Busy day!

angle one toyonishiki quince

angle two, toyonishiki quince
Today was an interesting day.  In the morning I had an elderly gentleman bring by some pots that he wanted to sell.  He had been practicing bonsai for 30 years and had collected quite a few pots.  We worked out a fair deal for both of us and now I have some pots of varying styles and sizes.  His timing is impeccable, I was just in the process of putting together an order for pots.  I also had a plumber come by to test my back flow device.  I had to install it at the request of the county of San Luis Obispo last year.  It cost about $1000.00 to install.  Now I have to have an annual test to make sure that is working properly.  The plumber attached a device, and checked the pressure and flow rate.  Of course it passed, but it cost me $85.00 to have it tested and to have a report sent to the county water board.  I also had a friend bring me some nursery containers.  He is in the process of moving and he has to get rid of them all.  Since he is in the landscape business, he had quite a pile that he brought to the nursery.  I also had a few customers come by and purchase a few trees.  In between all of this, I worked on digging various sizes of cork elms and seiju elms to replenish my bonsai bench.  While we were watering today, I notice my fathers toyonishiki quince in bloom.  The toyonishiki quince is unique because it has flowers of varying colors on the plant.  The tree has white, pink, red and variegated flowers with different combinations of the listed colors.  I took two pictures of different angles.  I took cuttings of this quince last year and have about 15 rooted cuttings.  They will be available for sale in about a year.  If you click on the photo's you will see a close up view of the quince.

Transplanting and wiring trees.

I have been transplanting cuttings that I have taken over the past few years.  In the meanwhile I have also started many new cuttings.  I will be receiving liner plants sometime this week that I will have to transplant.  I think I ordered around 800 - 1000 plants.  I also spent time wiring a San Jose juniper.  I dug this tree out last fall and jinned many of the branches.  Now that there is some new growth, I decided to wire the tree.  I have included a picture of the tree when I finished wiring.

Pine cuttings.

Today I worked on transplanting cuttings that I took a year ago.  I transplanted some trident maples, dawn redwoods and some seiju elms.  I wish that I had started taking cuttings many years ago instead of over the last few years.  After I transplanted the trees, I decided to take more cuttings.  I took some San Jose junipers, toyonishiki quince, seiju elms and some procumbens nana.  While I was taking these cuttings, a thought came to me about trying some black pine cuttings.  I had tried some black pine cuttings over 15 years ago because my father told me that it is impossible.  After 9 months, the cuttings calloused over but never put out any roots.  After another 3 or 4 months, they all started to turn yellow and they died.  When I took those cuttings, I just planted them in washed sand.  Today I tried some cuttings of cork bark pines and some yatsubusa pines.  I have heard of people in Japan taking cork bark pine cuttings and being successful with them.  Of course no one tells you how they did it.  I have a friend that does cutting and he has several green houses.  He told me that he did some cork pine cuttings and he was able to get a few to root.  Of course he did not tell  me his secret either.  The longer I thought about it the more interesting the challenge.  When I took the cuttings, I increased the surface area of where the rooting hormone would be applied.  To mimic a greenhouse, I took a one gallon freezer bag and placed the bag over the 6 inch bulb pan that I planted my cuttings in.  I think that these cutting will root.  If I am successful at rooting these pine cuttings, I will take pictures and tell you how I did it.  Think about how you can increase the surface area and you may come up with how I did mine.

Bonsai soil is finally here!

bags of bonsai soil mix

6 yard of bonsai soil mix

close up of magnolia

magnolia tree
I have been working this past week cleaning the area for the nursery mix and for the bonsai soil.  I transplanted many cuttings and upsized many nursery containers and finally used up all of the old nursery mix.  Now I am ready to order more nursery mix.  My new nursery mix will be a standard nursery mix which contains organics and perlite. (much lighter soil.)  I also have been sifting through the last of the old bonsai mix.  I purchased a 20x20ft square black plastic sheeting.  The plastic is 6mm thick.  My last tarp was the woven plastic type.  The area that was covered by the bonsai mix was fine, but the top tore to shreds from being in the direct sun.  I ordered and received 6 yards of my bonsai soil mix, which consists of scoria (small lava rock), pumice and sharp washed sand.  It has equal parts of each.  If you need bonsai soil, I now have enough to sell.  I sell them in bags about the size of a standard sandbag for $20.00 per bag.  I have included pictures of the pile of soil and the ones that I have put into sandbags.  I also took a picture of the first flower from my lavender magnolia.  The flower is large and beautiful.  It was a gift from a good friend.  The bonsai soil is for sale on a pick up basis from the nursery.  I will not ship the soil.  It is not cost effective and takes too much time for me to deal with.