all my Bonsai luckily made it safely through yesterday’s uniquely heavy Western storm that took several lives and caused 90+ million in damages to houses and buildings and tipping over more than 70 trucks causing huge day-long traffic jams and paralysing almost all plain and train traffic for most of the day! These tragic things seem to happen more and more worldwide and more frequently… it almost looks like somebody is trying to tell us something ?! Anyhow… even though today (the day after) was a sunny day, I still decided to do the work that I planned indoors where there is EDM on the radio and a coffee machine close by! The first one I worked on was my old Prunus spinosa Yamadori Shohin from Wales. Too long branches were shortened or removed and some branches that were alright but misplaced were wired and repositioned. A long time ago this little tree was painstakingly styled by me as a Moyo-gi and was enjoyed in that style for several years… but I always felt that there was a better option hidden inside that style, but that meant that I had to completely restyle the tree and remove some of its major beautiful old branches! So I made a drawing (that I cant find somehow) and came to the conclusion that it was well worth the risk to restyle it completely… so I did it! Now many years later it is growing better and better into that design that I envisioned all those years ago and I have not regretted that decision for a minute. The pot was given to me as a present when I was touring the US and was made by an obviously talented local potter…but I sadly can’t remember who it was and I can’t find it anywhere in my older posts?! Sorry for that!
Next, my little Hawthorn that I collected in November 2006 in Wales with Tony Tickle was brought inside for some correctional pruning and wiring!
Below: this is how it looked in February 2008 after I had removed all but a few branches from it, revealing it’s beautiful and uniquely tapered movement! In February 2016 it was proudly shown at the prestigious Noelanders trophy in Belgium.
Below: this is how she looks after the pruning and wiring session. All the badly placed and too thick branch tips were cut back to be replaced by a tinner one creating tapering in almost all the branches! And some branches were wired to reposition them in the desired position. It has grown so hard last two seasons that it has pushed itself out of this beautiful custom made pot by John Pitt (UK) so it needs to be repotted in a few months time. This also means that there are now more than enough small roots to safely give me the change to finally be able to remove a large stone from in between its old tick roots, creating more room to grow for the finner roots! And to pot the tree much deeper in its pot! On May the 26, it will be shown at the second edition of the “KEI BONSAI KAI” ten and the ten “DANNY USE & FRIENDS in the famous “GINKGO” Bonsai centre in Laarne Belgium! It is the first time that it will be shown with its foliage so it has to look at its very best!
I hope you enjoyed this little story?!
Hans van Meer.
this is how this little “PEE PINE” that I found and collected In Austria in May 2004 looked after one of its first styling way back in April 2008. 35cm/14inch. It is named “PEE PINE” because it grew well hidden between the high grass and I almost accidentally peed on it during a walk through the mountains! 🙂
Below: This was taken in Spring 2009 in its new Tokoname pot.
And yesterday still in that same pot, while rain, hail and a storm were torturing my garden, I took her indoors for yet another restyling. She now measures 41 cm/16 Inch and has matured a lot! Below:
Below: before the work started.
Below: left side view after wiring and styling.
Below: right side view.
Below: backside view.
Below: and the finished front side view. I am really happy just how mature this tinny Pine looks right now! If it is not yet sold next Spring, it will be repotted as soon as the buds start to swell back into the same pot. But a little bit more tilted to the left! And as soon as the weather clears I will clean the Shari section and Jin’s and treat them with lime sulfur.
I hope you like this little story?!
Hans van Meer.
My Ilex verticillata at the show.
Pic. Ed van der Reek.
