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Showing posts from 2015

The Grandma of Pears_ the most valuable tree of my collection.

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The Grandma of Pears_ the most valuable tree of my collection What is the value of my most  favourite tree?  And how did I calculate it? My metrics are far from the standard one even though at the end it has the two most important parts integrated.   What are these two parts?    ADMIRATION and JOY that please your soul.  What is behind of those parts?  For most of the bonsai enthusiasts it could be species of the tree, its age, design, proportions and scales. For some others it could be the name of the person who has trained and shaped the tree or the name of the previous owner.    For a few others, it is the intimate relations with the tree quite often grown from a seed... For me it is the common memories that are linked to the tree. So what about The Grandma?       It is the early March 2011.  I am sitting in the car watching the grey sky and cords of rain  drumming on the hood.          I am on my knees trying to dig out the deeply rooted old pear with one of the most bea

Small trees in my backyard... Part five: Prunus spinosa_Smaller than small

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Small trees in my backyard... Part five:  Prunus spinosa_Smaller than small Height: Around 10 cm Collected: Central Bohemia Age: + 20 years It is quite difficult to find a decent sloe in my region.  Most of them look pretty much like a stick to support tomatoes.  Only a few have reasonable thick trunk,  but no taper.  Finally,  a very few are worth of collection.  Lucky enough to find one after hours you have spent on your knees clearing your way through the prickly shrubs?   GREAT.  You have completed the easy part.  NOW you  face a challenge how to bring home not only the trunk, but also enough roots to keep the plant alive. BUT if you succeed,  then you are every single spring rewarded with a flood of delicate yellowish white blossoms that contrast with dark chocolate color of the branches and trunk.  After the pollination the  fruits appear.  Small hardly visible green balls that quickly gain volume and end up with frosted blue color that attracts not only the bonsai enthu

Pyrus pyraster_ Pear_The Grandma

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Pyrus pyraster_ Pear_The Grandma I believe this is the oldest tree in my collection.    The Grandma of pears.     She grew at a very dry south facing slope.  Thin layer of poor substrate on a limy bed.  A scarce water supply in summers affecting the lenght of growing seasons...  That was the biotop that modeled her appearance for dozens of years before she has been spotted and collected by a bonsai novice.      I guess I would leave such tree alone these days having a respect for its wild character and ability to survive in such harsh environment.  But at that time I have just seen an amazing tree  and have not realised that a collection is only the very and the relatively easy beginning of a journey of such old tree from the wild to the bonsai pot... Autumn 2010 2013 Spring 2015 Spring 2015_An alligator skin all over the body

Prunus Spinosa_1

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Prunus Spinosa_1 Prunus spinosa Height: 18 cm till the top jin Diameter:  4,5 cm Training pot  A sloe is one of my most favourite deciduous tree/bush.  There are  not many good quality blackthorns bonsai in the Czech Republic.   First of all it is quite difficult to find a decent tree in the nature. And secondly, it is even more difficult to collect a plant with enough roots to keep it alive.   The blackthorns grow  in clumps with a "single"  root system that starts from the mother plant.  Quite often the plant you have selected doesn't have fine roots at all.  There is only a kind of a root runner with no fine roots that is disappearing into the ground.    The small blackthorn on the pic has a fairly nice twisted trunk with the first signs of aging bark.  The trunk has a reversed taper  unfortunately.  I have tried to improve that by leaving there a sacrifice branch (the first one on the right ) and root thread grafting.    The results of the thread graft are not

The Drunkard

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The Drunkard This is my first hawthorn.   The name which is not very poetic for bonsai comes from its twisted roots.   If I remember well the tree has grown in a crevice that has formed the basic shape of the roots.  The piece of stone at the base of the tree came only some time after the  collection.   The growing pot is a bit larger to allow the free growth of  roots that are encircling the stone from its front and back.  I hope that within the next one or two growing seasons to roots will be strong enough to present them as a surface roots that should create with the existing ones a stable root base. Front  view Back view Detail of my stupid attempt to speed up the ageing of the bark at the bottom section of the tree.  A few years ago I used a flat chisel to puncture the bark.  While the idea is maybe not completely wrong the execution was a disaster.  The cuts are too dense and the appearance of this part of the trunk is not realistic.   It will take yeeeears to get be

