Pine
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The colors around the Museum have been knocking me out this week. The subtle variations of green, and rich blues…Amazing! The Yamaki Pine Tree seemed to be singing with joy the other morning, and while a photo comes nowhere close to capturing the moment, I had to at least try and snap a quick shot.

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Serissa
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This forest planting of Tree of a Thousand Star Trees (Serissa Japonica) needs its bushy summer growth pruned back to a nice, compact silhouette. The foliage pads are already well developed, so it is clear to see all the areas that shoot out further than they should. This forest really responds to our hot and [...]

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Coastal Redwood final
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This Coastal Redwood (Sequoia Sempervirens) needs to be thinned out in order to balance the tree’s allocation of energy. The right side is thicker and more full of foliage. If left unattended, it could be begin to hog all the tree’s nutrients , leaving the left side to become weaker and weaker and perhaps even [...]

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A common question that I have been getting here at the museum is, “Do the fruit bearing trees in the collection actually produce fruit?” The answer is that it really all depends on the current year, the health of the tree, and if it has undergone a lot of pruning recently. We constantly prune trees back to maintain [...]

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Last week, I and a number of other people had the distinct privilege and honor of doing some routine maintenance on John Y. Naka’s amazing forest planting called “Goshin, Protector of the Spirit” (Juniperus Chinensis ’Foemina’). We  plucked out yellowing, brown and dead needles, removed dead branches, took off wire that was starting to damage the bark, rewired it [...]

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Chinese
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One of my next tasks is to tidy up this Chinese Juniper (Juniperus Chinensis ‘Femina’). The different pads of foliage have outgrown their silhouette and must been pruned back to a shapely form. There is leggy and loose growth at the bottom of each pad that must be removed because it deters from the tight compact aesthetic that [...]

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Rain
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Even when it rains, the sun still shines at the Bonsai and Penjing Museum. If you can stand to get a little wet, I highly recommend a visit in the rain or on a dreary, overcast day. You most likely will have the entire museum to yourself to fully appreciate the collection. Also, the trees [...]

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2 Cork Bark
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This week I learned a lot about when, how and why to de-candle various types of Pine trees, including Cork-Bark Japanese Black Pine trees (Pinus Thunbergii Corticosa Group). We remove the candles ( new growth) in early June to help balance the tree’s distribution of energy. We do not want “hot spots” on our tree, [...]

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1 Black Pine
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A new task that I have been given is to lower some of the foliage pads on this Japanese Black Pine Tree (Pinus Thunbergii). When trees are really old, their branches are huge and heavy, and so they tend to sag downward. By lowering a few different branches, we can make this tree look a [...]

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Trident 1
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This Trident Maple (Acer Buergerianum) is growing strong, and is ready to be defoliated. When these trees are in good health, roughly once a year in the late spring/early summer we can remove all the leaves in an attempt to reduce their size. The tree will respond by putting forth new ones, but because it [...]

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