Young Shohin Cascade In Training

october

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Hello All,

This is my first post on this site. Here is a young shimpaku (itoigawa) that I have been training for 3 years now. It was originally purchased as untrained bonsai nursery stock in a 1 gallon container. The tree had an interesting descending trunk with some branches that ran down it so I thought it had some good potential.

Pic 1 is the tree after the first pruning and it put in a bonsai grow pot

Pic 2 is the tree after a couple of years. An apex and trunk were wired and the tree was growing pretty well at this point

Pic 3 is the tree cleaned up a bit, but not too much....The trees sub branching and tertiary branching still needs much growing at this point.

Pic 4 and 5 is how the tree looks this year.....The tree was repotted back into this oversized bonsai pot to continue growing. Also, last year, the entire upper part of the tree was bent forward. It originally was growing away from the viewer and this needed to be corrected. Also, the tree was given a more downward slant which gives the tree better balance and shows the nice, smooth curve at the base of the trunk.

Comments always welcome..Thank you

Rob
 

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gibmeister

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october,

This tree is progrssing very nicely! Where did you pick up the original stock?

Gib

ps. It is actually nice to see a post about bonsai for a change.
 

october

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Hello gibmeister...Thanks for posting a reply....The stock came from New England Bonsai Gardens. I think I picked it up for around $25 or $29. I believe it will be a very nice bonsai in about 4 more years...

Rob
 

milehigh_7

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Hello gibmeister...Thanks for posting a reply....The stock came from New England Bonsai Gardens. I think I picked it up for around $25 or $29. I believe it will be a very nice bonsai in about 4 more years...

Rob


Welcome! I have seen and enjoyed your offerings over at BT and look very much forward to your contributions here.
 

october

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Thank you milehigh_7. I do appreciate the welcome...

Rob
 

greerhw

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Nice job and a nice tree Rob, keep up the good work.

Harry
 

october

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Thank you very much Will Heath for the compliment

Hello greerhr good to hear from you...Thanks for the compliment also... I have to train these young shohins so in about 10 more years.. You might be very interested in purchasing one...lol.......

p.s. If you buy it now.....It will be a lot cheeper than the final piece...lol....Just kidding...

Rob
 

greerhw

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Thank you very much Will Heath for the compliment

Hello greerhr good to hear from you...Thanks for the compliment also... I have to train these young shohins so in about 10 more years.. You might be very interested in purchasing one...lol.......

p.s. If you buy it now.....It will be a lot cheeper than the final piece...lol....Just kidding...

Rob
Hey Rob, it's Harry to you and I don't know if ten years from now the good people at the home will let me keep trees. I'm proud of the way you have approached bonsai. From the get go, you realized that spending a few more bucks will be more rewarding than starting with nothing. Is your son still interested or have the girls lured him away.
Ciao,
Harry
 

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Hiya Rob;

Welcome to the Nut House! I really like this tree, but I think you are going to have some trouble keeping it small. The problem in my opinion is that the cascading branch is too high up the trunk in its current design. If you want to keep it as a shohin, you might want to consider a ground layer (which could help you beef up the nebari) or else you could just grow it out as a much larger cascade so that the distance between the nebari and the cascading branch is more to scale. I tried to do a virtual to show what I mean.

 

Vance Wood

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I think the tree is beautiful. Are you getting any kind of guidence on this tree? Have you given any thought to pinching and refining yet?
 

greerhw

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IMHO everyone starting out in bonsai should start with a juniper, if 25 bucks is too much for you to spend, perhaps you should consider another hobby. A juniper will give you some instant gratification and fun styling it. A juniper is very forgiving and will pop back if you screw it up the first time. Start slow with the shears, study the the plant before you snip and once you have it pruned, wire it to the shape you want it to take in the future. Be sure to check for spider mites, I repeat be sure to check it for spider mites, especially if your're in a hot climate. I love them and you don't have to wait 10 years to have a tree.

Harry
 

Vance Wood

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IMHO everyone starting out in bonsai should start with a juniper, if 25 bucks is too much for you to spend, perhaps you should consider another hobby. A juniper will give you some instant gratification and fun styling it. A juniper is very forgiving and will pop back if you screw it up the first time. Start slow with the shears, study the the plant before you snip and once you have it pruned, wire it to the shape you want it to take in the future. Be sure to check for spider mites, I repeat be sure to check it for spider mites, especially if your're in a hot climate. I love them and you don't have to wait 10 years to have a tree.

Harry
I agree but make sure it is a Chinese Juniper species. Not all Junipers respond as well as the Chinese species, the best being the Shimpaku. They are also the most common in the nursery trade.
 

