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Bonsai rescue... 1 year 10 months ago #55518

  • persimmon
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Hello!
Got a few new bonsai trees. One of my neighbors passed away, and the relatives cleaning up his house told me I can take whatever I want. The garden was a scene of horror. Amazingly beautiful bonsai skeletons, some of which were very old... I knew the neighbor, and several times asked him advice with my bonsai, and will miss him and his advice. He was in his eighties (?), and had been working on bonsai for most of his life. He and his wife both were hospitalized about a year ago, and I guess nobody touched the trees in about a year. I found two that still had some life in them, and will do all I can to keep them going. A few (bad) pictures below. Will put more pics along the process. One of them seems to be a Kuromatsu (Jpn black pine), and the other one perhaps is an Ezomatsu (Ezo Spruce).
The Ezomatsu looks dead from one side, but the other side is not at all so bad. The lower branches are all dead, but I guess they will make nice jin. My intent is to pull the upper branches down. This tree was behind the house in the shade, which probably kept it alive.
The Kuromatsu is more challenging. There's only a few live clusters of needles here and there. It used to be a beautiful upright pine, but now mostly dead. I guess all I can do is wait and see.
Any tips and suggestions in how to keep these alive are most welcome. My plan is to keep them away from hot direct sunlight, obviously water them, perhaps moderately fertilize them, and just wait and see.

PS. The garden was full of bonsai pots, and amazingly beautiful volcanic rocks, many of which now are in my backyard... This neighbor's specialty was pine trees (some exotic Hokkaido short needle pine) planted on big rocks, but unfortunately none of those survived. I'll have to create my own root-over-rock bonsai with his rocks and pots.

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Bonsai rescue... 1 year 10 months ago #55523

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It's a sad story.
I hate when entire bonsai collections die.
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Bonsai rescue... 1 year 10 months ago #55525

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The trees you have has herritage. No matter the conditions of the trees, You are now responsible för the legacy.

Please take care of it and tell the story to the after world. Make the original creater live further thrue that legacy.
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Bonsai rescue... 1 year 10 months ago #55579

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Here's a few pictures of the bonsai that didn't make it.

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Bonsai rescue... 1 year 10 months ago #55584

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This is such a sad story. If only someone had told you so you could have gond there and at least watered the trees :(

The two survivors are both species that need sunlight. Maybe not directly full on midday summer sun, but a few hours of sun each day. SO that is what you should provide. Always go for optimal growing conditions. Do NOT do anything to the tree. No trimming. No wiring. No repotting. Just move them to your garden. Water as needed, which will be much less frequent than you think. So really check the soil initially. Only if, in spring you have good solid bud expanding and growing can you consider wiring in winter 2020-2021. In summer 2020 you can remote some of the dead branches. But even then, I would not do anything that requires you to lut pressure on the trunk.

Fertilize only when you see the plant growing. Right now it has no use for it. Most trees can do years without fertilizer without any problems.
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Bonsai rescue... 1 year 10 months ago #55587

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If only someone had told you so you could have gond there and at least watered the trees

Indeed. Last summer, I saw a Gardner working on the yard several times, but a few times water is certainly not enough for bonsai in the Tokyo summer (which was unbearably hot last year).

The two survivors are both species that need sunlight. Maybe not directly full on midday summer sun, but a few hours of sun each day. SO that is what you should provide. Always go for optimal growing conditions. Do NOT do anything to the tree. No trimming. No wiring. No repotting. Just move them to your garden. Water as needed


This is what I will do. Thank you.
The pine was behind a big bonsai in the open front yard of the house, which protected it from being scorched by the sun. There were several other trees behind the house near the spruce, but the spruce had the biggest pot, which kept it alive. Also the pine has a relatively big pot. So, both were still in training... and in training they will be for another several years ;)

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Bonsai rescue... 1 year 10 months ago #55591

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Look carefully at any deciduous trees. If any of the branches show glossy buds, you might be in luck there too.

Of course, take any pots that looks nice, assuming that is what they meant. Good pots are always good to have around. And tols, wire etc? aybe make an offer to the family for the whole bunch?

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Bonsai rescue... 1 year 10 months ago #55606

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Look carefully at any deciduous trees.

This person loved coniferous trees... And rocks.

Anyhow, back to the original topic. I attach some more pics of the pine that is still alive. It's a beauty.

I did get a ton of other stuff, incl. tens of pots, a box of tools, some wires, a few display trays, and three really cool tables.

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Bonsai rescue... 1 year 10 months ago #56020

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Pine seems to be waking up. This morning I found a new spot of green ;)

Look carefully at any deciduous trees.

I had a peek at the lot this morning again, and found a few deciduous trees, after all. Didn't find them previously because they are not in pots! But there are three Ume that look like they want to go in big pots (or more precisely, into the big green cases you see in the background of one of the pictures) ;) But I that is a different story that I will post under progressions in due time... I didn't notice them previously, because nobody keeps their Ume this small, except perhaps someone who loves bonsai.

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Bonsai rescue... 1 year 7 months ago #57591

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The conifers definitely are coming back to life. These will become very interesting trees, because they have lots of big dead branches that died naturally. I guess I will post about that in the years to come under progressions.



Two of the prunus mume I dug up are not doing well, but that's another post under pests.

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