Garden bonsai, otherwise known as ‘Niwaki’, are part of the graphic elements that structure a garden. Coming from a secular Japanese art, the technique of formation and maintenance of these plant works is detailed in this video by Marc-Henry Doyon Ripaud nurseries.
Formation of a Niwaki bonsai from a Scots pine
Fabien expert in garden bonsai training will show us how former un niwaki and maintain it so that it remains splendid for many years to come.
In our example, the pine was planted 10 years ago. He was formed year after year for seven or eight years.
Fabien starts by removing the needles and then bends the branch to create a harmonious shape. After one branch selection so that they are distributed in a way balanced in space, he attaches them to rods to position them downwards, so when the links are removed, the branch will take on a horizontal port. The final objective of this constraint being to obtain branches perpendicular to the trunk.
When tightening the ties, attention must be paid to the gesture, so that it is light enough not to cause strangulation on the branch. The twine used is degradable.
Fabien remove the needles from the top shoots in order to avoid any unwanted departures of branches on this height which will correspond to the final Niwaki plateau.
The pine shown in this video will be finished forming in two or three years, with lots of clouds and a well-defined head.
Maintenance of a Niwaki bonsai
On a Scots pine maintenance corresponds to a few technical gestures of pruning and cleaning.
The plateaus or clouds will need to be pruned twice in the spring, over a period that extends from early April to late May depending on the region where you live. This pruning occurs when the young shoots form candles that are still soft, so they will have the ability to branch out optimally.
Fabien cuts the upper part of the cloud with a shears with well-sharpened and previously disinfected blades so as not to transmit any pathogenic agents to the tree. He then trims the lower part of the cloud to obtain a perfect result.
Second very important step for the bonsai to age well: think about clean the center of the cloud by removing all plant debris and dead needles that are there in order to provide good ventilation and keep an airy structure. If this step is omitted, the cloud may die, forming an irreparable unsightly hole in the silhouette of the tree, because once the cloud is dead, it is impossible to form a new one as a replacement.
Which plants to choose to form a Niwaki?
Garden bonsai can be formed from Scots pines and other pine species, from false cypress (Chamaecyparis), d’ifs or holly. Always ask your nurseryman about the maintenance of these trees which may vary slightly depending on thespecies.
Source: Au Jardin, conseils en jardinage by www.aujardin.info.
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