Hi everybody, A couple of Moths ago I posted on to YouTube […]
Hi everybody, For those who might have missed it, I would proudly […]
HELLO…..IS ANYBODY OUT THERE?! Hi Everybody, after the horror of losing […]
this is the story about the repotting of one Yamadori Sabina that will end up with two?! I bought this nice mid-sized Yamadori a year ago and let it untouched all this time to make sure that it was enough settled and strong enough to repot safely. I acquired it because of its stunning movement with a lot of deadwood and because there was (maybe) the possibility to separate it into two beautiful small trees! Buth early this year I started to see a decline in this little tree health and I decided that I would take it out of its plastic container because I wanted to see what caused this?! And now looking back, I am glad that I did because it was planted after collecting in some sort of very compact sticky muddy soil with not much-draining capability?! So with a lot of frightened anticipation, I took it out of its container to find what I was afraid of…poor soil! So even though it was not in a good condition I had to act before the tree would suffer even more, so I decided to free it from all this bad soil and plant it in a proper Bonsai soil mixture in which it could recuperate to become healthy and happy again!
Below: the two trunks Sabina Yamadori.
Below: close up of two separate trunks. One all twisted and turned with a long twisted Jin and the other one slanting more straight and gently twisting with a foliage crown at the end.
Below: viewed from another angle.
Below: released from its plastic container.
Below: Carefully and anxiously combing out the roots hoping for plenty healthy roots and for roots on both trunks so that they could be separated from each other without any danger or problems?!
Below: looks promising with plenty roots!
Below: look at all those roots on the left and the right trunk…but is it enough so that the two trunks can be separated?!
Below: red arrow points to roots growing from the curly trunk. Green arrow points at a thick root that grows to the right from the curly trunk. Blue arrow points to roots that grow from this thick root…so there are more than enough roots to keep the curly trunk alive and healthy when it could be separated from the second straight trunk! The white arrows point at the root mass that grows from that second straight trunk! The yellow line in the middle of the picture shows the spot where the two trunks could be separated from each other!
Below: seen from the other side. Red arrow point at the roots that grow from the end of that thick root that grows from the curly trunk. The yellow line shows the spot where the two trunks will be separated.
Below: the cut will be made from this side right across that yellow line.
Below: carefully cutting with the help of a power saw.
Below: mission accomplished! The two trunks are separated successfully! The straight trunk on the left has more than enough roots. And the right side curly trunks roots are spread out on the plastic green surface and look more than enough…so I am relieved and very happy! Now I have to keep the exposed roots moist of one of them while I plant the other into its new home away from his brother or sister?!
Below: this repotting and separation even reviled an more than welcome unexpected wide rootbase on the curly tree!!! Making it even better than it already was!!! And this provided a better anchor point to secure it to the pot with wires!
Below: with the help of a chopstick the soil mixture containing Akadama, Kiryu and Bims is pushed in between all the roots, making sure that now are pockets are left!
Below: then the tree is watered thoroughly until the water that runs out of the pot is clear of any dust!
Below: next the straight trunk is prepared to go in its new home. Here a long thick death root is cut off so that it will fit easier in its pot.
Below: the tree placed on the bottom layer of large particles soil for extra drainage. Just look at all those roots that fill almost the whole pot!
Below: two wooden blocks are placed under the right side to support the tree into its new desired position and then it is firmly anchored to the pot with thick wires.
Below: carefully bringing in the soil.
Below: then watering it like before. In the next couple of weeks, the trees will be kept in a warm spot with filtered sunlight and their foliage will be misted a couple of times a day to help them safely through this period
Below: separated but still together they stand here at their start as two future Bonsai.
I hope you enjoyed this little story of one Sabina Yamadori that became two pre-Bonsai with hopefully a bright future ahead of them?!
Hans van Meer.
as promised here are the sightseeing pictures that I made last weekend when I visited beautiful Slovenia for my workshop at Tomaz Kovsca International Bonsai School “TORA”. All pictures are made with a 20 years old low pixel camera so they are not up to the level of my usual foto’s…but I still hope you enjoy the images of the sometimes breathtaking nature and old villages?! That I had brought along this old one with me turned out to be a good idea, because I fell down twice on the very steep mountainside where I shot the first pictures that I am about to show you! 🙂
These first pictures are made in the very old village Škofja loka, that was first mentioned in 973 A.D.
