My Maples in Montreal

River's Edge

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-- After a long drive to his garden, I finally had the honour of shaking the hand of Bill Valavanis.

Bill happily shared information about the history and development of his impressive trees. It's difficult to describe just how incredible this experience was.

I paid close attention to trunk and nebari development, and learned a lot from Bill who had such clear answers for my questions! I am beyond grateful!

I also got to meet Alan Adair, Ron Maggio, and Doug! What a day!

-- I then made my way to Vineland nurseries, where I picked up a few landscape maples, all of which will be propagated and tested for their bonsai (pictures to come later when they've all leafed out). Some of these I know work well, others are a roll of the dice:
Aka Shigitatsu Sawa
Sango Kaku
Shishigashira
Miwaka Yatsubusa
Hogyoku
Katsura
Taylor's pink (introduced by Dick van der Maat, notoriously difficult to keep long term in any landscape)
Ryusen (a weeping palmatum)

-- Finally, I made my way to Kim's Nature, and picked up Akadama from the only known source in Canada (it is illegal in several provinces). It is difficult for me to know the quality of this Akadama at the moment (@MACH5 @Brian Van Fleet have you used this brand before?), but it really is my only option. It has the crumbly texture when squeezed. It comes in 3 sizes - far too small, far too large, or just right. There is some 'dust' accumulation in the bags which Ryan Neil said to avoid, but again, it's my only option.

I left Montreal at 2:00am, and made it back home for 11:30pm... i unloaded trees from a cargo van in the middle of the night in the pouring rain, likely confirming for my neighbours who were peeking through their windows everything they already thought LOL
Akadama, Kanuma and Kyru is available in Vancouver BC. As well Double Line brand! Medium hard , have found it to be a great brand, the same available through several dealers in California. I used to pick it up from Grove Way Nursery, Johnny Uchida .
 

derek7745

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Akadama, Kanuma and Kyru is available in Vancouver BC. As well Double Line brand!
Thanks for the tip Frank! That's great to know, in case my source in Ontario ever runs dry! Would you be able to tell me who sells it? This is definitely something worth keeping in my notes!

Thank you!
 

River's Edge

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Thanks for the tip Frank! That's great to know, in case my source in Ontario ever runs dry! Would you be able to tell me who sells it? This is definitely something worth keeping in my notes!

Thank you!
The name of the retailer is Bonsai Floral Gardens , was previously known as Japan Bonsai. Owner is Tak Yamura and they have relocated in Surrey , BC. The new location is at 19218 Colebrook Road.
 

derek7745

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propagation is set up. The heat mat was able hold the temperature between 18.5-23C (65-73F), which is about ideal. Our night went down to 13C (55F), and the heat mat was not able to maintain 23C (73F), but it did not drop below 18.5C (65F), so overall I am happy given what I paid. this is meant to be a low cost set-up for fun.

in landscape news: the aka shigitatsu sawa is growing strong from every branch, and is currently red down low, pale green up top. it looks nice in person. the photo is a little too busy.

on the other side of the yard, my katsura is finally planted. the hedges to its right will provide shelter from western winds during the first 1-2 winters, but will eventually be replaced (open to suggestions! considering weeping white pine or weeping alaskan cedar, but they both get too tall)

Also finally got my hands on a thread leaf false cypress (gold mop), which will hopefully turn into a big mound from which my red dragon will appear to pour out of (it will also serve as a permanent wind break to the red dragon).

the "mosses" are creeping thyme, and sagina subulata. whoever wins gets to stay long term. Ill let them decide amongst themselves over the next 5 years.
 

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derek7745

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last week i landed 2 prunus mume cuttings. that was exciting

today i got in touch with Matthew Quinn, who is the gardener in charge of the penjing collection at the Montreal Botanical Gardens. I heard he had a prunus mume. It turns out this tree came from David Easterbrook, who passed it on to Eric Auger (now the curator of the Bonsai collection at the Montreal botanical gardens), who then passed it on to Matthiew.

It is a 5-petal white flower prunus mume, and flowers well. I have yet to confirm with David if it is a particular cultivar.

I received the first picture by email from Matthiew, and ran over to his house to pick it up.

The tree has a corkscrew in the trunk that I do not like. But the nebari is interesting. It's still fresh on my bench - I have a lot of staring and thinking to do.

i bought it because prunus mume is quite rare in Canada, and impossible to import. I hope to take cuttings from it.

