Hi Fiona and Dorothy 7774

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Hi Fiona and Dorothy 7774

Post  Guest on Thu May 10, 2012 12:30 pm

I have been looking at the galleri and saw a Pinus Thunbergii from Fiona, and a Ficus Salicaria from Dorothy 7774.
I have two very nice japanese shohin Black Pines....this year they both have long needles, as I have had to feed them very well, for a needed progress.....Now they look nice and ready, but the needles from last year are long, and I have, up to now not seen the trees, as fitt for exhibition.
Now I see your trees with the leaves and needles shorten by cissor, and I wonder if this is considered good bonsai suitable for a exhibition. Is this a tecknik often used?
It is a serious question, and I hope usefull answers can be given, also from other people.

Kind regards Yvonne

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Re: Hi Fiona and Dorothy 7774

Post  Russell Coker on Thu May 10, 2012 2:50 pm



I have to admit I was wondering the same thing. Obviously we can't defoliate pines, but ficus are a different story. Dorothy, I've never had one of these ficus. Would you mind explaining what this accomplishes vs a total defoliation. Is this a common practice down your way?

Thanks!

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Re: Hi Fiona and Dorothy 7774

Post  fiona on Thu May 10, 2012 3:56 pm

Hi Yvonne. Cutting the needles of a Pinus thunbergii for an exhibition is common practice over here at least and I think in Japan too. Indeed I was slightly faulted for not doing it at the British Shohin Association show this year. The important thing is to cut just before you put it on the display as there is a tendency for the needle tips to go a wee bit brown.

But like you, between exhibitions I feed and feed and let the needles grow.

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Re: Hi Fiona and Dorothy 7774

Post  Guest on Thu May 10, 2012 4:15 pm

Hi Fiona

Many thanks for your answer...But, I hope for more responses...from people who judge at big events f.ex

Sorry Fiona, I dont feed and feed. Normaly will I keep them fairly dry, with cool feet...I only did this, because the trees needed a sharp restyle...one had two tops, and both had a lowest branch going very weak....I bought them for a fair price ( what I can afford)...with this issue, I had to do something serius about them. I am satisfied now, but some needles are long.

Kind regards Yvonne ...can you explain the word "faulted"

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Re: Hi Fiona and Dorothy 7774

Post  JimLewis on Thu May 10, 2012 4:15 pm

Last year (or the year before - I forget which) a shohin black pine won one of the awards at the Carolina Bonsai Expo. I thought it was lovely, but I heard several folks complain that its needles had been cut and that that was 'cheating."

I don't do pine much, so I simply don't know.

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Re: Hi Fiona and Dorothy 7774

Post  fiona on Thu May 10, 2012 4:27 pm

Yvonne: faulted means something like marked down/given a lower mark/demerited

Put it this way, the first person who told me to do it was Marco Invernizzi and subsequently it has been advocated by Peter Warren and Mark Cooper whose expertise I would never question. All said it was the norm for a Japanese exhibition. Who am I to argue?


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Re: Hi Fiona and Dorothy 7774

Post  Guest on Thu May 10, 2012 5:30 pm

Thanks Fiona

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Re: Hi Fiona and Dorothy 7774

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Thu May 10, 2012 6:50 pm

Hello Auntie Yvonne,

down here we have to grow Black Pines from seed, as trees from outside might have some disease, which could affect the citrus trees down here. So all of my "children" are from seed. The eldest is about 23 years of so.

Placement is full sun and I try to follow the techniques set out in the articles of Bonsai Today, especially the ones before Bonsai Today no.35 or so.
With correct and timed pruning one can induce small needles naturally, trouble is I am too chicken to try every technique fully and also, with our Tropical climate, the pines often do not candle like they do in Japan, but the trees do respond to candle cutting, and can produce very short 2.5 cm long needles.

Might I suggest you select some expendable trees and run tests on them to learn the techniques.
I can send you images of the articles, by mail or by e-mail, just drop me a private e-mail if you so desire.

As to Ficus. The type used in the US, is different to our Willow Ficus, as we have a local Ficus priminoides,[ also seen on the Venezuelan bonsai site ], and I only now getting around to testing defoliation on our variety.
Will let you know how it goes with visual examples, posted here at IBC.

As usual full sun works miracles, making leaves smaller, and much more compact trees. Watering is normal and fertilizing is frequent, but at half strength, added into already moist soil.

I have worked on one Ficus retusa, collected as a weed from the front drain as a seedling. Thus far the defoliation and what Billy from the space coast suggested works [ cutting off the large leaves.]

