Fall colors and a Black Pine
This is the first Fall for me here at Aichi-en and it’s amazing! As all the deciduous trees start to change colors, I really got a sense of the change in season. Also, the cold temperatures reminded me of that as well. So far, I have found that in Nagoya, the Spring is short and the Fall is short. The longest seasons seem to be the Summer and Winter. Perhaps it’s just my mind playing tricks on me because the Summers are so hot and the Winters are so cold. ;o) Coming from California where the weather is mild year round, I’ve had to adjust to the weather in Japan big time. I have to care what I’m going to wear because I’ll either freeze or suffer a heat stroke! Having said that, I can’t complain though (though I think I just did) because it’s a great experience for me and it’ll make going home to California that much sweeter at the end. In this post, I’m going to give you readers a sense of what Fall is like here at the nursery and I’m going to sneak in a Black Pine that I worked on recently. Here we go!
Do you remember these root over rock Trident maples? Where as most other trees have already lost their leaves, these are just changing colors now. I have found that when Trident’s are defoliated during the Summer, the leaves will stay on the tree longer during the Fall and produce better colors.
Here is a picture of the Black Pine I was tasked to wire and style for a customer. Starting in November, you can pull the old needles off of Black Pines and wire them. Why don’t you all enjoy more Fall colors while I get to work on this tree.
Here’s a large Japanese maple that has lost about 50 percent of it’s leaves. The tree is over 36 inches tall (91.5cm). Here’s a tip about showing deciduous trees. When we show deciduous trees, we pull about 40-50 percent of the leaves(big leaves) off the tree so that the viewer can see the separation of branches and some of the interior structure. Having said that, the tree still looks full because the structure is so dense.
Here is an example of removing 50 percent of the leaves. This trident was in Gomangoku a few months ago. I removed 40-50 percent of the leaves and it still looks full. The tree was a solid ball of leaves before.
Here is the Black Pine after I wired and styled it. As you can see from the picture, I guy wired a few of the lower branches down to the pot. For the most part, I brought all the branches down and laid them out to make pads. The needles on this tree is long because it wasn’t de-candled this year. When needles are long on Black Pines, they are easier to make a nice round full shape. The tree took me about 5 hours to finish.
Mr. Tanaka’s adjustments, what I learned and the future
Mr. Tanaka’s adjustments were quick and he focused mainly on the branch structure as usual. He cut of a branch on the left side of the tree to add a bit of separation from the main branch and the top of the tree. It was also at a point where three branches were growing out of the same spot. This made the branch structure cleaner. At the top, of the tree I had two branches that overlapped each over forming an X and he separated them. After the adjustment, I studied the tree and was happy with the resulting work. Though Mr. Tanaka’s adjustment doesn’t look as round and as clean as what I did, the structure of the tree came out better and overall is the important lesson to learn on this tree. This tree still has a long way to go and the needles will be shortened in the future so Mr. Tanaka wasn’t too worried about how the silhouette looked at the moment.
I’ll finish off the Fall colors with this Trident maple. This Trident is one of the oldest and unusual tree in the yard. When the leaves come off, I’m going to dedicate a post just on this tree. Stay tuned for that one.
I hope you all are enjoying the Fall colors in your area this year and that you too have some color in your own yards. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everybody following my experiences here at Aichien. The year is almost over and I can’t wait to see what’s in stored for me next year! (That’s assuming I make it to the end of this month)
Thanks for reading!