Bonsai’s got a new pair of shoes!

I get a text from my wife, she says
“Your son bought something at a dining shop yesterday?!?!”
A dining shop? Of course I said,
“A what kind of shop?”
She said,
“Helzbergs diamond shop. He bought something for $239.60″
So let me explain how she knows this. We still have a joint account with my son and my wife works at the credit union we use and she is, like every mother, very protective of her son. Therefore she watches the account. In her defense, she has caught fraudulent charges on his debit card.
I then text my son.
“What did you buy Vanessa (his girlfriend) for your one year anniversary?”
He says,
“A ring”
Of course this was my wife’s fear. He is 18 and in his first year of college at UCF and she’s afraid that maybe he has a need for marriage. You get my drift?
So I ask him,
“An engagement ring?”
He says,
“No, like one of those valentines day special rings”
Phew!!! Good.
So I question the cost at $239.
He says,
“Yes sir. ”
That’s the very first time he has ever said that to me.
So I say, being the smartass that I am,
“That would buy a lot of tacos for lunch”
I guess I’m not the romantic type. My wife’s engagement ring was on special for $69.99.
He says,
I reply,
Which means, for those who are too old and not text linguists, “shaking my head”
He says,
I say (or text),
“Here I thought you loved tacos more than anything. I was so wrong, what else am I wrong about? Is my own life a lie? Oh woe is me!!”
He assures me that he has mucho dinero left in his account (he needs to buy a new computer for school) and that everything is going to be alright.
I say,
“Ah…that’s a goodly amount left for tacos. Did you get me anything?”
He says, in his very first born son way he has,
“Did you want anything? You never do.”
And I say, because ’tis the season,
The season? It is repotting time, full force.
Which brings us to today’s victims.

I’m going to start on this one first.

It doesn’t want to stay upright in this pot. Even when it was tied in.
Jeez, they say that your tree should tilt forward in the pot as though it’s bowing. This one is practically kowtowing. Supplicating, groveling, it’s unseemly even.
The pot I picked (I had two in mind) is an amorphously shaped piece by Paul Katich of Bellotta Pots.
The other one I had had in mind is a japanese production pot that had gotten broken and I, ah, furthered the breakage with my jin pliers.
But it’s too big really and it’s just not right.
Whereas the Bellotta pot, it is just right. Like a glass slipper or a bowl of porridge.
And the wire tie-down holes are in the perfect spot for proper bondage.
Look how cool it is!
Some root pruning….
The aforementioned bondage…
And this is how it’s supposed to be, upright and proud.
And it is bowing properly now.
And now…..damn, I forgot to dress the old wound.
It’s easier to do with the tree outside of the pot but I’m not going to take it out.
Now, there’s a slight problem with the operation I’m about to perform. I’m not allowed sharp objects yet. My wife is not only very protective of her children, she still is of me; she has removed my razors and carving knives from my reach so I don’t cut myself in my recuperative state; I’m on blood thinner meds and should I cut myself bad enough, I’ll be in trouble. At least that’s what they say.
Little does she know that one of my homemade shanks has fallen behind the table out here in The Nook….
It’s a little rusty, but I can sharpen it.
First, a little work on the stone.
Then some polishing on my diamond card.
That looks sharp enough.
What I am doing, risking an emergency room visit and the wrath of my wife and all, is to help the tree close that wound.
You see, if a tree doesn’t close a cut within two years, it will stop healing. We deal with that by re-wounding the cut (by taking a very sharp blade and carving a little bit off the inside edge of it) then it begins to heal again.
Like so.

I’m going to cover the wound with some putty style cut sealer.

On to the second tree.
On which I’ll dress the wound first, like the thoughtful and deliberate bonsai practitioner I should be.

This time I will use a wound sealer my wife lovingly refers to as “snot paste”.
That done, this is the pot I’ve chosen.
This one was made by my bud Rob Addonizio of Taiko Earth.
I’ve shown you the repotting procedure in the previous couple of posts so I won’t repeat myself.
Ready for some elm trees? I have three more I repotted that I’ll share as well.
The first elm I worked on, all fancied up like a centerfold.
Next, a weird exposed root elm, I bought it on the side of the road actually. Sometimes it pays to stop.
The second tree I worked on, in its new pot.
A windswept elm in another crescent pot I had lying around.
And my favorite little elm, in its fancy blue pot.
I still have many more trees to pot or repot so don’t worry, you’ll see more posts. I usually put what I’m doing that day on Instagram and Facebook if you’d like to get that sneak peek.
In fact, I have two photosets ready for me to edit and write the blogposts on, I’m just so busy outside in the nursery that I run out of time to blog on what I’m doing.
Stay tuned, I’ll have another post soon on a big hackberry.
In the meantime, back to work Adam!

About adamaskwhy

Visual artist specializing in bonsai, mostly.
This entry was posted in Horticulture and growing, refine, roots and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Bonsai’s got a new pair of shoes!

  1. taikoearth says:

    Great job Adam. You have a keen sensibility for connecting trees to pots!


  2. Great post Adam. You and your wife are awesome! Looking forward to the Elms!


  3. Michael says:

    Wow Adam, these little beauties look amazing! I absolutely love the crescent pots. Never seen anything like them before, feeling inspired now! Tell me something, you wouldn’t happen to know if the medical procedure you performed on these bonsai’s would work on wounds on regular size trees, apple trees in particular? Thanks for sharing your handy work on LinkedIn! Cheers


    • adamaskwhy says:

      Hi Michael. With full size trees in the ground you don’t want to put a wound sealer generally. If the wound has stopped healing you could recut it but it won’t heal over rotten wood, you may have to dig out the rotten part and fill it back with cement or bondo. The important part is making that filled in part smooth, the tree likes smooth surfaces to grow over (yes, it will heal over the cement or bondo). When pruning full size trees you should never prune flush the way we do with bonsai. You always leave what is called the branch collar. You’ll have to research that a bit to see how much to leave because if you leave too much it won’t heal. Hope that helps you. Good luck


  4. Evan Luse says:

    Enjoying your posts once again! So great seeing you last week! Hope the hackberry is doing well. Be careful with the sharpies, your wife will be doing more than smh!


  5. Pingback: Rusty Bonsai Tools and Tiger Stripes | Adam's Art and Bonsai Blog

  6. Atom says:

    Why switch between diferent pastes? Can you please explain as to what type of sealer to use when and on to heal what? Thank you


    • adamaskwhy says:

      I used two different kinds to see what, if any, worked best. Most trees don’t need any paste at all, to be honest.
      Trees ready have a mechanism to heal themselves and sometimes a paste could slow that process down.


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