Friday, March 23, 2007

Away for ten days

Starting tomorrow, Friday, I will be in America for ten days until April 2. After that you can see what happened there on the 'Travlogues' blog.
I hope to meet some of you.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

snow cap in March

March 21

Picture from this morning. It is not as bad as it looks. By now much of the snow went away already.

Quality of photographs

I do get many questions how excatly I get this photographic quality on more or less all shots.
Well, it took me twenty years to learn how to do bonsai professionaly and it took me twenty years to learn how to do professional photopraphs. Or sort of.

Carl Bergstroem has written an excellent article. This is basically what I do.


(thanks to those who have pointed out the new site to me)

Well, I can reveal one secret. Look at the screens. Make sure the tree is as far AWAY from the backdrop as possible.

workshops and demos, still places available

On Saturday, March 24 and Sunday, March 25 I will be at New England Bonsai in Bellingham, MA. You can see a free demo, tree critiques and some workshops are offerd. Some places are still avialable.

On Tuesday, March 27 there will be workshops at Nature's Way Nursery in Harrisburg, PA. A couple of places still available. I will be there until Friday, March 30. Private sessions can be arranged. Call Jim Doyle at Nature's Way Nursery.

homepage updated

I have updated my gallery and changed and added about 40 pictures.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

more winter in March

March 20, 2007

Monday, March 19, 2007

tall spruce

European spruce, Picea abies, 90 cm high, more than 100 years old, pot by Derek Aspinall.

1) as of March 19 2007
2) possibly new front?

winter again

March 19, 2007

Sunday, March 18, 2007

baked loam as main ingredient for bonsai substrate

I try to avoid the word 'bonsai soil' because there is no soil in modern bonsai substrate. I use for ALL plants that are in containes (bonsai, also the most expensive ones, flowers for the house and terrasse, tomatos tec.) 70 to 80 % of baked loam and 20 to 30 % of rough peat. Instead or in addition to baked loam you can take pumice, lava split, hard akadama (not the cheap one, because it decomposes and can kill your trees, crushed bar etc.
Baked loam is sold under many different names. Look for mateirals that are for tennis courts, addtion to soil for golf courses, sports lawns, material used by fire departments to pick up lost oil, material used in the building industry for insulation against cold and heat and for sounds. In America a product called 'turface' is fine. If you ahve a choice between the round particles and crushed ones always take the crushed ones.
In Germany a product called 'Maxit', 'Fibotherm' is OK. Use particle size of 2mm to 4mm. sometimes one gets a wide variation of sizes. Sieve your material and throw away everything that is smaller then 2mm.
Do NOT create a special drainage area in your pot. Your SUBSTRATE IS DRAINAGE SUBSTRATE:

This has the following properties:
easy to get in any garden supply store
one CANNOT OVERWATER! Yes, you can water as much as you want, any fool can water properly
One MUST water often and a lot every time
one must feed on a regular basis, like every 10 days to two weeks (any fertilizer that you can get for NORMAL plants, liquid or not, high nitrogen content is OK!
it is light when dry! This means one can carry very large trees without help.
On many of these products the color is very good. No other top soil needed.

That's it, this is my soil secrete.

1) bag
2) baked clay or loam
3) substrate ready for planting 80 % baked clay and 20 % rough peat

big maple even more spectacular

This is one single photograph, only the refinement is slightly different. One of these will be presented for the North America vs. Europe contest, I think. Probably the second one.

For those who don't believe this: these are the ORIGINAL colors. That's exactly how that tree looks at the moment.

Friday, March 16, 2007

new pots arrived

These are two pots by Peter Krebs. I love them. David also likes them very much. We will see what we do with them.

fat trident maple part 2

in March 2007 I repotted it. The old pot was better, I know, but I needed it for another tree.

1) March 2007
2) Virtual, showing that it probably would look better without the straight branch at the lower right. The branch cannot be bent.

fat trident maple part 1

This one I traded in last summer. It spent about 2 years in a nursery in Germany after it was imported from Japan. I worked on it right away, as one can see.
The tree is 60 cm high.

pictures August 2006

spring pictures #1

1) Japanese maple, Acer pamatum, 35 cm, pot by Peter Krebs
2) European beech, Fagus sylvatica, 50 cm

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

cornelian cherry #2 and the fat wild cherry repotted

The trees were planted into decent bonsai pots. These pots are not bad, but not really the final ones.


European spruce, Picea abies, collected in Italy, more than 100 years old, 60 cm high, pot by Gordon Duffet

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Repotting of the big maple part 2

A few threads down I have shown how I had planned to turn the maple 1.5 hours counter clockwise to improve the overall appearance. And nwo we will do exactly this.
The tree is heavy, even after it has lost about 50 % of the rootball.

Repotting of the big maple part 1

I believe that one should only repot when it is necessary. With many trees I feel it's necessary after a several years. Some old collected conifers I don't repot for almost ten years. I learned though that Japanese maples, even wehn they are quite old must be repotted frequently. This old maple is repotted every two years.

Most people repot too early in the year. They 'know' that one has to do it as soon as the buds begin to swell. This is usaulally the case around end of March in my area. While it is possible to repot then it is by no means the best time. I have learned to wait until the buds are pretty far. With some trees I wait until the foliage is almsot out. This is the best time. One can repot most deciduous trees even after that.

Deciduous trees (non-conifers) are repotted here from middle of April to beginning of May. Then come the conifers.

But for trees in a greenhouse everything is about three to four weeks earlier. This year we had the warmest winter ever. My Japanese maples are almost in foliage already, before the middle of March.

So today was the day. I am asked often how in the world I manage to reopt the huge maple. They usually don't believe me when I tell them that I do it in less than one hour all by myself. Yes, it is possible to repot this mosnter without help. But this does not mean that I don't take help when I get it. Like this time.

Fro some people it is also astounding how much of the root ball I remove.