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IMHO everyone starting out in bonsai should start with a juniper

Harry
You might also add they are easy to air-layer, easy to grow cuttings from, and very forgiving of extreme styling - trunk twists, etc. Add in the easiness with which you can create shari and you have a tree that can't be beat for the beginner.
 

october

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Hello BonsaiNut... I am in complete aggreeance with you about the elongated trunk...I have been somewhat bothered by this over the last couple of years...It is almost like an informal upright and cascade combined. I think your virt is right on the money as far as my perfect image for this tree....

I do not have a plan, as of now, if I am going to just keep the tree the way it is and let the cascade elongate...I may decide to just keep the design. I have seen very nice bonsai, older specimens with proportions like this.....There is no hurry, I have plenty of time and a very healthy tree to work with so I'll just let the tree do what it has been doing, that is keep growing and thickening.

Hello Harry......Spider mites are not really a problem in my area. They are present, but never really do anything. However......white junipr scale is an on going problem. However, I have got practically %100 control over it.. I use either horticultural oil or the homemade soap, oil and alcohol solution. Both work incredible well with no damage to the trees. In fact, the tree in this post had white juniper scale last year and it was actually killing the tip of the cascade. After spraying the oil, there was no more problem. I have sprayed a couple of trees this year already and will be keeping an eye on all my trees.


Hello Vance....Thanks for replying. Actually, the pic makes the tree look quite a bit more full than it is in reality. The image you are looking at is the tree after its first trim (scissor pruning and light pinching) this season. The interior of the little tufts of foliage and the apex are structured as much as possible. The tree will need to grow out and the secondary branches harden off before anymore work can be done. I cannot do any more cutting or pinching because the tree needs to grow out and then, with the more mature foliage, I will have more to work with. Shimpaku is my favorite species..About 80% of my bonsai are junipers..



Rob
 

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Hello BonsaiNut... I am in complete aggreeance with you about the elongated trunk...I have been somewhat bothered by this over the last couple of years...
You might try a "quick fix" just to help in the short term while you decide what to do. Place a rock against the base so the tree appears to be leaning up and over it. Here's a quick virtual (rock is wrong, planting position needs to move further right, but you will get the idea). The rock helps to balance the composition visually by thickening the base of the tree and shortening the trunk. Plus it "makes sense" from a natural standpoint and looks more like a tree would look in nature.

 

october

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Hello BonsaiNut...........BEAUTIFUL........ I really like this idea for many reasons.....The most being it's visual presentation. Also, the rock would not be permanent if I ever wanted to change the tree. Also, keeping the tree in this slightly larger pot will help the tree mature faster and the rock fills in the empty space....Thanks for the suggestion...

This has really been a positive and inciteful post. I am glad I posted the tree.

I'll have to post another juniper in a little while...lol...

Rob
 

Vance Wood

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Hello BonsaiNut... I am in complete aggreeance with you about the elongated trunk...I have been somewhat bothered by this over the last couple of years...It is almost like an informal upright and cascade combined. I think your virt is right on the money as far as my perfect image for this tree....

I do not have a plan, as of now, if I am going to just keep the tree the way it is and let the cascade elongate...I may decide to just keep the design. I have seen very nice bonsai, older specimens with proportions like this.....There is no hurry, I have plenty of time and a very healthy tree to work with so I'll just let the tree do what it has been doing, that is keep growing and thickening.

Hello Harry......Spider mites are not really a problem in my area. They are present, but never really do anything. However......white junipr scale is an on going problem. However, I have got practically %100 control over it.. I use either horticultural oil or the homemade soap, oil and alcohol solution. Both work incredible well with no damage to the trees. In fact, the tree in this post had white juniper scale last year and it was actually killing the tip of the cascade. After spraying the oil, there was no more problem. I have sprayed a couple of trees this year already and will be keeping an eye on all my trees.


Hello Vance....Thanks for replying. Actually, the pic makes the tree look quite a bit more full than it is in reality. The image you are looking at is the tree after its first trim (scissor pruning and light pinching) this season. The interior of the little tufts of foliage and the apex are structured as much as possible. The tree will need to grow out and the secondary branches harden off before anymore work can be done. I cannot do any more cutting or pinching because the tree needs to grow out and then, with the more mature foliage, I will have more to work with. Shimpaku is my favorite species..About 80% of my bonsai are junipers..



Rob
Just a suggestion, not trying to tell you what to do just tell you what I would do. I have found that Shimpakus respond really well if you start to remove all of the downward growing growth and flatten the bottom of the pads so that they do not appear to have all of this growth hanging from it like a lot of fruit. Just that little thing makes a world of difference in their appearance.
 

greerhw

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Just a suggestion, not trying to tell you what to do just tell you what I would do. I have found that Shimpakus respond really well if you start to remove all of the downward growing growth and flatten the bottom of the pads so that they do not appear to have all of this growth hanging from it like a lot of fruit. Just that little thing makes a world of difference in their appearance.
Dead on Vance, shimpaku are one of the few trees that can look better with thinned out foliage as opposed to thick pads. Still a very nice tree Rob.

Harry
 
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