Archive for December, 2011

Picea Albertainia Conical

This was a quick trim and wire ,very quick originally a potted plant from a Supermarket . A christmas tree  , so here it is as a Bonsai trainer Christmas tree. Merry Christmas one and all and a Happy and Safe New Year . Cheers Alpineart

These were purchased from Melbourne last year , trimmed and allowed to recover and grow on and have been growing nicely over the last  few months so i have decided a re-pot and another trim was in order .These 2 tree’s have the air layer still attached and will need at least another season on top to hopefully produce the roots which will enable me to remove them .Until such time the lower section of the trunks will,undergo a pre -trim and style as do all my trainers .Removing the smaller tree was easy as the plastic pot was tapered the

other larger tree was in a bowl type terracotta/stoneware pot .Removal was almost impossible without breaking the pot .Rather than smash the pot off I decided to cut the pot down and save the lower section to create a Crescent type pot, waste not want not . Using an angle grinder with a diamond blade i simply cut around it on about a 30 degree angle and tilted the tree over for an easy removal . I will put the pot to good use after i have carved the crescent shape into the salvaged section .With both tree’s removed

i simple utilized the “Simple Slip Potting” technique  to good use buy slicing the root ball several times around the top of the root mass all the way to the bottom .

This works a treat with all nursery grown stock no matter how large the tree’s are . Teasing the roots out and

potting into 450mm plastic pots was then next step .

Using an open Bonsai mix these will now have some room to expand the roots and grow on . A trim has been done on both lower trunks in readiness for a pre – style of the lower sections . Tree number 1 has very little lower branches , basically 3 useful whorls so i have decided to use a smaller branch as a thread graft , another has been prepared and will be placed to fill a void  in the mid-upper section .

One of the uppermost branches has also been used to form the new apex . Tree number 2 has numerous branches not in whorls and has a greater appeal for a balanced design plan .Numerous branches were cut back and wire tournaquet’s placed on the ends to prevent bleeding or sap lose , these will form part of the jin and shari work for this future Bonsai . All the outer branch shoots have been reduced to replicate a collected yamadori Spruce , something that most people take for granted in the Northern Hemisphere , alas we don’t have collect-able coniferous species growing in Australia much older than 100years . These specimens aged around this era are in Botanical Gardens or the occasional test plot , Collect-able material is usually quite young as it has taken many years to establish the original tree’s  then have them germinate self sown seedlings which are basically destroyed by the land owners or by Bush Fires. Every now and again i manage to find a specimen worthy of collecting or purchasing with the intention of producing an aged looking bonsai . Most material i use is less than 20 years old so i’m behind the 8 ball when i comes to material quality .Now the hard works has been done both trunks will get their first wire and style then it onto the next much smaller trainers .


Cheers Alpineart

These were some cuttings that i wanted to use for the purpose of creating a Phoenix Grafted trunk and a fused trunk . After fusing and grafting Maples and crab apples for a few years i thought i would give these a go .As with other Phoenix grafts i  grooved the dead wood  trunk out for the  better placement of the seedlings or cuttings being used . I used 5 single stem cuttings just after they began to throw out roots .With the plants place in the desired position , then firmly wound grafting tape around the base and up to the apexes .,then placed a small amount of wire on this was done last Spring and left to fuse together.


The other fused trunk was very simple , using 3 cuttings i twisted them together and applied a single wire from the base to the apex . Potted up these were left to grow on , however in Winter they were protected from the  frosts . Neither tree was defoliated  although i did rewire the fusing trunk in the opposite direction some time ago so as not to mark the trunk too much . After seeing all the growth , foliage and side branching on both tree’s i decided it was time to defoliate and inspect the fusing process . Bugger me after about 14 months of being strapped and wired not 1 section of any trunks had fused . Being Ficus i would have assumed they would fuse in a matter of  3 Months , not so . The grafting tape was stretched and the wire had dug into the trunks but no fusing , being young green stems i was very surprised . I have rewired them tighter than Fort Knox and i doubt if Harry Houdini could get out of this . I intend to make sure there is no movement for the figs to expand unless they fuse together .The next batch will be plaited as plaited or braided trunks fus much easier . After a pre style they were re-potted into larger training trays/pots and now can grow on .I haven’t trimmed the foliage allowing it to continue to grow on unhindered for the rest of this season . Come next Winter i should have a better result .I haven’t considered any particular style for these 2 trees , the aim behind the exercise was to see the results of fusing Ficus .in Winter of this season i will make the decision as to what direction i take with them .

Cheers Alpineart