Bonsai Society Victoria Exhibition

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Bonsai Society Victoria Exhibition

Postby lmrk » Sat Oct 13, 2007 5:27 pm

Hi all

I spent a lovely morning at the above exhibition. I took heaps of photos (with you all in mind of course!!!). Here's a link to them on my photobucket album (it would have taken all day to post them here and I'm sure the server wouldn't be happy! :D ):

http://s213.photobucket.com/albums/cc31/lmrk5705/Bonsai%20Society%20of%20Vic%20Exhibition/?start=all

I took photos of nearly all the display trees, except some of the smaller ones, and tried not to double up on species. The only disappointment that I had was the lack of variety - there were millions of Maples, Chinese Elms and Azalea's. I was hoping to see some more exotic trees, but maybe Victoria is not the place to grow them.

My favourites were the tiny fuchsia - the little flowers were about half the size of my little fingernail - amazing!!! The white Azalea was awesome - the flowers were so perfect, they actually looked like pristine white Peony rosebuds - the very long Maple display was also wonderful.

I also made some purchases (including tools, pots a fantastic olive, a Japanese maple and a small oak), which I've also added:

http://s213.photobucket.com/albums/cc31/lmrk5705/Bonsai%20Society%20of%20Vic%20Exhibition/Purchases/

The people were so incredibly friendly. As I was leaving with my purchases, I was accosted by 4 gentlemen, one of whom said "now, what are you going to do with that olive?" to which I answered "dunno". They then gave me instructions on sawing off the inside aspect of the main branches (don't have a small hand saw, so off to Bunnings tomorrow) to encourage more grow and thickening. They told me to leave the sawn wood bare (apparently it's better for the tree to heal itself that using any of those bonsai sealents) but if I want I can put a bit of vasoline on it to prevent disease whilst healing. They told me about people who have literally sawn olives off at the base, and they've still regenerated, so they are supposed to be very hardy - but don't over water :oops: That will be a challenge! All these guys were also members of Bonsai Northwest and encouraged me to join the club. If all the people there are this friendly and helpful, it will be a joy!

Found out that bonsai tools should be dipped in metho after pruning / cutting each tree to prevent transfer of infection / disease between trees, then oil the tools to keep them in good condition when finished (purchased some oil but the instructions are written in Japanese, so not sure how to use it). The tools should then be dipped in metho again before use on trees to remove the oil.

Bought a tray of moss to add to my bonsai's and was told that I can make my own moss by spraying milk on a wall that doesn't get any sun :shock: :shock: Also to go around to lane ways and see if I can dig some up, but as councils now spray, it's not that easy to come by these days (I suppose they consider moss a slipping hazard).

All in all a very enjoyable and informative day.

Hope you enjoy the photos.

Cheers

Leah
Does a watched bonsai ever grow?
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Postby bubba louie » Sat Oct 13, 2007 6:23 pm

Found out that bonsai tools should be dipped in metho after pruning / cutting each tree to prevent transfer of infection / disease between trees, then oil the tools to keep them in good condition when finished (purchased some oil but the instructions are written in Japanese, so not sure how to use it). The tools should then be dipped in metho again before use on trees to remove the oil.
-------------------------------------



That applies to all garden cutting tools, but I never do it. :oops:
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Postby taffyman » Sat Oct 13, 2007 7:54 pm

Excellent photos Leah. There are some magnificent trees there - close up, that large Maple Forest really does look like a forest. Big eye opener when you go to an exhibition isn't it? Did you know one of those trees you bought - Quercus Suber (Corky Bark Oak), is where cork comes from - the corks in your wine bottles. It's a good tree for Bonsai and in my opinion should be used more often. What you found out about the Olive is quite true. I've heard of people cutting quite thick trunks off, putting the top part in a pot and in quite a short time it's produced roots and the lower part will put out new shoots pretty quickly as well. They are one very tough tree - that one in particular is going to be with you for a very long time. It's a good starting point and should turn into a really good tree as it develops. Glad you found the people there to be very friendly - most 'enthusiasts' are, and really enjoy helping others, especially people new to the scene. Even the 'experts' swap ideas and advice with each other. Bonai North West would have to be one of the best clubs in Australia so I don't think you could do better than become a member. You will learn more from them (and Man) than you ever could from books or any other source of information. Mind you, books are a great source of 'inspiration' when you have a tree that you are not sure what to do with it.
The advice about keeping your tools clean and sterilized is very true - pity we all don't do it more (yes, I'm as guilty as the rest :oops: ).
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Postby lmrk » Sun Oct 14, 2007 4:42 pm

