Pruning Bonsai Trees Around the Nursery

Pruning Bonsai Trees

Today is the 7th of may and there will be several videos showing angelica from florida. She is here for a one week, uh sabbatical with me, so she is learning our bonsai techniques and then going back after a week.

But meanwhile she’s done a lot of trees and uh. I’M going to take her through some of the routine jobs on a working nursery. There are lots of routine jobs, and many people come to see us and then they wonder why the trees are all unkempt, but they don’t realize that there is always a purpose for doing everything.

I was explaining on another video about the leaves being hard and the leaves being soft. I tried to explain it and if i explain it to you now, these maple leaves are now turning hard. So they’re, not as soft as when you get say a brand new leaf coming out.

So let me just show you the difference between hard and soft. A lot of people are a bit confused by the terminology. So if you see the two you see, this feels hard. It feels hard, but these are still soft.

So it’s quite simple. I don’t know why people have trouble understanding it so once they firm up usually after about four weeks five weeks, the leaves turn hard. So they are not that soft, so it is at this stage that we can start thinking about uh fertilizing the tree as well or making cuttings and on another video i, which i’ve done recently.

I’Ve already explained: why have i let the tree grow so wild? Now, if i show you what i’m going to do, i’m going to cut quite often i’m going to explain why i’ve left these shoots, these all 12 inch 15 inch long shoes.

Why have i left it long? I have left it long because i want the tree to be fed by these leaves, so don’t forget the leaves produce the food for the plant and, if you keep cutting all the leaves off, the tree never gets a chance to get strong.

So i’ll leave the shoots to get long like this, because they’re strengthening the branches look at all that look at all that this is this year’s growth, 15 inches long, this year’s growth and, of course, these are now what we call current chairs would because all this Woody material was produced this year since the end of march, so it’s only like one month’s growth and it’s already produced about 10 pairs of leaves, and these make ideal cuttings.

So this is what we call cutting from current years. Would so if i were to make a nodal cutting i cut below the node, remove the leaves and just keep one pair of leaves. I don’t need the whole thing, and so that would be an ideal cutting and if you want to know how to make a heel, cutting that’s a nodal cutting a heel cutting is.

This is again current. Here’S wood in fact, there’s two lots of current jeans wood. This year – and this is this here – and this is also this here – so you tear it from the heel. So this is what we call the heel and then again, if you clean the heel up and then remove the lower leaves that would make a beautiful heel.

Cutting and if i wanted to use that upper portion cutting it below the node, that is what we call a nodal cutting. So i hope that explains how you make cuttings from current years wood. Now what i’ve done so far is i’ve only pruned half the tree? This way this is this tree prune this side, but i haven’t pruned this side, so i don’t prune it as soon as the leaves emerge.

I let the leaves grow long to feed the tree, strengthen the tree and then, after about four or six weeks, i then prune them off and that will increase the ramification. So when you see a lot of these naples and other deciduous trees with all these long shoots on our nursery, so don’t keep saying that peter chan is a lazy fellow.

I leave them for a very good reason and the reason is that i leave them to make the tree strong. So that’s why they are left so that will create lots of ramification, so i can still decide. I think the tree is going to be with this.

As the front, so i keep doing this and i’ll get lots and lots of ramification. So that is that one done and now because i haven’t fed it this year, i can put fertilizer on it and if you stay here, i will just bring a handful of fertilizer just forming on that tree.

I’M not sure [ Music ]. So let me just show you: this is natural fertilizer, it’s almost like your japanese, grape seed or whatever you sprinkle one handful over here, and this is chemical fertilizer.

This is a well-balanced npk fertilizer and that’s how you would feed the tree. That’S all you do so. Every time you water, the water, will leach the nutrients into the tree. Now this one is also in need of a trim.

This is a triple trunk tree, which i’m going on so again. I leave these very long shoots to grow and these shoots will strengthen the tree and it’s at this stage when they’re about 12 inches long. I trim the shoots back it’s too high for me, so again, a dome shape or conical shape.

