Dwelling in Florida for the better a part of my youth I’ve climbed and admired Stay Oaks simply as any respectable Southern boy ought to. So it could solely be pure, discovering myself a bonsai farmer, to try to recreate a few of that early magic in miniature kind.
Now it isn’t usually that you simply see a bonsai in an historical Stay Oak model. With twisted branches bowed all the way down to the earth by outdated man time’s heavy arms and branches sprawled out- carefree like kids basking within the solar. It gained’t be a straightforward activity to finish however each nice journey begins someplace.
This story begins about 20 years in the past when this Oak was simply sprouting up and seeing daylight for the primary time in a nursery not too removed from Tampa. About 5 years in the past it discovered its approach to me and I’ve been coaching it since. The tree was first root pruned after which the primary branches had been all wired about three years in the past. Right here it’s after being allowed to develop for a yr unchecked, I needed to prune tallest development off which was over 6′ to suit it within the workshop.
At this stage of improvement I’m targeted on enhancing and fixing the nebari. Concurrently, I need to develop main branches which can be giant, rugged, and seem outdated. Whereas taking a look at my Stay Oak bonsai there may be one department that’s a lot skinnier than the remaining pictured under. It doesn’t match or make sense, it’s an eye fixed sore that wants mounted. To repair this situation I’ll prune all the pieces apart from the department that should thicken. Because it grows very lengthy will probably be caught as much as others very quickly.
Right here the Stay Oak bonsai is after pruning again. Ordinarily, you’d in all probability need the bottom branches to be considerably thicker than the remaining as is frequent in nature. Nonetheless, I need to try to design a tree that feels historical. Outdated Oaks within the South can exhibit main limbs which can be all almost the identical measurement. In bonsai phrases I’m goal for a bizarre broom-octopus model permutation.
We’re in repotting season and this tree may be very wholesome and prepared for a severe root pruning. It’s necessary to know the “why” behind what you’re doing to your bonsai. This Stay Oak bonsai is being root pruned for a number of causes. Some necessary aims are lowering the peak of the rootball which can permit us to suit it in a bonsai pot later. Right root pruning may even produce higher floor roots which can construct flaring on the base. Moreover, eradicating cumbersome roots permits extra space for nice feeders roots that are what uptake moisture and vitamins.
Right here it’s after over an hour of sawing and cursing.
At this level it could be tempting to slip the tree right into a bonsai pot. However that may solely make the method take for much longer if I need a top quality tree. To hurry issues up I’ve planted it in a big develop field to permit it to placed on girth and regain its power. The sport plan for the long run is to permit this tree to develop freely after which in the reduction of periodically for a number of years. In that interval I’ll additionally carry out one other root pruning, eliminating the big chunky roots that take up house. Then, if the tree’s primary construction is sweet sufficient it can go right into a bonsai pot. From there it could start the refinement course of which can take one other three to 5 years. Lastly, after that it could be thought of a bonsai if I don’t make too many errors.
I’ve observed the Stay Oak in my space have a tendency to carry their outdated leaves till new buds are rising in March. With that in thoughts, defoliating might have been an excellent possibility. Nonetheless, I opted to not defoliate this time to see how the tree reacts.
The tree was planted in a mixture of 50% perlite and 50% nursery grade soil. I’m experimenting with utilizing perlite as a high costume to forestall weeds from taking maintain.