I’ve made several posts on this tree and this will be the last. Well, probably.
No, it hasn’t died and I haven’t sold it.
The photo above is a photo I submitted for consideration of inclusion in the 2014 Epcot Flower and Garden show.
I’m proud to say that it’s been accepted and is now on display until Mid-May 2014.
The reason that this is the last post is that I will only have maintenance to do on the tree after I’m done with this post.
Yes, it’s time for some carving.
First, a little trim.
Then I’m going to prune it.
This is how the tree looks now and, indomitably, it’s also the before pic:
Since the tree is going to be on display for two months, the prep work for the Epcot show is a little different than for a regular show.
We can have (neatly applied) wire but you don’t really want too much because, well, two months!
Maybe if you have a juniper or something, two months might be ok, but any other tree, probably not.
It also means that if it’s a tree that the branches don’t stay put on, you’ll have to keep wire on.
On my neea, wires off.
If this were a regular, show I would trim just the silhouette of the tree to keep it more full.
A neea grows way too much for that, so I’ll have to cut it back a bit more in anticipation of future growth during the show.
So here’s an example.
It’s doesn’t look like too much pruning but it makes a difference on the whole tree.
This is halfway.
Not too bad, I took maybe a third off, but it could have been less.
Now, after two years of promises, time for some carving.
The problem with carving it now though, is: I can’t let millions of people see my tree at Epcot like this-
But a fresh done carving is just as bad.
I usually just let a fresh carving age a bit in a lazy fashion, a half year or year, then I apply lime sulphur.
The show is in two weeks and I don’t have the time to be lazy.
I guess I have to do a little experimenting.
First, some fire!
Then a wire brush.
A couple of Jedi tricks won’t hurt either.
Not bad so far…
A little lime sulphur.
Actually that’s a pretty big bottle.
If you can find that brand and size bottle, it costs less than the tiny ones sold on most bonsai sundry sites.
Fresh lime sulphur bleaches wood bright white and I don’t want bright white on an old looking tree.
So…few drops of black ink.
That should tone it down a bit.
If you’ve never used lime sulphur before; when you first apply it, the wood will turn bright yellow.
With some ink in it the wood is ……
Still kinda yellow I guess.
The bleaching process takes some time.
After two hours….
Wow. I truly dislike it.
I was it off in disgust. Hopefully that will help. Cross your fingers.
The show is in two weeks. Hopefully it gets better.
In the meantime, I did some collecting with some friends:
We got a few trees.
Now it is, literally the day before the show (this is the tip of the day: don’t wait until the day before the show to get your tree ready) and I need to moss the tree.
First, the progress on the dead wood:
Not so bad.
It’ll have to do I guess.
Maybe I should rub some dirt on it?
Now it’s time for some “moss magic”.
What I did first (remember this is a two month show) was to remove about a half an inch of the top soil, put down some fertilizer, and replace the topsoil with some fresh mix.
Let me stress this, if you are preparing for a regular show, you don’t have to fertilize like I just did.
I am anticipating some growth.
Now, I need to steal some moss.
A little from here,
and from here,
Not enough yet…
Sorry little ilex..
Still not enough.
This is too brown:
But it’s a good candidate for removal now and chopping, mixing with beer and spreading out on a good medium for propagation.
I’d like to thank Johnny for some really good moss he donated for the cause.
It’s a little thick-
But if moss is too thick, just shave down the brown part (or the dirt).
Most of the time it’s dirt but this was mostly moss.
The trick to mossing and making it look natural (like it’s been there awhile) is to make sure it’s under the pot edge.
Which is what that pair of tweezers with the spatula on the end is for.
And the next thing to do is to vary the ages of the moss. Have green, brown, and blooming stages in the pot.
Makes you want to curl up on it and take a nap, right?
Now, The Last Step.
Time to oil up boys!
It is this step that will make a cheap, chipped pot look good. Too bad it doesn’t work for ugly people.
I’m using grape seed oil. Camellia oil or mineral oil is good.
Try to use a thin, non toxic oil; just wipe it on and wipe it off Daniel-sun.
And the finished job,
You can’t hardly see the chips:
Looks good to me!
Hopefully some of the maintenance crew think to re-oil those pots that really need it (like my cheap ass pot).
Before I post the last pic, here are the links if you want to read the previous two posts; they are here and here.
And now, the parting shot.
I got all fancy and everything.
Backdrop, table covering, selective focus.
Hopefully I’ll be able to get as good a shot of it on display next week when it’s my turn to do the maintenance.