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  • Writer's pictureTom Lau

Magic Mel XXL Shimpaku

The title says it all! If you do not have any idea what the title suggests please ask any lady in the room that watches movies. Mel again does his magic on a raft style bonsai. Mel is classic artist, blending the old techniques while inventing his own. Mel explains that as a demostrating artist there is a infinite limit of prestock you can have ready at any one time. The technique he showed us that day makes any leggy conifer into a possible raft style bonsai with a little help of a wooden board, screws, and zip-ties.

So Mel, began by telling us that he started to pre-wire the shimpaku the day before because the demostration would have taken forever if he have not wire the entire tree before the demo. After a close inspection of the sample tree. Every single branch was wired with the front of the tree in mind while still in the pot. Mel pre-built a wooden board to attach and mold the shimpaku to its final form.

After working on the root ball and reducing its mass. Mel drilled holes at the bottom of the board and zip-tied the major branches of the shimpaku to the board in a cresent moon shape. While zip-tying he made sure he had some depth built into the final design it the raft bonsai will not have a 2D look.

After the major branches are attached to the board, he starts working on the apexes of each of the mini trees in the scene. Making sure that each tree in the scene matches in scope to the entire composition while having a characterisitic of its own.

Mel explains that this composition should be buried with soil for about 1-2 years until feeder roots have establish itself in the wooden container. The root ball should not be removed until year 3-5 once we know that the trees have made new roots from the entire lenght of the current trunk.

Mel being the showman that we know. Setup the demo tree if it was been established to give us all a look what we should expect in about 3-5 years when the tree is ready to be displayed. Totally looks like a beach scene to me!

The lucky winner of the demo tree was Shirley! We hope to see that tree in a show one day!

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