If i had the staff to make cuttings, i would be making thousands of cuttings, in fact, the commercial nurseries which propagate and sell maples, that’s how they do it. They have armies of people who sit at a table and they just strike cuttings from these little prunings.

Maples, of course, grow very easily from seed as well, but if you want it true to type you have to make cuttings or graft them, the name varieties are usually grafted. That is how we deal with maples.

In fact, as i said, we use this principle for all sorts of deciduous place, so this is probably the front you can always change the front and one more time in the year, maybe about july time, i’ll prune it again and that’s all the pruning.

I need to do in a year now. Let me go to another tree. If you come with us okay, can you pull that one out for me josh josh, here the human being now i just want to show you now this i’m going to treat slightly differently now, look at the flowerness if you home in on it, look at these Beautiful hornbeam sauce, it’s like hop flowers, you know what hop hoppy is used for making beer, so i haven’t the heart to prune those flowers off, because i collect the seeds, believe it or not.

We saw a lot of these hornbeam. This is japanese, born beam. Japanese corn beam is carpinus lexi flora, as distinct from the korean horn beam see. I don’t have the heart to cut it. I should really cut it all back, but can you imagine the seeds i’m going to get from this tree full of seeds here? So this one i’m not going to prune because i just want to collect the seed, but normally i would prune this so we can put that back now.

Let me move on to something else and while we are passing, let’s go to see, i like to show you the progress of these trees. This is the oak tree, which was nearly five or six foot tall, and i cut it off over there and look at the branches growing on that.

I’M sure my client who asked me to look after this tree will be happy. Mr knowles look at this tree. It was just one nike tree with no branches, six foot tall and now we’ve got a two foot: six high tree with hundreds of shoots making the new branches.

So this i’m looking forward really to styling this tree. Okay, let’s move on to some more ah these. This was the cedar forest that we made about two months back, it’s very green, but i also want to show you something else which it’s peculiar to cedar and do you see the trees and josh you kind of pull that one off with the yellow leaves many People panic when they see certain trees behave in a certain way.

Now, when you see a tree like this, if you come close and look at the foliage, most people would throw their hands up in horror and say that this tree is dying. But cedars are a strange species, not all of them do it, but very often they do do it.

I haven’t disturbed this tree at all. This tree has not been cut, has not been pruned, but it’s got. A lot of these yellow leaves look at this. One. Look at the yellow leaves on this one. Anyone would think that this tree is dying, but if you look closely come close and home, and can you see all the new shoots and buds growing so do not panic, they are shedding their old needles when the new ones come.

But, strangely enough, it’s not all the seeders that do it, some of them do it. I will show you another cedar. That is the that is lemon, lemon and cedar. I will show you one, which is the small leaf cedar? Okay, if you follow me small needle seed brevifolia, i think it is and if you look at this tree, look at this – this is the one i’m going to earlier here, because it’s very nice, but again, if you’re home in on the tree, you see there’s such A lot of yellow foliage again anyone would panic and think that this tree is dying, but not so once you shake, the old leaves off.

You see how tiny the foliage is absolutely tiny, and this is a very rare form of cedar called brevifolia. So when you see yellow leaves on a cedar, do not panic, it is not dying. So i thought i would reassure you on that.

Okay, continuing with my pruning. Let’S look at these five. This is the bhuvanese that we’ve been working on. So most people don’t know how to deal with pines so come close again, and these are the new candles look at it one bunch here.

Let me count the number of cameras there there’s one two, three four six candles lot of people say you got to take the center one out and leave the others, but these will still become branches, that candle will become a shoot like the six inches long.

If you leave it, if i don’t want it to grow any longer, i would cut everything off simple as that cut it all off, and then it will fur produce candles further back, nothing so sophisticated about that.

So that is what you would do with these candles. Okay, so you can control the growth by doing that now. Let’S look at this. This is japanese beach that i’ve grown from small. So this was only a small plant about 20 years ago and the super structure look at the base.