Below: views from the bridge over which you enter the ancient village.
Below: very old preserved wall painting everywhere and a beautiful old tree. And on the right bottom: a not so old Tomaz! 🙂
Below: our first mountain stop and a beautiful scenery just before it started to rain.
Below: A stunning example of a real size Literati sylvestris!
Below: And a real-life example of how we should shape our branches on a Literati Bonsai!
Below: Trough the branches of this ancient Linden tree you can just make out that at the end of this winding path on the top of this hill lies a church! It is named Sv. Primož in Felicijan at Jamnik (Saints Primus and Felician) it dates from 1501. Tomaz told me that in the olden day’s people (even Christians) worshipped Linden trees…that makes this a very old tree! It was very spiritual to walk up this path in the footsteps of so many that went before me!
Below: it must have taken many centuries for these two branches in love to reach each other, but now they are looked into their kiss forever!
Below: only a good friend could capture a moment like this in this way!
Below: views from that top.
Below: one of the many emerald greens river that we came across during our trip!
Below: The beautiful Lake Bohinj is unlike the more famous Lake Bled unspoiled by hotels, bars and mass tourism! It was breathtakingly beautiful and it charged us for the upcoming workshop that afternoon!
I hope you all enjoyed this little impression of just a few hours of driving through this beautiful country?! I can’t wait to revisit it next May to see more amazing places and to spend more time with some of the friendliest folks I have ever meet!
Hans van Meer.
just one day back from my visit to and my Friday workshop in beautiful Slovenia! My dear friend and kind host TOMAŽ KOVŠCA from the “TORA” International Bonsai School in Slovenia took me on an amazing two days sightseeing tour around Slovenia that left me even more in love with this breathtaking country and its super friendly people! Like I told him many times during that trip: I could happily live here and grow old with a smile on my face! Images and the story from that part of my visit to this wonderful place will follow soon! On Friday afternoon and evening there was a workshop planned in his great Bonsai studio that I would lead with the help of Tomaz himself and his talented student Gasper Gabrijel. Relaxing after our sightseeing trip before it all would start we were waiting in the sun enjoying a Turkish coffee and home-brewed vodka with Juniper berries in it that you could chew…it was absolutely heavenly and boy did it hit the spot! And the view of Tomaz beautiful Bonsai collection that surrounded us was not half bad either! Here are some images of his amazing collection that were shot (with a not so good old camera) by me before the students arrived.
Below: A view of just a section of Tomaz his beautiful collection.
Below: A wonderful self-collected and styled Spruce.
Below: One of his many amazing Sylvestris.
Below: A very stylish Juniper.
Below: A local Prunus mahaleb Yamadori.
Below: And another stunning Sylvestris Yamadori.
Below: And this is the one that I fell in love with a very promising Mugo Yamadori!!!
Below: In his studio, this beautiful self-build Tokonoma with a uniquely styled garden material Juniper Bonsai was welcoming me and the students.
Below: Before the actual work on the brought in trees started I discussed them all with the owners in front of all the students. So that everybody could learn from each and every tree! This is a very valuable part of the workshop for the student and very excited for me to do! This Juniperus sabina Yamadori was after I discussed the possibilities styled by two Croatian students with the help of Tomaz himself and the end result is pretty impressive and promising indeed!
Below: Tomaz and his student Gasper Gabrijel working on the final touches.
Below: The beautiful end result of this first styling.
Below: A Yamadori Hawthorn before the work started.
Below: Almost finish after some drinks and lovely finger food!
Below: And the end result a Literati deciduous Bonsai.
Below: A local Yamadori Spruce with a unique but difficult root base.
Below: And the end result, a young but already elegant and natural looking pre-Bonsai.
Below: Some were so into the work that they resisted the late night cold before coming in!
Below: Later that evening inside with that same tree, the owner is concentrated looking on while I make some adjustments and bring some of the branches in position.
