toecap
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Location: shanghai

A new tree

here is my new tree but I do have several questions which may have been addressed before but I am determined to ask again.

first thing is I live in china and this is a local tree. was told over ten years old ,but I have no idea about that. any ways being a local tree it is planted in the local soil they use here after reading alot on the forum i see that it is suggested to use certain cat litter or proper horticulture clays but thing is that i have been to many Bonsai gardens in china and all the trees even 600 year old trees are all planted in the same type of soil mine is so whose advice do I follow? and why? kindly answered by Norm the Gnome

second question can anyone ID which type of tree it is I am leaning twords Japanese black pine.

third,advice which was given at nursery where I bought it says leave the wires don't remove them as the tree will just grow around them and make the whole thing stronger, is this right? kindly answered by MARSMAN

[img]https://i650.photobucket.com/albums/uu221/tiber88/Bonsai/th_IMG_6691.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i650.photobucket.com/albums/uu221/tiber88/Bonsai/IMG_6690.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i650.photobucket.com/albums/uu221/tiber88/Bonsai/IMG_6692.jpg[/img]
Last edited by toecap on Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Marsman
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Wires: DON'T LET THEM CUT IN! :shock:

Remove the wires before they cut the bark and do not let the tree form around the wires. The person who gave you that advice doesn't know what they are talking about.

Here is a good article on [url=https://www.bonsai4me.com/Basics/Basics_Wiring.htm]Wiring Bonsai Basics[/url]

Specifically:
Removing Bonsai Wire

As a tree grows, the branches very slowly increase in size. Any wire on the branches can become tight and as it does, mark the bark. In severe cases, the wire can cause coiling scars where the wire has bitten deep into the branch. Light marking will grow out within a year or two but heavy marking can be permanent. Wire marks are always considered ugly and should be avoided by removing the wire before it has a chance to dig into the bark.
Last edited by Marsman on Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

toecap
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Location: shanghai

Thats kinda what I thought ,

the lady who told me that moved from guangdong to do the bonsai and tree buisness here in shanghai :roll:

like most things in the middle kingdom its a load of *****

thank you for the clarification on this point

Marsman
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Added some more info to my post above.

BTW, you have a beautiful tree. :) Have the wires cut in yet?

toecap
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no haven't cut the wires , but tomorrow will have a look the trunk of the tree and remove them if they are starting to cut in .

thank you for the compliment on my new little project. it will also do some double duty and be my out door Christmas tree as i will cover it with a little tinsel :D

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toecap,

Welcome to The Helpful Gardener.

About the soil:

Bonsai can be, and have been, grown in many different mediums, some ideal and some less suitable. Perhaps tradition in your area has been to use a rather heavy, native garden soil but IMO this would fall toward the 'less than ideal' end of the spectrum. Just because something has been done a certain way does not mean that the practice is preferable.

https://www.bonsai4me.com/Basics/Basics_Soils.html

Use Google to look up the term 'Akadama' this is what is, and has been, used in Japan for potting bonsai. Notice the granular texture that will allow water to drain freely. In the west we have looked for alternatives to Akadama, which must be imported from Japan. One commonly used alternative is the kitty litter you mentioned, this is simply fired clay. Another type of KL that is being used is made of DE (Diatomaceous Earth) this same material is also found in some oil absorbent products.

https://www.bonsai4me.com/Basics/Basicscatlitter.htm

If you intend to try the kitty litter make sure to read the packaging and look for the two materials I mentioned above, clay or DE. Also it would advisable to do a test before using it to determine its suitability. I have seen some products turn to mush which would be even heavier/denser than the material you now have.

Perhaps you can locate a bonsai club locally. This would be an excellent way to learn about the different types of mediums in use in your area. It would also be helpful to have someone guide you through the re-potting process the first time as well.

About the wire:

I have seen examples where wire is deliberately left in place for longer than usual. This is done with Pine seedlings during their early development. The wire is placed very low and allowed to bite in but removed before it becomes embedded, this is thought to help to help swell the lower trunk. It will take years after that for the wire scars to fade. I have never heard of the technique you described, leaving the wire permanently. I agree with Marsman that your wire should be removed before it has a chance to scar the bark.

If all is well now, there is no need to remove it just yet. When you do remove the wire, carefully cut it off in pieces, don't try to unwind it, the potential to damage your tree is too great. The tree may need to be re-wired if the branches are not 'set' sufficiently.

Norm

toecap
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Location: shanghai

wow the wires are really grown into the trunk and to top it off they use steel wire , a heavy gauge very hard to cut and most of the other training wire they used is very rusty


not really sure what I can do about it , pull out the hack saw and try to cut the wires but not the tree? :?:

josh1812@live.com
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Location: Florida

Sorry to chime in so late but most of you are wrong!! This a Japanese technique used to thicken and develop the trunk called Takatsugi you can leave it on just go to bonsai farm.tv and watch series two episode 5 it shows that technique.

P.s Leave only if you are in it for the long term because it can take over 10 years for the tree to cover the wire.
HI

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Josh,

Thanks for pointing that out, I was not familiar with that technique. In viewing the video I learned that the correct term for this is actually 'Hikutsugi' the other term mentioned, 'Takatsugi', is a grafting technique.

I still wonder though that if in this case this was deliberate or if perhaps the vendor is just trying to justify carelessness. In the video it is clear that this technique is used during trunk development. In this case the tree is already in a bonsai pot where trunk development will be greatly slowed.

The wires were also placed much higher in this tree than they would be if the idea was to utilize the 'Hikutsugi' technique. I suspect that this was simply ordinary wiring that was never removed.

Norm

toecap
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Location: shanghai

Norm , josh , marsman, the question is now how to cut it off without runing my tree, it is very heavy gauge steel

a0c8c
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Extremely sharp strong diagonal cutters or if you're a bit crazy like me, a cut off saw and some extreme carefullness(I had to save a fullsize tree from a chain digging in, and this is what I used). You'll just need patience and a steady hand with either tool.
Home Gardener from Austin, TX; by way of Iowa.

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Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

toecap,

There are bonsai specific wire cutters available. I have been using an old pair of concave cutters. Lacking either of those, a0c8c's suggestion may be your best choice. Diagonal cutters are not hard to find, one of your friends or neighbors likely has a pair. A Dremel type tool would be more in scale if you find you need to resort to power tools.

Norm

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