I now have some 35 or so new seedlings just about 3 months old of the Japanese Black pines. Seed was from Amazon stores, on-line. They are doing very well.
Will send images as I make time.
Stay Well.
Khaimraj [ nephew by appearance genetics - chuckle.]

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Re: Hi Fiona and Dorothy 7774

Post  dorothy7774 on Thu May 10, 2012 7:25 pm

Yvonne Graubaek wrote:I have been looking at the galleri and saw a Pinus Thunbergii from Fiona, and a Ficus Salicaria from Dorothy 7774.
I have two very nice japanese shohin Black Pines....this year they both have long needles, as I have had to feed them very well, for a needed progress.....Now they look nice and ready, but the needles from last year are long, and I have, up to now not seen the trees, as fitt for exhibition.
Now I see your trees with the leaves and needles shorten by cissor, and I wonder if this is considered good bonsai suitable for a exhibition. Is this a tecknik often used?
It is a serious question, and I hope usefull answers can be given, also from other people.

Kind regards Yvonne

Hi Yvonne,

I would not show a Ficus or any other tropical tree with cut leaves. I took the photographs this spring which is the time I scissor cut Ficus, Buttonwood and some other varieties. My trees get so dense that cutting the (new) leaves ensures more sunlight penetrating to the inside and better airflow. I do that after I have trimmed back the outgrowth and the tree developed new foliage.

Not a good technique for weak trees unless you cut the leaves and leave the outgrowth on for some time. Cutting the leaves also seems to be a not so stressful alternative to defoliation.

In my experience I get as much backbudding as if I trim the branches. Buttonwood for example responds extremely well to this technique. My Buttonwoods all need thinning every year. That's how dense they grow. I also scissor trim prior to styling, just so I can better see the entire tree. Ficus I scissor trim up to twice a year. Buttonwood only once. Something else. When Buttonwood starts to shoot new buds out of the crutches, it is a very good time to cut the old leaves in half. More airation and sunlight for the new growth.

Hope that answers your question.

Best,
Dorothy

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Re: Hi Fiona and Dorothy 7774

Post  marcus watts on Thu May 10, 2012 8:56 pm

hi,
and just one little tweak to use when cutting pine needles (which is fine for an exhibition tree as long as it is done perfectly) .

Cut the needles with the sciccors at an angle so you get a pointed tip to the needle and not a square cut across the needle - its a little trick that makes the needles look natural still Wink

This is better to have a strong healthy tree with cut needles once every few years at show time, than a tree weakened and starved of food and water to make short needles.

cheers Marcus

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Re: Hi Fiona and Dorothy 7774

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Thu May 10, 2012 9:42 pm

When I was in Japan last fall at the show in Kyoto, I saw all kinds of techniques that we might consider cheating, but it would seem that the Japanese are OK with it, including glued on fruit.

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Re: Hi Fiona and Dorothy 7774

Post  Guest on Thu May 10, 2012 9:54 pm

Hi Thanks everbody

This was food for thoughts Smile

Kind regards Yvonne

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Re: Hi Fiona and Dorothy 7774

Post  Guest on Fri May 11, 2012 7:28 am

Hi nephew

I would like to see the old articles from Bonsai Today....I send you my Email....I already read a LOT, but I would like to see theese old ones too.

Hi Dorothy

Many thanks for your answer...It will be of good use for many. I also use tecniks like that....it can not be avoided, a person who understand bonsai, will have to go there....
I always do my best to make the tree look its very best in a exhibition, and try to have leave reduced and, ready with new leaves for the day. You know this is not easy....
Now I saw you posted a picture with cut leaves in the galleri. And I asked if this is acceptabel exhibition condition, as I here could learn something new, and much easier than I do now.

Hi Marcus

The opposite of keeping a pine fairly dry, with cool feet when the pine formes the lengd of the needles, is not the same as a starving halfdead tree.
But apart from this, are you right.

I now understand it is best to avoid long needels, but if some become too large, is it OK to cut them short in a sharp angle.

It has come to my understanding, that many candles will reduse the sice of them...Am I right?

Kind regards Yvonne


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Re: Hi Fiona and Dorothy 7774

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Fri May 11, 2012 11:16 am

General Response,

as I understand it, it is fertilize well or heavily or frequently, heavy sun exposure[ shorter internodes ?], and try to get as many side candles as one can.
The side candles tend to produce shorter needles, and the idea is that the more needles brought into birth, will also enhance the size [ go smaller and denser] and health of the pine.

At least this is how I plan it when I defoliate a normal tree.

So the pine should/ could/ would end up healthier after the treatment.

