My Japan trip – 2 part

I have been in Ikeda City, a suburb outside Osaka. I am taking a one month course at Kouka-en,  a bonsai nursery and International bonsai school managed by Mr. Fujikawa. My days are pretty much the same except for the day off, then I visit the temples and shrines as well as the famous garden in Osaka and Kyoto, which by the way are just a 10 and 30 minutes away, respectively, from Ishibashi station, where I’m staying this month.
Each day I wake up, shower and stretch my back, grab some breakfast and rush to the nursery, it takes me about 10 min, maybe more because I like to take my time and look at the gardens and houses along the way. Once at the nursery I start to work on the last day’s project or on something new, and I get to look closely at every single amazing tree at Kouka-en.
The first week I wired every day, which is fine, because I wanted to improve my wiring skills here in Japan. The second week I started to work on decidious: Kaede, acer burgerianum and momiji, acer palmatum. Both are maples but the defoliation procedure is not the same. Kaede can be totally defoliated if necessary, within 2-3 weeks it makes new shoots. Momiji is more delicate, and is better not to give it a total defoliation. The goal of a defoliation is to allow more light and air on the inside of the tree in order to achieve a better ramification and to balance the energy of the tree. The defoliation is done at the end of April, beginning of May, when the foliage is fully developed and strong.
I was really surprised to do a total defoliation on a kaede and to wire it, and even more surprised to see that every single branch should look down. I was always of the idea that decidious had to have a natural feel to it and most of the decidious in nature have the branches looking up. But I was wrong. The branches are wired looking down, but the wire HAS TO BE REMOVED by the end of the summer or if the wire is starting to mark the bark. By the winter the branches my go up a little and the next growing season, the wire can been applied again, this time without a total defoliation.
Another thing to keep in mind when dealing with defoliation on decidious: not every decidious can afford a defoliation. Buna, fagus crenata, or soro or iwashide, carpinus corean don’t do a second shoot per growing season, so be aware about which technique you use on your decidious.

…love, Melanie!

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