Esprit Bonsai International – August 2019

(Nancy Kaufman) #1
36 - EspritBonsaiInternational #101

of a Species

 dead parts becoming hard
and fixed, they continue by growing
around the obstacle, creating new and
sometimes astounding movements.
If their setting is oriented towards a
strong wind, this will also initiate spiral
effects when the wind swirls around
hollows in the rocks. In the Corbières,
the tramontane fulfils this role won-

In a humid
Collecting these sorts of trees is
unusual and never easy. I am often
amazed by how fine the roots are, and
how few of them there are, coming
from the base of the trunk to plunge
straight into a narrow slit in the dense
limestone, yet this is enough to allow
a tree to live for centuries, aided by
the leaves’ capacity to capture the
slightest ambient humidity.
The best period to work on roots,
and likewise for repotting, extends
through two months – March and
April. Where I am, I prefer March. After
collecting, you can encourage the tree
to take by putting it in a humid green-
house, and regularly spraying it with
foliar fertiliser, diluted to ten times its
initial volume. In a pot, the species
gradually develops a very dense root
system. In bonsai, it gets on better in
soil that is kept damp. So, add 10% of
fibrous peat to soil that drains well. It
also prefers to be placed out of direct
sunlight during the hot season, other-
wise it will languish and go weak over
the summer.
Deadwood work is of the same
nature as for other varieties of juni-
per: trying to make them more beau-
tiful, bring harmony to their pati-
nas, increase their dynamism here,
improve a detail there ... The wood’s
durability will do the rest.

Replacing old
Although they have a reputa-
tion for slow growth, these junipers
know how to make the most of very
enriched cultivation, and can then
grow much faster. Before interven-
ing on the foliage, you need to wait

Trees that are old but have stayed small
are rare. This one is 25 cm (10 in.) tall.

Oily candles are sticking out beyond
the silhouette: the work can begin.

Trees that are cultivated with
large doses of fertiliser tend
to attract parasites (which
in fact regulate the resulting
surplus of sugar). Spraying
with neem oil, diluted to
2% per litre of water and
mixed with an equal amount
of sulphated castor oil, is
very effective against most
of them – mites and scale
insects. In the hot season, the
foliage may be covered in a
proliferation of white dots:
these are the sugars being
stored on the outside of the
cells, which ooze slightly.
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