Spring is a good time for managing vigor on deciduous species. We can fully defoliate our strongest trees, and partially defoliate less vigorous bonsai. An alternative to defoliation for species with larger leaves is leaf pruning. Leaf pruning works best when you want more light to reach the tree’s interior but you don’t want to […]
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The Bay Area Satsuki Aikokai held its 24th annual exhibit last weekend at the Lake Merritt Garden Center in Oakland, California. And thanks to the weather this spring, the timing of the exhibit was perfect for seeing azaleas in full bloom. Osakazuki Sachi no Tsukasa Many of the flowers were familiar, but an equal number […]
Last year I defoliated a shohin Japanese maple in an effort to stimulate back buds (see “Defoliating a Japanese maple“). The approach worked (see the “Follow-up“). This year I want the shoots that developed from these back buds to grow strong. To encourage this, I removed the leaves from the established branches and left the […]
For the last few years, I’ve taken a simple approach to refining a dwarf wisteria (Millettia japonica ‘Microphylla’). In May or June, I reduce long shoots that extend beyond the desired silhouette. The process looks like this. Dwarf wisteria New shoot After reducing the shoot After cutting back to 2-3 leaves per branch This […]
Three months ago I pruned and repotted a coast redwood. Coast redwood After cutback After root work Repotting complete The tree responded well and produced new foliage. New growth three months later Foliage detail This is the response I’m used to from redwoods. I repotted a second tree that same day, however, and it’s recovery […]