Thuja-madori

Blogging is fairly new to me, I been at it for only about a year now.  It’s definitely a learning experience, it does take time, but it’s been fun .  I started it with the idea that I can write about the trees I’m working on  , mainly for a selfish reason to help me sort through my thoughts while the world (I mean my dog and my goldfish) get to peek at what I’m doing.   I caution people who may come across this blog to make sure to they check with a professional in their local area and  not to necessarily follow what I do. I think it may have been  Michael Hagedorn  that  hinted about being careful with blogs, especially bonsai blogs.  There’s definitely a lot of info out there that deciphering what works for your tree could be a challenge.  So there.  At least be entertained.

With that I can talk about this tree  we collected from a landscape project  (around late winter early spring 2015)   about a year and a half ago.  It’s some kind of a Thuja (pronounced twoh ya) or arborvitae.  Thus while running out of blog title idea, Thujamadori was a fun word play.  The base of the tree looks like another trunk that was cut off and I counted the rings was roughly about 30 years old but the live tree could be between 40 to 50.   Not that old for a bonsai but for landscape Thuja, it’s older than most.  I wrote about this tree in March of this year  Strugging with Nature .   About that time, the tree was looking yellow and seems to not to do so well.  I think it was just a winter color.  Since then, I fertilized it with both liquid organic fertilizer and dry organic starter fertilizer.   I also used the Lily Miller Super Sweet lime, after listening to a lecture from Ryan Nichols during a Puget Sound Bonsai Club meeting.  With this tree, I didn’t use the bonsai mix or pumice as the soil when I potted it just after it was collected.  The soil is a standard soil with compost and sand. After a few months  I felt that it was getting compacted.   I aerated the soil by poking it with a stick all around the soil during the time I used the soil sweet.  All of those combined I think it worked well and the tree is looking very healthy and green now.  Healthy enough that during our long weekend (July 4th), I had a chance to work on it some.    From the bottom of the pot to the top of the tree, it barely made it to the door of my potting shed (that’s approx. 7 .5 ft).   After working on it, I reduced the heigh to roughly 5 ft.  I only did some light wiring and light pruning in the foliage I want to keep.   I will wait until Fall or Winter to do more wiring.

Bonsai really does takes time, that was the point of my first blog about this tree.  You can’t hurry them,  but as you work with what nature gives you, I think the wait will be worth it.

arborvitae
This is my initial vision for this tree.  It’s a large tree but love the challenge of making this look more like a smaller old tree.
DSC_1068
This is the tree before any major work was done last fall.  My daughter is about 4′ – 3″.

 

 

Below are just photos from last fall to just last weekend.  Slowly sculpting this tree closer to look like the sketch.  Definitely got a long ways to go but this progression is only within a one year span.

 

 

 


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