Hallo allemaal en de beste wensen nog,
Zaterdag 6 jan. jongleden was het alweer tijd voor de jaarlijkse Winterboom presentatie en Nieuwjaars borrel in Teunis Jan Klein zijn geweldige Bonsai studio “Deshima” in Nieuwerkerk a/d IJssel. Hij had samen met de vrijwilligers van zijn Bonsai Café NL weer enorm veel werk verricht om er weer een geweldige Bonsai dag van te maken voor de vele bezoekers! Ik was door Teunis ook uitgenodigd om een Bonsai ten toon te komen stellen dus ik moest die dag weer eens vroeg uit de veren om mijn Ilex verticullata om 9 uur s’ochtens op te kunnen stellen voor dat de deuren open gingen om 10 uur! In de grote voor de gelegenheid om gebouwde open buiten kas was rond om een mooie ruimte gecreëerd met zwarte tafels en zwarte achterwanden zodat de winterbomen nog beter tot hun recht konden komen. Het opbouwen van je presentatie is altijd leuk en spannend om te doen en het is altijd weer een mooi moment om te zien hoe je Bonsai na al die jaren van werk er uit ziet op zijn Paas best! Na heel wat handjes schudden en de nodige praatjes was het alweer 10 uur en tijd voor Teunis Jan om namens Deshima Bonsai Studio en Bonsai Café NL iedereen van harte welkom te heten en om de Winterbomen presentatie 2018 te openen. Waarna iedereen zijn eigen weg ging om de tentoongestelde Bonsai te bewonderen of om gezellig wat aan de bar te drinken onder het genot van de gratis krentenbollen of om tussen de collectie top kwaliteit potten en binnen en buiten Bonsai te zoeken naar iets moois om te kopen! Om 11 uur begon de zeer interessante PowerPoint presentatie door Dominique Bosch over zijn leer periode in Japan. Tussen 12 en 1 uur werd de demo ruimte voor Dominique demonstratie ingericht terwijl er een digitale presentatie was van Bonsai Empire over uiteenlopende Bonsai tentoonstellingen van over de hele wereld. Om 1 uur werd onder het genot van een heerlijk glas bubbels met onze gastheer het glas op het komende schitterende bonsai jaar geheven. En een kwartiertje later begon de geslaagde demonstratie van Dominique op een niet zo voor de hand legende Jeneverbes, die later verloot werd onder de mensen die lootjes gekocht hadden. De boom ging uit eindelijk naar mijn student en vriend Diederick. 😊 De rest van de middag genoten we van al het moois in dit mooie Bonsai center en van de Winterbomenpresentatie met Bonsai die we elkaar willen laten zien en vertelden welke plannen we met onze bomen hebben voor het nieuwe jaar. Rond 5 uur ging iedereen weer met zijn eigen bomen of met hun nieuw aanwinsten moe maar voldaan weer op huis aan. Ik wil hierbij Teunis Jan en alle vrijwilligers van het Bonsai Café bedanken voor al hun werk dat deze zeer hartverwarmende Bonsai dag mogelijk maakte! Helaas heb ik geen foto’s gemaakt maar binnen kort zet ik een door mij geschoten korte video van deze mooie dag op YouTube!
Tot volgend jaar in goede gezondheid dan maar weer!
Hans van Meer.
PS: De hier boven door mij getoonde Ilex heeft het gelukkig door de voor sellectie van de Noelanders Trophy 2018 gehaald en zal daar in Februari tussen al dat Bonsai geweld te zien zijn! 🙂 Dus mijn Bonsai jaar is al goed begonnen dus!!! 😉
Deshima Bonsai Studio.
Ir Leleystraat 44
Nieuwerkerk aan den IJssel 2912 CH
I would like to share with you all this LINK to Ryan Neal super video “HOW TO MAKE A BONSAI”!!! It is by far the best tutorial Bonsai video that I have come across on the internet and a must-see for all beginners and intermediate Bonsai enthusiast alike! Ryan takes us along to a nursery to find with us a potted Chrismas tree that he can use to create an amazing Bonsai! He then shows us what to look for in nursery material, how to find the front, the inclination of the trunk, what branches to choose, how and why to prune, how to wire and how to bring all branches into place etc. etc. !!! He is by far the best online Bonsai teacher I know of and he truly inspired me to go that extra mile with my own student group! Bravo and thank you, Ryan, and everybody else from “MIRAI” for all your good work for the worldwide Bonsai community! And a happy New Year from me to you all!
Hans van Meer.
I like to wish all my Bonsai friends from around this world a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Joyful and Healthy New Year!!!
Ilex verticilatta. Urban Yamadori. 5 trunk/ Kabudachi/Gokan. Pot: Isabelia.
Hans van Meer.
Posted in BONSAI FUN.
last week I did some delate indoor wiring and Winter pruning. Late because of having to look for and buy new furniture for the living room and when that was finally don having to paint it twice! And indoor because it has been snowing like crazy here for the last couple of days! I just got in covered with snow because I had to remove the piled up snow from the birds netting that covers my small garden! It started sagging under the all the weight and I had to remove it by pushing the net upwards with broom…so needles to say that most of the snow ended up in my naked neck BBRRRR!!! But first, some pictures that I made of some deadwood and Jin work that I did on my big Prunus mahaleb Yamadori the sunny day before the snow started to fall.
Below: The too long Jin that needs to be shortened and shaped.
Below: The long old natural Jin is shortened.
Below: The remaining stump.
Below: Breaking off pieces of wood with concave cutters to get a natural looking result.
Below: I love to do this creative work without much thinking or planning… just going with the flow!
Below: The end result for now.
Below: This is the stump that was left after the air layering was removed two years ago. It has been worked a little before with hand tools to reduce it, but it is still too bulky and massive for my liking so time to remove some more! The branch you can see on the left grows from the back of this deadwood and will be shortened in the future when it is thick enough, leaving a cascading branch appearing from behind that deadwood.! The 4 small branches that you can see growing upwards from it are crafted on to it last year, they will create in the future a small grown just above this deadwood
Below: Still not their yet, but looking much better all ready!
