Collecting for Bonsai – Roadside Attractions 1

>> Ben: We’ve all done it. We’ve all driven down the side of the road and just said, ‘Hey! That’s a tree I could go for!’ ♫ bluegrass music ♫ The Department of Transportation, whatever state you’re in, generally mows down the edges so you can have a good line of sight. And that can be beneficial to bonsai hunters, because you can find some very interesting things that may or may not be useful. Look at this hornbeam. This is just awesome. This thing is probably about 4″ – 5″ right there. I’ve got this big long branch that’s next to me. I wonder how well it’s rooted in the ground. Yeah, it’s pretty solid. Got all these rocks around here that will make it very difficult to get out. There’s also, right behind it, right there, a Virginia juniper, which also might make this difficult. But, this tree – I might just have to consider what I can do.

Look at this guy. If you can see it. I don’t know. It could make some interesting stuff. Something to keep in mind. It’s loose, which means I can dig it up. The roots, because I’m looking downhill, the roots are probably coming up this way. So, I need to keep that in mind. Which means this thing is going to be slanted out, and be kinda funky. You know, it’s got some large sections to it. You can see there’s a scar right there, and starting to callous over. I may be able to clean that out, or leave that and clean this out. I like working with this material because one It allows me to toy around, experiment a little bit without really worrying of damaging a really nice yamadori. And you never know – you might come up with some really interesting things in the process. You get a lot of funky looks working on the side of the road, but it’ll be worth it. Here’s a needle juniper – common juniper. You can see, it’s got a pretty interesting trunk here.

Hand for reference. This is in a ditch. Alright. Whoa, look at th.. Awww! Fooled! I thought that was a nice live tree. Nope. That one’s toast. As always, be very careful when you’re working on the side of the road. Here, the Department of Transportation has cut away this guy, right here. This is big. The base is probably 9″ in diameter. Look at that beauty. There’s good and bad points about this: One: It’s already been cut; I can clean up some of this. Two: it may or may not pop out. Three: Getting that baddy out of all this rock.

And this stuff is loose It can fall into the road, which is not good. One: for safety reasons Two: For the annoyance of people who are trying to get by. It’s something to think about, though. That’s what I’m talking about. That’s it right there Look at the shape, the curve, the interest And, it’s right in the middle of a rock. It’s really loose. There may be, right here, where this rock is, there may be just a little bit of an indentation that could probably be hidden either by soil, or it could be hidden by rocks and moss or something.

We won’t even know until we dig this up in the spring. But, i’m getting this guy. Look at that. Just curve, curve, curve, curve and it’s got all these beautiful little flutes in there, that I just love. As always, it’s best to get permission from the owner no matter who it is. That includes the Department of Transportation who maintains the roads here.

I have called the Department of Transportation before, and they have given me permission, But, rules change from year to year. There’s always the possibility that what was relevant one year will not be relevant the next. So, I will be calling again this year to check and see what the possibilities are if I can. Generally, for me, it has been 20 feet from the road. It might now be 15 feet which limits what I can and cannot take. It’s always best, because otherwise, you might get arrested. You might get shot at. You might get in a lot of trouble. So, let’s avoid that as bonsai enthusiasts. We want to be respectful of other people’s property, and, that will make things better for everybody. If we have bonsai artists just going in collecting whatever they can find off the side of the road without asking permission it puts a bad name on everybody. Let’s avoid that at all costs. ♫ bluegrass music ♫ .

18) Flowering Crab Apple Bonsai Tree Specimen from Field Grown Bonsai Stock

 Hello bonsai enthusiasts. In this video, we’re going to repot a Crab Apple. This particular one is about 21 years old. It’s been field grown for 18 years and has been in this black pot for about three years. It’s now pot bound and it’s time to repot into a bonsai pot. It’s got a lot of features and it’s nicely branched out and it would make a lovely bonsai. We start off, I guess, by knocking the pot off. Generally, you thump the side of the pot and then thump the top of the pot off to help dislodge it from the root ball. Use a stainless steel dibber or even a wooden dibber to help remove soil from the top of the surface. Use a sharp root shear and root cutters to help you with removing the finer roots and the larger roots.

Shape the root ball so that it tapers gently towards the soil. Remove any large, ugly roots and work your way, all the way to the bottom of the pot, working gently and slowly. While using the chopstick, try not to use it vertically, but use it horizontally so that you’re not digging into the root ball. Rather, moving bit by bit away. You may have to use a chisel and mallet to try and remove some of the larger roots or help shape the nebari properly. I’m using a half an inch gorge in this particular, half an inch gorge chisel in this particular section. It’s very effective at tapering nebaris. You then work your way all around the root ball cutting off any large roots as you work around. Make sure that the root ball doesn’t disintegrate. Keep it firm and solid all the time and this is quite a nicely shaped nebari. It’s nicely tapered and remove down to the bottom of the root ball. We’re now ready to pot on. This pot has been nicely meshed out and wires have been installed in the pot.

That will help us bind the tree into the pot. This is a Japanese blue pot, oval shaped to help accentuate the feminineness of the Crab Apple. It’s a pot bellied shape so it adds value to the overall aesthetic of the tree. I’m using a mixture of Akadama and pumice in the soil that I’m using for the tree. It’s granular, 3 – 6 mm. You make a little mound in the centre of the pot and then use the, place it so that it fits in the centre of the pot, both along the length and the breadth of the pot, and the nebari should be just slightly above the pot surface. Fill up the pot with soil and then use a mallet so that the soil falls properly into the pot and all the empty spaces are filled out, Top up wherever necessary and gradually process it. The tree is now ready, it’s quite an attractive bonsai. I hope you enjoyed the show. .