Bonsai Journal 2021


The buds of the young hawthorns and the chojubai in the greenhouse are expending.


Started (a bit late) the stratification of 450 seeds of Acer buergerianum, 600 seeds of Acer Palmatum, 50 seeds of Chaenomeles speciosa, and 500 seeds of Zelkova serrata. They will stay a few months in the fridge at around 5C.


The olive trees and the firethorn in the greenhouse are slowly starting to grow again.


The buds of the young hawthorns and the chojubai in the greenhouse are opening.


Repotted the Ulmus parfolia and one of the two Ligustrum sinensis that wintered in an unheated room inside the house.


Received a 20 years old pre-bonsai of Acer buergerianum #1 from Bonsai Plaza that was originally imported from Korea.

Repotted Crataegus monogyna #1 and the first young Acer palmatum.


Repotted Prunus avium #1


Repotted Prunus avium #2, 4 Ginkgo biloba, and 5 Acer palmatum.


Repotted the Olea europaea sylvestris #1 and the Pyracantha coccinea #1, then took 16 cuttings of the former and 6 of the latter after removing the branches that will not be used later.


Received 2 liter of kanuma for the Rhododendron indicum chinzan #1 and 10 young Acer palmatum from Maillot Bonsai.

The seeds of Prunus spinosa in the fridge are starting to split in two.


Moved the Carpinus betulus #1 back into the ground for a few years. Repotted the 10 young Acer palmatum.


Repotted 2 Berberis buxifolia and 4 Prunus mahaleb.

The buds from the cuttings of Euonymus europaeus from last December are expending.


Repotted 7 young Juniperus chinensis itoigawa, Rhododendron indicum chinzan #1, and Prunus spinosa #1.


Received one bag of pumice (3-7 mm), one bag of lava (3-5mm), and one bag of akadama (2-5mm).

Repotted Olea europaea #1 and its two 15 years old small cuttings.


Repotted Malus domestica #1, Quercus robur #3, #4, and #7. Cut the lower part of the taper root of the first two trees and put them in a pot. I also detached 2 shoots from the first one and potted them.

The azalea is budding.


Received a bunch of 1 year old trees to create an hedge in the garden: 10 Ligustrum japonicum, 10 Lonicera nitida, 10 Cotoneaster franchetii, 10 Callicarpa bodinieri (var. giraldii 'Profusion'), and 10 Corylus avellana. The latter two will not be used as bonsai but a few among the others will be planted in pond baskets.

Used 6 cinder blocks in the greenhouse to create a table for the largest bonsai.

The apple trees have red buds that are becoming apparent.


Planted one Ligustrum japonicum in a pond basket.


Separated two air layers from apple trees that had rooted last year but in both cases there were only a few roots from one side.


Repotted two young oaks that still had long taper roots and cut those in half. I also repotted the bottom half to see what will happen.


Separated the remaining air layers from apple trees but all of them had failed, although two of them had one small dried root. Nonetheless I potted 3 of them to see what happen.

I also repotted the last young oak with a long taper root, and cut it in half like the other ones.


Repotted 2 young Lonicera nitida, and wired the trunk of one of the two.


Collected two blackthorns from the garden that I prepared last year by chopping their trunks. One of them almost had no small roots, only big tubes connected to the neighbor trees.


The temperature moved from around 12 to around 24C for the week so I moved most temperate trees out of the greenhouse to a shaded area of the garden.


Repotted one young Ligustrum japonicum and one Cotoneaster franchetii.

I put some organic fertilizer (Magic Vegan NPK 6-4-6 + 2 M3gO + 9 SO3) for the first time on most trees.

I found aphids on the chojubai that I treated with dish soap. The two small olive trees that I repotted with big root cuts are loosing their leaves.


Repotted the second Ligustrum sinensis.

I noticed that a mouse had eaten all the blackthorn seeds that I put in the greenhouse so I started another batch. For that I cut a few seedling trays to 6x11 holes that fit in small greenhouse boxes and filled the holes with perlite and vermiculite. I planted 66 blackthorns and 66 hawthorns. I also noticed that my other seeds where germinating in the fridge except for the elms so I did one box for each. I put the left over blackthorn seeds in 12 small and 2 big pots, and the hawthorn seeds in one small pot.

Some mice are also continuously eating all the buds of Crataegus monogyna #1, at first I though it was a reaction to the repotting but it's now obvious that it's being eaten. Like the flower buds of the chojubai. I moved the hawthorn to an elevated position in the greenhouse.

The wind displaced a panel of glass in the greenhouse and detached one of the aluminium support that I put back.


Collected 1 oak growing next to the house.


Collected another 2 oaks growing next to the house.


I dug out an oak growing above the water pipe and planted it in the garden because it was too big to fit in my containers.


Received 2 zuisho (2yo) and 1 kotobuki (3yo) pines grafted on Japanese black pine from Maillot Bonsai. They were growing on compost so I removed some of the substrate and repotted them on a 1/1/1 mix of akadama, pumice, and lava.


Collected 2 oaks growing next to the house.


Repotted a Dutch elm I got from a nursery last year. It was growing in a big container filled with compost. I removed almost all roots to keep only a few centimeters around the base.


Planted some Chaenomeles speciosa seeds that had started germinating in the fridge. This time I added some compost to the perlite and vermiculite mix. And I also planted two trays of field elm seeds.

Collected a young beech before digging the ground to put a pole in the garden.


