Preparing American deciduous broadleaved trees

Walter Pall

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Jennifer, Ron, Jeff and Walter have fun working on these trees.

These are all deciduous broadleaved trees which were collected in America. They are mostly American hornbeams, Swamp Maple, oaks, linden, hydrangea and others. You can see what they look like after two vegetation periods and how they are cut back and brought to the next level. They may still look ugly to many but they will be quite impressive after another one or two vegetation periods.

here are almost 100 of these at Hidden Gardens, south of Chicago. They are all available. This is ground breaking. Only ten years ago this was the situation in Croatia. As most would know by now Croatia is one of the leading nations concerning broadleaved bonsai. One should consider that this is only the start t. There is much more to come. We will watch what will happen in America within the next ten years concerning this kind of material.

Many are not yet used to see big cuts on broadleaved trees. This is because in Japan only well prepared nursery trees are the norm for broadleaved bonsai. They do not collect such stuff. In order to not jeopardize their nursery industry they 'forbid' this kind of material. To see what to do with collected broadleaved material one cannot learn from Japan. The countries to look to are Indonesia, Taiwan, China, Croatia, Great Britain, Germany and others. Possibly in the future USA. We'll see. It just cannot be that the so small country Croatia has more good broadleaved trees than the rest together.TSA_1391w.jpg TSA_1392w.jpg TSA_1393w.jpg TSA_1394w.jpg TSA_1395w.jpg TSA_1396w.jpg TSA_1397w.jpg TSA_1398w.jpg TSA_1399w.jpg TSA_1400w.jpg
 
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American Hornbeam is definitely one of my favorite species to work with as they are so plentiful where I collect and the videos that have come from Croatia. I'll be collecting more in the months ahead!
 

mattspiniken

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Thanks @Walter Pall , it is nice to see these interesting deciduous out of the U.S., there have got to be some as good as there are in Croatia somewhere around here. Those Oriental Hornbeam are so wild and amazing, im not sure we have found a species that good here in the U.S. so far, although maybe I am wrong. Definitely not in MI, at least in my opinion.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Many are not yet used to see big cuts on broadleaved trees. This is because in Japan only well prepared nursery trees are the norm for broadleaved bonsai. They do not collect such stuff. In order to not jeopardize their nursery industry they 'forbid' this kind of material. To see what to do with collected broadleaved material one cannot learn from Japan
I think many broadleaf American Bonsai have started with big cuts, mine included.

The reason we may not see it so much in Japan is because they made those cuts decades and centuries ago on trees we’re now seeing in their nurseries and shows. Nothing wrong with it, they just got a head start. Incidentally, it also takes those decades to heal the cuts, add nice branches, and refine the coarse surface roots shown in these photos. I suspect every one of these trees would be “forbidden” from the 6th and 7th USNBE, but that is no reason not to do it.

This project is really good for 2037 US Bonsai. What I’d like to find is a US nursery that did this in 1997!
 

Walter Pall

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Brian,

why let someone tell us what we have to like. Why is deadwood on conifers not forbidden? I do not think at all that these cuts have to close eventually. Just as with conifers we can create these wounds a major features. Some will say that this would then be ugly. Really? Why exactly is deadwood on c0nifers not ugly. Where is the fundamental difference?
 

wireme

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I think many broadleaf American Bonsai have started with big cuts, mine included.

The reason we may not see it so much in Japan is because they made those cuts decades and centuries ago on trees we’re now seeing in their nurseries and shows. Nothing wrong with it, they just got a head start. Incidentally, it also takes those decades to heal the cuts, add nice branches, and refine the coarse surface roots shown in these photos. I suspect every one of these trees would be “forbidden” from the 6th and 7th USNBE, but that is no reason not to do it.

This project is really good for 2037 US Bonsai. What I’d like to find is a US nursery that did this in 1997!
I look forward to seeing them develop. At least one or two of those Croatian trees made it from stump to Noelanders within 6 or 7 years. Yes, still with some abrupt, truncated transitions but still.. Another 7 years? Let's see.
Years ago I spent a little time in the mountains of Croatia, Serbia etc.. Saw mountainsides of hawthorns in Utah last summer that looked very, very similar. Man do I wish I could go collecting those spots!!
 

Fonz

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This is exactly the kind of trees I'm interested in. I have some oaks, beeches and even 2 alder trees that will move from the ground to a pot in the next year. The material is probably not as good as shown above but I got to start somewhere :)

Also interesting to see the artists are using a power grinder for the heavy work.
 

my nellie

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Mr. Pall, may I ask a question Sir,
If I can see correctly, in some of the above photos there are more than one branches emerging from the same point on the trunk and a bulge has formed, although small...
I can understand that the trees were left to grow free and unhindered for those two growing seasons, but why is it that you did not select only one branch and remove the others?
Thank you in advance.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Brian,

why let someone tell us what we have to like. Why is deadwood on conifers not forbidden? I do not think at all that these cuts have to close eventually. Just as with conifers we can create these wounds a major features. Some will say that this would then be ugly. Really? Why exactly is deadwood on c0nifers not ugly. Where is the fundamental difference?
I don’t see it as a binary choice between liking what the Japanese do or liking what you do. I do know that art imitates nature, and that there is no substitute for time. I’ve been doing this long enough to appreciate the techniques employed to convincingly simulate time, but not as much as the effect time itself has on a tree in a pot.
 

Walter Pall

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Mr. Pall, may I ask a question Sir,
If I can see correctly, in some of the above photos there are more than one branches emerging from the same point on the trunk and a bulge has formed, although small...
I can understand that the trees were left to grow free and unhindered for those two growing seasons, but why is it that you did not select only one branch and remove the others?
Thank you in advance.
my nellie,

they will look like real trees and not like bonsai. They will have all the features that are normal in nature but are not 'allowed' on bonsai. Read about Naturalistic Style and Fairy Tale Style to understand this.

Attached is one of my Oriental Hornbeams from Croatia after three (!!) years in training. The Amercian Hornbeams shown are, of course, not quite of this quality but they have potential to look in a wayy like this eventually.


2017-11-TSA_1180w.jpg
 
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my nellie

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Thank you for your response.
... ...they will look like real trees and not like bonsai. They will have all the features that are normal in nature but are not 'allowed' on bonsai. Read about Naturalistic Style and Fairy Tale Style to understand this... ...
Indeed I have read a lot of your writings about Naturalistic Style, but I could never imagine that this is the reason for keeping two or three branches coming from the same base point.
Olives present this habit very clearly and in fact they are treated against their nature.
 

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