Seki's various BC's progress thread

Sekibonsai

Shohin
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So put up or shut up I guess. I don't have near the internet presence of a lot of these BC guys nor is that my goal these days. I work full time, run a full time goat dairy/creamery/soap-lotion company with my wife whilst keeping an aging ranch form falling apart. Oh and I make a decent bonsai pot now and again, paint and run an abused child advocacy charity.

I collect for the sheer joy of nature and physical challenges. I've been at this a long time; one of the original Karate Kid converts when I was about 16. Lost nearly everything in 2010 and while I was really just a bonsai hang around and kept the 3 or 4 remaining trees watered and alive more out of "guilt"... only got back to it a few years ago when Dale Brock dragged me out of my hermitage. on a collecting trip.

All that said I have a ton of material again, collected, bought, etc. in various stages. Probably have a hoarding issue as I really have so limited time to push them forward. There's always looming retirement I guess. So you won't see phenomenal trees out of me but I'll start digging through old files and put up some series for the ones I have. Backgrounds will be scarce but maybe this will motivate me to get my shit together a little more.

Tune in later on and I hope you enjoy.
 

Cadillactaste

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Didn't mean it as such...just remember...it's all about enjoying ones journey. I'm glad Dale drug you back into an amazing hobby. I find inner peace when I just water mine. I wish everyone understood...we don't need to create show stoppers...to enjoy our journey and be proud of it. My intentions were never to make you think less.

As for hoarding...I struggle with keeping a collection manageable. Two stepping up north is a key reminder why my collection minus the tropical (7 trees) resides at 26. It's manageable to two step.
 
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Sekibonsai

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Didn't mean it as such...just remember...it's all about enjoying ones journey. I'm glad Dale drug you back into an amazing hobby. I find inner peace when I just water mine. I wish everyone understood...we don't need to create show stoppers...to enjoy our journey and be proud of it. My intentions were never to make you think less.

As for hoarding...I struggle with keeping a collection manageable. Two stepping up north is a key reminder why my collection minus the tropical (7 trees) resides at 26. It's manageable to two step.
A small glimpse....

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Sekibonsai

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Figured I'd start with probably my favorite tree of all. Maybe I'll call this one "I Knee'd U"; my youngest son actually wants me to sketch the final image for an arm tatt. I got this one in about 2015 from another collector. Immediately went in my high end monster pot set up. 😂

It hung out in this makeshift set up with only the occasional whacking back of top and bottom to keep it under control. In 2017 it finally made it into a box, dimensions about 4'x4'.... giving it plenty of room to fill in the root mass. Spring time, especially back then was always crazy with 4H/County Fair and kidding season so it is always real easy to miss the whole spring repot time.

Design challenges include how to catch a glimpse of the knee but not over-feature it as it could be considered out of proportion despite the 40" or so height of the final image. This made the option of which side was front and which was back straight forward. Also the gorgeous buttresses need to be aligned just-so as I did not want one coming directly at the viewer. I think the last two pictures show about what I'm thinking, with a slight tilt clockwise. The slant of the buttresses on the right side will create some depth by hiding those of the left side and give it some dynamic movement that will carry up into the main apex.

First year in the box it went gang busters but then seemed to decline, including some dieback on the knee (oh no!!). I really only sorted out branches I knew I was never going to use so it wasn't over working for sure. Last summer I noticed the soil sinking in a spot. Either I had a wash-out or organic material had rotted away leaving holes under the surface in several places. I also had a severe infestation of leaf gall... normally not a big deal but this tree was already unhappy. I chopsticked a whole bunch of fresh soil soil in which seems to have done the trick. I noticed the same thing with another monster which I'll talk about elsewhere. That seems to have done the trick and we are back to heavy feeding and watering with its first real style this past winter.

I picture a multi-apex flat top tree or a very large flat top image on this. The original chop site will have to be worked to imply taper between the two tops that will require some carving and severe bending next year. Given the physical location this is going to take hand tools or at least battery operated ones to address. Ultimately I think it will end up in a concrete pot or some better than average quality Chinese monster.0226171624.jpg0216191437.jpg0420191813.jpg0713191904a.jpg0713191904.jpg0424211146a.jpg
 

Cadillactaste

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I had no idea...knees could rot! Geesh... glad it's back on the right path. A beast for sure.

I don't think knees could be a distracting feature. It's like the trees diamonds. A rare gem. Myself I would highlight the knee.

I have a 10 inch one...which...is a whole other can of worms with fighting the growth on such a tree. To keep it in check.
 

Sekibonsai

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I had no idea...knees could rot! Geesh... glad it's back on the right path. A beast for sure.

I don't think knees could be a distracting feature. It's like the trees diamonds. A rare gem. Myself I would highlight the knee.

I have a 10 inch one...which...is a whole other can of worms with fighting the growth on such a tree. To keep it in check.
I'll take a shot of it tonight. There is now a deadwood strip at the tip. But the two sides seem to have recovered. They may "graft over it someday.
 

