Here's a quick update about what i've been up to recently. If we're friends on Facebook you may have already seen some of these pics.
I got to spend a few days up in the mountains with my wife and dogs which is my favorite way to clear my mind and take a break from the day to day. Who doesn't like looking at ancient trees growing in the granite? I particularly liked this naturally dwarfed Juniper that Courtney and Thor are sitting next to.
This little Ponderosa is pretty funny 🙂 These trees grow often grow with a bulbous base because the trunks swell while pinched between the granite cracks.
I love seeing a variety of native CA trees up in the mountains. In this pic there's Ponderosa, Juniper and Manzanita which is a tree I hope to see more used for Bonsai in the future. Anyone have any success with Manzanita? Smooth red bark, twist, curve, silver/grey deadwood, small green leaves and flowers. They also show the struggles that mother nature throws at them. But, most say that their really challenging to keep long term and i've never collected one.
Speaking of CA native trees, here's one of my recent projects that I worked on while sneaking away from working on our house remodeling. This is a Coastal Red Wood I purchased from Zack Shimon late last year. This is the pic before working on it. This time I thinned the tree significantly, selected and wired the branches that were usable.
I also discovered that a large portion of the front had died off. Because of this I removed the bark to expose the wood underneath and discovered there was some type of insect boring in many section of the dead wood, which created these holes in the trunk. I don't have an after pic right now, but next time I re-work this redwood i'll post one.
The next project I worked on is one of my favorite Junipers, a twin trunked tree. Here it is after I worked on it last year. You can see a small root graft that we placed on it on the right hand side under the spiky jin. In the future I'll cut the foliage off the graft to leave it's roots which will feed the main tree.
I put quite a bit of copper wire on this tree, which took me two full days of work .
For this tree I used wire from a new supplier i've never tried before. It came from a Facebook friend of mine named Aaron Wiley. I was very impressed with the softness and quality of his annealed copper wire. If your interested, feel free to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please let him know I sent you and you'll get a 10% discount.
6 gauge 25 foot roll $28 each
8 gauge 25 foot roll $24 each
10 gauge 50 foot rolls $26 each
12 gauge 50 foot roll $18 each
14 gauge 50 foot roll $16 each
16 gauge 50 foot roll $14 each
18 gauge 50 foot roll $10 each
20 gauge 50 foot roll $8 each
Some annealed coils of Aaron's wire, good stuff!
I also added shari on the left hand trunk around the middle of the live vein. The plan is to slowly widen the shari over time, giving the tree time to rest and get strong again before widening anymore.
In cases like this it's better to work on your trees little by little, instead of doing everything at once. I followed the grain of the wood and created a long window of Shari.
Here's the result after styling the tree. Please note the lovely hand model to the left by Mr. John Kirby who was nice enough to hold the tree stable while I took a picture. I'm going to re-pot during late winter of 2016 and tilt the tree forward a bit. I'll also be reducing the size of the box it's growing in and taking measurements for a new pot.
And here we are after loading up in the back of my Tacoma, ready to drive back to the Central Coast. The spiked Jin features on both trunks are my favorite part of this double trunk and make me look forward to the trees future development. Here's a few different angles to close this out. Thanks so much for stopping by, really appreciate you taking a look!