I am “The Walrus”

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I am “The Walrus”

Post  bonsai monkey on Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:46 am

As “fat” is fast becoming the Bonsai “size zero” I thought I’d introduce this portly chappy! This English Elm came into my possession last year as a “joke” Shohin by a fellow MBS members Dean who loves to wind me up about my little trees and thought it was time I had something the “right size”. It lived quite happily all last year in my garden and got its rude awakening at our March Club meeting with visiting Guest Speaker Will Baddeley. Will had suggested the we bring along problem trees, and boy I thought he’d got it with mine, and unfazed he started hacking away at the deadwood on “The Slug” as he nick named it. I think the original plan went out of the window due to the large amount of soft deadwood, so he started to wire the branches to give a basic shape. As there were a lot of Club members present I was given the task of wiring the rest of the tree, with my Monkey sidekick Andy volunteering to help, and losing as much of the soft wood as time allowed.


Worried looking Monkey!!


A man happy in his work

Will was a total star all evening turning many a sow’s ear well on its way to becoming presentable bonsai (even if someone did throw him a body swerve with a Figus!!) and finally came to style The Slug. It seems that this tree can be viewed from either side and whilst Will was positioning the branches the viewing audience was looking at the “back” and The Slug instantly became a Seal. With the styling done, and a quick spin around, it was agreed that Will’s chosen front was the way to go (although either could work) and with this tree being quite large in the derrière it was agreed that The Walrus was a more apt name.


How was my wiring Will??


I do smile from time to time - a bit scary

I'll post the proper front image tonite when I've taken 1 as it was too dark when I got home after the meeting.
Thanks again to Will for his hard work and I hop e you had a safe journey home,
Ook, Ook,
Simon

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Re: I am “The Walrus”

Post  Rob Kempinski on Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:35 pm

Looks good from the front.

How about grafting some roots to the lower left?

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Re: I am “The Walrus”

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:49 pm

The picture looks more like a Seal than a Walrus.

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Re: I am “The Walrus”

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:36 pm

Simon,

try reversing your walrus overlay. Show again when in leaf please. Nice to see Will at work.
Much thanks for showing.
Khaimraj

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Re: I am “The Walrus”

Post  Dustin Mann on Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:40 pm

Very nice tree. Will...great choice. I like the trunk base as it is and would not graft some puny pencil thick roots on it. As it is the base looks like very old tree(that would have underground root base traveling under a sidewalk if in nature) The trunk has the smooth feel of an animal(seal,walrus) To me the trunk has fantastic quick taper plus movement together.It definitely does not look 'typical sumo', that tend to look wide but static from trunk chop. When branches thicken tree will keep getting better real quickly(2-3yrs) Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Dustin Mann

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Re: I am “The Walrus”

Post  F. Waheedy on Tue Mar 08, 2011 2:24 pm

Nice tree, Simon. Very nice trunk movement and texture.
Love to see it in leaves.

Cheers

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Re: I am “The Walrus”

Post  Neil Jaeger on Tue Mar 08, 2011 5:19 pm

Great tree, and a great guy to work on an elm seeing as he (Will B.) has some of the best looking and most creative elms that i have seen.

Neil

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Re: I am “The Walrus”

Post  Stone Monkey on Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:14 pm

I am the egg man coo coo ca cho. She, or is that a he, is looking good Simon and in a few years she will look very nice indeed
Good club meeting last night and I can heap enough praise on Will as a bonsai artist, presenter and all round good chap.

Cheers Will, see you at BoBB in a few weeks, oh and I am glad you liked your pot.

Regards

Andy

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Re: I am “The Walrus”

Post  Jesse on Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:31 pm

Very cool tree and great to see the process. Thanks for sharing.

Jesse
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I am “The Walrus”

Post  Guest on Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:32 pm

Thakyou Simon, Andy and all the rest at Maidstone B.C. What an enthusiastic and talented bunch you are. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, getting together with like minded people. Great pot Andy and an Elm with a very good future Simon. Need a pic of the front though.

Guest
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Re: I am “The Walrus”

Post  bonsai monkey on Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:46 pm

will baddeley wrote: Need a pic of the front though.
Your wish is my command!!

After spending time admiring her behind, here’s the actual front (fun bags and all) that I intend to use as promised.



The “lump” on the lefthand side will need removing but as you can see the tree has super movement, lovely plated bark and bark folds like the wrinkles in Nora Batties stockings!!







The root (1) needs carving and as you can see from the close up Will has given me a starting point. The deadwood (2) needsreducing to show more forward movement in the deadwood and the top of the deadwood (3) needs improvement as this was just roughly reduced on the night.



Billy
I know my overlay picture is a Seal but I couldn’t find a Walrus (I won’t tell you what I did find during an inocent Google search) in the correct pose. I think due to the size, bark and the fact that the tree is owned by a grumpy, bad tempered man, it fits me perfectly!!
Thanks to everyone for their feedback and kind comments. I nearly “lost” the tree twice last night to Club members who wanted to releive me of it although never say never!!

