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  1. james

    2 year progression of a Field Maple

    You have done a nice job with this tree. Would you consider shortening? About 3/4 way up tree there is a forward going branch which could be new leader, provide more taper? Middle half of tree has limited taper. What do you think?
  2. james

    Concave Cutter Advice

    Here are some examples of my juniper after branches removed. Others may have different experiences. However, I would say (in general terms) mature juniper have twists, turns, Jin and shari. There are reasons for this. One of which is that branches removed flush with the trunk often don’t heal...
  3. james

    English Elm

    This is a way cool tree. Control the moss. Ready for a show pot.
  4. james

    Concave Cutter Advice

    Juniper almost never heal a wound like that. I didn't know this myself earlier, but have been told this, and didn't want to believe it. In my experience, I have not gotten juniper to heal such wounds. Rather, the branch to be removed is more often left longer and jin made. At some later...
  5. james

    Which side do you think should be the front??

    Yugen, You are correct, removing second trunk leaves tree a bit sparse at base. Tree style would be more literati. Branches would be best lightened up and brought down.
  6. james

    Shohin Deshojo

    To get to your inspiration tree, you will to do several things. Trunk thickness and taper needs to be increased. This is done by leaving one/two sacrifice branches which are let to grow freely all year. You want them to grow several feet tall or more. In so doing, you need to remember these...
  7. james

    RMJ first styling with Mauro Stemberger

    Very nice tree. Great pot. Wonderful composition.
  8. james

    Which side do you think should be the front??

    I like front one. If it were mine, I would use front one, take off second trunk ( leave some jin) and rotate a bit to the right, lean a bit more forward and lighten foliage on the right (this tree wants to move to the left). Reason to loose second trunk (I very much like double trunks) is that...
  9. james

    Bonsai Tonight post on akadama and soil mixtures

    "Good fresh soil" is subjective. What is good? The point of the discussion is this very question. Particularly with a conifer, complete bare rooting is risky. Taking all the soil out of the root ball in one go is stressful to the tree. The impacted soil deep in the root ball limits new...
  10. james


    Another great tree. Could you post just one derelict tree sometime?
  11. james

    Bonsai Tonight post on akadama and soil mixtures

    The soil discussion will generally be vigorous, with varied strong opinions. It’s a bit like arguing over religion. Most are born into their religion, some convert others are agnostic. Is there a clear winner, or best religion? Regarding my soil journey, I’ve tried lots of things. Some cheap...
  12. james

    Air layer & planting on a board?

    Here are some quick sketches of what I described above. Of course, this assumes the new layer trunk can accept a screw, maybe 3/4” or more.
  13. james

    Air layer & planting on a board?

    Yes, you can take an air layer and go directly to a board. The newly established roots are soft, and don't provide any reasonable root ball to secure your tree into the pot. When you separate your layer, screw through the board into the cut trunk base, securing it flat to the board. Now your...
  14. james

    Larch problem...need advice please

    Likely branch or root damage during collection. Rest of tree looks strong. There is not anything you can "correct" at this point. I might discourage digging, or looking at roots. Looks well potted now in good soil, disrupting roots might be asking for more trouble?
  15. james

    Crazy Ramification - Mature Beech

    That’s crazy town. Where is that, may I ask? Never seen anything at that scale before.
  16. james

    Trident development, trunk & nebari (Ebihara)

    Whoops, last 2 attachments have nothing do with above post. My wife, son and an unrelated repot!
  17. james

    Trident development, trunk & nebari (Ebihara)

    Spring work on a small trident, grown in a box. Review of trunk line leads to chop, to address reverse taper midway up tree. Repot, roots combed out, cut back for taper and elimination of crossing roots. All down going roots eliminated. Goal is to have even, radial roots emerging from same level...
  18. james

    Trident Maple -- Black spots on new growth

    Agree with John. Spray Daconil or copper when bad and playing catch up. Don’t care for the look after spraying, looks like your trees got hit with a milk storm. This year I will try a systemic this spring before I see fungus on maples, and I may not have to spray.
  19. james


    A blast from past October! Glad to have spring with us.
  20. james

    Trident Maple -- Black spots on new growth

    Here is a trident of mine, which has a similar issue as yours. Otherwise healthy mature tree. Every spring, I see some clusters of leaves with curled edges, some black, etc. I think fungus on leaf tips where water may remain on leaf. I cut them out, watch. Will spray with fungicide if more appears.
  21. james


    You design and produce beautiful trees. Really like what you have done here. The tree composition it very dynamic, lots of wonderful movement. With respect to recent repot, it looks unstable to me. Makes me think something bad is about to happen to your wonderful work. Reinforced by the...
  22. james

    Trident Maple -- Black spots on new growth

    I have similar pattern on new growth on trident and Japanese maple. I have a constant struggle with fungus, and speculate a small amount of fungus overwintered on buds, which can discolor and curl new leaves as they emerge in spring. For this year fungal treatment, and a dormant spray in winter.
  23. james

    What should i do to this old one?

    Do you know what kind of juniper? Procumbens, San Jose? Foliage character/size may influence your styling?
  24. james

    Juniper restyling

    San Jose Juniper, styled as an informal upright for 25 years. Challenging foliage, which is often juvenile, coarse and unattractive. Have to leave it alone, get light into tree and foliage may become mature. Finally got mature foliage, however foliage overwhelmed scale of tree. Restyling...
  25. james

    Avitar problem

    Looks like it all populated now, strange.
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