Thanks Taffy

I wasn't aware that the oak was a "cork oak"!! Very interesting. Any ideas as to what I should do with it? At the moment it's in a tiny little pot (have a 20 cent piece next to it to give some perspective) and is long and skinny with just a few leaves on the top (looking a touch yellow too, but not sure if this is how they are supposed to look or if it is unwell). Mine looks like it has anorexia :shock:

Image

This is how I'd like it to look (but may be suffering delusions of grandeur :D ):

Image

Any suggestions as to how to thicken it up? I'm going to re-pot it to start with, so at least it will have a bit of growing room.

Also, I was wondering what to do with the tray of moss that I bought - this stuff is REALLY thick - about 5cm thick:

Image

Image

It's too thick to put on my bonsai's as it will totally overtake it. Can I "slice" the underside off to make it thinner? Also, whilst deciding what do with it, how do I keep it alive? I've had it on the balcony in the shade and keeping it very moist (the cat keeps sniffing it, so hope she doesn't mistake it for the litter tray :D ). Is this ok?

I've taken my new olive to be "agisted" at my parents place (as they get full sun in their backyard most of the day) until I can take it to the club to get some help as to what to do with it.

Thanks for your advice in advance!
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Postby Luzy » Wed Oct 17, 2007 5:55 pm

Wow! :shock: It looks like you had a fantastic day there, Imrk - excellent photos and thank you for showing us all. Gosh there are some clever people out there... :D And I was also pleased to hear that the folk there were good and friendly.

Oh, I think that I've got one of those 'Tiny Fuchsias', possibly called Lottie Hobby. It strikes very easily...
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Postby taffyman » Wed Oct 17, 2007 7:07 pm

Leah, your corky bark oak would probably do a lot better in a larger container. It's most likely been in a small pot since the acorn sprouted. I know you are strapped for space but a 200mm pot would be good. It would give more space to spread it's roots, and with fresh potting mix, there will be more nutrients available to it. Given time (lots of time :shock: ) your tree will look like the one in the other photo. If you want to give it a bit of a boost, mix up some Epsom salts (couple of teaspoons in a laundry sink) and give it a good dunking - could even put a few drops of seasol in the water as well. Make sure you let it drain well afterwards.
With regards to the moss: Yes, shade is the best place for it. Too much sun will turn it brown and it will start to die off. You can try slicing the underside off but even moss has roots - albeit very thin and small, so it may die back quite a bit - mind you, it will recover eventually. What you can do if you don't need to use it right away is to spread it out on a flat surface or tray, and let it dry out completely. It'll go brown but it won't be dead. When it's completely brown and dried out you can crush it up between your hands, put it in a container and store it somewhere dark and dry and when you want fresh moss, just sprinkle some out on some fine potting mix and sand and water it well. You'll be surprised how quick it will bounce back to life. Moss needs to be kept very moist to keep it growing well.
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Postby lmrk » Fri Oct 19, 2007 5:39 pm

Luzy, if you've got a minature fuchsia, it sure makes a great bonsai.

Thanks Taffyman. I've repotted the oak, so hopefully it will take off. Thanks also for the tips re the moss. Didn't realise it was so regenerative! :shock:
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Postby lmrk » Sun Oct 21, 2007 3:41 pm

Sorry Taffy - meant to ask in the last post - what does the epsom salts do to make the plant take off?

I always thought it was used for constipation! :oops: :D
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Postby taffyman » Sun Oct 21, 2007 6:53 pm

Epsom Salts (Magnesium Sulphate) acts as a buffer against shock and gives the plant/tree a bit of a boost as well. I'm led to believe it helps the tree take up nutrients a lot quicker than it normally would. How it interacts chemically with the tree I have no idea - any horticultural chemists around? Perhaps the trees feel nice and relaxed with a dunking - just like we do if we put some in a nice warm bath and soak in it :D
Whenever I do any root-pruning or repotting I always give the tree a soak in Epsom Salts, it does seem to 'cushion' the effect of losing a lot of roots.
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Postby The Estate » Mon Oct 22, 2007 9:05 am

WOWOWOWOW great pinks there was a very long cascading plant I saw cotton.... was my fav. pic and do love the azaleas :P
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