Love, Peace & Bananas,
Simon

bonsai monkey
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Re: I am “The Walrus”

Post  Guest on Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:56 pm

Simon. You've taken the front markers out. The front was further round to the left. Rolling Eyes

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Re: I am “The Walrus”

Post  bonsai monkey on Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:03 pm

will baddeley wrote:Simon. You've taken the front markers out. The front was further round to the left. Rolling Eyes

I "moved them" for the photo, back in now and noticed that I took the picture at the wrong angle Embarassed
I'll post the correct angle when I've cleaned up the deadwood a bit more,

Ook, Ook,
Simon

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Re: I am “The Walrus”

Post  handy mick on Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:10 pm

Lovely tree Simon, however I think you are in trouble now!
Quick put the markers back in.
Mick

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Re: I am “The Walrus”

Post  Paul B (Scotland) on Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:29 pm

Hey Simon,

Lovely tree. I really like the movement in the lower trunk and the bark texture is great.

I have a couple of questions that either you or Will can hopefully answer:

How to you go about removing the dead stump on the left hand side? Do you just remove what is visible above the soil level and leave the remaining bit below the soil? or, Do you remove it completely (cutting it right back to the main trunk the next time you repot?, or some other method?

How long does the wire stay on? I'm thinking those branches are going to thicken quickly during the growing season, possibly causing scarring?

When will you start the carving on the marked area on the right hand side root?

Great tree though - looking forward to seeing it develope.

Are you going to Willowbog this year? I met you there briefly last year - you were deep in thought styling a Juniper at the time. Hopefully get a chance to have a blether with you this time. I'll be there on the Sunday. I'm looking forward to seeing the Stone Monkey there too. Burrs seems like a lifetime ago.

Cheers for now.

Paul

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Re: I am “The Walrus”

Post  Guest on Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:56 am

Hello Paul. The stump was sawn off at soil level, as it didn't fit in with the trees design. The remainder will either be carved and hollowed, or reduced back to the tree, depending if there are any important roots there. The carving can be carried out now, as the tree is about to start growing and will callous very quickly. The wire can probably be removed in mid to late May. Any scarring at this stage will grow out as the tree develops.

Guest
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Re: I am “The Walrus”

Post  bonsai monkey on Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:14 am

Hi Paul,
Thanks for your kind comments and questions.
Yes, I will be at Willowbog this year and I promise to be more socialble. I'm up there all weekend really looking forward to it. That Juniper styling last year took all my concentration (and a bit borrowed!!) so I was not totally with it when meeting people Embarassed

Will, thanks for answering them and giving me an additional timeframe for the work.
What would I do without your help??

Love, Peace & Bananas,
Simon

bonsai monkey
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Re: I am “The Walrus”

Post  bonsai monkey on Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:40 pm

Will,
I was wondering what I needed to do with all the long extention growth that has taken place since you visisted us. Do I just let it run, leaf prune in June and then re-wire the extention growth? I know that I should know better but I want to compliment the work that you have already done and also it will help me understand what I need to do with the latest Elm that I have styled.

I know what you mean about wiring a tree to look like a UK native but having the Walrus around helped me style a tree that I had been scratching my head about for years. I'll post some pictures soon so I can get your valued feedback,
Regards,
Simon

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Re: I am “The Walrus”

Post  Guest on Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:09 pm

Hello Simon. If your feeding well, cut back to two buds, leaf prune and wire. More so at the bottom branches than the leader which can be left ot thicken some more. Keep an eye on the wires we put on though.

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i am the walrus

Post  moyogijohn on Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:23 pm

THANKS to Will and yourself of course you have a very nice tree....i am glad you removed some of the dead wood now it looks much better!!!! what will you put on the carved part to seal it??? nice tree keep us posted ok??? take care john

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Re: I am “The Walrus”

Post  bonsai monkey on Fri Jul 01, 2011 7:36 pm

UPDATE



As you can see it had grown strongly out with the scissors and away I went. Trying to use Will’s silhouette as a guide I cut back as best as I thought. I was originally going to defoliate and re-wire the tree but I ran out of time to a mega haircut was the only choice. The main branch at the top had put on a good 3 feet in length but it was a sacrifice to help thicken the upper part of the trunk. Chop, and off it came (I just hope that now was about the right sort of time!) along with all the really long growth.



Thanks for looking,
Simon

bonsai monkey
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i am the walrus

Post  moyogijohn on Sat Jul 02, 2011 11:08 pm

Great looking tree!! i need it bad!! to me it,s a shame you could not keep all the trunk just ginning the top by the apex...but it looks good and you had far better help with it than me!! post this again when it is finished please..good job take care john

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