Right now I am still learning how to keep the trees healthy, branching , back budding and sub-branching, small needles would be the end of the training technique.
Later.
Khaimraj

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Re: Hi Fiona and Dorothy 7774

Post  Guest on Fri May 11, 2012 11:35 am

Hi Khaimraj

You are right...full sun is the only real way to shorten internodes, This is what I do to all trees.

I have a few ( 5) japanese Corticosa pines....the corkbark variety. I find they are easy to work with...I keep them in freedraining soil, with only a little cocopeat, to keep them slightly more moist, before watering again ( even out) between water and dry..

The 3 older pines , after a few years, already heave a tree in the buttom, and a long stick to faten up the trunk...it works very well. While the needles on the stick are very long, are the needles short and dense on the low part...in a few year will I have some more shohinpines.
I dont like corcbark types of any kind for shohin. So I brake off the cork, it works very well. On fairly young trees, will the bark soon look older as it is.

Kind regards Yvonne

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leaf & needle cutting

Post  fuzei on Sat May 12, 2012 11:17 pm

Dorothy and Fiona..
Put it this way, the first person who told me to do it was Marco Invernizzi and subsequently it has been advocated by Peter Warren and Mark Cooper whose expertise I would never question.

Fiona explained above where she had encountered this technique of cutting pine needles,
Dorothy,.. where did you encounter the cutting of Ficus leaves ?
(what is the origin? and the purpose? )

Was this leaf shortening only for the purposes of showing or was there a background reason that would be a technique to achieve 'what'... ?
thanks for the enlightenment ... edzard

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Re: Hi Fiona and Dorothy 7774

Post  dorothy7774 on Thu May 17, 2012 4:15 pm

fuzei wrote:..
Fiona explained above where she had encountered this technique of cutting pine needles,
Dorothy,.. where did you encounter the cutting of Ficus leaves ?
(what is the origin? and the purpose? )

Was this leaf shortening only for the purposes of showing or was there a background reason that would be a technique to achieve 'what'... ?
thanks for the enlightenment ... edzard

The first time I cut Ficus salicaria (aka. nerifolia) was because of looks. I always liked the defoliated looks the best. Cutting the leafs in half or thirds was the next best thing. (We are talking about looks in the backyard on the shelve, not about exhibiting.) I then observed what cutting the leafs (with or without center growth) would do to the tree ( at certain times of the year). Then I tried other tropicals and noticed they would backbud as well and alltogether get stronger. Cutting the leafs on Buttonwood is not a new thing. I just never noticed it being done on other trees.

I also want to stress that I only do this technique on healthy trees. They will get stronger. You will notice a thicker leaf, more growth, better color. I also remove the fertilizer when cutting and add new, once the little buds emerge. Keep in mind, in my backyard the trees get plenty of water. Plenty of water means they get plenty of fertilizer and get rid of plenty of not so good stuff (like salt).

I have tried this technique on trees that almost never developed secondary growth in the apical area. Although pruning back of outgrowth triggers backbudding, the cutting technique will give you additional more detail to work with. Trimming back outgrowth and plent of ferts gives you long shoots on nerifolia. Removing the ferts (something I learned from Boon re JBPs..) seems to counteract the long shoots. I am getting more natural looking growth, not those toothpick shoots- for a lack of words.

-Dorothy


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Re: Hi Fiona and Dorothy 7774

Post  Guest on Mon May 21, 2012 10:26 am

Dear Nephew

Your stack of articles arriwed today...really interesting reading...Look forward to become much wiser.
Thanks for the lovely drawing.

Very kind regards Auntie

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Re: Hi Fiona and Dorothy 7774

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Mon May 21, 2012 12:22 pm

Dear Auntie,

now we can learn together. My time is limited, but if I can, within the week I will post a few of my Japanese black pine efforts. Please don't expect anything fantastic, I have spent most of my time on health, and learning how to branch and back bud, as I stated before.

