The Crab Apple make colourful exciting bonsai as there always seems to be something happening on the bonsai tree. The Creation of a Crab Apple Bonsai from Field Grown Stock. This how to video demonstrates many of the tips and techniques you will use in the journey towards creation of specimen bonsai.
Hello bonsai enthusiasts. In this video, we’re going to repot a Crab Apple. This particular one is about 21 years old. it's been field grown for 18 years and has been in this black pot for about three years. It's now pot bound and it’s time to repot into a bonsai pot. It’s got a lot of features and it’s nicely branched out and it would make a lovely bonsai.
We start off, I guess, by knocking the pot off. Generally, you thump the side of the pot and then thump the top of the pot off to help dislodge it from the root ball.
Use a stainless steel dibber or even a wooden dibber to help remove soil from the top of the surface. Use a sharp root shear and root cutters to help you with removing the finer roots and the larger roots.
Shape the root ball so that it tapers gently towards the soil. Remove any large, ugly roots and work your way, all the way to the bottom of the pot, working gently and slowly.
While using the chopstick, try not to use it vertically, but use it horizontally so that you’re not digging into the root ball. Rather, moving bit by bit away.
You may have to use a chisel and mallet to try and remove some of the larger roots or help shape the nebari properly. I'm using a half an inch gorge in this particular, half an inch gorge chisel in this particular section. It’s very effective at tapering nebaris.
You then work your way all around the root ball cutting off any large roots as you work around. Make sure that the root ball doesn’t disintegrate. Keep it firm and solid all the time and this is quite a nicely shaped nebari. It’s nicely tapered and remove down to the bottom of the root ball.
We’re now ready to pot on. This pot has been nicely meshed out and wires have been installed in the pot. That will help us bind the tree into the pot. This is a Japanese blue pot, oval shaped to help accentuate the feminineness of the Crab Apple. It’s a pot bellied shape so it adds value to the overall aesthetic of the tree.
I'm using a mixture of Akadama and pumice in the soil that I’m using for the tree. It’s granular, 3 – 6 mm. You make a little mound in the centre of the pot and then use the, place it so that it fits in the centre of the pot, both along the length and the breadth of the pot, and the nebari should be just slightly above the pot surface.
Fill up the pot with soil and use a mallet so that the soil falls properly into the pot and all the empty spaces are filled out. Top up wherever necessary and gradually process it.
The tree is now ready, it's quite an attractive bonsai. I hope you enjoyed the show.