Collected a young oak from the vegetable garden.


Bought a Chinese elm (Ulmus parfolia #2) at a store for 10 euros to demonstrate how to make a bonsai from cheap material. Also bought 15 planks to build my first three benches.


Bought 7 cinderblocks to assemble the 3 benches with the planks I bought on Saturday, and 10 more planks.


Bought 7 more cinderblocks to elevate the benches.


Repotted Ulmus Parfolia #2 into a pond basket with a 1/1/1 mix of akadama, pumice, and lava.

Bought more cinderblocks and planks.

Received 100 seeds of Japanese black pine and 20 seeds of Japanese white pine that I put a glass of water for 24h.


All the white pine seeds fell to the bottom of the glass and most of the black pine ones. I put them back in their bag with humid moss and into the fridge for one week.

Moved the trees that are not into the greenhouse into the unheated house do limit the impact of a second night at -2C.


Started assembling 4 benches. And moved the trees again inside for a third and last night below 0C.


Finished the benches and moved some small trees in the shed this time to avoid 14 m/s winds.


Added a system to automatically open the window of the greenhouse when the temperature goes above 20C.

The chojubai still has some aphids, along with the apple trees that has been air layered. I treated them with mist of diluted dish soap.

For now those apple trees all produced leaves, even the ones that has no roots. Maybe they'll succeed as cutting, or they are just working on their reserves.


Fertilized all the trees with organic fertilizer (Magic Vegan NPK 6-4-6 + 2 M3gO + 9 SO3).

Planted the pine seeds in composted bark, perlite and vermiculite mix.

Some Chaenomeles speciosa seeds are now well growing, but not the others from the last batch. The zelkova from the first batch are doing well, the trident maple are not doing too bad, but the Japanese maple are not well. Some blackthorn seeds are growing, but no hawthorn.

The flower buds of the azalea are getting bigger and reaching their full color.


Pictured the flowers of Pyracantha coccinea #1.


Received a box of sphagnum moss and Started air layering some apple tree branches in the orchard.


Repotted a dozen zelkova seedlings.


Pictured the azalea almost in full bloom.


Removed the flowers of the azalea.


The white pine seedlings are starting to sprout.


The black pine seedlings are also starting to sprout.


Many oak trees are starting to show signs of powdery mildey so I treated them with sodium bicarbonate, olive oil, and soap like last year.


Repotted a few dozen zelkova seedlings.


Removed most remaining unneeded branches from Pyracantha coccinea #1 and worked the trunk to remove big old cuts.


Received a 12 years old Olea europaea sylvestris and a 9 years old Pinus thunbergii from Mistral to experiment and learn from both species on young material but more advanced than my cuttings and seedlings.


Received a wire cutter and a trunk splitter from the standard grade of Tian Bonsai.


Received 8 Ficus microcarpa kinmen (tiger bark) of 5 years old from Mistral to create a bigger tree by fusing their trunks. The goal is to learn how to create a big banyan tree like the Taiwanese do.


I depotted all ficus and joined them to make one big tree. I also planted many branches I cut into small containers to be added next year to the tree.


I wired the branch of the ficus to maximize the amount of light reaching the interior.


I cut the trunk of Olea europaea sylvestris #2 into three parts. The first one is the base with good taper but no branches, I repotted it in a big pond basket with 100% pomice. And I hope the other two will root as cuttings in smaller baskets.


I received 25 kg of organic fertilizer by Terralba made from chicken manure: - 5% N - 3% P205 - 2% K2O - 8% Ca - 6.2% Fe - 2.9% Zc - PH: 7.1


I started making tea bags of fertilizer and sprayed the leaves of the oak trees that are infested with powdery mildew with a mix of water, potassium bicarbonate, olive oil, and black soap.

The only trees that remain in the greenhouse are the ficus and some cuttings.


The first shoots are appearing on the base of Olea europaea sylvestris #2.


Received a 18 years old Pinus thunbergii from Mistral.


The olive tree now has well defined green leaves.


The shoots of the olive tree are elongating, it's faster now.


Making new bags of fertilizer.


Repotted the 12 years old Japanese black pine in a pond basket with a 1/1/1 mix of akadama, pumice, and lava.


I did the same for the 18 years old Japanese black pine.


Repotted the Japanese white and black pine seedlings into individual pots. I also cut some air layering of apple trees but most of them didn't have roots.


Cut some lower branches of the kotobuki pine to select the first branch and the futur continuation of the trunk. This will also avoid creating too much inverse taper at their bases and provide them more light.


I did the same to both the 12 and the 18 years old Japanese black pine, and cut the trunk half a dozen centimeters after the new leader on the latter as this portion of the trunk is big enough.


Received and assembled a small indoor greenhouse for the ficus trees.


Received a Mars Hydro TS600 grow light for the indoor greenhouse. It's a 100W full spectrum led light that should work well together with the 20W warming mat to give the trees what they need to survive during the winter.


I bought a cheap hornbeam at a local nursery, cut the trunk to the first branch and repotted it, but it turn out that the nebari is pretty bad with many big roots going straight down into the pot, almost like a neagari. I will let it grow and see how this will work out as the trunk thicken.


Worked on Acer buergerianum #1 to cut the branches that would not be needed in the final design and shortened the others.


Received a light meter showing that the ficus tree are receiving about 25k lux at the top of the canopy. The thermometer also indicates 19C with around 95% of humidity.