Prunus mahaleb_A bit of procrastination

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Prunus mahaleb_A bit of procrastination I should have been working on the apple tree this weekend.   Well, as I have been  still contemplating the possible design of it from different angles for quite a bit of time  I have decided to stop it  for now and to work on another teaser.    The cock - that is the nickname of this tree in my file - is about 24 cm tall and nearly 40 wide.   If you look at it there are two nearly independent part.  The first one in the shape of twisted pig tail and the other  is stretched to the side trying to reach something in a far distance.   From the side, it looks like a cock to me.    Well, the tree is not THAT  bad.   I would rather say it is I who cannot grab its natural yamadori beauty and make the most of it. Nov 2014 Spring 2015 Summer 2015 After pruning  Front Option 1 Detail of the shari and jins The greyish part is the original designed by the Nature. The yellowish one is my attempt to reduce anothe

Global warming_a final proof_hummingbirds spotted at Czech Karst near Karlstein

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     Global warming_a final proof_hummingbirds spotted at Czech Karst near Karlstein This is the final proof to stop the  endless discussion about global warming.   The  hummingbirds that are without any doubt a  typical representative of birds with domicile in  tropical or subtropical countries on the other side of the globe have been spotted and photographed in central part of Czech republic.   This place near the castle Karlstein is known as the Czech Karst and it is also a place with temperatures well above the rest of the country.   This factor plus its proximity to the Prague's airport could lead to a possible explanation of this breaking news.   The world -wide known Czech ornithodologist  Karel Hauptvogel is  rock-solid sure:  "  The hummingbirds are merciless invaders of new territories.  In last few thousands of years they extended their habitat located  originally in central  America to a vast territory ranging  from southern Alaska to Tierra del Fuego.   Even the

Pyrus communis ( Common pear )

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Current height:  60 cm Collected: Spring 2014 This Pear has grown in the tiny  stone pit used in the past by locals to get some material for their houses.   The pit was abandoned while ago and now the nature is slowly taking it back. The hawthorns, wild roses, locust trees are the dominant species that are again invading the space with enormous vigour. I came to this area during my search for the blackthorns that grow on the adjacent slopes.   I was initially attracted by the hawthorns and only accidently spotted a tree that grew in the pocket in the otherwise upright stone wall.  Many years ago a small seed of a pear landed in the crack of weathered rock.  Anchored the first tiny roots and begun the life of struggle with hard rock, scarce water and nutrient supply.   The nature elements - water, frost, sun and wind - have combined their forces to erode the place more and more.   On one side it was beneficial to the tree on the other side though it has gradually endangered its e

Common Pear _ a root runner_2015

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I have postponed repotting of this pear till next year to allow development of the roots and the branch structure.    The slow development of the roots is a real challenge here.   I hope that with more foliage the tree may develop some new roots.    I will also try to get some small plants that could be grafted to the tree if necessary. This summer  I plan to enlarge the natural cavity  in the trunk.

Home Made Plant Rooting Hormone

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Indolebutyric acid (IBA) is a plant hormone that stimulates root growth.   There are many brands commercially available.   And there are also numerous  natural sources of the same stuff.   For those who prefers the natural approach,  who are not bothered by some sweat and dirty hands th ere is the Nature with it s pantry full of goodies. The most common source of IBA in my region is a  willow tree.    Actually,   this tree is not  only a beautiful solitaire used for centuries in gardening or landscaping to make the embankments of lakes, rivers and ponds firmer.  It is also a source of energy for the  bees ( pollen) or humans ( biomass ).  Chewing the bark of willows has been used to reduce the fever and inflammation as the bark contains salicin that was used to develop aspirin.   The whips of willows are also important part of an Eastern seasonal activity. One of the most important Slavic symbols of Easter is a  poml├ízka , a braided whip made from pussy  willow twigs.  It  has  b