Update of arborvitae(was in questions)

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Update of arborvitae(was in questions)

Post  Jake16 on Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:42 am

This is the initial styling. There are two branches on the right top of the tree that I hope fills out and the other two will reduce. Im still not sure if im keeping the other trunk or not. Comments and virtual are welcome. I will probably put up my virtual at some point


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Re: Update of arborvitae(was in questions)

Post  Jake16 on Fri Jul 06, 2012 2:04 am

Maybe something like this, pot was just a guess.


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Update of Arborvitae

Post  bonsaisr on Fri Jul 06, 2012 3:14 am

The broken record plays again. Take the wire off & forget styling for now. If you have an ideal spot in your garden, plant it in the ground. Some disagree with this, but I find it works. Otherwise, leave it in the present pot for now, & next spring plant it in a large shallow training pot in coarse bonsai soil. Feed very heavily. The only work I would do on it is keep trimming the tips to encourage back budding near the trunk. Try to encourage more abundant compact foliage. Do this for a couple of years.
Iris

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Re: Update of arborvitae(was in questions)

Post  Jake16 on Fri Jul 06, 2012 3:18 am

I didn't plan on putting it in a bonsai any time soon, and what r the wires doing to hurt it, I figured I could get them to set why they were younger. I am trimming the tips how far can I trim back ?


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Re: Update of arborvitae(was in questions)

Post  leatherback on Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:02 am

Jake16 wrote:I didn't plan on putting it in a bonsai any time soon, and what r the wires doing to hurt it, I figured I could get them to set why they were younger. I am trimming the tips how far can I trim back ?

The main reason I can see for not styling too soon is that you want growth to get a fatter trunk, which means massive thickening of branches too. With the work you have done now, you have reduced the number of branches effectively putting all the thickening strain on the few branches that you would like to keep delicate, as they are part of the final design. My young metrial gets the reverse treatment: I keep the branches I want to keep very short, just barely enough to not let them die. All other branches can grow as much as they like; I only tie them aside to allow light to keep getting to the your foliage near the trunk.

Bending branches puts stress on the sap carrying vessels, and reduces growth. Not good if you want to get a more mature plant.

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Re: Update of arborvitae(was in questions)

Post  Jake16 on Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:54 pm

Oh, I dont really want the trunk to thicken. I like the size its at now I just need the two small branches to grow and the others to reduce closer to the trunk. Thanks for the comments.

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Re: Update of arborvitae(was in questions)

Post  Andre Beaurain on Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:19 am

Dear Jake
How old are you pal?

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Re: Update of arborvitae(was in questions)

Post  leatherback on Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:42 am

Jake16 wrote:Oh, I dont really want the trunk to thicken. I like the size its at now I just need the two small branches to grow and the others to reduce closer to the trunk. Thanks for the comments.

Not sure whether you'll ever get a convincing tree then. Have a good browse through literati styled trees, and especially take not of the actual size these trees have. Most of them stand 50cm tall minimum with a nebari of 5+cm across...

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Re: Update of arborvitae(was in questions)

Post  Jake16 on Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:25 pm

Andre,

Im pretty sure I know what ur gettin at Smile im 21

Leatherback, I see what u mean now that I stepped away from the tree but I can,still see the trunk being ok (i probably will put it in the ground just so yall know )

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Re: Update of arborvitae(was in questions)

Post  Andre Beaurain on Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:06 pm

What I'm getting at is this,
Lucky bastard cheers you have got at least 50 years of creating Bonsai!!....Dont waste any time like I did, follow Iris's advice and put the tree in the ground! When you are 31 you will have a prize winning bonsai!
But not if you are going to fight the experts advice.
To say that you dont want your tree to get any thicker is not wise adall.

Not what you had in mind I was getting at, right?

