B.I.B. members are spoiled! Since Boon belongs to a very famous bonsai clan in Japan, we now have Koku Fu winners as part of our club program every year. Here you see Akio on his knees checking out one of Jim G. juniper bonsai.
Whenever we have a program like this, Boon asks club members to bring trees in for critique, a bit of cutback, and styling. Club members don’t mind having Koku Fu winners “tweaking” their bonsai for free.
Akio Kondo has arrived from Japan – and Boon took him on the road with him. Their first stop was at Tom K. The fun part of this stop is that the tree below was originally grafted by Akio 13 years ago. Today it has shimpaku foliage. But 13 years ago it was completely California Juniper. It was one of those weepy califiornias that never would “tighten” up it’s foliage – so it was a fitting candidate.
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Bonsai before lunch: Below, same bonsai after lunch. What do you like better, all the flowers or a bonsai on its way to refinement?
Well, Sue has gone through Boon’s Bonsai Intensive Training Program. She sat for the written test on her final visit this last time (By the way, the lowest passing score required is 90%. A great testament to the training and bonsai theory class is that Boon has yet to have anyone re-take the test.)
On the hands-on-part of the test, you are given a tree – that might be a little over-grown, that you must totally refine and wire. It was also time to de-foliate this Japanese maple on a rock.
Below, the tree is done. Boon was pleased with Sue’s work – and she looks pleased too. The Maple is was placed under the 30% shade-cloth and will stay there until the new leaves harden off – then it will be re-introduced to full sun again.
Click on picture for a closer look.
Below you have an example of a tree being re-potted into Boon’s soil and growing for four weeks. The roots are going wild! But don’t expect these results unless you live in Florida or similar climes.
You can see roots growing over the right side of the pot after only four weeks. Click on picture to get a better look at surface roots
Here is a tree that belongs to Boon. In the intensive classes you get to do more advanced work on Boon’s trees, if he thinks you are ready. This is going to be one of those courage-bends. Below you see a nice-enough tree, but Boon wanted a severe bend to bring the foliage a lot lower.
Rory and John C are two experienced intensive students, so they got the prep-job on the tree before they all cooperated in the bending.
Below, when the sawdust must fly, give the job to a student. Sawdust is a good look for John.
The bending was done with tools that Boon had brought back from Japan. The Japanese call the tools below “Jackie”.
Below is the finished bend. It will take about 2-3 years for the tree to add enough wood for the bend to hold. In the fall, an intensive student will get the job of wiring this tree.
The intensive students just flew in from points across North America. Henry flew in from Florida. Here he has finished the first wiring on a Western Juniper. ..and it looks like he is eyeing the needed jin-work on the apex. Like the first styling of many trees, it looks a bit bare. But one great quality of a Western Juniper is that it will fill out and become full in a relatively short time.
(Henry was also the owner of the button wood in an earlier post.)