Should You Grow Bonsai From Large Field Grown Material

Should You Grow Bonsai From Large Field Grown Material

Just dropping in to say your tanuki videos made me realize the priced down ‘miniature supported citrus trees’ in our garden center were just shaped-but-not-set saplings with the potential for some height, like a tanuki wrapped around driftwood, and it saved me going to five other stores to find a tall plant I liked. Peter Chang says experimenting is good and you learn by doing, so I took a tree home, undid the ties keeping it in shape, and tied it to a stake. I now have a very cute, slightly twisty, four-foot lemon tree.

This is a large provenance that i’m making into a large bonsai it could end up as a large garden tree so these have been grown at herons for the last 36 years but the trees i reckon about 50 or 60 years old because i purchased them in 1980 from holland i bought about 50 of these trees and subsequently i bought even more so these are all destined to become big bonsai like this but let me take you to the field and show you the rest of the governances so come so let me show you the field where we go over lenses so these are all the large lenses that we have and as you can see some of them are about eight foot tall so these have been good for the last 36 years and parents some of the trees which have not been brought up have become big trees for 36 years i’ll show you some more so all these big woolen lenses have got massive trunks and i know that not all of these can be made into bonsai but some of them have got potential for being bonsai i show another large one that we made back in the early 80s and that is already a bonsai but i’ve grown it in a big pot to strengthen the tree so this one is going to go back into a large bonsai pot it’s got a lovely cherry here with a big branch and this is going to be refined so this is going to be a large one side okay so look at it look at the size of the trunk detail okay now if you spin the camera around we have a whole feel of them and there must be about over 200 look at them oh my this is the san jose juniper look at some of these big trees look outside of the trunk okay [Music] and there are more if you look at it one of these days i will take you for a tour and show you some of these trees look at that massive truck we can make it into a bunker about this high discard the top and then we could start all over again but the purpose of coming here is to show you the different things we have on all of that have enormous potential look at that one look at that one look at this one we’ve just had a heavy shower of rain and i’m dying to come out to work so these will end up as big trees but nevertheless they have got beautiful trunks and so it carries on there is just tree after tree of the tree so as i say i don’t collect trees but these trees have been grown here and they have all got enormous potential for one side look at them every single tree has potential for them and these are all governances all booger lenses we’re all in different stages of training so we’ve selected one tree from here and i’m going to show you what we do with them some of them okay they may look a bit you know uncared for but they all have potential so let’s go back into the greenhouse and i will show you what we’re going to do with one that i selected from here so here we are this is a bubbling answer this is by no means a big one the trunk is only like three or four inches in diameter and if you come closer look at this craggy bark this only comes with age these all trees with bark like that come with age and this is a natural distressing which gives character to the trunk and it’s always got a twist in it i can show you what i did over the last 36 years i’ve pruned some of these major branches off so that has been pruned off there and over here i’ve pruned the lead out there i pulled some of these other branches so it’s had some very rough pruning but by no means uh i have pruned the entire tree so with trees like this the natural tendency is to make a big bonsai with large spreading branches like this so you have a large spreading one meter wide bonsai and about 1.2 1.4 meter tall bonsai but i’m trying to see if i can do something different through this tree so let’s look at this tree first and analyze it so if you analyze it if we come closer look we always look to see what the debary and the trunk line at the base looks like and that distress which is like a natural shari makes the trunk look quite interesting and the way the trunk twists there’s like a twist there these all these little branches which have died off so if i turn the tree around and let me see what is the most promising side that’s other side still looks more promising than this side uh so we keep turning it and seeing what we can do so as i said the choice is to make it either as a very large spreading bonsai with branches like this conical shape very rough wiring and you get a nice large tree with wide spreading branches so i had thought of using probably this as the front and when i say i’ve chosen the front it doesn’t follow that i will stick rigidly to that let me turn it pull it i found that simply by tilting the tree you see a different perspective so that’s all part of keeping an open mind so tilting the tree i’ve already given a slightly different perspective so that line is quite nice using this is the front but this is looking at it as a large tree but what if i use small branches i want it to look like a big tree so if you don’t have small branches to compare with the thick trunk then the tree doesn’t look that big or that impressive if you have short small branches and it makes the trunk look more impressive i think i’ve taught this principle quite often in my youtube videos now this was really the back of the tree but i’m turning it around and i begin to see that this side has got some potential so perhaps i shouldn’t discount using this as the front when you make bonsai it’s always very tempting to have image fixed in your mind and you can’t get out of that fixed image that can be very dangerous so these are