Maple bonsai

Discussion in 'Maples' started by AlainK, Jun 7, 2021.

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  1. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Another one trained as a "bonsai" - if you can call it that name... ^_^

    Bad "nebari" again, but once again, that can be solved, and long internodes on this one from seed (UBC?). Seedlings with long internodes are not the best ones to work with to make bonsai.
    But I like the Autumn colours. The, er, "nice pot" is a TV dinner plastic tray... ;0)

    September 22nd and October 5th :

    acerp19_210922a.jpg acerp19_211005a.jpg
     
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  2. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Wait, isn't that the exact problem with Ficus?
     
  3. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Yes... ;-)

    If you need a costly paraphenelia of lights, heaters, ventilators, etc. to try and maitain a pale copy of what the Chinese can grow from an imported tree taht was grown by the thousands in a subtropical place, is it really worth the effort ?

    Chinese, or Vietnamese "bonsai" or "penjing" are also very often much larger than Japanese or European bonai, some of them could almost be called "niwaki", except they're potted.

    10353543_1538951859674621_7453115115153203760_n.jpg

    In the temperate northern hemisphere, one Ficus is ubiquitous as a house plant : Ficus benjamina. But it's not a very good candidate for bonsai. Contrary to other species that might look rather similar, they don't backbud lower on the trunk when you prune them, and cuts don't heal well at all. On the contary, they tend to lead to die-back on other branches.

    But maybe I'm not fair : I admit that I think "indoor bonsai" is a myth. I think bonsai can only be made where the species can grow outside : olive-trees in the Mediterranean area, Ficus microcarpa in sub-tropical areas (including Fla.), Picea in cold temperate zones, not in Greece, Acer palm-oenum here, though with climate change, we'll see... ;-)

    Even species like Fagus sylvatica (European beech or common beech) is rapidly disappearing from its native habitat in France, or Fraxinus excelsior in England because of (imported ?) diseases.

    We live in a temperate climate. "House plants" are fun to grow, but growing plants that can live "by themselves" in our environment is more interesting to me, as long as they are not "invasive".

    This being said, I don't think that my maples are "invasive". Except that I lack of space ;-)

    But I'll leave plants and trees under led lights for the conservatories.
     
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  4. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    This one is from a seed collected from a street tree, which one and where, I can't recall, it's "nonid04", "unidentified04".
    But each year it has wonderful colours :

    acerp-nonid04_211008a.jpg

    ---
    One of my oldest bonsai, "ishigami", root over rock is 20 years old is still green.

    I've let it grown freely this year : there are cuts that needed to heal, especially on the left. Since it needs repotting, I've left it in the shade. The present pot is great (Erin Pottery), but I think it definitely needs a wider one...

    acerp_ishigami_211008a.jpg
     
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  5. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    My 'Orange dream' (see page 1) has now deep red colours :

    acerp_orangedream01_211015a.jpg

    The one from seed also has great colours now :

    acerp-nonid04_211015a.jpg
     
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  6. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Just to keep this thread alive :

    This air-layer has a lot of faults that a bonsai "specialist" would point out, OK, that's why I didn't post it earlier.From A to F, it deserves a C+ at most in my opinion. (11 or 12/20)

    But the more I see photos of mature Acer palmatums, the more I can see that most of them are muklti-trunk, or have several main branches that grow from very low on the trunk. Photo taken at the end of October, it has now shed most of its (red) leaves.

    acerp13_211025a.jpg
     
  7. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Update from page one, the Acer campestre root-cutting :

    Though far from the Japanese or Western standards and styles, this one that to me has a "chinese feel" deserves a B- (14 or 15/20) because I think it can be appreciated without its leaves, just for the shape of the trunk and branches. ;-)

    To me, it even has some sort of "human" movement, like someone making a reverence to offer something... ^_^

    acerc2016b_211106a.jpg
    acerc2016b_211106b.jpg
     
  8. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Not really the same colours under artificial lights in the basement, more dark reds in real life :

    acerp_ishigami_211108a.jpg

    acerp13_211108a.jpg
     
  9. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    beautiful
    It’s art nouveau like Tiffany for us
    Tho France of course is origin of the style
    (Montréal has a subway gate from Paris - le style de la bouche de Metro —- i hope i have spelled properly)

    ———
    your tree ….

    if it is a person sculpture - which I see

    I like windswept hair style

    And the social distance extra long arm making offering - you’re right !

    In all seriousness - thé bark colour and shape and dish (I forgot to look at gravel surface) and overall composition - this amateur (me) appreciates it.

    i think for those of us in winter climates - this is a way to bring nature indoors with us. Is that how bonsai originated? I shall learn more.
     
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  10. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Like all maples, they stay outside during the winter. In Japanese traditional houses, not all the rooms were heated so in the cold parts of the archipelago, "winter bonsai" could be displayed in the "Tokonoma" : Tokonoma - Wikipedia
     
  11. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    thank you for clarifying

    the Wikipedia article is interesting … and bonsai considered not worthy — I never would have thought that

    And positioning (seating) your honored guest w back to display (so as not to « show off » )
     
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  12. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Surprising for us on both sides of the Atlantic, isn't it ?

    I like reading Japanese literature, from Kawabata and Mishima to Murakami and Natsuo Kirino. It really brings you to another world, with different social codes and values. Very often, it cruel and poetic at the same time. I find that with Kirino, there's a form of humour I particularly enjoy.

