Conifer Bonsai in Valavanis' Summer Garden

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Conifer Bonsai in Valavanis' Summer Garden

Post  Roy Wixson on Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:53 pm

I recently toured Bill Valavanis' garden. He gave a history of some of his trees and also demonstrated larch needle plucking. I hope that you enjoy the tour as much as I did.


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Re: Conifer Bonsai in Valavanis' Summer Garden

Post  Neil Jaeger on Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:00 pm

Another great video Roy!! Can't wait till the open house, I'm not gonna miss this one.

Neil

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Re: Conifer Bonsai in Valavanis' Summer Garden

Post  Andrei Darusenkov on Thu Jul 07, 2011 7:13 am

Neil Jaeger wrote:Another great video Roy!! Can't wait till the open house, I'm not gonna miss this one.

Neil

I wish I could get there! Thanks for the video anyway! It's an awesome bonsai garden! Bravo to Bill!

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question on tree in video

Post  NeilDellinger on Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:51 pm

Great video. Bill is first class!

Question for Bill or anyone who may know. In the video he refers to the dwarf scots pine that was "pinched once, now growing...and will be pinched again".
Why and where pinch a second time? I am familiar with pinching the candles of scots pine to the proper length.

Are you pinching a second time before or after the newly extended needles have hardened off?

That tree looked pretty dense already! BTW Bill, that is one of my favorite pines.

Thanks,
Neil

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Re: Conifer Bonsai in Valavanis' Summer Garden

Post  William N. Valavanis on Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:27 pm

Neil,
The Dwarf scots pine was pinched about three times this past spring because the entire tree does not grow at the same rate. The top is more vigorous than the lower and interior branches. After the needles matured some were trimmed again to shorten the growth even more.

Yes, this pine is very dense, too dense in fact. However, I'm preparing it for the 3rd US National Bonsai Exhibition which will be held next June. All the small branches were allowed to grow in order to distribute the energy among all of them. This will reduce the needle size. Now I need to find the time to sit down and thin out the bonsai then wire it. Hopefully it might be ready by next June.

Glad you liked this bonsai. I love these Dwarf scots pines which are difficult to obtain. They are all seedlings grown by a great plantsman who died several years ago. A long time ago (over 30 years) I purchased many of his seedlings and used them for classes.

I just purchased another specimen one of my students has had for 30 years. It needs some training and I may sell it. He also has another great specimen I've been trying to get for several years and we just made a deal for it. It's a killer tree, but too bushy, but I know how to fix it.

Hope this helps.

Bill


Dwarf scots pine, Thursday, July 7th at 6pm.


Pine branch detail, which needs thinning out.

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Re: Conifer Bonsai in Valavanis' Summer Garden

Post  William N. Valavanis on Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:39 pm

Here is another one of these Dwarf scots pines. Another student brought it to class two years ago for shaping. After telling him how to proceed I went to help other students with their bonsai, but kept coming back to this tree. Then I told him I wanted to purchase it and he said he would rather keep it. I made him a generous cash offer, told him he could keep the container and the workshop would be free. I had a new tree to work on! Originally I sold it to him as a young seedling about 30 years ago and he basically let it go.

After class I put the tree aside and the next day, after church I wired the tree completely which took about three hours. I only trimmed a few branches, but wired everything then "compacted" the tree bringing all the branches inwards. Then a few days later I potted the tree in a finer quality container.

Hope you like my work.

Bill

PS: Last year the wire began to cut into the bark so we removed it before damage. The tree bounced back, just a little and now needs to be wired again.


Dwarf scots pine BEFORE


After shaping and repotting


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Re: Conifer Bonsai in Valavanis' Summer Garden

Post  Rob C on Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:48 pm

Absolutely stunning William.. The tree, the pot, the stand.. Outstanding composition..

Rob

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Re: Conifer Bonsai in Valavanis' Summer Garden

Post  NeilDellinger on Fri Jul 08, 2011 12:04 pm

Thank You Bill. I appreciate the extra information and photos.

Any ideas on why we don't see more scots pine bonsai in the US? Really, what more could you ask for...bark, foliage size & color, grows well in many zones........ I've got one nice old tree which came from a tree farm about 25-30 years ago. Its been such a fun tree to work with that I just want more of them.

Neil

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Re: Conifer Bonsai in Valavanis' Summer Garden

Post  William N. Valavanis on Fri Jul 08, 2011 12:18 pm

Neil,
I agree with you that Scots pines should be used more for bonsai training. Julian Adams has written a few articles on them in my International BONSAI magazine in the past.

I too have a Scots pine bonsai created from a field grown Christmas tree with a heavy trunk. However, it is not necessary to have a thick trunk to have a powerful beautiful bonsai. Also attached is another Scots pine trained from a one-gallon nursery stock. Although the elegant Scots pine has been in training for over 30 years, perhaps 40, it is quite excellent in form.

Enjoy!

Bill


Scots pine from a field grown Christmas tree.


Scots pine from a one-gallon nursery stock tree.


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Re: Conifer Bonsai in Valavanis' Summer Garden

Post  NeilDellinger on Fri Jul 08, 2011 12:51 pm

Wow Bill. Those are wonderful. Here's mine.....After purchasing it, I repotted and have about gotten it back into balance and health. Sorry for the poor pic and background. This winter it needs to be wired. My vision for this tree is to develop the same elegance you've achieved in yours. I like your pot choices.

Thanks for the inspirational photos...BTW, Julian has been coaching me via the telephone for a couple of seasons now with this pine. He's a great guy and generous with his knowledge. It is currently a vibrant green with nice uniform shoots and needles throughout the tree Smile

A month ago as new candles were extending into needles:


Late winter prior to repotting: (6 yrs since it had been repotted!!)

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Re: Conifer Bonsai in Valavanis' Summer Garden

Post  William N. Valavanis on Fri Jul 08, 2011 1:30 pm

Nice tree Neil,

Don't be in a hurry to transplant bonsai. People transplant too often. It the plant is growing well, and the water is draining, leave the bonsai alone.

Bill

PS: I have had pine bonsai without transplanting for 15 years. I know Mr. Kimura has one of his most famous shimpaku juniper bonsai for over 20 years without transplanting!

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Re: Conifer Bonsai in Valavanis' Summer Garden

Post  DaveV. on Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:55 pm

I hear more and more people commenting that most of us repot our trees much too frequently. Good point Bill - if the water is flowing and the tree is healthy, let it stay in the pot.

DaveV.

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Re: Conifer Bonsai in Valavanis' Summer Garden

Post  NeilDellinger on Sat Jul 09, 2011 2:51 am

Agreed on the repotting. This one however did not drain at all. The interior root ball below the trunk was DUST!

I've been finding my trees do far better their 2nd-3rd year without repotting (especially elms).

Thats amazing though 20 years in a pot without repotting. What kind of soil is that?


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Re: Conifer Bonsai in Valavanis' Summer Garden

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