Pruning Herons Pine Garden Bonsai Trees Made Easy

In this video I show you how I shape our large Pine trees.

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The three trees end results look great. I never thought of keeping a tree growing in my yard at a constant height of 10 to 12 feet. Wonder if this technique would work on a live oak tree that we have in the southern states in the United States.

Video Transcript β–Ό

so we’ve been working for one and a half hours and i’ve virtually completed half the tree as you can see you can see clearly into the tree with all the layers and the tears and it is all clear you can see the stem again see the trunk but as i said the other half has yet to be done but for that i will need my japanese ladder and i’m going to climb up there and do it and if you can look at all the debris i reckon i’ve taken out i would say 70 percent of the foliage 70 percent and it’s not just candles i’m actually pruning branches pruning branches out of the structure so that is as far as we’ve got and this one also my colleague or apprentice shomo is here he’s also having a go so again the structure and clearing the branches so every tree is different you see the layers forming so that is what we are doing and soon we will be able to complete the tree so it will take me another two days of filming to do it so it is now approaching seven o’clock in the evening i like to do it in the cool of the evening if it’s a hot day in the sun it’s very hard to work and at this time of the day it’s very pleasant if you just pan the camera around you can hear the birds singing look at my white wisteria there it’s in full bloom that’s what i like to show from time to time and all these white flowers are blooming around the pond and this is the environment in which i work so i will continue another day to show you the rest of the tree being done so you can appreciate how we create these pads on these garden trees on iwaki i started working on these four great big pines garden pines about 10 days or maybe 12 days ago but because we’ve had such strange weather we’ve been fighting against the rain and whenever i want to take pictures or take videos it’s been raining so i haven’t done much work on these trees but we have progressed quite a bit and it’s mainly the tops of three trees that need to be done and we are there but there are some major decisions on some of these points that i will show you i didn’t want to cut it off until i had the chance to video so if you look at this tree the top has still got to be done we’ve trimmed the lower branches but there comes a point sometimes when you got to decide how long should you keep some of these branches so on this tree because this is a bit low that branch i got to ask myself do i need it or not so it’s a very big decision and a lot of these aesthetic decisions are a question of personal taste so i’ve kept it there but i don’t think i really need it as a sacrificial anymore and i think it is growing a bit too low so i’m going to take the bold decision as most of you know i don’t hang around when i decide something i will do it so i’m getting rid of this part such a big branch taken off and i think you will agree that it will probably enhance the look and then i will continue taking off these hanging branches i don’t want too many of these hanging twigs to grow so if i can just remind you we are not talking of just removing the candles or the shoots it’s much more than that we are removing a lot more sometimes we remembering complete branches so that’s how we’re tackling these points okay so we will continue working on this and while we’re talking or removing branches if you come here closely there are still some more uh decisions to make like here there’s a whole cluster of branches so again we got to decide do we need it or not you see that is a bit too close so removing it is really to create spaces between the branches if you create space then the tree looks more credible so we’ll continue working away to the top and we will show you the results in a minute right i’m at the top of a 12 foot ladder and i’ve got to be careful i don’t fall what i want to show i’ve now thinned this tree there’s not much else to do this is a situation where you will see that there are multiple leaders here like almost three potential apexes and you must be wondering why is it that i’ve left the tree you can usually just end up with one but if i end up with one it would take a very long time to fill up so i’ve left the three apexes there and i keep cutting the growing tip so that it doesn’t get taller than this so this i’ve ended it up so we will keep an eye on it so this is the tree done and i can assure you that i’m quite safe here and we will go on to the other ones in a minute and then we are done okay so this is one of the other shorter trees and again we have the problem of the apex what to do with it and as i said you can’t keep letting it grow forever and a day so we got to deal with it if you leave these pines unchecked i would guess that in say 20 years it would become like 50 feet tall and you don’t want that so we have to deal with the apexes so each year we severely cut back the apex don’t let it grow add infant item that’s the last thing you want because you will lose control completely so i’m going to show you the pines are so vigorous this is a two-year-old shoot believe it or not which i’m going to cut off just two years i can tell look at that see the needles are still stuck on this branches just two years one year here and this much about 50 centimeter is all this year’s growth in the last one month so you got to keep dealing with that otherwise you will lose control of the tree completely so that’s how i’m dealing with it so that keeps it to the height i want and then the rest is going to be just thinning out so that we have layers between the branches and that’s how we deal with these trees and the rest i have to stand back from time to time to see where i’m going so this has been done what my colleague shomo here and he’s had a good time learning how to prune these miwaki or garden trees so we are almost done so the important thing is to keep taking the tips out by taking the tips out you will keep it under control and then thin out the layers nothing more to that so this is how we deal with these and as i say i’ve got to come down to see what it looks like before i do anything more and that is the general process of pouring the pines so here i am it’s nearly eight o’clock and looking at the pond and across the water onto the trees you can see what we’ve done pretty the background is green otherwise you can’t see the profile of the trees as clearly as if we had a white background but nevertheless you can still see the shapes of the