Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Post 190 Japanese Garden - Portland Oregon

Up on the hill behind Portland city is the celebrated Japanese Garden of Professor Takuma Tono. I had the pleasure of a recent business trip to the US north west and took the opportunity to visit the garden. It's on the site of a defunct city zoo and was established among the native conifers in the 1960s.

This is the front entrance gate near the carpark, a very imposing entrance. Being winter, it was chilling down in this gully and hard to imagine the light penetrating down here many times a year. A path leads from here up to the light.

 This is the main 'Guard Gate' styled after feudal castle gates. Its a very attractive building in a nice setting.

 Views of and from the moon bridge. Being well past autumn there was no colour in the garden so it was a time of year to appreciate form alone.

 This is the garden view from a seminar centre/building, a very peaceful beautiful spot.That gravel was spotless!

The other side looks out over the city to Mt Hood. A spectacular backdrop. While in the area for a weekend I also took a run towards Seattle and visited the Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection - next post.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Post 189 Swamp cypress branch grafting

Summertime here means high temperatures and high humidity. If you grow your swampys in a shallow pan of water they are just 'as happy as' and produce the growth to show their appreciation. One of the interesting things they do is throw out 'adventitious' shoots which head for the sky like 'water shoots' that emerge from the base of a fast growing rose in season.
These can be very useful for either trunk thickening sacraficial growth or grafting for branch development as well.

In this post I've done some grafting on two swampys using both these adventitious shoots as well as hosted hairpin scions.

As is often the case, without apparently planning to do so, we sometimes develop our trees with branch gaps. Alternatley one's tastes change as perhaps have mine with more branches having more appeal than less. If the shoots don't come where you want them, then grafting is the easy answer.

I've posted about hairpin grafting previously where I've done them on figs.

 This is a picture of a small swampy cutting that has been bent into a hairpin ready for grafting.

It was done some time ago and is quite happy growing in that shape. As you can see the tissue has bulged on either side of the bend as the plant sought to overcome the tissue damage from the bend. In making the graft all the preparation that is required is to trim off these side bulges, exposing the callus and vascular tissues and inserting the hairpin into a suitably deep drilled hole in the trunk.

 On this tree you can see there are two hairpin grafts. On the top one on the upper right margin you can see the callus tissue is already integrating with the outer bark of the tree and the upper, outgoing section of the scion is already a larger diameter than the incoming, a sure sign of incorporation. On the lower one I've not yet removed the retaining wire but it is looking good.

 This is another picture of the lower graft and here you can see the relative sizes of the incoming and outgoing parts.

 On the other tree there are also two grafts but both from adventitious shoots from the same tree. This picture is from the front of the tree and you can see on the right a shoot that comes from lower in the tree towards the rear has been brought up and turned into a 90 degree hairpin graft. On the upper left is an approach graft done using a well advanced large diameter shoot from lower down in the rear of the tree also.
  In this picture from the rear you can see the approach graft of the upper branch. The branch next further down on the right is also another new one from a shoot that did come in the right place. So this tree will have three new branches developed in the 50 to 75% sector filling out the tree and better simulating reality.

Here again you can see both grafts from a side view.

These grafts were done less than 8 weeks ago and are already incorporating, reinforcing how very effective and quick the simple technique is in resolving structural flaws. The use of adventitious shoots shortcuts the development time for branch thickening after graft incorporation.

Friday, 2 January 2015

Post 188 Gardenia graft separation

In July 2014 and then September 2014, I started exploring grafting Gardenia radicans grafting onto harvested stumps of a larger leafed variety.

After testing the concept and finding sucess I went ahead and made a number of approach grafts onto a couple of other stumps. This was one of them.

In this shot you can see that it has recovered from its uprooting well and is growing vigorously. The size of the leaves is readily apparent. To be able to look after it better I moved it again into an individual pot and once settled in got on with the grafts.

They were just simple approach grafts with about 4 scions from two separate plants.

The grafts were done in September 2014 and now just about 4 months later it was time to set them free and separate from the host plants.

This is straight after separation showing what has been left behind.

And then after  a little wiring and thinning. I did this a couple of weeks ago and while a couple of the grafts haven't changed the other two are looking a little weak. Some tlc might see them back into vigorous good health, fingers crossed.