The bonsai season is all but over and winter is heading our way. More importantly, the cold, the wind and the rain are heading for our trees. As winter rolls in for us in the temperate zone, we must protect our trees. Keep your trees from getting too wet over winter. Shield your trees from harsh drying winds, especially those twiggy trees. Remember that roots in shallow pots are highly susceptible to freezing. Heeling-in our trees or placing them on the ground next to the heat of our homes is often enough protection from our mild winters. Enjoy the last days of fall and we will see you at the end of winter.
On May 19 & 20 2018, Sumi Bonsai Club had their annual show at VanDusen. The show consisted of one room full of bonsai on display, a few live demonstrations and vendor tables along the hall entrance. These shows are great opportunities to purchase material at fair prices. Small Japanese Maples, Azalea’s, the odd Juniper, Cypress, Pine, and other various deciduous trees can be purchased in pots. I walked away with an exceptional Hornbeam(Carpinus) bonsai. Here are just a few images of the show including some trees that caught my attention. Enjoy.
On April 23 2018 East Van Bonsai hosted an air-layer demo lead by Peter B. Here are some photos and words regarding the layer done on a big larch. Assuming all goes to plan, Peter will revisit the larch in August. Hopefully enough roots will have formed by then to remove the layer in the same year.
Before that magical bonsai tree of yours reaches the refinement stage, focus should be on growth and development. A shallow ceramic pot looks great, but may not be ideal for optimum growth. Wooden training boxes allow for bespoke dimensions to accommodate any size of tree. By allowing your tree to build up it’s resources and develop a strong(compact) root system, you propel it’s rate of growth, moving the tree ahead. There is good reason why bonsai professionals use boxes. Here are some benefits of using training crates.
1. Build to size, any size. Finding the perfect dimensions in a training pot for your tree can be challenging. Make your box to any specs.
2. Inexpensive. Buy affordable planks of wood. Use wood you find or already have.
3. Easy to customize. Attach handles for large heavy trees. Fasten screws in the wood for guide-wire mounting points or tie-down wires to secure on the bench or railing.
This is a re-post from Bonsai Tonight. Jonas puts it very clearly so that it is easy to follow. View his blog for tons of helpful and informative articles on bonsai. Link below.
Here are 10 helpful tips on how to begin.
1. Determine the space or area you have for your tree(s). What is the light level like? Full sun, a few hours of sun, or bright shade? Heavily shaded or dark areas are not ideal for growing healthy bonsai.
2. Research tree species. Figure out which tree types will thrive in the space you have available. For example, Pines do best in sunny locations. Japanese Maples do best in part sun or bright shade.
3. When starting out, aim for specific species that are commonly used for bonsai. This ensures that you can find plenty of information on your tree. Plus you have a higher chance for success when developing your bonsai. Some plant material may be very appealing, but will not tolerate bonsai development techniques like root pruning or won’t reduce in twig and leaf size. This can cause some frustration… or just lead to a nice garden plant.
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden in Chinatown is beautiful. One side is open to the public with no admission fee. It’s a calming oasis right in Vancouver. The other side which holds tours is open to garden members and the general public for a fee. If you haven’t seen either side of the garden yet, go, go!
The garden hosted a tour, demo and workshop on Saturday September 16th. Mr. Pin Lee was the penjing master on hand. He and another host took us on a quick tour around the garden. We saw penjing on display and heard some history of the ancient Chinese art form. Pin Lee was a delight to listen to. His warm energy was great to be around and his enthusiasm for penjing was as contagious as his smile.
Here are a few images from this year’s Vancouver Penjing Society show. Held at VanDusen on Saturday and Sunday. The vendor area was buzzing with activity and the show itself featured many colourful trees.
One highlight of my recent visit to Japan was a day trip to Tokoname where a group of us visited several well-known kilns. Our first stop – the Koyo kiln. Koyo – the kiln established in 1970 by Kouichirou Aiba, is best known for its glazed pots. Today the kiln is run by Aiba’s son,…