Saturday, June 6, 2009

back home with the trees

After a long journey into the mountains and back and a hard collecting trip the tree have to get potted as soon as possible. So, although quite tired, we potted them on the same day. The big spruces (Picea abies) are placed into plastic pots and boxes and we fill pure Chabasai (zeolith) into the container. It cold also be pure baked loam or pumice or lava granulate or similar.
Philipp owns the big one in the box. Afterward the trees are heftily watered and placed in the growing field. There we will not move them for a t least a year. Now they get watered agressively ever day. Feeding starts tomorrow. When watering the trees they are made very wet on top in particular.
We hope for rather humid weather wthin the next days. What we do not want is a couple of hot, dry weeks. We'll see.


Paul Landis said...

That looks like it was a great trip!

Walter--do you find it is easier to find Spruces as they are not as highly sought after as other species. In other words--the areas where you collect---the spruces are not as picked over as the others???
Do you find this to be the case??

Walter Pall said...


well, this is a special area, maybe the best of the Alps. but in general I find spruces where folks have collectd trees and left the spruces untouched becasue they are afraid of them.
Spruces are by far the most common tree in Europe as you know. More than 50 % of all trees are spruce. But to find a spruce that its good for bonsai is very rare. In my area there are lots thouh. as you can see. And then most spruces die after collecting. Or you find them with a flat and compact rootball as we do.


Philipp Rapp said...

Hello Walter and Philipp,

it look like you had a great and long day. Thank you for charing those pictures. It shows pretty good that you really have an eye for collection potential Bonsais, i am sure as you said walter, most wouldn`t collect those spruces, mybe because the are afaid of the species or they just don´t have "the eye" to see a potential Bonsai in those trees.

One question, u showed last year or the year before one big Juniper on a steep cliff. Have you yet tried to collect it?



Walter Pall said...


the juniper is still there and lots of other great ones that I know exactly where thy are. I will not go back and get them. About 95 % of all collected sabina junipers die within the first year after collecting. I just don't want to see this again.


Rudi said...

Looks like you had a lot of fun. I enjoyed just by looking at the photos. Many thanks for sharing your adventures Paul! Greetings from the Philippines.

Matija Triglav said...

Hello Mr. Pall!
I'm having a few questions about collecting spruces. When is right time to collect? I'm planing to collect spruces when this year green growth will finish to grow and new buds will form. Is this OK?? Because now new shots are still fresh on my mountain. If I see correct you did take off all original soil before potting? Am I correct? Is there something else to be careful about when get spruces from mountain??

Thanks, Matija

Walter Pall said...


spruce can be collected in spring just before the buds are opening and in fall, when the new buds are already there. In my climate this is by the end of August, beginning of September.

i do not take off all the old soil. Sometimes it falls off and then I have to live with this.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for nice report.
See you at Late summer Meeting.


abraham said...

I first want to say hello WP. I have a question what kind of substrate occupies your bonsai, I am new to your blog I love your work and your philosophy hola from mexico

abraham said...

I'm a fan of the bonsai and most of the work you've done with so much dedication I would love to enter your blog and be able to chat with one of my favorite artists of bonsai. im from Leon GTO. Mexico

Walter Pall said...


in this case I used pure zeolith (Chabasai), which is a mineral that you probably also cne get in Mexico. You can also use pumice, lava gravel, baked loam and similar products. It is not so important what exactly you use.


Dre Cast said...

so you start feeding all your trees even right after collection? or is it only on some tree species.

Walter Pall said...

Sure, this is good for all species. If you use very well drainign substrate you have to realize that there are no nutrients in it. So you have to provide these immediately.