My Sanshu variety, if that is possible from commercial seed, started of life as a sparingly needled pine, but this year it has begun to densify, very nicely.
I decided to work only on pines under 38 cms in height as I expect to get older some day in the distant future. Large pots and plants are very weighty.
Until.
Khaimraj

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Re: Hi Fiona and Dorothy 7774

Post  fuzei on Tue May 22, 2012 8:28 am

I also want to stress that I only do this technique on healthy trees. They will get stronger. You will notice a thicker leaf, more growth, better color. I also remove the fertilizer when cutting and add new, once the little buds emerge.
Dorothy.. thank you for your generous and detailed reply.
The technique effects many of the posts on this board, yet there is not much written about it in archives. And you seem to be the primary user of the technique, however, do not recommend it in many places where a novice may find it useful. (not blame, not at all, just surprise that it is not recommended when useful in whole or part of the technique AND.. I don't see an emoticon for the Disclaimer: "its not my fault you tried this at the wrong time' Smile )

The first time I encountered the technique of cutting needles was with Tak Yamaura (JapanBonsai) back when he was still a gardener and didn't have the bonsai shop yet. On pine the reasoning was two-fold, in presentation the bark and trunk movement was more important than the needles or foliage. As a result, he indicated that cutting needles for presentation was a good way to highlight the trunk and especially the bark of Black Pine. And, not done on other pine.
His primary reason was to reduce the candle size for the next year by cutting the ends of the needles at the desired length of his preferred next branch internode. And leaving the fertilizer off so that the growth was weakened so that the internode was smaller than the previous, rather than stronger and larger than the last years growth. And, done when the tree is to strong and other techniques were either to strenuous or not strong enough.

So the reason was to specifically weaken the growth by removing the needle portions and at the same time not damaging the sheathes to create more budding. (as in your case and observations)

The second introduction on that technique was with maple through Junji Shinada, some years before he became the gardener for UBC's Nitobe garden (and he retired last year).
Junji's technique was on maples, especially older 'generation' maples where the branching had been grown out = became too large, removed and regrown 1/4 around the diameter of the trunk at the same height (he simply rotated the primary branches around the tree Cool ). He determined that the cut leaf remained on the tree longer than the torn leaf. In other words when the leaf was cut, it would try to continue to function rather than dying back as the natural process when leaf damage occurs in nature.

The importance of this difference was the length of time that was lost between the cut leaf and the torn leaf that returned nutrients to create new buds versus the years growth cycle.
As an applied technique (one example) he would defoliate the tree except the branch that was being regrown. This one he would tear the leaves about 'X' weeks in advance to time leaf drop with the defoliation (depends on 1/3, 1/2, 2/3rd's tearing). This way there would be more budding directed to the branch that needed to regrow at the same time as keeping the rest of the tree in proportion.
and again as you mentioned and already know, there would be more buds on that branch.. and every new bud is a new apex that strengthens the tree, and growing out before the other leaves returned. This brought the new branch back faster to the original size that it should be and in proportion without increasing trunk girth.

Fertilizer was only added when the leaves had hardened off so that the internodes and leaves would stay reduced, at a time that the production of nutrients was the only job left for leaves for the season.

I realize that you are in Florida and perhaps work mostly on tropicals, however, I also observe that you readily adapt techniques to your uses thumbs up have you tried tearing the leaves rather than cutting them?
again my thanks for your detailed reply and it is wonderful to see this technique being used and your considerable success (talent) with its use.. your trees express themselves very well..
edzard

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Re: Hi Fiona and Dorothy 7774

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Tue May 22, 2012 11:16 am

Interesting Edzard,

on this side, because I try to keep the trees in full sun and if possible, low humidity, I have to use a very high nitrogen fertilizer [ 1/3 strength lawn fertilizer applied weekly, ] to keep up the deep green of the foliage.

However, some of our trees, Tamarind, Ixora and say the Seagrape are already immune to the above conditions and the seagrape also handles high breeze without missing a step. So reduction of those leaves are very difficult.
I am presently getting a good deal of leaf density from the Tamarind, so much so, I have to go in and remove inner leaves to allow air into the heart.

The full sun, easily keeps the internodes short, but then I am not sure how truly organic my soils are, as it is only at times 1/3 is compost / cocopeat or other.

Defoliation, as applied to my Celtis, will if overdone result in 1 cm sized leaves, but the trees cannot quite keep up a believable density. These leaves are given the standard cut, and never real torn off.

I am a great believer in full sun, and low humidity, with adequate fertilizer.

I seldom defoliate any tree more than once for the year and then usually at the height of our dry season. My reasoning is more than that will eventually weaken and harm the tree.

Lastly, I will tell you with the Leucenia [ spelling?] you should defoliate frequently, as the only situation that can harm this weed tree is, wet feet.
Stay Well.
Khaimraj

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Re: Hi Fiona and Dorothy 7774

Post  Guest on Tue May 22, 2012 11:44 am

Interesting information guys....

The reply from Fuzei, is the one, I can relate too, as I dont know about the other species...Fuzei can you explain how much you tear a acerleaf off, or just show a photo?.

