The link is a short series of photos of a very, rugged, beautiful and very old Ume by Jonas at Bonsai Tonight. Just imagine what it looked like when he first acquired the tree. Probably not very inviting, but many old trees and nursery stock start out that way. It is not a shohin but, if one could find a smaller one or reduce the dead wood....Reducing this dead wood would be sacrilegious.
The group had the usual show prep meeting on the 15th after the SDBC general meeting. Only 6 of the group were there but Janice, Brenda, Nancy and Jaya were in Tak Shimazu's shohin Juniper workshop making more shohin.....the workshop created some really good trees to add to the group! Shirley, Cristina, Sylvia, Eric, Bill and I worked on the 3 displays for the group. David Inglish was also in the workshop and is also starting to move into shohin and kifu sized trees.
Thanks to the following members:
Nancy for creating a beautifully detailed inventory of our stands/slabs with detailed descriptions, and each one and its bubble wrap are numbered.
Eric and Brenda for taking the box stands home to bring to the show.
Janice for taking the container of small stands/slabs home to bring to the show.
Eric for creating stand layouts on paper. The variety of tree and its owner and the stand/slab number are entered into the layout for replication at the show. Members will bring an extra tree or two and accents just in case "stuff" happens to the selected trees and accents.
Next meeting is July 22 in Room 104 at the Prado.
This Juniper was from the Sacto Convention in 2016 from Ted Matson's workshop. The foliage was reduced by 80 percent! and then allowed to grow out again which it did very vigorously. It was originally designed as a chuhin, about 15" when it would be "finished". However, someone suggested to airlayer it and have two shohin. There are two black lines barely visible on the trunk. One is just below where the trunk takes off to the right even with Ken's chin and another about an inch below that even with the zipper pull on Ken's shirt.. That 1" space is where the airlayer will be created.
Brenda's Japanese Boxwood July 2017 (left) successfully grown out from a heavy cut back. This is what was shown at the 2018 Shohin Seminar. Very healthy but, the critique was that there is no ramification or refinement. Compliments on the proportion, basic structure and the moss. Photo 2 is the result of the next logical step, wiring, cutting back small branches and some small branch removal. You can see the branches wired over to harden in a lateral position to support secondary and tertiary refinement. By the end of this year the tree will make significant strides toward its final silhouette and establishment of the main branches.
Youpon Holly before and after. Huh? In the first photo the top half of the tree is being held in place. It was cut about halfway down the trunk...the white line on the trunk. So the funny people sat the cut off top down on the tree to show the new tree when the top is re-grown. Pretty nice in the very short term. The tree will be re-potted lower in the pot to hide the big roots.
This Juniper, after initial styling, looked a bit like a pinwheel with over-sized jin. Lots of potential choices. The jins were reduced by 1/2. Branch removal was done based on the cloth hiding the existing branches. Now movement has been established. The jins and branches are more in proportion; very important in bonsai and critical in shohin.
The chopstick shows where the "head" comes off. This is needed to reduce the tree so when the apex is grown out the tree will within the shohin height requirement. Nerifolia's back bud nicely so with Eric's expertise with them, a new apex is not too far in the future.
Peter helping Ken with some refinements for his beautiful Elm.
Peter and Cristina in deep conversation about her Japanese Black Pine. This is a sweet little tree. Can't wait to see it in a bonsai pot soon.
Itoigawa before and after. Eliminated most, not all, branches. Let the runners stay to motivate back budding, then the runners will be cut back to bring the tree into size. Ted Matson, as always, taught another great workshop. One of the many excellent instructors at the seminar.
JBP start, needle plucked and then final needle pluck and branch removal. Now we wait.
Ron and Jaya working with Jonas on their pines. My baby! Jonas did his usual excellent instruction. Easy to follow this guy.
Kusimono workshop was excellent. Beautiful plantings by Brenda and Cristina. Lucy Sakaida-Judd is amazing!!!
Janice working hard with Sam Adina. Shirley very happy with her Olive. NICE tree.
Janice after all of the pruning and wiring. Excellent! Shirley with her "finished" Olive and a dozen or so cuttings destined for pots one day.
