Hurricane Irma, the Aftermath and My Bonsai Trees

My last post was just before the storm which was about three months ago now. I apologize for the delay, but Mother Nature really threw a wrench in my works. In fact I’ve been working on this post for 2 months now.  Just can’t seem to finish it.  Been trying not to think about it I guess….anyway,

Our area of Florida was hit pretty bad…we not only had the hurricane but tornadoes as well. Continue reading “Hurricane Irma, the Aftermath and My Bonsai Trees”

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Bonsai Trees and Bracing For Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma is basically here and we’ve decided to stay.  The winds are picking up and the gusts are strong enough to knock bonsai trees right off the bench.  Can’t wait any longer.  The trees have to go inside tonight….I don’t know how strong the winds might get overnight though the hurricane isn’t here yet.

Continue reading “Bonsai Trees and Bracing For Hurricane Irma”

How To Keep Snails and Slugs Off your Bonsai Benches and Trees Naturally

Snails and slugs may seem harmless, but they can be bad for your bonsai trees.  They crawl over the ground, fungus, mold, etc.  Then they climb on your trees trunks, branches and foliage and spread these diseases.

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Snail on tree branch

You can always go out and buy chemicals.  These will work for the most part but I believe the method I’ll get to below makes the chemicals pointless.

Keeping them off may seem complicated without poisons, but there is a really easy way to solve this issue.

The answer is copper.

Copper repels slugs and snails wonderfully.  From what is understood in the science community, the copper causes some type of “short circuit” if you will call it that, in their nervous system.

I would assume that feels similar to those shock machines you hold with your hands at fairs.

What you’ll want to do is take either copper sheet, tape, or wire and wrap a section a few inches wide around the legs of your benches.  They won’t cross the border and won’t get up to your trees.

Snail / slug problem solved!!

Here is a good quick video from Youtube illustrating how this concept works.  The Results are surprising:

 

Well I hope this helps you in your bonsai garden and and enjoy slug free trees!!!

Yaupon Holly Bonsai…Fairy Tale Style?

It’s been 4 months since we last visited this tree.  Summer is coming to a close so I wanted to share an update with you.

I’ll include links to previous posts on this tree at the end of this post.

When I got the tree it was just a round bush….well not even round…more of an egg shape.  And it had a bunch of tangled roots too.  That’s why I bought it though.  It was different and not your “traditional bonsai.”  I wanted to see what can be done with it.

I love fairy tales (Think Lord of the Rings here) and trees.  After initially cutting it back, I decided this tree would be destined for…as Walter Pall would say, the Fairy Tale Style.

The last update on this tree was in May 2017 and here is what it looked like then:

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As you can see the trunk was just chopped at that time.  This was the decided front at the time with plans to remove that knotty roots right in the middle.  Since then I’ve decided to change the front.  This has required the removal of some large branches and a general reorientation of the tree.

Here are pictures of the tree from all 4 sides.  These were taken May 15, 2017:

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Front
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Right Side
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Back
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Left Side

They new front I will be training it into will be the “right side” pictured above.  That side shows off the best side of the roots and trunk of the tree.  It’s all about the base. However, making this side work was going to be challenging.

For one, there is a big low branch pointing directly at the viewer from that angle.  This along with other branches were going to have to be removed and the tree slightly reshaped.  Here is the branch I’m referring to marked in red:

Hollybrachtoremove

The photo above shows this branch marked in red.  The new front is the right side from this view.  That low branch blocks the entire view of the trunk (see right side photo above).  So, if that is going to be the new front, this branch can’t stay.  Not only that, but it’s creating a big swell there also which is not wanted.

First I removed the Horizontal branch blocking the trunk. The pictures below are from July 2017.

Before:20170706_173815 (1)

After:20170803_200752

Then after removing the whole thing I cut it back further and wired some branches into better positions for this viewing angle.

Only a month later here is what it looks like today:

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The trunk is now open and visible.  I still have to carve that wound in lower and this spring repot the tree to reduce the roots further for a better sized pot.  The planting angle will change as well as I want the tree to seem to grow off the side of a hill.

Who knows, I might even be able to get this one on a rock, we’ll see.

So far this tree is a fun one to work with and has developed very quickly!

Previous Posts on this Tree:

Yaupon Holly Re-pot 

Update: Ilex Schillings Dwarf (Yaupon Holly)