Kind regards Yvonne

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Re: Hi Fiona and Dorothy 7774

Post  fuzei on Wed May 23, 2012 8:34 am

Yvonne, Khaimraj, others..
Our trees are just budding here and there is still snow in the forest. I shall have to wait until leaves come out or go to the city and tear some immature leaves.
I shall read the information needed to post pictures.
as a description, there are many ways to tear leaves, and some people leave the torn ends still attached and hanging because they remind them of the 'wishes' tied to trees (in Japan) so that they flutter in the wind.
tearing a leaf is simple enough. Very Happy hold with fingers and tear like tearing paper. But I don't think that is what you mean.
Perhaps the next part is understanding that removing all the leaves has a specific result that (you) already know and therefore removing only half the leaf will have half the effect. (weakens the tree by 1/2 of the maximum the technique offers)(or, allows the tree to be stronger by 50% than complete leaf removal)
Then tear off what you feel the tree should be weakened by. Perhaps it is 1/4 of a leaf or 3/4's of a leaf. All trees are different as each is unique.

Or, is the bud development the more important part?

Leaf tearing is a lot of work. And I am lazy.

and so, being lazy, I must respectfully disagree that sunlight is the only way to reduce leaf size. Before I would tear a leaf or defoliate the tree, I would recommend reducing the amount of water the tree receives. Water is the second best way and reducing the fertilizer is the third. And removing leaves is the same as reducing fertilizer, except for the extra budding capability. The technique of tearing a leaf reduces the energy available to the tree, however, returns more energy to the tree to develop buds.

I wonder if it has been forgotten that as trees, bonsai physiology changes with less water and they become xeric, as in xeri-phytes, drought tolerant plants. and will automatically reduce their growth in accordance to the amount of water that is available to them in the spring, and is kept reduced until the leaves have changed to their summer colour.

Yvonne, what are you really trying to figure out?
you were originally talking about pine, and pine are different than maples or deciduous because the sugars and energy is kept in the tree needles and does not return to the roots for winter storage. and, this is why we defoliate pine in the fall, as the technique of momiage. And, we defoliate deciduous trees in the fall as well, so that less sugars return to the roots for storage, that reduces the spring growth. And is the same as repotting: reducing the roots so that more energy is needed to regrow roots taking energy from the top growth.

This, reduction of sugars for winter storage in roots or needles determines how much energy there is in the needles available for spring, and reduction will reduce the amount of candle growth, and -- internode growth in both conifers and deciduous trees.

I feel I am trying to guess at a question and I know that advising people on their bonsai techniques is like advising someone on how to train their horse... "just don't affraid "... the hard part is that if information is not shared, asked about, and discussed, then a tradition is never born in the first place nor maintained, and thankfully, the bonsai artists that are gifted like Dorothy, will reinvent techniques through their observational skills. And this is also you Yvonne because you are asking yourself a question. I just don't know what question you are asking (yourself), or, if I have an answer..

Do you have an example to work with or from?

Dorothy and Fiona, my apologies, I seem to have run off with your thread. Such was not the intent and I would be happier to interweave your experiences as more consistent with current forum lore, as the cultivation of bonsai has assuredly changed in the last couple decades. edzard

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Re: Hi Fiona and Dorothy 7774

Post  Guest on Wed May 23, 2012 11:55 am

Hi Fuzei

No need to apologise to Fiona and Dorothy, as it was me who started the tread....

I asked if cut needles and leaves was acceptabel for exhibitions, as I found the two trees in the galleri....I see the galleri, as a place you can showcase your finished trees in exhibition-condition.
I found out it is best to keep the needles short, but if a few have become too long, is it OK to cut.
Dorothys tree was not ready for the galleri.

The tread has strayed a lot, and a lot of interesting informaton has come for a day, wich is nice.....especial if you are a fairley new bonsaigrower, who need to learn more....

Fuzei you say "I wonder if it has been forgotten that as trees, bonsai physiology changes with less water and they become xeric, as in xeri-phytes, drought tolerant plants. and will automatically reduce their growth in accordance to the amount of water that is available to them in the spring, and is kept reduced until the leaves have changed to their summer colour."

This is what I do all the time.

Kind regards Yvonne

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Re: Hi Fiona and Dorothy 7774

Post  my nellie on Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:56 pm

Hello all!
This is a very old thread but I am looking for some help on f. salicaria defoliation so I thought I'd try and ask here....
I have torn by hand the leaves of my f. salicaria in half for reason of back budding.
It is about three weeks now and no sign of back budding yet.
I might have done something wrong?
Any reasoning/suggestions, please?
Thank you!

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Re: Hi Fiona and Dorothy 7774

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