the short branches i don’t want to make a big tree so i’m trying to see how i can make this a more interesting tree with four branches so have a close look at the tree while i bring my tools so so i still haven’t decided on the front or the back this looks very interesting but if i want to make a tree with short branches with this is the front the obvious solution is to make a big tree with wide spreading branches like so and that may not be what i want so if i keep turning the tree around and see what are the possibilities i haven’t tilted it at all let me just get rid of some of the obviously dead trigs pity i don’t have more branches like this that’s ideal what i want see this is so nice that i keep coming back to this side but i don’t get such a good view of the movement of the line if i use this side should we get big terracotta no no let’s see if i put it like this it might look better okay we will pop the tree up in a different angle let’s we’ve got it out of the black flower pot i’m now trying to see if there are any surface roots that i can exploit the only problem with growing in these flower pots for too long is that the roots go round and round and you store up all sorts of problems for yourself here’s a little holly seedling i will save i’ll never waste anything see the truth the roots have started going around watershed i like the way the tree leans so the possibilities are that if you wanted a short tree you would cut that off make that the leader and make that the tree you could get quite an interesting tree like that but i think the transition is a bit too severe i think i will stick to this line go here and go here and get that line these will become branches these will be branches so i will do that and just bring my big lockers just shave some of these off so the aim is to try and use thin branches to make it a very compact looking tree so if i’m going to make it a compact looking tree i’m going to have to take some very drastic decisions very very drastic i hope i don’t make mistake because sometimes i fear that it’s so easy to make a mistake so if i’m going to make like that before i cut branches off i’m going to try something i will try the wire and see what it looks like before i go too crazy so [Music] [Music] mind you i haven’t tried this before it’s just what we call off the hoof extemple [Music] i got to remind myself that boven answered branches are brittles so for god’s sake i hope i don’t break any branch [Music] [Music] sometimes people wrap a lot of roughly around to prevent it breaking but i’m usually fairly confident that if you take care it may not be absolutely necessary to wrap raffia raffia does have there’s no doubt about that but i may not need to do that i’m putting a double coil of wire because for some reason a double coil can be more effective than a single coil rather than use a very thick single a double of a slightly thinner gauge often works better i keep reminding you that with pines they swell very fast in the summer so if you don’t want the wire to bite into the trunk you’ve got to really keep a close eye throughout the growing season so i’m holding it with two hands when i bend as close as possible i wanted a tight tree very tight tree [Music] some of these long branches i probably don’t think i need so i will just leave a little stub in case i want to make gin less is more i have less to worry about so i want a compact looking tree really compact looking tree that branch looks a lot stronger now so so i’m leaving that because i haven’t completed it now this one i want to bring down again i’m going to use a double coil rather than a single okay this is very simple why i don’t think we need to do something wireless when i wired it i will show you what i’m going to do with this okay i put a double coil of wire there and i’m trying to see what effect i can get from [Music] [Music] i may need to do a guy wire let me just do a temporary guy just to see how it looks i don’t like using card wires but if needs must i will use it if i do a guy i’ve got to protect it with rubber or something so it doesn’t lock so this is the sort of image of the branch i watch it was brilliant it looks really good sometimes it’s worth waiting yes i’ve been here on the nursery 36 years and meanwhile they become thicker older and this is the time there’s a time and place for everything sometimes you can’t hurry things when they happen they will happen now today was the first day in 2022 that we opened to the public and i was rushed off my feet because all the staff were on holiday so now it’s half past five and first chance to do some work on the trees and virtually every person who turned up on the nursery today was a youtube fan i didn’t want to take pictures of every single person it would be too boring for all of you but suffice it to say i was very grateful to meet them because they’re such lovely people i had one guy come from coventry and that person if you’re listening his wife said that all she ever listens gets the sound off in the home is sound of my voice but she said he wrote better than listening to the voice of his other youtube uh passion which was about fast cars or something and that guy had a more boring voice i’m really flattered because i thought i have a very boring voice so obviously some people don’t think my voice is boring how nice is that so these are the pads i will look through a camera lens in a minute i find that from time to time if you step back and just take a still photo there’s still photos give you a different perspective and it reveals the falls and all these shortcomings much better than the human eye can do the only trouble with the cameras that is two-dimensional when you look at it in real life and in real time the perspective is different try that for yourself when you’re creating a bonsai from time to time step back take a stir photograph a look through the camera lens it will tell you a lot my favorite camera i’m not being paid by apple is the humble iphone not humble sophisticated iphone i’m not sure about that i will decide on that later so i managed to bring that