This week has been a flurry tasks to start working on my bonsai tree collection, and I wanted to put up some photos as a sneak peak of what is going on lately.
Enjoy these macro #photos of my maple tree.
Last week we had snow, and this week we have been getting almost Summer weather, with warm sun. The wind chill is still a bit cold, and we get sudden rain every few days.
Trees like this are still in winter dormancy. It takes time for the tree to adjust to warmer temperatures, and to feel the affects of the sunlight on the #wood. As the sap inside warms, it swells the wood just under the bark, and forms buds.
Old and #wrinkled, this tree looks like an old man's skin after taking a salt bath. The buds blend into the #bark, but I assure you there are on the brink of exploding with new life. On this maple, the buds form mostly on the branch tips. They can be a single #bud or a pair of #buds.
The last four years of this tree can be measured by the slight zig-zag of the branch. Each year leaves a #scar behind.
This semi-straight branch is the future makings of a staff of power Gandalf the Gray might select as his favored walking stick.
The forward #branch rotates around the tree.
In traditional bonsai, this branch might be removed because it crosses the silhouette. Personally, I feel it adds an important sense of movement and depth to the tree, meant to lead our eyes around the tree top. It frames the pillow embossed #knot on the #trunk.
The roots are really gripping down deep into the soil, displaying strength slightly above the soil line. Amazing to see this much transformation happening on a tree that has had minimal interference on my part, other than light pruning on top in the summers.
Small cavities under the #roots have been forming, increasing the lower taper of the tree dramatically. Of all my trees, I think this one has the thickest #nebari with good taper from bottom to top of tree. It is a natural standout in the dormant winter season, with many appealing points even when the foliage is gone.
Using a bristle brush, I rub away loose bark, dirt, insects, and debris from all the tree surfaces.
Small abrasive scratches shred away bits of decayed material that was coating the tree, which are nests for dark moisture where bugs, disease, mold, moss, and fungus might grow.
I use a solution of water, baking soda, and dish soap, and use a toothbruth to further scrub the tree's surface. Tannin dye began to drain away from between the cracks of the bark. Strong wood surfaces are polished clean, and weaker parts are sloughed away with the slightest touch. Older wood reveals a rich red surface. New lines and swirls of colors are made clear.
The crust was already cracking before I started to clean the tree. Every year, new layers of wood must expand the circumference of the tree to allow the cambium below the bark to thicken with sap. New bark will harden under the cracks of cracks.
Soon big and bold #Maple leaves will appear, ready to collect a greedy amount of sunlight.
Large green leaves can be expected. Good fortune and prosperity.
This looks like the beginning of another great year.
Find me on discord and chat with other tree growers, bonsai enthusiasts, and gardeners. We have quite a few accredited experts filling out our ranks, and a helpful Spanish-speaking community.
And now I have about 30 more young bonsai trees to repeat this wood cleaning process on...