Saturday, July 18, 2009

remarks to mugo #8

This is an extraordinary mugo pine (Pinus mugo). It is some of the best material that I ever found. But it is a real horticultural challenge . After collecting in spring of 2001 the tree was planted into a plastic pot. But it would not grow very well. It just sent one new bud at each shoot. No ramification. In 2006 I decided that it might be the soil of the original habitat that had to be removed. consequently I took ti out of the container and planted it into a good bonsai pot. I often do this quite contrary to conventional bonsai wisdom which tells you to first style the tree and only then find the final pot I do it the other way round for several reasons. One is to be able to style it in then pot finally and not re pot it afterwards for many years, like more than ten years. But it still would not grow. In the fall of 2007 I fed it with chicken pellets, which is simply dry chicken do. And in spring of 2008 all of a sudden it came to quite vigorously. It still did not have enough ramification to really style the crown, but it was enough to make it pleasing finally. Before it looked funny, like it was styled by someone who had no clue. Now one could see what the aim of that was. In fall of 2008 the tree has created many new buds which came nicely in summer of 2009. Finally, after the old needles were plucked some parts were cut off, the old wire removed and the whole thing totally re-wired. Now for the first time the inherent quality is visible. We only need a slight change of front and some editing to the crown plus a new pot within the next two years.


TpaBayFlyFisher said...

Walter, it seems to me that that while you have many, many, skills as a bonsai artist, perhaps your greatest is "future-vision". It seems that you can see 5 or 10 years into the future as you collect material selecting the good and rejecting the poor. Are there any guides that you can give us so that we may select the best material for our work? Thank you again for being so helpful.

Walter Pall said...

Well, the only advise I can give is to practise for a couple of decades. It is like playiing musigc, practising sport: if you do it every day you will after many years have a vision that beginners never will have. Of course it takes talent, but I think that many would have the talent. They would succeed if they really tried hard over many years.