down those long branches at the back i don’t know what to do with those so i don’t want to take hasty decision to cut because this is a situation where i might regret it so we’ve got so far and i’m going to do more wiring but i noticed that a stub here where i prune this tree to get a new line see this was cut and grow method what i’ve been doing all along for all these past 36 years is doing cut and grow you can see where i cut this here and this grew this way i cut this there instead of going straight up it went that way i cut there and then it goes this way so these are all cut and grow principles but now that little stub anyone else would want to make a gin out of it but i don’t want to make ginger everywhere a long one i might make gin but if it is not appropriate i’ll just get rid of it so let’s get rid of that little stump it’s not doing anything but i want to do some clean wiring so i might even need to sew it off so i might try the lopper but this little one i will probably keep for a gin i will see if i don’t like it i can always remove it i’m removing this because i’m going to do some wiring and it’s coming in the way of the wiring so let’s get rid of that this is a bronze splitter i shouldn’t be using it for this purpose but i can’t find my root culture i should really make a concave cut so that it heals better [Music] at least the pine wood is not as hard as juniper wood okay so i’m gonna wire these two [Music] so i’ve been using four millimeter wire most of the time [Music] and i found that by putting a double full i get really effective bending i could abuse a five or six but two fours is better than a thick five or six i’m gonna take this up to here cameraman by the way is josh i’m going to split that trunk just for the heck of it no not just for the heck of it because it may make the bending slightly simpler so this is the true use of the bronze splitter those of you who are getting more uh into bonsai you’ll find that the branch splitter is a very very useful tool to have i’m not trying to sell you a tool but bronze splitter does make bending of very thick branches much much easier you’ve seen me use it a lot [Music] i even may do a crisscross that means cross cut at right angles to each other so it can bend in two planes not just one plane but two planes at 90 degrees to each other i’m just wiring when i come to bending it i’ll show it again so let me show you today is the third of january so this is the third day no that’s just the second day we worked about maybe two hours on this tree yesterday in the evening and we’ve got that far and now the early morning of the third i’m working uh to complete the tree so i reckon this tree would have been finished in three hours so i’ll show you the detail of the wiring you notice that i’ve used double wire rather than the single strand to bring the branch down and i’m putting an anchor there and some of this wiring is going to be completed so that we get the pad these have to be wide let’s look at this side you can see we’ve done this and we’re creating the crown now and this also i put a double using this thin branch on this side to balance it i’ve still got to complete the crown but if we now take quite a radical decision the back area is very very congested and i think i have to as they say bite the bullet and decide what to do with that back area so i think this one if you come here have a look against the white i think i’m going to take this off i’m going to take a little bit off in case i may put a little gin in there rewire this and this is going to be one this i think i can do this so i’m going to bring those branches around because i need something to act as a foil for the bank so we’re gonna do something like that okay i want to show you the detail why a lot of people complain that i can’t sure enough but if i produced a three-hour video you would soon get bored i don’t want to do that i know what works and what doesn’t work for me so i’m going to just put a double coil and bend this this way and wire that one i don’t need to show you the detail of that okay then i’ll show you the next stage of this a branch which is as thick as my forefinger but because i want to wire it i’m going to split it this is where the branch splitter is so useful you need to know when to use it to help with the work and then i’ll wire it okay i’ll show you in a minute when i wired it i will bend it so i’m now trying to create the back branch or position the back branch so that i get the perspective i need so i put a double piece of wire and i did split that branch that branch is as thick as my forefinger so it’s quite hard to bend but i know that it can bend the only problem is that bovernensis is very brittle and if you do hear cracking that will be curtains for me i wanted to bring it back on itself or not i don’t want to extend it too much because it needs to be a very compact looking tree come and see it’s going to be a very tight zigzag you see like that and like that from the very top here you can see i really zigzagged it so i’m going to take a view from the back to see so it’s this space that i want to fill this space i’m wanting to fill so if i arrange these branches like that i can achieve that effect so i’m going to wire these in place and see what happens okay so i’ve created the back branch there you can see it and now i got to see if i can make this more useful and you can see from the top how the wiring is done i’ve zigzagged the tree very intensely so that it shortens the long branch the branch was initially very long but by zigzagging it i shortened it so now all needs is refining at the top so every single trillion bronze is going to be wide so it will take another half hour to do that that only took like five minutes to wire that so that didn’t take very long so we will continue again so i’m just reviewing the wiring that i’ve done this is the sweeping branch that is coming down and the detail of that is i’ve anchored it against one of the stubs and then come out on a double wire and coming down sweeping down so that is the effect of that one and then the back branch