Collecting Yamadori | Anton Nijhuis

neagari style | California Bonsai Art

Immediately was an amazing day. The solar was out, I wore shorts for the primary time in 2020, and the day was ripe for some critical radical bonsai. I’m a reasonably affected person man however when a tree begins getting the very best of me, I get down and soiled and simply take it inside an inch of it’s life and cuss at it and say, “there, cope with this bitch!” Immediately was a type of days. I had these three huge air layers on two tridents and one cork elm. The cork elm is 2 years previous as a layer and the tridents have been began final Spring. The elm is such an aggressive grower it bridges in every week or much less and stalls. I’ve recut it so many instances that I used to be simply plain uninterested in coping with it.

I lower the primary trident because it had essentially the most roots. Fairly good all the way in which round and I’m assured that it’s going to make it until summer season and may have made sufficient new roots to compensate.

That tree will probably be planted out in a colander for retaining the brand new roots compact, however nonetheless enable for good air change.

It’s a scarred up mess, and admittedly whilst a layer I don’t know if it has any benefit as a bonsai. Time will inform.

The subsequent one was this cork elm. This factor has been a thorn in my facet for 2 full years. I’ve recut it so many instances there’s hardly any wooden beneath what roots it does have, which isn’t many. It solely had root in three locations across the trunk, they have been fairly good clumps of roots, small however quite a few, not so good as the trident. It’s an elm and if it’s as aggressive because it was earlier than elimination, then in dwell or die mode, ought to create roots. That’s the plan and I’m sticking to it

Now what I had was this huge stump left from the bottom of the tree the layer got here off of. It’s massive, 5.5 inches throughout and imply.

These are my lower traces on the stump

Beneath on the correct was a big double root that wanted to return off. It was too excessive on the trunk and would by no means enable the stump to be planted appropriately.

I simply sawed it off with the sawzall

I’ll plant that later, and in the meantime, throw it into a bathtub of water. Now I lower the stump in half and lower it again to a department and make the lower with large taper to get considerably of a bonsai trunk out of it. Primarily based on spring push and appears of what I see, all of the open wounds from the foundation lower off and the big taper lower will probably be hollowed out and carved to provide a Wizard of OZ kind really feel to the previous tree.

That is simply trash now and located it’s method onto the hearth wooden pile.

 I had a pair massive root cutoffs and planted them out in clay pots.

Previous to planting the bottom of the elm I did an intensive root pruning on the underside finish. All of those have been thrown into the water bucket to maintain moist. Each is checked out, root hairs trimmed from it’s roots and wired for form and planted out with the tip protruding of the soil. The tip is lower straight throughout with sharp shears to facilitate shoots rising, which they may.

The roots are wired and planted in soil after bending into fascinating shapes. Most of those will probably be Neagari (uncovered roots) model, like those I did a number of years in the past.

Select a very good one

Clear the roots of small root hairs.

Wire them up and form.

Plant them out.

I wished to repot the elm that began all of it with the Neagari model root cuttings. That is the plant I received in a raffle and took dwelling, solely to be amazed on the root ball this factor had. How I managed to get it this small and dwell is a testomony to the aggressiveness of those cork elms.

I lastly acquired it out of the inturned lip pot which I new was going to be tough however did  it anyway.

As soon as once more this tree ended up being a gold mine of small root cuttings that I may wire and bend up into all types of cool little shapes and develop out. I could find yourself utilizing these for a workshop on the Shohin Seminar in Santa Nella happening this weekend. It occurs each two years, so in about 4 years I may do the workshop and have some actual good materials for the Seminar.

A root like this can be a gold mine for making elm materials. For about ten minutes of time I can begin one thing that can give years of enjoyment taking part in with these.

So quite a lot of the cuttings have been small and I planted six or seven in a small colander to develop out. These may be transplanted any time of the yr and if these get crowded later I can break them up.

I had yet another trident to take away and this one was a pistol. I believe this tree might have been lower two years additionally. It has bridged method too many time to rely and I used to be uninterested in coping with it. I’m not in love with any of those and put far more inventory into the small elm root cuttings than I do in these three layers that will or might not make it. I believe the elm will, however that’s all I’m positive of. The highest of this trident regarded so nice whereas it was on the tree however after elimination it doesn’t have the identical really feel it had on the tree. I’ll give it a pair years and see later.

So I wired up the highest of the massive elm stump with plenty of roots. I do know this can develop like a striped ass ape and I will probably be pruning branches very quickly. Carving to return later when it corporations up within the pot, which on the charge it grows will probably be in about 60 days.

The small elm after transplanting, this time right into a rectangle pot with conventional rim.

The basis cuttings I made out of the small elm clump above made some good crops. I had entry to about 2 hundred roots and I’ve no Concept why I solely made about 5 of them. That is how they give the impression of being now, 5 years later.

This small maple began as a reducing in 2006. It had an uncommon bend within the trunk which I accentuated and determined that I woud prepare it right into a neagari (uncovered root) model. I planted it out in a half gallon milk jug to develop the roots lengthy. I grew the roots in straight pumice with the highest of the jug backfilled with akadama. The roots went straight down within the pumice. sitting in a water saucer.

The tree didn’t develop that properly within the jug and whereas it did develop roots fairly properly the highest by no means actually developed. It sorts grew all willy nilly, with heavy branches and never a lot form.

In 2012, I made a decision that possibly it may grow to be a trident on a stone. The stone had a …er..distinctive form. Very masculine.



I attempted bubble wrap as my wrap for affixing to the stone. My thought was that the bubble would assist push the roots into the form of the stone and get good adhesion. Additionally the wrap would final a couple of years and never crumble so quick.


So right here is the tree all wrapped up able to develop and make a smashing bonsai. Properly the highest was fairly dangerous and regarded like hell. no department construction and the tree actually was concerning the base and never a lot the highest. Over the following three years I’d prune and snip wire right here and there.


Final winter in Jan. 2014, I took the wrap off and the rock fell out of the roots. WTF, one thing went unsuitable. By now I had a greater cover and I used to be capable of begin eradicating branches and wiring others. It was repotted within the Bunzan semi cascade pot. The tree recieved extra consideration final yr because of the Keppler Snail Scourage of 2014. It was moved to the protection of the patio untill the snails died off.

Tonight it will get a photograph of the brand new look and 9 years work. Extra work on the drop department on the correct however its getting there.



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