Look at this beautiful base again foaming on this. Look at this beautiful base. It’S been grown in this basket, but we’re going to put it in a micro pot. So again, if i wanted to propagate, i can make soft wood or hardwood cuttings from it, or i could even hail it.

Should i feel that the tree is too tall so again, no rocket science involved. Ramification simply comes by doing this sort of topiary work. Topiary work, many bonsai teachers are afraid to admit that things are simple: they try to make it complicated.

I think, because it gives them some sense of power, some sense of kudos, but a lot of the stuff is really easy. There’S no real magical mystery about it. This is simple: what you call horticulture, just ordinary horticulture, so you’re trimming it into a conical shape and when the leaves fall in the autumn, you’re going to get beautiful ramification, meaning lots and lots of pigs.

The japanese beach is different from the european beach, so the japanese beach, the botanical name, is vegas granata. The european beach is vegas sylvatica. We show you the difference: the japanese beach, they call it the white bath beach because the trunk and the bark is white in color, but i find that the european beach, if you go for a long time, you will always get the trunks turning white.

So let us show you josh very kindly brought this beach out now. These were the ones we collected from the rubbish tip. If you remember, we had it for free, and you see the difference in the foliage come close and we’ll see the foliage, lighter, color and slightly smaller leaves slightly smaller leaves.

So this is where we cut the top off and then the new leader gone. If we come into the greenhouse i’ll carry another tree when you look at this tree and you see how i’m making the the new leader the taper a lot of people ask, how do you create paper home and again on this tree? Come first look at that.

This is how you make the taper, it is cut there and a new shoot is grown, so this is two years this was collected only two years ago. So all this up to here is two years growth, so i let it grow to make it strong so that this becomes thick.

So this will blend with this. That’S how you create taper, maybe next year, when it’s become thick enough, i will cut it here and then i will get a nice taper. So the tree is going to go only about this high, but you can see.

Look at that beautiful base there. I can wire some of these branches that side, so this is how we make these beach bodies are from our native beech trees. If i don’t want the things to grow too tall, i cut some of those back and force new shoots to go so that, basically, is how we produce our deciduous tree bonsai.

So i hope that has given you some of these come on. Let’S look at another tree, this one is a trident maple that we develop here and again, if you come close, bring the camera close. You see where the cut was made.

We made the cut there and all this is being developed tall so that i get a good taper. This leading chute will become the taper and then the tree will be eventually this high. All these things take a long time to develop.

Now, let’s show you this great big english error. This english island was taken out of the hedge from my uh boundary and look at the trunk come close. Look at that ginormous trunk. This is where you think that i’m crazy, who would want to make a bonsai this big, but there is a lot of fun making trees this big.

I love these big trunk trees. So this is how we do it look at it, absolutely natural beautiful. So i let everything grow all this is this year’s growth. You know in the last month it’s made like two foot or more now, this shoot here.

All this here is this year’s growth. This is almost a meter tall, one meter tall, but i’ll leave it to grow till they get hard, so these leaves have hardened now. So this is called you’re, letting the leaves harden.

These are still soft, but these are hardened and just like pruning your hedge. Nothing more sophisticated than that, in fact, i should have my secretary’s with me, but no matter, and you should really be choosing what watches you keep what watches you don’t want, and then we start wiring some of them.

So this is how we produce all our deciduous trees pruning at the right time. This is the ideal time what we call late spring we are into the end of the first week in may. Today is the seventh of may and once when the first spring pruning is done now there will be another flush of growth, and my second lot of cooling is usually done in july sometime in july.

So this is just the deciduous trees that i’m doing. Okay. If we move on some more, we will show you some more trees again, while i’m passing look at this. For me, too, this is a japanese you and all this soft growth come close and have a look.

This is all this currently is wood. These are imported as wild trees. I don’t know whether it’s collected, but it’s not so. This is going to be some serious project for someone if they want to do it, i’m not into carving, but whoever wants to carve it.