It was just repotted into this (excessively?) shallow pot.

the lower branch is slower to leaf out because it was heavily shaded in the greenhouse

@Brian Van Fleet would you eventually cut it back to the first or second bend in the trunk to get rid of the corkscrew, and restart from there (improving taper at the same time)

edit: would letting it fatten up severely, ever disguise the corkscrew and make it look like simple bends? (i just added a last photo, for example of size)


2019.05.20.2.jpg
 

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derek7745

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@LanceMac10 LOL apparently the roots were worked back very hard to get it into this pot, so I need to let it grow freely for at least 12-24 months before i do anything. I much rather not start from scratch, if only because the hands of Easterbrook and Auger were involved in the design. But if i saw a corkscrew like that in a maple, i'd run. I'm wondering if I can make it disappear with mass, and then deadwood?
 

Wilson

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last week i landed 2 prunus mume cuttings. that was exciting

today i got in touch with Matthew Quinn, who is the gardener in charge of the penjing collection at the Montreal Botanical Gardens. I heard he had a prunus mume. It turns out this tree came from David Easterbrook, who passed it on to Eric Auger (now the curator of the Bonsai collection at the Montreal botanical gardens), who then passed it on to Matthiew.

It is a 5-petal white flower prunus mume, and flowers well. I have yet to confirm with David if it is a particular cultivar.

I received the first picture by email from Matthiew, and ran over to his house to pick it up.

The tree has a corkscrew in the trunk that I do not like. But the nebari is interesting. It's still fresh on my bench - I have a lot of staring and thinking to do.

i bought it because prunus mume is quite rare in Canada, and impossible to import. I hope to take cuttings from it.

It was just repotted into this (excessively?) shallow pot.

the lower branch is slower to leaf out because it was heavily shaded in the greenhouse

@Brian Van Fleet would you eventually cut it back to the first or second bend in the trunk to get rid of the corkscrew, and restart from there (improving taper at the same time)

edit: would letting it fatten up severely, ever disguise the corkscrew and make it look like simple bends? (i just added a last photo, for example of size)


View attachment 243130
Gettin away from just the maples, like all gateway items! Nice pick up!
 

River's Edge

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last week i landed 2 prunus mume cuttings. that was exciting

today i got in touch with Matthew Quinn, who is the gardener in charge of the penjing collection at the Montreal Botanical Gardens. I heard he had a prunus mume. It turns out this tree came from David Easterbrook, who passed it on to Eric Auger (now the curator of the Bonsai collection at the Montreal botanical gardens), who then passed it on to Matthiew.

It is a 5-petal white flower prunus mume, and flowers well. I have yet to confirm with David if it is a particular cultivar.

I received the first picture by email from Matthiew, and ran over to his house to pick it up.

The tree has a corkscrew in the trunk that I do not like. But the nebari is interesting. It's still fresh on my bench - I have a lot of staring and thinking to do.

i bought it because prunus mume is quite rare in Canada, and impossible to import. I hope to take cuttings from it.

It was just repotted into this (excessively?) shallow pot.

the lower branch is slower to leaf out because it was heavily shaded in the greenhouse

@Brian Van Fleet would you eventually cut it back to the first or second bend in the trunk to get rid of the corkscrew, and restart from there (improving taper at the same time)

edit: would letting it fatten up severely, ever disguise the corkscrew and make it look like simple bends? (i just added a last photo, for example of size)


View attachment 243130
I agree with @LanceMac10 , no cutting , stock up on raffia, copper wire, bonsai jack, rubber tube , rubber pads and patience, change a few bends by 5 or 10 degrees once it is vigorous, reposition a couple of branches. Voila! Strengthen for two years, maintain the preventative fungal treatments.
 

derek7745

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Gettin away from just the maples, like all gateway items! Nice pick up!
LOL I got bit by the bug badly Wilson! completely obsessed. Last wednesday Yves threw me a few cuttings -- the ice was broken

but also Omiya kept posting them on instagram this spring, and with each post i fell more in love.

the more i read about it, the more complicated it got, and the more attractive it was to me: scion grafting, bud grafting, the nuances with pruning to build ramifications, it's all so technical - love that!

last week i came across this video, and that sent me over the edge! Look at the variety in this videos! For a while I was drawing prunus mime-type trees, assuming i'd be using Arakawa maples. Maybe that's still an interesting idea, but I'm knee high in ume research now!


Screen Shot 2019-05-20 at 8.01.28 AM.png
 
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derek7745

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I agree with @LanceMac10 , no cutting , stock up on raffia, copper wire, bonsai jack, rubber tube , rubber pads and patience, change a few bends by 5 or 10 degrees once it is vigorous, reposition a couple of branches. Voila! Strengthen for two years, maintain the preventative fungal treatments.
Thanks Frank! That's all so foreign to me o_O Lots to learn - luckily this is a very slow game!!

