In addition to growing white and black pines, Mr. Iwakiri has a fondness for deciduous trees – chojubai in particular.
Japanese flowering quince – chojubai
Iwakiri offered some details about how he’s developed these trees. Many of the clump-style specimens are actually bundles of cuttings from the same tree that have grown together for 20-30 years.
Cuttings grown together as multi-trunk specimen
How are they pruned? Three times a year, Iwakiri cuts new shoots back to two buds. He does this in June, August and October. In June, Iwakiri partially defoliates his chojubai by removing all but the interior leaves.
A full chojubai
The trees are repotted every 2 years. At repotting time, Iwakiri removes suckers as these often vigorous shoots can decrease the overall vigor of the tree. When he can take some root with the suckers, he uses them to start new trees.
Because lower branches are typically more vigorous than the highest branches, Iwakiri recommends removing the topmost growth when it gets too tall. Left unchecked, these branches can become weaker as they grow taller. When these branches are significant in size, he recommends making air-layers.
Chojubai made from air-layer
Young chojubai can also be planted over rocks.
Root over rock chojubai
Across from Iwakiri’s chojubai were a selection of Japanese maples and Chinese quince, among other deciduous varieties. The blue screen-house is designed to keep pernicious beetles at bay.
Japanese maple roots
Iwakiri’s quince were no less interesting.
Japanese maple trunk and roots
Spending time with Mr. Iwakiri made me want to get home as soon as possible to put to use his many tips – the very best feeling I could hope to have after visiting such an inspiring garden.
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