Sekibonsai

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This isn't a monster cypress but its what I brought in on a rainy day...

I imagine this was collected but not by me and came in a collection I purchased four or so years ago, It's always been one of those pieces lacking any clear design direction so it has sat on the bench. Unless "horse leg" is a style. It had an interesting dead area towards the bottom but all movement was one dimensional. A slight rotation gives the base some depth and developing the branches over the years has given it some potential in the 3rd dimension. At some point I guess I decided to whack the top and maybe do something a bit windswept. Not really a practical solution. 1119191641.jpg1119191641c.jpg0103202218b.jpg0103202301.jpgIMG_20200316_103209_784.jpgIMG_20200316_103209_783.jpg1111201501a.jpg
 

Sekibonsai

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It's also matured some and is showing some signs of age and really needed some attention. Thoughts were something literati but today I saw a candidate for a weeping style. Besides, it looks like all the cool kids are doing it!

There are more branches kept than needed and the main goal for today was just to set he bases and get things moving in that direction. We'll see how it continues to develop.0516211519b.jpg0516211519a.jpg
 

Cadillactaste

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I was looking through the old photos and there's that one with the little scrawny elm and I was trying to figure out WTF I was thinking... Maybe slant style or something.

Much better now.
Sometimes...we stall and don't have vision for something. It tends to always fall into place at a later date. I never rush things. If I don't see it. I offer horticulture care and time to offer more to work with.
 

Sekibonsai

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Sometimes...we stall and don't have vision for something. It tends to always fall into place at a later date. I never rush things. If I don't see it. I offer horticulture care and time to offer more to work with.
Yeah... like this next one I have on the turntable... still waiting for it to fall...Base seems like it would be straight forward, but the trunk is bizarre. Almost think its got some Pond Cypress genetics.
 

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Cadillactaste

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Base is cool...but, I half wonder if it would be wise to figure out a leader and wire it. Just to add some interest up top...to some degree. Find inspiration and go with it. You know the species better than I. What is great about BC...is they grow amazingly quick. Offering up so much. For instance...when I finally decided on weeping for my own. I cut the canopy off and started from scratch. Leaving only nubs where the branches were. With it such a small tree. I needed movement back at the trunk. So to keep the canopy proportioned to the tree. Revamped/restyle. With these...I would think...just go for it. Be daring...no harm no fowl...since you can just remove it if you don't like the general direction you went the first time. If it were my tree...help create a top worthy of the base. Of course...I've not worked with larger trees. But...I imagine at some point...the branches will be less malleable to work with. You have a honey gold mind for collected trees. I would play around with them...and be daring. Only for the simple reason these grow so quickly...I wonder if ones time of window of opportunity closes by not being able to work the branches like one could early on when it was more flexible. But alas...I'm only speaking from having a ten inch tree. Apples and oranges...with size. So I honestly don't know the species in large scale to know when you get to a point...you have to remove branches because they aren't workable.
 

Sekibonsai

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Base is cool...but, I half wonder if it would be wise to figure out a leader and wire it. Just to add some interest up top...to some degree. Find inspiration and go with it. You know the species better than I. What is great about BC...is they grow amazingly quick. Offering up so much. For instance...when I finally decided on weeping for my own. I cut the canopy off and started from scratch. Leaving only nubs where the branches were. With it such a small tree. I needed movement back at the trunk. So to keep the canopy proportioned to the tree. Revamped/restyle. With these...I would think...just go for it. Be daring...no harm no fowl...since you can just remove it if you don't like the general direction you went the first time. If it were my tree...help create a top worthy of the base. Of course...I've not worked with larger trees. But...I imagine at some point...the branches will be less malleable to work with. You have a honey gold mind for collected trees. I would play around with them...and be daring. Only for the simple reason these grow so quickly...I wonder if ones time of window of opportunity closes by not being able to work the branches like one could early on when it was more flexible. But alas...I'm only speaking from having a ten inch tree. Apples and oranges...with size. So I honestly don't know the species in large scale to know when you get to a point...you have to remove branches because they aren't workable.
You are perfectly able to do the hollow and bend thing like a juniper. Another little known trick is they will self-graft so that opens another realm of possibilities- I.e. wrap and wire a couple wispy branches together to thicken the leader...

Its not so much the leader (which is a bit long and boring and definitely needs to be addressed) but also the random bulging and pigeon breasting that is going on which might not appear in the pics very well. "Oh this is the best front" but then its got this ridge protrusion coming out at you... and the ass side isn't much better... Definitely going to need some grotesque twisty Disney tree branching going on. Nothing smooth and graceful about this tree.

These older pictures kind of show what is going on.... nice wide base and then its like someone twisted it 90 degrees and then back again... and then there are random bulges to contend with... 😂
 

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