Last Tuesday, Akio Kondo visited Bay Island Bonsai’s monthly meeting and gave a mini demo and critique. He worked on two small shimpaku and offered suggestions for further developing a few member trees. Kondo has visited the U.S. the past few summers, making time to work on client trees and teach workshops (see write-ups from his past visits).
Kondo began by making refinements on a small shimpaku. Kneeling on the floor put him at the right height to set the branches – the kneel seems to have caught on.
Kondo and Boon kneeling
Kondo then quickly wired a small shimpaku.
After wiring first branch
Next up, Kondo made suggestions for a few member trees. Of JT’s California juniper grafted with shimpaku foliage, Kondo suggested extending the first branch further to the right.
For several years now, I’ve been slowly nursing a white pine back to health. Kondo thinned crowded shoots near the apex and said I could remove old needles from the strong areas – the top half of the tree, in this case – but suggested waiting for the tree to gain more strength before wiring. Although I haven’t repotted the tree since I bought it several years ago, Kondo suggested waiting another year or two before repotting.
Minor cutback – Japanese white pine
I also brought a medium-sized procumbens juniper for Kondo to critique. Kondo suggested removing a large back branch and growing out the first branch on the right. With his characteristic magic tough, Boon showed us an exaggerated version of what this might look like in the future.
Boon indicating the future branch location
The new branch appears!
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