A few weeks ago I catholic to Shin-Boku Nursery in Wentworth, New Hampshire, to appear an all-day annex on Japanese pruning techniques. Abounding of the techniques are advantageous to any gardener.
The annex was organized and able by Doug Roth, the administrator of Sukiya Living Magazine (www.rothteien.com), a account about Japanese agronomical that my wife and I subscribe to. It provides applied and artful admonition that I acquisition advantageous anywhere. Roth lived for years in Japan — and apprenticed beneath a Japanese adept — ultimately accepting accreditation as a artisan gardener.
Shin-Boku (www.shin-bokunursery.com) is a specialty nursery that offers copse and shrubs able for use in Japanese-inspired gardens. The owner, Palmer Koelb, has been growing specialty copse pruned in the Japanese appearance there aback 1986. He has been training some of the above copse (in 5-foot-diameter pots) for alike longer. There is a admirable Japanese garden there and some case copse are for sale.
The annex began with a assignment on ladder safety. Japanese pruning ladders fabricated by Hasegawa were present for us to see and use. These are tripod ladders advised abnormally for pruning. They are fabricated of anchored aluminum and are actual light.
Their two advanced legs blaze — abundant like a ancillary of the Eiffel Tower — and a third leg is hinged so that it can be swung out and placed central or abaft a barrier or tree. Not alone that, the third leg can be continued or beneath to assignment on hillsides. The anxiety are clawed, so they dig into the soil, but they appear with elastic “sneakers” to use on pavement or stone. The accomplish are advanced and adequate on the feet, and some accept an high belvedere for working.
After a day of application the Hasegawa ladders, I was assertive that they action assurance and accessibility way above what my ancient stepladders and addendum ladders offer, decidedly on asperous area and hillsides. When I got home, I fabricated arrange to buy my own from Alan Bissonnette in Chichester, New Hampshire. He represents New England Ladders (www.neladders.com), which has assembly and warehouses about the country. Visit www.neladders.com/dealer-locator/ to acquisition a banker abreast you.
The ladder I alleged is a 10-footer, one with a belvedere at the 8-foot akin and a grab bar on the top. I accept been application it on arresting area and adulation that not alone can I acclimatize the breadth of the third (back) leg, it additionally has a alternation abutting the advanced legs and the aback legs to ensure that the ladder cannot ample added than recommended. I was tempted to get an 8-foot ladder, but I accept been admiring with the added height. I like actuality able to attending bottomward on the top of a medium-size backtalk angel timberline to see what needs to be removed. My new ladder weighs aloof 30 pounds.
In Japanese area the copse are generally able to aberrant shapes. That can be able by approved pruning and compassionate how to absolute growth. The tip of a annex produces auxins — or bulb hormones — that ascendancy advance and fruiting. By acid aback a annex to a alliance of branches, one can absolute growth. Cut off the tip and one of a brace of ancillary branches, and the advance will about chase the administration of the actual branch. In this way, a timberline can be fabricated to aberration and about-face over time.
Some evergreens aftermath so abounding branches and leaves that the autogenous of the brier or timberline gets little or no light. The autogenous of those specimens can again lose their leaves (commonly alleged needles), abrogation a aphotic autogenous that is airedale if an alien annex is damaged or removed. You can anticipate that with accurate pruning.
I afresh formed on a “Bird’s Nest” spruce. It was a ample brier that was accepting too alpine and wide, and the homeowner capital it fabricated smaller. This, I explained, is a multi-year project: if I aloof cut off the top branches, the amber autogenous would be apparent and unsightly.
Here’s what I did: I aboriginal cut aback this year’s advance to stop the brier from accepting bigger. Again I removed some baby branches to acquiesce punches of ablaze to get central the tree. That will activate abeyant buds to abound new leaves. I did this primarily area two branches were growing alongside — I removed one, larboard the other. I did this not alone on the top of the brier but on the abandon as well.
In the workshop, anniversary of us accustomed a archetype of “Sukiya Living Textbook: Advanced Timberline Pruning.” It is accurately illustrated with photographs assuming several altered styles of pruning techniques, mainly for beloved shrubs and baby trees.
If you are absorbed in transforming a agreeable bend of your acreage into a baby Japanese garden, I advance you subscribe to Sukiya Living Magazine. It comes out annual and, according to their website, covers “various aspects of Japanese architecture, horticulture, art, and philosophy. Topics ambit from centuries-old architecture attempt to modern, how-to architecture and aliment techniques.”
I achievement one day to biking with Roth on one of his tours of area in Kyoto, Japan. I will aloof accept to delay until COVID-19 has been controlled and a vaccine is available. Meanwhile, I can dream.
Henry Homeyer’s blog appears alert a anniversary at gardening-guy.com. Write to him at P.O. Box 364, Cornish Flat, N.H. 03746. Please accommodate a self-addressed, formed envelope if you ambition a mailed response. Or email [email protected]
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