just want to get it back a little bit you can see the scar tissue forming here yeah it’s getting better i don’t know if this is living tissue down here or not i’m just gonna no i don’t think it is i imagine there’s like a dead section around the here i can’t really tell where it is yet but i’m sure in the future that’ll become more defined and i can maybe again prune it back to the living tissue well i think that’ll do for now we’ll uh let it grow another year and that should have more of a callus in this area up on the top of the tree here i want to develop this leader i don’t want to develop this branch as a leader so i’m going to prune it back so i’ve got a i’ve got a bud coming forward one coming backwards i think i’m going to take it back to here like that [Music] and that will be all the work on the ginkgo for today baby hey baby look at baby run what an athlete laura’s got her chicken in here doing bug control in the raspberry patch hello little camera shy that’s got the ginkgo ready to grow once again for the entire summer unrestricted i’ll just let it grow and let this leader thicken up and someday it’ll kind of blend in more and that’s all for today i’m nigel saunders thanks for joining me in the bonsai zone you

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