Below: My old friend Roland Petek brought in two mindblowing Mugo Yamadori Pines with him! This one has amazing deadwood all along this side, but still, we selected to style it with the other side as its front. This side would always look like a Tanuki and that is not what you want for your Bonsai…especially a Mother like this one!!!
Below: Roland concentrated applying a layer of raffia and then a layer of black plastic tape to protect the thick and old branches from cracking. And this is much-needed because we have to bend and reposition them severely!
Below: And this is the very promising end result after its first styling. From this side, there is still more than enough deadwood to be seen, but now it is accompanied all along the trunk by the beautifully contrasting old flaky bark! The left side hanging branch pushes the sloping tree back upwards and gives the whole composition an exciting balancing act. The foliage is basically a triangle that cuts through the upwards going lines of the trunk, leading the eyes to the left and back again on there way to the top of the tree and then down again! So this Bonsai has it all: balance, rhythm, movement, visual old age, a wide Nebari, Jin, Shari, life veins, and a very proud owner! Weldone Roland and thanks for trusting me!
Below: From another student came yet another beautiful Yamadori pine! And again with some problems to solve and big decisions to make! But I had no problems convincing the owner and the rest of the students how to proceed to solve them and to bring the best out of this, once again, beautiful and exciting Yamadori. The long downward Jin needed to go because it distracted the beauty of the abrupt movement of the trunk line in the top section! This was mostly caused because it protrudes from the inside of the curve in the trunk its top section and like with branches that grow from the inside of a curve in a trunk they almost always look misplaced and disturbing! Also two Jins on the lower section of the trunk needed to be reduced because they were distracting and other Jins and the Shari needed to be styled! Then the top main branch was protected by a layer of raffia and wired before everything could be put into place and that sounds easier than it actually was because the top section needed a lot of heavy bending!
Below: And here is the (for now) finished pre-Bonsai. I am discussing here at the end of the workshop what the happy student with some help from me has reached…and that is simply amazing! Because I really do think that this is a very exciting and promising result! And I do believe that in just 3 or 4 years time this will be an amazing Bonsai!
The above-shown trees are just a small selection of the 10 or 11 that were worked on and styled that day and more images can be seen in a very nice video that Tomaz made of it all and has posted on YouTube (link below)!
I would like to thank Tomaz and his lovely wife for taking so good care of me and for trusting me to do this workshop in his Bonsai School! And I would like to especially thank all his students for trusting me with their precious trees!
I can hardly wait to go back in May to Slovenia to do my workshop and demo at the
I will be posting soon pictures that I made during my trip with Tomaz through stunning Slovenia…so I hope to see you back here soon!
Hans van Meer.
last week I had finally two repotting sessions after the long abnormal frost period we had for a few weeks and that was about time for most trees that I had to do because the buds on some of them were already opening! First up was my easy to repot old Hawthorn Yamadori ( Crataegus monogyna) in his beautiful Dan Barton pot.
Below: Everything that I could possibly need for this repotting is in place and my old Hawthorn is patiently waiting for his haircut and fresh soil.
Below: Out of his pot and ready to remove as much of the old soil from in between the roots as possible and safe! My objective is to remove all downwards growing roots so that I can replant him even lower in its pot!
Below: A layer of my soil mix containing Akadama, Kiryu and Bims is spread out over the bottom of the pot.
Below: Then a small pile of the same soil mix is made more or less in the middle of the pot on which the tree is pushed down with a turning motion. This way all the cavities in the bottom of the rootball are automatically filled with the soil! Stop with the downwards turning motion when the tree has reached the acquired hight in the pot and stands in the right direction and angle etc.
Below: Then the wires are tightened loosely so that were necessary soil can still be brought in under need the roots with chopsticks.
Below: When that is successfully done the wires are tightened some more to secure the tree firmly in the pot!
Below: Next is this rare Dutch Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) that I collected many many years ago in a wet dune forest close to the beach and not far from where we live. It was chopped and all branches and the top that you see in this picture are all later grown completely new. It stands now about 75cm high and it is time to release it from the plastic training pot where it grew happily for the last 6 years! The top will be shortened by some 10cm after the repotting!
