Ukon Maple Forest Bonsai

Ukon Maple Forest Bonsai –

In this video Corin talks us through the history of this famous bonsai group planting. The tree was originally put together by Corin’s father Harry Tomlinson and features in his book “The Complete Book of Bonsai”.

I’m gonna be working on one of the most famous group plantings of bonsai in the uk possibly the most famous this is a group planting of japanese ukanth maple asa palmatum ukon – my father’s book the complete book of bonsai that was published in 1990 featured this tree quite heavily on the rear cover.

Video Transcript

These trees were put together as a group 40 years ago by my father when he put these group these trees together they were 10 years old so the trees are 50 year old they’ve been living together for the last 40 years initially there were quite as quite a large group and it contained about 25 to 27 trees over the years because the density of this group a couple of them got over shaded by all the trees and sort of died off and one of them the top died off so about two years ago i made a decision to split this group up and to resurrect it so two years ago i managed to extricate some of these trees from the perimeter of this group and the remaining nucleus of trees i got into about two to three clumps it’s maybe five six or seven trees in each one so i had an assortment of single trees and a few that i couldn’t separate because the roots had all formed together over 40 years so my design decision for this was to try and recreate this group that my father had done 40 years ago to have the same sort of give it the same sort of feeling and energy that it had when he created it but to move it forward so it can progress for the next 40 years so i split it up two years ago and then about eight weeks ago i planted it together as a group and this group here to my right is as i’ve planted it together so eight weeks ago i’ve got this pot it’s a very nice handmade chinese pot with a sort of gray green mottled glaze and i thought the darkness of this will really contrast nicely well with the bark but contrast beautifully with a bright spring colour of the yukon maple and i placed two clumps together in this pot along with two or three individual single trees to create this planting once i’ve created this group planting which was my main intention i’ve got a few trees left over so the trees i had left over these seven trees these were pl these were then planted together to form a secondary group so initially you know all these together and the entire stock of yukon made balls that were from that famous group planting and now going forward we’ve got this iconic group planting reborn and then we’ve also got an offspring that’s just coming to uh coming into growth that we can style uh as we progress forward with it this one’s recently just been trimmed i’ve trimmed this just just earlier today but i want to show you the pruning process of trimming this large uconn forest beautiful trees these quite rare to find as bonsai we’ve had so many people over the years that have read the book and contacted us saying could they buy a new con maple and it’s very they are very difficult to find they’ve got a beautiful gray pale bark very green bark on the older twigs but the new stems are like a lime green so they’re quite distinctive and a very very bright green leaf really sets it apart from other japanese maple cultivars in autumn they also go quite a bright yellow color so really well unusual tree very good performer certainly nothing really like it quite a distinct tree so i’m just going to start by trimming back some of this long growth now this tree hasn’t yet been fed this year but we’ve had a lot of late frosts here in the uk so this has been kept in a unheated greenhouse of course because i’ve planted it together as a group eight weeks ago just to shelter it and help it sort of recover and to help it settle in it was put into an unheated greenhouse just for the last few weeks now the chance of frost has abated hopefully we can now put this outside but before we do it just wants a bit of a prune and a tidy up just to get it into shape here at greenwood we’ve got quite a a display of japanese maples myself personally i’ve got over 30 japanese maple specimens in my collection it’s one of the things we are known for for working on and producing and at certain times of the year uh you know prior to covered we normally have a japanese maple weekend in may that won’t be going ahead this year we’re hoping to bring you a similar event on youtube and showcase a few of our maples so if you’re into japanese maples then and subscribe to our channel and so to make sure that you don’t miss that when that becomes available on our youtube channel we’re shortening back some of the length on here and this is the process i’ll probably do this two to three times this year we haven’t actually fed this group yet we’ve just let it grow under its own steam but now the leaves out and fully hardened off we will feed it for some ongoing growth and health so put on another batch of foliage and twigs and then we will need to prune those back again as the season progresses i’ve mostly done this right hand side now it’s surprising that you can get a group planting and take sort of seven or so trees out of it and it’ll still be such a large group and before it was quite difficult to manage and maneuver it still takes two people to lift it even now at this sort of stage even though we’ve actually consolidated it and made it more compact if i spin it around here to the back you can see the amount of growth we’re getting already obviously if we’re in a warmer climate those of you that are watching this that live in a warmer climate probably thinking this isn’t much growth at all but here in the uk we’ve had some we’ve had an up and down spring we’ve had some sunny weather and we’ve had some really gloomy gray days only last week in some areas we had we had hail and a little bit of snow so it’s been a bit of a turbulent spring and for those of us that uh insist on growing japanese maples in this climate it’s been a spring of constantly lifting your trees inside to avoid them getting frosted and putting them back outside the next day so we’re all quite used to to lifting trees in and out this spring it’s been a bit of a it’s been a bit of a testing spring time in many ways but hopefully now we won’t be getting any more frost and we can start to get these trees out of cover outside into the fresh fresh sun and bright conditions that will hopefully get in coming weeks to get some more good even growth on these trees this season okay so just finished pruning this ook on maple now the first pruning has had of this year it’s a real delight to work on a tree like this that my father started off 40 years ago and it’s been passed down through the generations and now it’s mine to look after and care for i’ve really enjoyed sharing it with you please give us a like subscribe to our channel for lots more videos coming up to keep you interested in the world of onsite thank you

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