that comes out from the same point but it goes back and then i zigzag that wire to shorten it so this will form the pad the apex was quite difficult because there were several leaders and i’ve taken them all up to far form a crown i have one more problem which is the one at the back i will resolve that in a minute that’s the overall shape [Applause] still some more to do okay i now have a problem this is very dense here this is a back branch and it’s going too far to the back so i thought of instead of going forward i’m going to bring it back double like that so i’m going to wire to bring it back like that so that’s quite a radical type of move so i’m going to do that i’ll see if it works all the planes are flying as you can hear i’m sure all you viewers will know by now that we live very near london gatwick airport [Music] and it’s nice to know that people can still fly i wish i could fly i have so many visits which i have promised to make to foreign countries but i cannot do it [Applause] i’m going to take this branch just going forward backwards just to shorten the branch just to shorten it but because it’s back it doesn’t really matter if you stand there don’t move i will show you the effect now this is the front viewing side of here i want to look into there and i will see through the camera usually the camera gives a very good idea as to whether you’re going right or wrong if it doesn’t look right i can always cut it off so i still have quite a lot of density i’ve got to rationalize those branches so i’m going to do a little more wiring and the tree is virtually done i’ve got to work the pads here so it won’t be long so so far i think we’ve done three hours on this tree you must be wondering whether the height of the tree has changed no it’s the height of the turntable which i’ve changed i’ve now put it on one of this low turn table which is only like eight inches high because i now have to work on the top of the tree which is the crown of the tree so i have to reach it from this height it was earlier in this turntable mind you these are all these old office chairs these office chairs were used in the 60s and 70s so they’re over 40 year old they don’t make office chairs like this anymore and i started off initially by putting it on this turntable so i’ve had three changes of height so far so when you work on uh your trees having all these different heights of turntable people one wonder why i have so many odd turntables lying around you know everyone is a slightly different height slightly different shape so there’s always a reason behind this madness that i uh employ so i’m not exactly mad it’s just that i have my own way of doing things so that’s a little tip for you so if you come now look from the crown you can see all the wiring that i’ve done some more wiring to do so we’ve wired all this all these little bits have still to be wired so i still reckon i’ve only done like three and a half hours work from scratch from bringing it in the field this time yesterday it was still in a flower pot in the field and when i’ve done all the wiring i’m going to put it in a micro pot so you see the finished article i dare say in four hours it’s not a race against time it’s just to show that many of these trees are not as difficult as it seems if you can see the potential in the tree then everything else is easy so i will carry on doing a little more wiring and you will see the finished article pretty soon so after three and a half hours work this is where we’ve got to and this is over just two half days working intermittently and i’m now in fact ready to put it in its pot it may not be the final part i’ll just ask josh to bring the mica pot the depth of the soil is only like not even eight inches deep and this micro pot is like four inches deep so i think that pot would do quite well can you just move it forward a little bit so that yeah so that pot should be okay so we will proceed to tease the roots and see what happens so as i told you before many of these trees are planted in our field in ordinary mud our mud is quite fertile it’s so dark and black it’s got a lot of organic material in it and we did put some bits of grit in the soil but apart from that the soil is nothing special and it’s grown in this flowerpot i would say for the last 10 years but prior to that it was grown in the open ground for about 10 or 15 years they started off life i can show you i did show you before that this is above nexus and i would say 20 years ago the tree was this size and over 20 years become that size 10 years in the open ground and the next 10 years in a flower pot so that’s what you get from growing in the garden but one of the disadvantages of growing in a flower pot is that the roots go round and round i mentioned it before so again i’m having trouble finding radial roots so you can’t win there’s advantages and disadvantages if you leave it in the ground too long you can never get it up in the tree will get too big and if you leave it in a flower pot it will go round and round so what do you do i think i may have been better putting it in a long bottle box but the advantages of growing it in a ground pot is that restricts the roots and you get the much finer smaller needles so there are many trade-offs like in life you know you’ve got to sacrifice one thing to get the benefit of something else so these are the trade-offs growing in a flower pot restricts the roots but you will get these curly roots but we can solve that problem let us see how bad the roots are i mean bad in the sensor it’s curling round and round see this is another case in point if you come closer you see this root is going around i finally left it and definitely just strangled the tree got to pull that out it’s going deeper see another route going round and round roots are so congested here now this root belongs here this little bit of root i can cut off judging how much root to cut off that also is about you can’t go too crazy you’ve got to use your judgment to decide how much root to take off so i’m now looking for the roots on the aesthetic point of view not from the horticultural