transformed trees the tree on the second left the top hasn’t been done yet but i’m going to walk close to that because i want to show you one or two things which i didn’t get a chance to home in on and this is because being up the tree it’s very hard to grab a camera and also film and saw at the same time i’m here on my own now which is a bit dangerous to do because there’s no one around should i fall but i came across on this small tree here this i took a large branch off but at the top there there is a classic problem which you will very often encounter and that is what we call the twin leader look at it there are twin leaders here and for the long term good of the tree i should really take it off somewhere here but i haven’t got the heart to be as drastic as that so i’m going to take it off somewhere there but i can still take quite a chunk off so that top over there is going to come off so i’m going to put the camera down while i saw and when i’ve sawn it i will show you what so there you go it’s about to come off and let me saw that last bit off and that whole chunk is coming off that is what i’ve taken off i’ve taken out one of the two leaders so hopefully that will deal with that problem for a while now because if i had continued to let it grow it would cause a problem later on the top is not quite refined i’m going to refine the top left hand side and then we’ll see the tree again we are now at the final stage of this last pint this is the fourth and the last one that i’m doing i wanted to keep this pruning to show you because we’ve come across a very interesting situation with these uh garden pines on iwaki and it is very interesting because if you look closely this apex here this round head is composed of about three separate leaders there is this as the leader this is the leader and there’s this one as the leader so it’s very very confusing and if you don’t watch it this back leader from here to there about three feet is very very confusing indeed and if you keep letting it grow it will reach the sky just to show you what i mean this is the needles or the candles which have grown in the last i would say three weeks can you imagine this whole bunch were candles and this one which is about 50 centimeter long has grown in three weeks so if you leave it from year to year it will literally reach the sky so i’m not just going to prune this i could simply do this and prune all those tops off and get a very nice head nice round head let me just complete it and i’ll show you these are all 50 to 70 centimeter long candles and we cannot let these grow so this is what we call the simple way out this is simply the easy way out easy option but i don’t believe in taking easy options because i will only store up trouble for the future so if i can just have the camera up here i will then show you what is going on here up here there are literally three leaders there is this back leader there here this is one leader this is another leader and there is this one as a third leader so i don’t want those three leaders so what i’m going to do i know i can’t lean back because i’m standing 10 foot on top of a ladder i’m going to take this back one out and part of that one out so i’ll pass the camera back to shomo and i will have this silky saw and he’s going to record me cutting this back portion this is a very major operation really really major operation i’m going to take a massive new leader out this is where people don’t like to take the decision because it’s very difficult one to take but i have to if i’m to control the height of the tree if i don’t do it now you’ll lose control completely just to show you what a serious piece of work i’m doing that is the leader cut out we don’t need that because that is what is causing the problem and then i’m going to use this as the new leader so i’m going to cut a lot of the other bits out as well the good thing is that these branches or these new leaders will grow again so i’m not too worried i’m not too worried at all now if i’m taking this as the leader i have those problems those problem shoots so i’ve reduced the height by about almost three feet so that’s going to be the new leader and i’m going to thin the back quite a lot and at the back there are all sorts of complicated shoots growing and i have to deal with those as well don’t forget this tree has a front and a back so this is the front of the tree so what you’re seeing is the front so you see i’ve reduced the height but i haven’t lost the shape i’m now just going to clean the back portion to make it complete there is still quite a lot of debris here this is too dense this is very very dense so i have to decide what to do here there’s quite a lot of congestion at the back but you see how i’ve created the crown now by taking two major leaders out so i still have a problem because there is still two liters there but i didn’t remove it because if i remove it the whole shape of the tree will be lost so maybe next year i will take out another leader but for the time being i will leave it as it is i will leave it as it is because if i did more i could be spoiling the shape temporarily for now let me see if i can reach here see that was the third leader i’m taking that out but this one i will consider taking out next year so that is as far as i will go and the rest is just thinning the back portion so that in a nutshell is what i’ve done i’ve just got to tidy the back so i will show you everything when i’ve done it so today is the first of july and i reckon this has taken me the best part of two weeks maybe a little more than two weeks to complete the pruning i normally start it in june and complete in june but because we’ve had so much rain i couldn’t come out in the rain to do it so you can see how i’ve thinned the tree out completely i must have moved about a mountain of prunings and not just thin shoots we’ve taken major branches out and for most of these trees i’ve taken the leaders out as well so the leaders have been dealt with so all of them have double and triple leaders we’ve reduced it maybe to two liters so that the outline is nice and you can see spaces between the trees so here you are this big tree if i’m five foot six this tree must be at least 12 foot high it started off life no more than one meter i’m going to dig out a picture of this planting when i did it in 1991 30 years ago to show you how they’ve grown so all these trees have thickened up and become very nice that one we had to deal with the leaders and you can see i took out two big leaders from there from there to get that shape so it’s not just pruning the candles you have to deal with the leaders and you have to deal with the shapes so there you go [Music] so [Music] you

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