Currently I’m conducting my 40th annual lecture tour in the Southeast United States. Today I’m helping my friend and photographer Joe Noga in Winterville, North Carolina, with his fine bonsai collection.
Joe likes Chinese quince, Pseudocydonia sinensis, which he grows from seed. He has a wide range of seedling sizes, in both heights and trunk diameters. About three years ago we created four large size Chinese quince forests with his seedlings. Today they are being trimmed and repotted because this species is fast growing and the upper branches also tend to thicken. After I initially trimmed the established forests, Joe began to work the roots before repotting.
This year he wanted to create a smaller size Chinese quince forest. He had all the one year old seedlings individually potted in two-inch cell packs. When the seedlings germinated last spring, Joe separated each seedling and trimmed the tap root to encourage fibrous roots. He had an entire flat of 36 seedlings ready for me, so while he was repotting the larger forests, I worked on a new smaller size Chinese quince forest.
First the entire flat of 36 seedlings were wired with heat annealed copper wire. One piece of wire was used for each seedling. They were then graded into three different sizes by trunk diameter, large, medium and small. Note that there are more medium size seedlings than the large and smaller sizes.
The roots of each seedling were then raked out and trimmed. An American oval shallow glazed container was selected and prepared with anchoring wires.
Soil was then added and seedlings were planted and designed. Anchoring wires were tied together and twisted to hold the trees generally in the desired locations.
Only the approximate position of the trunk base was considered at this time. Green moss was collected from the garden and the bottom layer of field soil was removed with a bamboo chopstick. The moss was soaked in water and was then planted on the entire soil surface. The exact position and trunk angle of each trunk was easily determined because of the moist green moss.
Before trimming and adjusting heights and trunk angles
Finally, the tree heights were established and the tops were pruned. Slight adjustments to the trunk angle were also made. The newly created small size Chinese quince forest was thoroughly watered and placed in a protected location. This is now the beginning of a new forest which will be developed and refined in the future.
By the way, these Chinese quince seedlings are identical to those offered in this year’s seedling catalog. Three 8-12” unbranched seedlings are $35 postpaid in the United State only. You can easily order here: http://www.internationalbonsai.com/seedling%20list