The Study Group
A reminder for new study group members and seasoned study group members.
The intended purpose of the study group is for us all to learn more about bonsai and take home skills that we can apply to our own trees. I am here to help guide you (not do it for you) in the process of learning bonsai and exploring the possibilities. You have a voice in the process too! I will let you know my thoughts but I’d like to hear your thoughts and plans as well. The only expectations I have of the participants is an open mind and an eagerness to learn. Give me that and I will teach you everything I know!
All in all, at the end of the day, we should all be having FUN doing Bonsai.
Last Call for Deciduous Trees
Now that it’s starting to cool down and September is here, we can work on a few more trees than before. For those of you that live in warm areas like the Sacramento area, you can still work on your fast growing deciduous trees. There should still be enough time for them to respond and continue to grow before it gets cold. If you feel that your growing season is not longer enough, hold off on the Deciduous work and wait till November - December to work on them.
For the most part though, September is a time where we transition from working on our Deciduous Bonsai to our Conifer Bonsai. Once our Conifers show signs that it is, “Bushy, Has Runners and the Foliage has Hardened Off,” we can wire and style the tree which includes cutting them.
***Japanese Black Pines that were de-candled earlier this year can be worked on November - February. If Japanese Black Pines were not de-candled this year then they can be worked on September - February.***
If you plan to wire your conifers this month, be sure to bring a set of copper wire, raffia and bending tools if you have them.
High Mountain Pines
September is the first month we can start working on High Mountain Pines. September thru February is the time we can wiring, cutting and removable of old needles. Towards February we can repot the tree as well though I don’t recommend wiring and repotting the tree at the same time.
September is also the time to start feeding High Mountain Pines. This is especially important because the food you give it will determine how well the tree grows the following Spring.
Fall is a great time to perform side grafting on conifers, such as Junipers and Pines. This is where you cut new growth off the tree and graft it into the interior of the tree. As long as your Winters aren’t too severe, grating is very safe and sometimes preferable to Spring grafting. Just be sure that your tree is healthy before you start to graft. If your Winters are especially cold, then hold off till February. If the night time temps drops below freezing consistently, then your Winter is too harsh for grafting.
If you plan to or like to learn how to perform a side graft at the next workshop, be sure to have the following tools and materials for the process. Fall grafting can be done in September and October.
Tools and Materials needed for side grafting:
Japanese Grafting Knife
Garden Type tape (thinner is better than thicker versions)
Liquid cut paste
Cups to hold water
Small flat wooden block