I put a little pressure with 1 finger on a branch just to see what it felt like. It really feels like they snap easily :oops:

my first instinct would be to put on 2-3" of trunk diameter. Maybe 5-10 years in an anderson flat will do? I can't leave it in the ground in Montreal... people I spoke to have tried and they rarely make it
 

derek7745

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Real nice video. There was a big ole ume for sale a couple years ago in Ontario, a couple grand to purchase!
hahaha! I don't negotiate in grands LOL :eek:

I got this one for 50$ less than I paid you for the Arakawa! I couldn't believe the price he was willing to sell it for! Granted his backyard looks like Bjorn's, and he wants to focus on massive yamadori
 

River's Edge

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Thanks Frank! That's all so foreign to me o_O Lots to learn - luckily this is a very slow game!!

I put a little pressure with 1 finger on a branch just to see what it felt like. It really feels like they snap easily :oops:

my first instinct would be to put on 2-3" of trunk diameter. Maybe 5-10 years in an anderson flat will do? I can't leave it in the ground in Montreal... people I spoke to have tried and they rarely make it
They do break easily, hence the heavy protection and small changes slowly. The jack allows small changes progressively as well as turnbuckles.
Winter protection is required as you note. Even here on Vancouver Island.
If you can source one of the deeper anderson flats that would be a good choice. I nest one in another for ventilation and drainage. The bottom tray has extra drill holes drilled by me along the bottom edge about 1/2 inch up from the bottom. Here is a picture of the method. I used it on a Shimpaku i recently dug. The newer style is called a deep propogation flat, 16inch by 16 inch and 5 inches deep.
 

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Cosmos

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Damn fine pickup, Derek, A quirky, tenebrous tree, you’re expanding your palette fast!
 

Brian Van Fleet

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@Brian Van Fleet would you eventually cut it back to the first or second bend in the trunk to get rid of the corkscrew, and restart from there (improving taper at the same time)

edit: would letting it fatten up severely, ever disguise the corkscrew and make it look like simple bends? (i just added a last photo, for example of size)


View attachment 243130
I like the trunk quite a bit. It has a base, bark, and movement, and from the angles shown, it doesn’t look contrived. I think this is a case of “dance with who brung ya”, and I would absolutely train this into a nice literati form using every inch of trunk on this tree. Especially given how hard they are to acquire.

Eventually, I would remove the lowest (bare) branch, and later, decide on a trunk line. It could continue out to the right, or turn it back over the base for balance. Options are good to have.

Let it grow this year, take your time and enjoy the tree. This will also give you plenty of material for cuttings next year.

Nice score.
 

derek7745

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Thank you @Brian Van Fleet ! I really appreciate your response!

I found a second inspiration tree that i had saved back in November. Upon closer inspection they both seem to have visible cork screw-type features! i guess it isn't such a big issue, as all of the responses above indicate :) Thank you guys!

really looking forward to building the top on this one!

Brian have you noticed much trunk thickening in the anderson flat vs in bonsai pot? (from what i can tell you have ume trees in both?). Also, when you left yours in the anderson flat grow 6' tall branches (from what I can tell in the photos), are you still removing the first two leaves on the new growth for when you can cut back to 4-5 nodes (in the fall?)? I'm sorry my questions for you will eventually stop :p you pretty much wrote the book on prunus mume in this forum!

Does anybody know where the second tree with the white flowers in the attached photo comes from? I saved these photos from somewhere, and i can't remember where/when :(
 

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Thank you @Brian Van Fleet ! I really appreciate your response!

I found a second inspiration tree that i had saved back in November. Upon closer inspection they both seem to have visible cork screw-type features! i guess it isn't such a big issue, as all of the responses above indicate :) Thank you guys!

really looking forward to building the top on this one!

Brian have you noticed much trunk thickening in the anderson flat vs in bonsai pot? (from what i can tell you have ume trees in both?). Also, when you left yours in the anderson flat grow 6' tall branches (from what I can tell in the photos), are you still removing the first two leaves on the new growth for when you can cut back to 4-5 nodes (in the fall?)? I'm sorry my questions for you will eventually stop :p you pretty much wrote the book on prunus mume in this forum!

Does anybody know where the second tree with the white flowers in the attached photo comes from? I saved these photos from somewhere, and i can't remember where/when :(
The white Japanese flowering apricot bonsaï was displayed at the 2018 NIPPON Bonsai Taikan Exhibition held in Kyoto in November 2018
 

LanceMac10

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Realize, @derek7745 that this tree would fetch between $700-$1000 at any bonsai nursery in my area. The level of "development" is key here. They don't ramify/develop branching all that rapidly. But that's not what you would be paying for. It's really about the bark character/ trunk character. That, along with the relative rarity of older material is where the cost comes from.:cool:


If it was mine, I wouldn't take $1500 for it. Excellent material, but yeah, a lot of technique you'll need to pick up.


......oh, this tree doesn't need any more trunk thickness.....you'll lose it's fine, feminine character.:cool:
 

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