JBP seedlings from this past summer

In the interests of improving my knowledge and experience or more importantly saving money, I decided to try my hand at growing my own Japanese Black Pine this year.  I plan to follow the methods laid out in Bonsai Today #20.  I also used my favorite bonsai blog Bonsai Tonight.  There are several articles on there relating to growing JBP from seed and if you don’t subscribe to it you should!  You will not be dissappointed.

I purchased a couple packets from amazon and placed the seeds in a moist paper towel cold stratify them for two months in the end of January 2014.  I then planted them in sand in a large training container.  Several weeks went by and about 15 of them sprouted.  When the stems turned the distinctive purple color I followed the instructions and used a razor to cut off the roots and dipped them in rooting hormone and planted them in specially prepared pots and let them grow in shade protected from the wind.  By mid-August most of them were really starting to grow and I should have a nice batch of 8 from the initial 50 seeds I planted.

Here are a few pics from the summer, when I get a chance I will take some more of them in storage and of course when I bring them out in April.

Mike

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Thanks for reading!  Be back soon!

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I will return!!!! I promise.

Many Thanks to Bonsai Bark who featured my somewhat neglected blog.  It has been over a year since I have updated it, and I will now do that this weekend.  I have been away for a while due to computer problems and every time I tried to update a new post it would lock up and not post.  I think it was my pc to be honest.  I am now equipped with a new iMac and hopefully i will no longer have that problem.  So thank you for visiting and I will add more pictures this weekend!

Mike

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Kaikou class # 5 a little late

Well the dust has finally settled, its been a crazy spring.  Class #5 was back on march 9th just 6 days before we had settlement on our house, so I have been playing catch up ever since.  March 8th saw a lot of snow fall on the east coast, I know because I drove 5 hours through it to get to Rhode Island.  Bellingham where NEBG is located got more than a foot of snow.  All that snow cancelled my plans of making a small forest planting for class.  All of the seedlings were under more than a foot of snow!  I worked on a few of the trees I brought with me and even repotted an elm.  Here are some pics:

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It’s a Cold and Warm New Year!

Well There is no way anyone could predict this crazy weather!  It has been around 20 degrees Farenheight followed by a day in the 60’s back to below freezing again!  With the new year there are some exciting things happening for me!  First I have been invited to join a bonsai study group that features some well know names in the bonsai community!  Second I am now the Vice-President of The Pennsylvania Bonsai Society, which is celebrating it’s 50th year!  PBS is one of the oldest clubs in The United States.  I am also starting my second year at The Kaikou School of Bonsai at New England Bonsai Gardens!  This year I will be attending The Mid-Atlantic Bonsai Symposium in April and The ABS Learning Seminar in September.  You can count on me taking lots of pics and posting them here.  I will post soon some pics of winter work I have been doing, so until then stay warm!

Mike

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Kaikou meeting # 4

With the 4th class my first year of the Kaikou School has come to an end!  I can say that over the last year my bonsai skills have improved dramatically.  Working with John Romano and my fellow classmates, especially my partner in crime Mike has taken me to the next level!  I look forward to next year and working on more projects and improving even more.  The 4th class featured a lesson on care and training of japanese black pine.  Jbp’s have become my new favorite species of tree to work on.  I am fortunate to have several in the intermediate stages of training that will hopefully be ready to show in just a few years.  The other part of the class focused on deciduous tree care.  I was so focused on working on my trees that I only took a few pictures so here they are:

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John doing some fall work on a shohin maple

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Some of the trees I was working on

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My standard picture of Mike deep in contemplation

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Another pic of my trees

As I mentioned earlier I didn’t take many pics I was “in the zone”  I will post more this winter as I work on trees and of course meetings and seminars I attend.  Until then Happy Holidays!

Mike

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October PBS meeting (David Easterbrook)

Well I am a few months behind in posting so I will attempt to catch up!  The October meeting featured David Easterbrook.  David is well known for his collected larch.  He presented a program that featured “Literati” style bonsai, here are a few pics from the meeting:

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One of David’s collected larch

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After some wiring and pruning

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The near finished product with lots of deadwood to work in the future

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September PBS meeting (kusamono)

September’s meeting featured Ms. Young Choe, she is a renowned kusamono artist.  She studied under kusamono master Keiko Yamane in Japan.  Young’s work can be seen at The National Bonsai and Penjing Museum in Washington DC.  The program consisted of an awesome powerpoint presentation followed by a demo and workshop.  Young emphasized the use of native plant material in companion plants.  First it is easy and inexpensive to obtain and second it will more prone to survive.  She gathers and propagates many of her plants.  Even though it was only a three hour meeting I felt like I came away with a much greater understanding of kusamono and accent plants. Below are a few pics from the demo enjoy!

Her demo was assembled in less than 5 minutes and it was one of the nicest I have ever seen!

Creating a moss ball style accent.  Again in less than 5 minutes!

Discussing different pot styles, including a pot given to her by John Naka.

This is my kusanono planting I created in the workshop.  I think it actually came out pretty nice, I look forward to creating more next year!

Thanks for reading, check back soon I have two more Kaikou classes this fall.  One on October and one in November and I hope to post some pics of trees after fall clean-up work is done.

Mike

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