maandag 27 november 2017

Transplanting a few more embryonal root-over-rock projects

All embryonal root-over-rock bonsai life.

All from seed of a very old wild apple tree in the Walloon part of Belgium, that I collected early january 2016. The few apples I collected were really tiny, no more than 4cm diameter.

After their first year I put the seedlings in baskets or controlled growth in the ground, on top of a rock. Now I inspected them, cleaned them, pruned roots, and planted them all out in the ground for a good few (I actually 'many') years of strong growth. I need them to grow into vigorous raw material with decent trunks. I guess these will take 5 to 10 years before I can even start real training.
I'm an addict for projects like this, with special native species. For one of the young little ones I used a different kind of stone to put it on in the ground (slate - sorry no picture).

Underneath: how they looked in early january 2016...

Keeping mushrooms in your bonsai pot

Mushrooms, they are the above ground fruiting bodies of various species of fungus. Fungi that form symbioses with trees (and other plants) are called 'mycorrhizae'. These types of fungi (mainly ecto-mycorrhizae for trees) help the tree by working together with the tree through the rootsystem.

How do I ensure a healthy environment for mycorrhizae (usefull fungi/mushrooms) in your substrate:
1. A sparse use of chemical fertilizers (not more than a handfull administrations a year, from june to august). I limit the dosage strictly to the prescriptions on the bottle.
2. Mixing in a small handfull of dried cow manure (grain pellets) in my potting substrate, to help bacteria colonise for the organic part in the substrate.
3. When repotting, keep a small part of the old mixture (even 5 or 10% is enough) on the roots (doesn't really matter where) and transplant as such in the new mixture.
4. Optional: if you start with a tree that was in a substrate which was not colonised with mycorrhizae before, you could search in nature for similar tree species and pluk a 'ripe' mushroom in autumn, crumble it and mix it in your substrate (spores). Or, just hope for natural colonisation with the other step (1-3) you allready took. Spores can travel for long distances, but don't count on colonisation if you really live far away from other trees or in mainly urban area.

Some very recent pictures: Common European Alders, Birch, Hazel, Hornbeam.

vrijdag 24 november 2017

European White Elm from seed, taking the next step

Ulmus Laevis (latin), European White Elm (english), Orme lisse (fran├žais), Flutterelme (deutsch), Fladderiep (nederlands)

Two seasons old. Collected from seed, growing as seedling in 2016 and planted out on a rock early 2017.

Now it is time to put it in the ground for vigorous growth and thickening the trunk. The main trunk (centre) can stay for a while to help thicken the trunk. This Elms species naturally grows more like a bushy tree. It is also resistant to the Elm's disease. The roots were heavily pruned, some were a metre long.

Great and rare native species in this part of Belgium (Flanders), it was collected from seed of a tree in the Wallon part of Belgium.

I love starting up projects like this. Securing future bonsai fun with 'special' native trees.

maandag 20 november 2017

Moving 4 bonsai project trees

Still young, but here are a few bonsai project trees I am growing in my garden for future fun.
bonsai young potentials !

All native, all started from seed, seedling or very very young material.

Prunus padus, or european Bird Cherry
Prunus avium, or european Wild Cherry or Sweet Cherry.
Aesculus Hippocastanum, or Horse Chestnut
Prunus domestica (insititia), or European Wild Plum

Now I've dug out a hedge along one side of my garden (replacing it with Hedera) I got room for other things. Just what I need, extra space ;-).

Power tool for carving

Today someone asked me if I learned to carve in a bonsai club?
I said 'no'.

I also said I first researched which (big) power tools were frequently used for bonsai carving. The weight, the wattage, varying speed, length and diameter of the shaft, price...

I ultimately found a carving tool that was almost twice as strong and at the same time twice as cheap.
1200Watts, varying speed, and 149 EURO.

Result was that a bonsai-friend was interested and got the same machine. Because he follows classes with Danny Use (the 'famous' bonsai center ginkgo in Belgium), it also drew Danny's attention so now he got one too and is impressed with the qualities of this power tool.

Isn't that nice, how an amateur can bring new stuff into the scene.

No, I don't get any royalties for posting this :)

vrijdag 3 november 2017

Rocks and stones

A few stones I collected this week whilst on holiday in the Walloon part of Belgium.
For future root-over-rock purposes with native trees.