    I'm half-way through Le Vrai monde (リアルワールド, Riaru wārudo, Real world) and it's almost as much a documentary about Japanese teenagers as a work of fiction...

    "Out" is really great... Natsuo Kirino - Wikipedia
     
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  13. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    I liked that bit too

    Haruki Murakami is one of my favourite authors, I think I have all of his books in English translation. Just ordered Real World because second hand hardback was fairly cheap, let us see if I enjoy Natsuo Kirino, thanks for the tip.

    The bonsai are great too. I like seeing them but would be too much looking after them for me to grow my own.
     
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  14. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    So far, I find it good, but "Out" is definitely much better to my taste. I wonder how "Real World" will end... ;°)

    PS : what I also like is that, contrary to Proust who could write a sentence a page long, the sentences are much shorter. It's a different rhythm.

    No wonder that they "invented" haiku... ;^)
     
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  15. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    Music scales too. (Pentatonic)
     
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  16. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Though I can strum or pick a few tunes, 3 and a half chords, I'm totally illiterate as far as music theory is concerned. Yet, I discovered "strange" music scales when listening to John McLaughlin / Shakti :



    We would play it on the cassette player while crossing the Atlas mountains in '76. These were the days, these were great days in Morocco... ;0)

    Ach, Junge, Junge... ^_^
     
  17. Otto Bjornson

    Otto Bjornson Well-Known Member

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    I saw John McLaughlin when he did the "remeber shakti tour"
    It was back in 2003, vancouver centre for performing arts. Mixing indian music scales along with John's restrained blues licks created quite the etched memory in my music vocabulary
     
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  18. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Harder to find musicians McLaughlin didn't influence than those he did! I first saw him with Mahavishnu in the 70s, absolutely incredible concert. Went with musician friends, all mid to late teens, we left stunned by the musicianship. I guess that's L. Shankar on violin in the Shakti cut, such a virtuoso with unbelievable intonation, inspirational. I was never fortunate enough to see him perform.
     
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  19. LoverOfMaples

    LoverOfMaples Generous Contributor Maple Society

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  20. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Repotting... ;°)
    This one badly needed it, the rootball was like concrete. So I removed it from the pot and let it stay in a tray of water for the night, but that was not enough. I had to use the hose, and pruned a lot of roots, but those that stay are fine. I had another Erin Pottery pot, not as nice as the first one but a bit larger. Now I will put it back in a tray of water, this time with hormones ("natural ones", they come as a kind of tar that you dilute in water).
    I will add some moss on the soil later - and protect if with mesh because of the birds !

    acerp_ishigami_220222a.jpg acerp_ishigami_220222b.jpg acerp_ishigami_220223b.jpg acerp_ishigami_220223c.jpg

    PS: about 0.5 cm pozzolan at the bottom, the rest is about 60% akadama, 25% pozzolan and 15% composted pine bark, more or less, "à la louche" as we say...
     
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  21. LoverOfMaples

    LoverOfMaples Generous Contributor Maple Society

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    I figured you had your hands full over there, since its repotting season. How old is this one? Palmatum?
    Hey, are you guys having a akadama shortage?
    Man, Erin P. makes lovely pots.
     
  22. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    It's my oldest "bonsai", I started it from a cutting in the late 90s. Then I put it on this lava rock (pozzolan, for cess-pools!). The oldest photo I have dates back to 2003 :

    acerp_ishigami_030803.jpg

    I don't know : I still have 3 and a half bag, and I use it mainly for the trees that I think could be displayed at a local exhibit. The rest of the time, I use pozzolan + composted pine bark, sometimes I also use pumice, and I'm trying some "Catsan" for small trees in training this year, but I'm not sure of either the pH and how water can be assimilated by the roots. We'll see.

    Yes, and when I bought them they were a very reasonable price. But now, because of the new rules for customs between Britain and the rest of Europe, I don't think they would even bother to ship abroad. Which is really a pity... I think we should do what William did in 1066 !
    No, bad joke in the continental context, sorry for my "humour noir"...
     
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  23. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    In the series "Even Dwarfs Started Small", this seedling had no interesting feature. So, pruning it hard was, I thought, the solution :

    acerp24_220222a.jpg acerp24_220222b.jpg acerp24_220222c.jpg

    If the lower buds develop (I think they will), I'll prune it even lower but I'll wait until the top has developped, it will help the big cut (at the back) to heal faster. Maybe in June, or next year...

    What we look for in bonsai is conicity, to suggest a much older tree. I may repot it tonight if I have time...

    acerp24_220222c-v.jpg
     
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  24. LoverOfMaples

    LoverOfMaples Generous Contributor Maple Society

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    I've learned to appreciate your humor @AlainK. But I've heard a little about William the Conqueror! Lets do it


    Love the trees Alain. I will start contributing my beginners to this page to keep it alive and interesting.
    Also, let me know how the Catsan works for you. I know people use SafeT Sorb here as an alternative.
     
  25. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Please do ! The more, the merrier ;0)

    On some forums, people can have a "signature" : my favourite ones are :

    "On the juke-box of life, every moment can be a number one hit" (Alfred Shakespeare)

    And :

    "Even Dwarfs Started Small"

    ;0)

    PS : "Catsan" and the like were advertised by Harry Harrington, Bonsai4Me :: Bonsai

    If you have a look at his trees, I think he knows what's he's talking about...
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2022
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