Love and light
Andre

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Re: Update of arborvitae(was in questions)

Post  Jake16 on Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:11 pm

Not exactly Smile but I wasnt fighting, just questioning because I see all these other people first styling their tree and it looks the same as mine


Last edited by Jake16 on Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:53 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Update of arborvitae(was in questions)

Post  Leo Schordje on Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:46 pm

Jake16 wrote:Not exactly Smile <snip>..... just questioning because I see all these other people first styling their tree and it looks the same as mine

touche

I am smiling, thinking of the comments that Ryan Neil and Marc Nolander made in their excellent and brutally honest critique of the Colorado BCI show. Jake is right, if one were new to bonsai, and went by what is often posted in this forum, one could think that very immature trees are to be wired. I know myself, I could save years if I would follow Iris' advice and put certain trees back in the ground.

Occasionally it is appropriate to do a little wiring of a young tree in training. It is appropriate to initially wire the trunk, to set bends and curves, or to correct bad curves or angles while the tree is flexible. BUT here it is shaping the trunk that is the goal, not the final branching. For example, I am beginning a broom, I want the vase shape as in the American Elm, I wired the trunk and first 2 branches to get the smooth arc that I will want for the finished tree. Once the trunk and branches are set, a few years in the ground is next for this young tree.

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Re: Update of arborvitae(was in questions)

Post  Jake16 on Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:52 pm

Thank you Leo, I couldn't have said it better my self

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Re: Update of arborvitae(was in questions)

Post  fiona on Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:06 pm

Hmmm. A lot of those other people are going to have trees that could have been better too.

Andre is right is pointing out that the main advantage you have over a lot of us on here is time on your side. That turns to diddly squat however if it isn't used wisely. Sometimes us old fogeys on here come across as suggesting that it's "our way or the wrong way". Don't take that (not always anyway Wink ) as arrogance - it is merely that many of us wasted time doing things incorrectly in our own youthful eagerness way back in the day. The one lesson we do want to pass on is to heed the advice of those who have learned by getting it all wrong the first time.

Things I'd do are first let it develop a bit more in the ground or a large training pot (if you're going for literati then it is only a year or so); second. while you're waiting find yourself a way of learning how to wire properly. I don't personally subscribe to the wiring must be absolutely perfect school. but yours I'm afraid to say is not good to the point of being possibly next to useless. Marco Invernizzi gets his school students to pick up bits of branches that have fallen off trees and practise wiring on them. The idea is to let students get the method right - size of wire, what to wire, what to anchor the wire too (you have some floating bits) how closely to coil the wire etc - in a situation that doesn't matter if you get it wrong the first time. Don't look on this as something beneath your dignity - many of those who were on the Marco school with me were long-established bonsai folk whose trees have won major awards. To know how to do the "short cuts" in wiring, you need to know the basics as well.

Third thing to do is look at books of great trees - normally anything from a major show is good. If you cant get hold of those, use the Search facility here to look at reports members have put on from quality shows - ones like Bill Valavanis's US NAtional Bonsai Exhibition, Noelanders Trophy, Best of British Bonsai etc. See how the trees there differ from yours and try to work out how.

Lastly, please note I am not saying dump that tree. It may not win the US National Exhibition but it could be a lot better than its current state. And if it is something you use to learn on then that is most certainly not wasted effort.

Good luck with it. And apologies for the length of this.

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Re: Update of arborvitae(was in questions)

Post  fiona on Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:14 pm

Just also to point out, Leo is saying it can be advantageous to wire a young tree before putting it in the ground to develop, but he is talking about the shaping of the trunk - putting in curves and bends etc. That's a standard bonsai nursery practice and, put simply, that sort of pre-styling is what starts a piece of Japanese nursery material on its way to being a quality piece of material. What you have done is try to place branches and that is entirely different.

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Re: Update of arborvitae(was in questions)

Post  Jake16 on Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:40 pm

Yeah the wiring is a little rough I needed to redo it but thos hanging pieces were weighing down those branches. One big problem is that I only have two gauges of wire.

