Saturday, August 21, 2010


The potential of hydroponics is far to appealing to ignore and apply to bonsai. Not so much for a finished product but for recovering trees faster from collection or hard root pruning. And for pre-bonsai material.


If I can apply this to yamadori trees at the time they are collected this could drastically reduce the time it takes for the tree to go from mountain to show. From 10 years or so, down to just 4.


The current thought on substrates used for bonsai is almost identical to hydroponic growing mediums. As well as the use of pond baskets to encourage a denser root system. A combination of pond baskets and the flood/drain watering 2 or 3 times a day will encourage trunk development for smaller trees and speed recovery for yamadori or field-grown trees.


When considering the types of trees and the individual needs I believe that I can separate them in to two broad groups; Arid and "Wet." Arid trees are ones that are very drought tolerant and can have completely dried root system before watering again. Wet trees are ones that are native to rainforest and temperate zones, that won't tolerate drought for very long at all. In their current pots this means little to watering cycles, since nearly none of them are planted in the same substrate. Arid group would be cycled twice a day during spring until late-fall and every other day during the rainy season in winter . Wet group will get cycled three times a day from spring till mid-fall and once a day during winter.


Will start with some smaller mallsai in small pond baskets, and cuttings.


I will have to start the build by Christmas


Inspired by (also, refer to):

Feeding, Substrate and Watering by Walter Pall.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Daily logs

5/5/2010, 12:39 AM

Weather starting to warm up. Water demands also increasing. Most cuttings from Pfitzeriana are nearly dead due to being in perlite and forgetting to water them on Sunday, transferred to cutting tray and watered. Ficus cutting also seems to have died. If it doesn't come back in the next few days it'll confirm that it's dead. Cutting dried out during the first hot days of May


Found a pair of 6 inch "utility shears" from Harbor Freight for $1.99 made of carbon steel and butterfly handles. Look just like "bonsai shears" that cost around $30. They are made in china. Workmanship isn't the best looking, but the cutting edges are sharp, well ground. The pivot is a thick rivet with brass bushings I believe. I will compare side by side with real bonsai shears when I get a chance to. Need to coat with oil to prevent rust.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

El Pinon

Pinus cembroides

Mexican Pinon Pine.


Collected: 3/19/2010.

Location: Edgewood, New Mexico

+35⁰ 3' 2.83"

-106⁰ 12' 32.26"

Watering every 3 or 4 days depending on weather

Fed on 4/25/2010 wait 4 weeks till next feeding.

Found next to a trail about 6 feet wide, going around private property owned by my parents. Area was nearly full shade it was growing under a much larger Pine, and a juniper which also found in approximately the same density. Two needled pine with length of about 2.5". The crown was about 14" from the ground level.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Munny in Training.

starting on the Munny. shooting for a scarecrow. hopefully it will be done before next Halloween.
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