Below: The wholes of the new pot are covered by mesh and I am just applying the first layer with large sized soil mix to the pot when I notice yet another scratch on my hands from one of those ####ing sharp Hawthorn needles that will turn in another inflammation…gggrrr!!!! 😉
Below: First large particles mix applied.
Below: Second finer soil layer applied.
Below: The Hawthorn freed off its old training pot.
Below: The roots freed from most of the old soil and the long roots are shortened right up to where finer roots grow from them! Red arrow points at a thick root that was preventing the tree from being potted lower in its new pot so it was removed!
Below: Downwards growing thick roots were also removed.
Below: Even larger ones were cut back to create a flatter root system (Nebari)!
Below: The tree can now already stands on its own with his new flat roots base and that is just what I was aiming for the last 10 years or so!
Below: With the help of a chopstick soil is brought carefully into the roots making sure no air pockets are left behind! Roots that pop up to high are pushed/held down with little upside down U shaped pieces of wire to hold them in place.
Below: The final top layer is carefully brought in and is then taped even more in with the palm of my hand so that the last cavities are filled with soil!
Below: Close up of the root base. The tree is just thoroughly watered until the water that runs out is transparent and free of dust!
Below: The tree in his new home and I happy how it looks in it! The top will be shortened soon and then I will make some more pictures to share here on my blog.
I will post tomorrow the massive repotting of “XL” my big Yamadori Larch so watch this space! I hoped you liked this little post about a long-awaited repotting session?!
Hans van Meer.
last week or so we were unpleasantly surprised by a really bad cold spell with night temperatures of minus 8 so I had to stop in the middle of my repotting work. The ones that I already had don were kept in my upstairs bathroom with the window slightly opened so that they could defrost slowly! But this freaky weather gave me the opportunity to rework some of my videos on youtube to improve them and to change the claimed music by some great royalty free tunes! Finding just the right music to fit my taste kept me up some extremely late nights…but I found some really nice beats and now there is no royalty claim any longer on my clips and 6 videos were upgraded for better viewing pleasure! I am finished just in time to start repotting some 20 + trees again in the next week and then I have to start wiring and styling some big trees of which one “The Elephant” has to be prepared for the international “Kei Bonsai Kai” exhibition that is staged for the second time on the 26th of May in the “GINKGO” Bonsai centre in Laarne Belgium! That I will film with my new camera and post so that you all can enjoy this Bonsai extravaganza on youtube!!! As will, I of course film and post my two visits to beautiful Slovenia and the demo and workshops that I will give there!! So watch this space!!! So that wiring and styling is a bit of a hasty job because the buds on “The Elephant” are already swollen from the nice weather we had before Jack frost came back! So plenty to do in a hurry…but that is just fine and all a part of this great Bonsai hobby! Here are a few links to my redone videos.
Hans van Meer.
I have made a start to improve and/or adjust 7 of my Bonsai videos on youtube. Some were shakey and other had copyright issues and that bothered me so I bought a much better professional video editing program and have just reposted the first two remastered Bonsai videos back on youtube! It is the “KEI BONSAI KAI” Bonsai exhibition video Part I and II that I shot in May 2016 in the famous Bonsai centre “GINKGO” in Laarne Belgium. Don’t forget to visit the second edition of this amazing Bonsai extravaganza on the 26th of May this year!!! Believe me that you won’t be disappointed, so I hope to see you all there?! More improved and/or adjusted videos will be reposted during the next couple of days, so watch this space!!!
Hans van Meer.
I am proud to announce that I will be giving a workshop on Friday the 6th of April in my dear Slovenian friend TOMAŽ KOVŠCA his International Bonsai School “TORA”.
Besides being really honoured I am also very happy to be reacquainted and working again with a lot of my Slovenian Bonsai friends! I have already heard that it is fully booked…but maybe there is still place for my workshop a month later on 19 and 20 May 2018 at the VIII yearly international Bonsai exhibition of the Slovenian Bonsai Club?! Hope to see you there?!
Hans van Meer.