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Re: Update of arborvitae(was in questions)

Post  Steven on Wed Jul 11, 2012 5:00 pm

Jake,


Have you looked for a club in your area? With my schedule I have not been able to attend and take advantage of my local club here in cville, but I am sure that seeing others work first hand would help to make a lot of the suggestions that are being made make a bit more sense. You can also read the below links, and even go to youtube and watch videos (my preferences are by either GrahamWPotter, Chasnsx, OrlandoBonsaiTV), as well as find countless books for inspiration and technique. I myself turned my gardening hobby toward the direction of Bonsai about 2-3 years ago (still very very much a newbie) and wanted to dive right in a produce a fantastic tree from seedlings of course after much reading and forums such as this I realized the patience and time required to do so. While I continue to grow exotic/hard for me to find species from seed and seedlings (for fun and more of that patience training lol) that may some day be used for bonsai material, I found it most rewarding and educational to pick up some larger nursery stock that was a suitable size and easy species to work with (juniper, boxwood, etc) to start trying out the techniques I was reading about and to allow myself to see the results I wanted as well as to learn from my mistakes. Nothing wrong with starting with smaller material, and you certainly have the time to make it great, but the advice that is being given by those who have posted before me will help you to do so while also helping you avoid the mistakes others have made, and save you time. Good luck and enjoy.

Links:

http://www.evergreengardenworks.com/trunks.htm

http://home.comcast.net/~okamigardens/Articles/Contents.htm

http://www.bonsai4me.com/Basics.html

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Re: Update of arborvitae(was in questions)

Post  Jake16 on Wed Jul 11, 2012 5:05 pm

Yeah like I said earlier, I have watched everything on youtube:) and went thrift the whole bonsao4me website. I live in a very small town and there are not any clubs close to me. Thanks for the advice

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Re: Update of arborvitae(was in questions)

Post  Ryan on Wed Jul 11, 2012 5:07 pm

Jake16 wrote:Yeah like I said earlier, I have watched everything on youtube:) and went thrift the whole bonsao4me website. I live in a very small town and there are not any clubs close to me. Thanks for the advice



Ooooh where in VA are you??

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Re: Update of arborvitae(was in questions)

Post  Jake16 on Wed Jul 11, 2012 5:10 pm

Nottoway, and the other "problem"Smile is that I have a 2 month old son ( he keeps me pretty busy Smile

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Re: Update of arborvitae(was in questions)

Post  fiona on Wed Jul 11, 2012 5:11 pm

For goodness' sake don't wire him or put him in the ground to thicken up. Very Happy Evil or Very Mad

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Re: Update of arborvitae(was in questions)

Post  Jake16 on Wed Jul 11, 2012 5:13 pm

I was thinking about it but my fiance said no Smile

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Re: Update of arborvitae(was in questions)

Post  Steven on Wed Jul 11, 2012 5:14 pm

Not familiar with the location (i am sure someone on here can help you find a close group), I too can relate having a 9 month old, however I also look at this as a good thing as by leaving my smaller trees seedling or collected to grow either in the ground or in larger nursery or training pots I have more time to play with my son, plus having him to keep me busy keeps me from wanting to mess with my trees when I know I shouldn't. I also purchased a bonsai for kids book to get him started early lol.

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Re: Update of arborvitae(was in questions)

Post  Steven on Wed Jul 11, 2012 5:16 pm

fiona wrote:For goodness' sake don't wire him or put him in the ground to thicken up. Very Happy Evil or Very Mad


They grow like weeds, no ground thickening required lol

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Re: Update of arborvitae(was in questions)

Post  coh on Wed Jul 11, 2012 5:38 pm

Steven wrote:Jake,
Have you looked for a club in your area? With my schedule I have not been able to attend and take advantage of my local club here in cville...

Even if you can't make regular meetings, many clubs host beginners workshops (as well as other workshops), often on weekends. I don't know how long you've been doing this or how much experience you have (only about 2 years for me), but I've found there's nothing like hands-on learning guided by experienced bonsai growers, especially for things like wiring, potting, etc.

Jake, it looks like Nottoway is about 60 miles from Richmond...maybe that's too far to go on a monthly basis (given you other "constraint"), but I'd really consider looking into whether they offer any beginner classes that you could make it to. You could also contact the club to find out if there may be other opportunities closer to your area - maybe a club member lives down there and would be willing to advise/help you out.

BTW, before moving to NY, I lived in Powhatan for about 5 years. Miss the winters, the summers...not so much!

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Re: Update of arborvitae(was in questions)

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