point of view i know that within this root ball there’s still the original roots so as long as i don’t cut too much of it the tree should survive more than well this bunny root is going there where is that going you notice that when i tease the roots i tease it this way almost regularly i don’t go doing that i’m trying to tease it out radially this way so even teasing the roots there’s an art now this funny route is like the loch ness monster is going up and down down and let’s trace it if i can trace where it ends i will try and pull it out rearrange the root if it can’t be rearranged then i will cut it off i remember the old saying i don’t know who said it could have been even naka when he came to the uk in 1984 1984-86 he said if you have a problem cut it off and if you’ve cut it off and you still have a problem then you really have a problem ah see i got that root out so i can arrange this as a radial you see so i’ve managed to rescue that one and it’s young enough to still make it a radial these little ones are not radio so that can be a nice radio so a lot of people ask me on my video comments can you do a lesson about nebari well the way i work i don’t know special lessons about this or that as and when the situation arises i will talk about it so this repotting exercise is a very good opportunity to talk about this japanese term nebari simply means surface roots to get nice surface radial roots like a cartwheel coming out from the center not going around and around the trunk so that’s what i’m trying to find from this tray make sure that the roots are going radially if they’re not going radially i will deal with it we need the branch cutter [Music] not on route coming out like a loch ness monster i’m not too worried in fact it’s still ready so that’s okay that’s also okay in fact by the time i’ve scraped the surface soil off it will probably just the right depth for the mica pot that i’m going to put it in where i can pull it out i will pull it out but if i can’t put it on i will cut it off [Music] see the root ball is so compact really compact okay i’ll leave for now and then maybe in a couple of years time i may look at the roots again see the graft is so good on this tree all bover nances are grafted trees because they it’s not easy to produce some seed so it’s grafted onto ordering scots pine i may just leave those okay we’ll prepare the pot now so i’ve teased the root that much i’m going to put a tiny bit of filter at the bottom not a great deal [Applause] i don’t know if it really helps [Applause] at least it gives me peace of mind i just usually just cover the drainage hose more than anything else and then i will this is all concoction i’m just putting some the large grain of garlic not very large do a little mound and then i’ll put this tree in there and see what happens i’m going to leave it a bit proud for now no i don’t know no i will tease a little bit from the bottom right we’ve positioned the tree like that and this is the soil that you got it out on this as i said was just the nursery soil nursery mud which i said is nice black rich soil but it is probably going to be too too soggy it’s almost clay-like but for pine we need it more open but as i said it’s been growing for the last 10 years in that sorry so it’s okay but you see the type of soil i’m not mixing for this bonsai pot i’ve used the not medium it’s slightly larger than medium grain akadama so that’s 50 akadama and then there is a bit of organic matter and some smaller akadama some black japanese grit and that’s it so that is the soil i’m putting in there i’m just going to put it in it’s like cooking and then we will pour it in with sticks and things i don’t think you need to film all this so after four and a half hours work and with the help of josh my cameraman and volunteer he’s done a lot of the fine wiring and he’s helped carry the tree around and do a lot of the heavy work so let me critique this tree first of all let me show you what we pruned off this is all we pruned off as you can see more cheating going on this was growing from here and this was going from here so we got rid of those two and then this was the back branch this branch was going that way and this was going that way so got rid of those two and this one was this one that we took off from there so we took off two four five branches that’s all five branches we cut off and we put the tree at the slant and i have deliberately wired this down because this was a long branch going out that way we brought it right down i’ve used the guy wire because i think too thick a white may not look so elegant so this is going to be used for one year and i can bet you anything that this was said and i’ve used this style of braiding your branches down this coming down so sweeping down beautiful line the tree originally was going that way so we cut the leader off side branch glue there i cut another bronze there so a lot of cut and grow technique has been used in this tree that i’m not sure whether to make a gin or not but i’ll leave it for there uh the time being and we’ve managed to get quite a decent crown so we also managed to get it into the micropot and this can be its uh pot for the next 10 years who knows and so after four and a half hours work and josh working let me just show josh against it have a photo so have you enjoyed working on this yeah what did you learn wiring pairing branches pairing branches okay did you expect it to turn out like this no or would be a big up note okay so what originally could have been just a wide spreading tree we’ve now made it more like a proper bonsai than a garden tree we tend to make a lot of our movements into garden trees because there are a lot of my customers who like them as garden trees but this is more elegant so i’m pleased with it and i hope you have enjoyed this as well so there you go so we’re going to have a whole spit of pine uh videos because i’ve been spending a lot of time over the christmas and new year holiday working on our large pines so there you go happy new year [Music] you

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