Bob intently listening to Redwood guru Bob Shimon. Great workshop.
Abe's before and after with very nice Shimpaku junipers. This this is only the first stage of development. The branches will back bud and then will be able to be shortened as will the apex.
Got to this group a little late for b and a. This Shimpaku has a very nice old jin and is easily a shohin.
A learning moment. One of the negatives of having too many students at one time is that the instructor's are forced to be in a big hurry. Quality suffers. While creating dead wood, a main branch was accidentally damaged and had to be removed. This changed the front and significantly reduced the foliage mass. Later, the foliage was reduced further and many of the newer tiny green branches were incorrectly cut back leaving no buds for the tiny branches to recover with. So losing the branch and the over trimming is a challenge for the tree to overcome. It was suggested to re-pot the tree in two months, even in this now weakened state. This could be done but, being a Juniper, the tree should not be re-potted until it fully recovers and shows strong growth....lots of back budding and running branches, probably next year. Nonetheless, pleased with the initial styling, the owner sees this as a nice shohin. The trunk will be fattened up in a shallower and wider, growing pot.
Photos of the exhibit are on FB
We all met on Sunday January 14 to select which trees would go to the seminar exhibit in Santa Nella on February 2-4. We can make only one good display this year, being our first year displaying at the biennial seminar. In 2020 we will have many more trees and will have 4 of our own shows to strive for to improve our trees and display expertise.
The top Juniper (Janice) is ready. The Boxwood (Brenda) is ready, albeit no refinement yet but nice wood, moss and very healthy. The Ficus B-D (Charlie) needs a bit of trimming and moss added. The Ficus nerifolia (Shirley) will have the soil pared down a bit and moss added. A few leaves will be removed. The accent plant (Cristina) is ready.
We all will bring back up trees in case something happens. John Carpenter and Kathy Shaner will be the final say as to what goes into the display and where in the display they will go. this will be a good learning experience for us. Looking forward to it.
Photos by Eric and Charlie. Me thinks we should have had photos of the back up trees.
Pick a front.
Eric has been growing this Pomegranite in this big pot to fatten the trunk and nebari. Now he starts working on setting the main branches.
I missed the real before photo but you can see in the photo on the left that a large root was cut out. Yes it was an ugly "big toe" that came straight out and then went into the soil. In the photo on the right you can see how big it was. A smaller root nub to the right was also removed. This is the time of year for removing big roots. Work done by John Jackson with some cutting tools and a small wood working chisel.
Gibbie's semi-cascade Elm got trimmed. Wire is next when he gets home.
Abe contemplating his Ficus. He will probably remove the Tootsie roll in the front.
Sorry for the delay, but yes we did have a very good work session in August. We had 12 members present working on their show trees but mostly on bringing other trees along and starting some new ones to keep the pipeline full of progressing trees.
Here is a nifty way to push roots into the soil or at least push them down closer to the soil surface to reduce the visual impact if they are too much in your face. This issue does distract from the tree. You see 4 things to accomplish this. First are the stick(s) used as a stiff object which the pull down wire is attached to. In this case John used 3-1/8" sticks and used a piece of wire to hold them together. The wine cork was cut in half length-wise and is used as the soft but firm object which is pressed against the root. For the hold down wire used to create the downward pressure on the sticks and corks, John used some a piece of insulated solid copper wire. As is seen in the photo, the wire is run under the pot and wired at each end. The ends are twisted creating the downward pressure. this allows the pressure to be increased over time as the root is pressed into the soil. As the roots harden they will stay lower in the soil.
There were 8 of us in attendance. No major work was done, just keeping trees in shape, working on trees that will be used later in a year or 2 or 3 and getting advice on repotting and tree placement. John Jackson helped us with questions and worked on his own shohin.
Where's Waldo? He is taking the picture. Thanks Eric.
Peter Mac will be here on the July 16th. That will be a longer, heavy duty day. Looking forward to it.
Shohin Study Group
SDBC member Charlie Mosse lets you know of interesting bonsai posts from around the web but especially shohin topics as he is leading the shohin group.