This is the sort of material used for carving again some more experience to show you now. This is a chinese juniper. This is a blast raft that i made it’s made from one tree and if you come close again look at the yellowing of the needles people will be saying: why is it turning yellow what this tree is shedding the old needles? So not all of them? Do it, but some of them do it it’s very strange.

Why some do it and some don’t so again, do not panic. You will get the new leaves very soon. So all these maples were air layerings. From last year, these airlines were made by padma priya and look at it.

It’S almost a complete bonsai and they were already done the end of july. Nine months ago we started the airlines they rooted and we’ve already put them into bonsai training pots. Another lovely oak that we make into bonsai this one was taken out of its flower pot and put it in a training pot.

Look at the foliage on it, so these native trees make excellent excellent bonsai and these are the force and if we can show you uh some of these arc hours, if you can put there’s one at far enough, so the back greenhouse this greenhouse is what i Call my intensive care unit, we bring it up on the paving here now.

This is typical of the sort of thing i do so the front is the other way. If you can get low, can you see the new leader being grown you’re? Recording you see how this is, how we make the new leader. All this growth about four or five foot is being grown to strengthen it, so this leader will get thick and when it’s right then i cut it down to here.

So i’m going to sacrifice all that four or five foots growth, but i’m not going to do it just yet. Maybe the side shoots i might do, can you imagine all the cuttings there were airlines here you could you know we could easily do that.

So that’s how we develop these, so a lot of these trees come in small and then we grow them big. So this is going to be another specimen tree about this high, this the eventual shape of the tree. So this is what we do.

Yes, carrot pruning, but we leave the top. We don’t touch the top. We prune these shoots at the base, so they don’t get too long and then we will maybe just slightly tip the edges, but we leave the rest of it to grow, just to pull the sap up and to get this thick so that we get a good Taper, so this is a rough bark maple arakawa that we’re developing into a specimen tree.

So a lot of these trees are all in different stages of being developed. There’S another one there. If josh, if you can okay, this one also another very good example of the new leader, we bring that out and we have a look.

So if you think that i’m being lazy, i’m not it’s these all being developed first purpose, we let everything grow strong, so that it makes the branches and the trunk store strong, and you can see how the new leader is forming there and at most i may Just tip it a little bit, i will just tip it like so like so okay, so this is what we do all right, so these are mundane tasks that we do all the time and this how we develop the trees.

I just noticed that there’s a crazy thing growing here, you see we talk of trees growing by accident. Now this oak tree is not meant to be in here, so some naughty squirrel has put an acorn in here, so this oak tree has grown accidentally.

It’S by chance, it’s not by choice, so we really should yank it out, so my friend josh could kindly pull it out of the pot. I don’t know whether it’s tied, maybe cut it with a second test and we’ll yank this out before it takes over, because sometimes these trees pull it off and we can pull the whole thing, pull the hole in a while cut it off now the root cut.

Okay turn the hole and then you can stamp on it and cut that off as well. So you get these stray seedlings that grow. We don’t want that, so we stamp on it. We will separate that otherwise this tree will take over.

You may need even to use the second test, to cut some of that, otherwise one tree will strangle the other. So, unfortunately, when you have thousands and thousands of trees on the nursery you get these squirrels bearing the acorns, but because there’s so many roots on this tree, and i know that it’s a strong tree – i can afford to do this.

So we put this in a separate flower pot and then that poor maple will have a chance to grow strong, and i know that acorns don’t sucker from the base. Ah, this will make a very nice multi trunk tree how about that.

So this is a tree for free how about that lovely triple trunk. So there you are, i’m sure a lot of people would love to have this here in england a lot of people are very sentimental. They love english trees, english oak.

What could be more iconic than an english oak tree? So there you are a free seedling. You can put it in there. Oh bigger flowerpot like that and you’ve got another tree, so that will get a chance to go stronger.

So i hope this little episode will give you some ideas to how we look after our trees. These are just mundane tasks, run-of-the-mill tasks that we have to keep doing and that’s how we run our nursery and we enjoy all these little jobs.

So i hope you’ve enjoyed that episode. [ Music ]. You

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