Summer trimming

Many native trees are growing strongly during summer so new shoots need regular trimming to keep the trees in shape.

Today I trimmed a Banksia integrifolia. This tree was grown from seed collected on South Coast NSW around 18 years ago.

Banksia before
banksia after trimming new shoots
Trunk and nebari with fingers for size scale

This Melaleuca almost died from dehydration earlier in spring. It is now sitting in a tray with around 3cm of water through summer to make sure it doesn’t dry out again. It has recovered well and is now growing strongly and needed a second trim for this season.

Melaleuca before trimming

This melaleuca grows so quick and responds to pruning so well that I generally just shear the new shoots with scissors – hedge trimming. Occasional more selective pruning helps maintain the foliage clusters and overall shape.

Melaleuca after trimming

Shibui Bonsai has a small range of Aussie natives as starters and pre-bonsai and occasionally larger field grown specimens. We currently have a few large trunked Banksias for sale – see sample picture below. Unfortunately these are too large and too heavy to be posted so pick up or alternative delivery only.

Banksia integrifolia

Ficus bonsai

Summer is a great time to work on ficus and other sub tropical plants. They respond quickly and recover far better if pruned or root pruned while they are still actively growing.

This old ficus has been posted before. It is now a bit too large for me to manage comfortably so I’ve offered it for sale. Earlier in spring I gave this one a really hard trim as trimming had been neglected for a year or 2 and branches were becoming too long.

The tree has responded with masses of new shoots, some from the existing branches and more from the trunk. Now it is time to select best new shoots, thin out excess shoots and trim the good ones.

Ficus before selecting new shoots

The dwarf green tree frog was not impressed that I removed all his cover but stayed put while I worked. Now safely back in the poly house.

The above tree (with or without the frog) is still available if you fancy owning an old, impressive trunk bonsai. Still priced at $3,300

For those who would rather invest some time instead of money Shibui Bonsai also has smaller starter Port Jackson figs. In just 30 years you could have something like the tree above for an investment of just $15 or $20.

I also repotted some starter root over rock ficus to check the roots. These trees were started just last year which shows how quickly ficus can grow.

Catalogue updated

I’ve just added Chinese elm catalogue and Pines and Junipers to the catalogue page.

Chinese elms were a little slower to re-establish roots this year so I delayed advertising these until now. The trees now have strong roots and can now cope with delivery to anywhere on the East coast of Australia.

Pines and junipers are both always slow to settle in after transplant so I always wait until well after the summer solstice to make sure the new trees have recovered properly before offering them to buyers. This year one of the junipers did not make it. I’ve included the original photo in the catalogue just to remind readers of some of the pitfalls of growing field grown trees for bonsai.

Hope you’ll take a look at the new offerings and at the maples on offer this season.

For those looking for younger material or smaller and less expensive stock please email to discuss your needs. The Shibui Bonsai benches are currently overcrowded with lots of trees in 11 cm pots – trident maples, Japanese maples, Chinese elms, Azaleas, including some Satsuki varieties, Shimpaku junipers, Japanese Black pines (only smaller available this year), Chojubai, Cotoneaster as well as smaller numbers of less well known bonsai species. Email neil@shibuibonsai for prices and avialability.