Below: Then the snow started to fall and I moved indoors were I first finished the wiring of this old Pinus thunbergii (Japanese black pine) that has been in my collection almost right from the start of my life in Bonsai…I guess since 1991 0r 1992?! Back then it was still a thin Shohin, but I still decided to shorten it and replace the too thick top with a more suitable and thinner side branch! Now all those years later it has become a 44 cm/17.6 Inch high mid-size Bonsai! The needles are a bit too long, but that is to thicken the higher place branches some more! After all those years is has beautiful flaky bark and a mature overall appearance. It is one of many of my Bonsai that I will let go and is for sale at next Noelanders trophy!
Below: This Fat Boy Acer buergerianum has been in my collection and care since 1997! Then it was just a trunk with a few too thick roots on just one side and a few very thin misplaced branches and a lot of ugly and poorly health scares all along the trunk! Since then it has grown almost twice in size with a completely new top and branches! The Nebari is much much better now and looks amazingly strong and in balance with the whole tree! And now it is time to bring back the balance in all the branches so that I can steer and regulate the growth of the whole tree!
Below: This branch that grows from behind the planed top section was allowed to grow straight and thick to thicken the whole top section! That is more than enough by now so it needs to be cut back to the suitable small side branch that you can see on the right bottom side of it!
Below: My finger point at another example of a branch that was allowed to lengthened to thicken the whole branch! Now it will be shortened right to its base so that the branch under my finger will become the new branch tip, restabilising proper branch tapering!
Below: The cut-off branch thickening machine!
Below: A close up of the top section showing just how much is shortened and removed.
Below: The end result for now. Other branches were cut or shortened to improve tapper or branch structure. After all that the overall image and balance of the whole Bonsai are restored. The two bottom branches are wired back into their places. These last two were the last couple of years allowed to grow in thickness and now they need to grow side branches and a proper branch structure!
Below: This roots over rock Acer buergerianum from Japan has been in my collection for some 20 years now. When I bought it all those years ago it had a few short and thin branches without any structure and a really short top section! Now after all these years the basic branch structure is getting better and is it about time to do some more branch refinement and selection to improve the overall image and to promote better energy distribution throughout every section of the tree! This way sunlight will reach all parts of the tree and that will tricker more back budding and that will lead to better ramification, foliage and overall health of the tree!
Below: An example of how this works. The arrow points at a too thick and strong branch that is also placed in the armpit of two better-suited branches…so it needs to be removed completely!
Below: The too thick former top removed! The wound will, of course, be sealed with cut paste.
Below: After it is removed I am left with on the left a short slightly thicker side branch and on the right with a perfectly tapering top… and some nice movement as well!
Below: The red arrow points at a branch that is too fat, straight and long! The branch is at the hight of that arrow just as thick as just above that pink piece of my finger at the bottom of this picturer…so now taper!!! So I will cut it off just above that first strong right side branch below the arrow.
Below: Cut off, creating instant taper to that branch!
Below: Another branch that is removed and sealed with cut paste, creating instant taper to that branch!
Below: Another one that needs to go in favour of the one that is in between my fingers. That last one will then be shortened to just above a strong bud.
Below: This branch is well shaped and with good taper…but it growing straight upwards and looks like a second apex…so you guess what? It has to go too!
Below: The cut-off branch.
Below: Arrow points at another to long branch with not enough taper. It will be cut back to the nice side branch, just left below the arrow.
Below: That branch cut off.
Below: This branch grows just below were two others originated from, in time that will turn into a nasty bulging section on the trunk! I need those branches above this branch in my design…so it needs to go to prevent something that is hard to fix when it is too late!
Below: Close up of the almost finished top section. A lot has improved and the future is promising again for this tree. These actions will over the next couple of years bring it closer to the desired outcome, a Bonsai with good mature and beautiful ramification. And that is a great part of a successful deciduous Bonsai…a part that is so often forgotten in modern Bonsai!
Below: Not the best of pictures but I hope it shows enough of how the ramification looks after all the work?! From here it will be more working towards improving the finer ramification and structure of all the branches. I am happy to see that this long partnership is getting closer to the image of a mature Bonsai…I can’t wait to see how it looks in a few more seasons time!
I hope you enjoyed this little post?!
Hans van Meer.
I have just posted the video of
“THE FIRST STYLING OF DIEDERICK HIS PINUS SYLVESTRIS YAMADORI” on YouTube! This is the story of the two fun sessions that we did to style this tall and unique Yamadori that I collected some 5 years ago. My friend and student Diederick and his wife fall in love with this tree when they visited my garden for the first time and they were happy to buy it from me and we then made an appointment to style it together at his place and film it all! This Yamadori is a tall formal upright uniquely shaped Pine with a long first branch that somewhere in its distant past was almost completely broken off by either snow or a falling rock! Somehow this almost fatally cracked branch stayed alive and health over with a beautiful Shari and was now all those years later the reason why I fell in love with it that day on that mountain…I just had to save this old guardian from falling into the closing dept just in front of him! It might be a bit controversial as a Bonsai, but we both really loved the story this tree had to tell because of this branch and would not thick off removing it! Thanks to Diederick and his lovely wife for their trust and for taking good care of me and the “Guardian”. I hope you all enjoy this little story of this pre-Bonsai?!
Hans van Meer.