Today finally, after more than two weeks of temperatures below freezing here in Holland, the temperature reached above O! At last, I could open the winter shelter and let some fresh air in there. I am so happy for this spell of warmer weather, now I was finally able to do some last touch ups on the 2 trees I am showing in the “NOELANDERS TROPHY” this coming weekend. Because of all the trees that are jammed in close together in this small shelter, I had not much room to move around. So I had to be careful not to knock anything over, while I worked on “BIG RON” my Mugo pine! But I managed to adjust some of the deadwood with hand and power tools. Then, with the help of a straw, I had to blow away all the sawdust from the bark, branches and foliage in the interior of the tree. This is a very effective way when you cant reach into the branches anymore, but it makes you quite dizzy after a while! 🙂
Then I managed to get my Chamaecyparis out of the shelter, so I could clean it up and replace some thick guide wires, with 0,3 mm copper wires. They are almost invisible and placed in a way that they are hidden by foliage or branches. With a copper brush on a small power tool, I removed the hard whitish resin that this Chamaecyparis produces on the edges of where the bark meets the deadwood and rolls/grows over it, like a slow flow of lava. Although this resin is perfectly natural, it doesn’t look too good. It is like lumps of dried up lime sulphur on the beautiful bark. So I cleaned it all off and next to the deadwood I cleaned just a fraction deeper to reveal the deep red colour a Chamaecyparis bark has just under need it’s rough dark brown outer shell. Now the line between the weathered deadwood and the live bark becomes more prominent, showing the struggle, but also the perseverance of this strong and proud tree! The rest of the beautiful old and rough bark I live untouched to show the true age of this tree. Then I replaced some weathered moss and tried out some different accents for the first time. Then I called it a day, even do it was above zero, the very strong wind made me feel way colder than I felt during the last couple of weeks! Who said that Bonsai was only fun? Just kidding, this is all part of this beautiful art form. Just a few more days until the show. I can’t wait!
Hans van Meer.
Hans van Meer.