Posts Tagged ‘Tosho’

Recently between me and my fellow apprentice (Juan) we had three junipers to clean and trim. One shimpaku and two Tosho. Juan wanted the shimpaku to work on and I had both of the Tosho’s in the end because I finished my first tree before him.

This is the first tree that I trimmed.

Front

Front

Side

Side

Back

Back

Other side

Other side

This tree has a bit of history, as it was styled by Peter Tea my Sempai this year for my Kinbon magazine, which appeared in Augusts edition. This was its third trim this year even after an out of season re-pot.

The tree after it’s cut back.

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The dead was cut away, a couple of weaker branches were completely left as they were very weak and on slightly weak branch, only the strong growth was cut.

It was fun to work on and I hope Tea Sempai approves.

This is the second Tosho I worked on.

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A very cool tree that I believe was originally collected. I like the way that the trunk is split into two but, it is all the same tree, giving it a uniqueness.

Here’s the tree after it’s trim.

Front

Front

Side

Side

Back

Back

Other side

Other side

The tree is strong all over so, it was a general shape trim all round and the developing branches which, were long were cut back to start to develop some pads.

I hope you enjoyed reading.

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Tosho

Posted: July 30, 2013 in Aichi-en tree's, Japan, Tree maintenance
Tags: ,

Just recently I was assigned this Tosho/needle juniper to trim and clean up.

Not the best photo but, it was on the floor to start with so I could reach the top.

Not the best photo but, it was on the floor to start with so I could reach the top.

This tree was originally bought by Oyakata’s grandfather and had very little foliage or branches. Oyakata said his grandfather bought it, his father grew it on and he styled it. So three generations in the making. Last year the tree became weak, most probably because the soil became too compact and the tree couldn’t get enough water. So the tree was re-potted this year to help regain vigor. If I could give one tip for keeping needle junipers it would be don’t treat them like a shimpaku. They love to be kept moist so, if you have a reasonably well-drained mix, keep on top of the watering. They are also weaker than other junipers and care needs to be taken in not overworking.
Needle juniper’s have a reputation of being pretty prickly but, on the pain scale this one is fairly tame although my finger tips are feeling a little tender at the moment.
I cut back to green or buds on old wood, defined pad lines where I could and cleaned out any old dead needles from the inside.
Here’s the tree after working on it.

Front

Front

Side

Side

Back

Back

Other side

Other side

It took me a good deal of time to do the whole tree. It is very dense (especially the top) and the tree is a meter tall/a monster.
There are some weak area’s/weak branches which had to be left and it could do with a little wire here and there but as they say here ‘shogunai’.
It was nice to work with a great tree with a long history here.

On the subject of Tosho my dear friend John Trott asked if I could find out any information on white stuff that forms on the trunks of needle juniper’s and Cryptomeria’s. I have seen it on several tree’s that have come in from Japan and we had speculated on what it might be before. Thinking that it could be a fungus or lime deposits.

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It just so happened that when I looked up into the canopy of the big tree I spotted the same white stuff. Being that Oyakata was in the workshop having a smoke after lunch and I was there working through part my lunch break to get the tree done, I promptly asked. I asked if it was a fungus and he said no. The best answer he could give was moss but, what I believe he means is lichen. Apparently you only get it on old tree’s and it isn’t a problem. I think that is more of a revered thing, than a bad thing, showing age and most probably wouldn’t be taken off for an exhibition.
So there you go John, it can be removed by scrubbing with a brush according to Oyakata if you want to.

Thanks for reading.