First intensive with Boon.

The first intensive with Boon is very eye opening.  I have been doing bonsai for about 15 years, however I realize that a lot of what I learned is not applicable in today's bonsai theory.  He is a great artist and great teacher.  He is a hard task master that lets you make mistakes so he can help you learn from them.  He has a great bonsai mind.  I have absorbed a lot in the short three days.  The biggest thing that I learned is to use the correct method of doing things and to practice what you have learned.  This will be a building block for the next intensive.  If you do not practice what you have learned and get back into old habits, you will be starting all over again!  I think my observational skills have improved and I look forward to the next intensive and for all the intensives that will follow.


First intensive with Boon.

The first intensive with Boon is very eye opening.  I have been doing bonsai for about 15 years, however I realize that a lot of what I learned is not applicable in today's bonsai theory.  He is a great artist and great teacher.  He is a hard task master that lets you make mistakes so he can help you learn from them.  He has a great bonsai mind.  I have absorbed a lot in the short three days.  The biggest thing that I learned is to use the correct method of doing things and to practice what you have learned.  This will be a building block for the next intensive.  If you do not practice what you have learned and get back into old habits, you will be starting all over again!  I think my observational skills have improved and I look forward to the next intensive and for all the intensives that will follow.


Pruning Landscape pines

We are receiving our annual call to prune landscape pine trees.  We have simultaneously started to prune our field grown pines.  Today we went to Atascadero to prune a few trees.  When we left at 8 in the morning, we were fogged in.  After we passed the Cuesta grade, it was nice and sunny.  When we arrived, the temperature was in the low 80's.  When we left 3 hours later it was over 100 degrees.  When we drove back, Pismo Beach was still fogged in.  Tomorrow starts my first intensive with Boon.  I am excited to work with him.  I will let you know what I learned.  I need to get some rest.  I will be leaving here at 4 am.


Pruning Landscape pines

We are receiving our annual call to prune landscape pine trees.  We have simultaneously started to prune our field grown pines.  Today we went to Atascadero to prune a few trees.  When we left at 8 in the morning, we were fogged in.  After we passed the Cuesta grade, it was nice and sunny.  When we arrived, the temperature was in the low 80's.  When we left 3 hours later it was over 100 degrees.  When we drove back, Pismo Beach was still fogged in.  Tomorrow starts my first intensive with Boon.  I am excited to work with him.  I will let you know what I learned.  I need to get some rest.  I will be leaving here at 4 am.


Removing growth from the base of field grown trees.

Today I was working on weeding the trees in the field.  The June rains have really germinated a lot of weeds.  Before the rains, I was almost caught up with weeding.  As I work on weeding the crabapples and ume in the field, I am also removing the sucker growth that surrounds the trunk.  Initially they are really not harmful because they make the base flare out nicely.  However, if they are left unchecked they will become strong and take all the energy from the trunk of the main tree.  I removed the growth and thinned the trees as well.  After I am done with the thinning, I am going to feed the trees and water them well.  I have also started to experiment with a grafting technique using a grafting chisel.  Masakuni makes grafting chisels.  They run about $80.00 and come in various sizes.  I was looking at the chisels and thought to myself that I could probably make one.  I took a 3/8 inch piece of round steel that was about 10 inches long.  I put it on the grinder and flattened one side completely.  Then I angled the other side.  After I was done with the chisel, I concentrated on the width of the chisel.  I made the chisel approximately 4 mm wide.  When I was done, I took the final product and sharpened it on a wet stone.  Of course I had to try out my new chisel.  I grafted shimpaku seine wood to a very large San Jose juniper. The chisel went into the cambium very nicely.  The I took the seine wood and slipped it into the hole and wrapped up the whole thing with parafilm.  I hope it takes.  I will let you know the results as soon as I think sufficient time has passed for the graft to take.


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