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  • Writer's pictureTom Lau

Tak Shimazu the Think Tank Part 2

Break Time! How Peter rolls when a camera is placed in front of him. He such a ham!

During the break, Tak was walking around talking to everybody and spied on this San Jose Juniper and got all excited. He ran up to the stage and said, "I'm going to do a demo on this tree!" and the crowd went crazy! So did Greg. He did not think this tree was special at all.

After some basic trimming, Tak started to layout the basic layout for the tree starting from branch #1 and moving up the tree. He saved all the major branches and only cleaning out the weak branches and crotch branches away. Repeating this process all the way to the apex of the tree. Next, Tak addressed only one issue with the tree. Tak said, "this bar branch is the only thing that is distracting the beauty of this tree."

*Gold Nugget* Most people would just remove the branch completely, he jinned the bar branch and said, "I like to leave a jin branch to help fill in the negative space to give the tree an illusion of fulliness."

Tak was a machine, he kept in a working flow and just smiled as he went along wiring the first branch and going to the apex. I could tell that once he gets into a rhythm he does not stop for anybody or anything, total focus. You can tell he was planning each wiring one step ahead and working out visually if he needs to wire the branch clockwise or counter-clockwise.

Even from a side profile of Tak smiling away as he really enjoy how this little tree is coming out. Greg (the tree's owner) can not even distract Tak from working has he works on his tree.

The finished tree in about 35minutes. We were all surprised on how the tree came out. Tak really brought out the character of this San Jose Juniper. The funny part about Tak is that he sometimes crack jokes and it goes past people. We ask Greg where did he get his tree from. He replies, from George Muranaka in Nipomo. Tak quickly replies, "No its from San Jose." Classic Tak Bonsai Jokes.

Final person in the hot seat that night was Big Joe. Big Joe brought in a Crepe Mrytle that had some sever dieback due to this summers hot weather and misfiring of his sprinkler system when he went on vacation. But, it did come back and had some explosive growth since then.

*Gold Nugget* Tak suggested first to go back and remove any crossing and ugly roots near on around the nebari. He also mentioned that he could remove several major branches and form a tighter crown this coming Spring.

*Gold Nugget* Tak also mentioned that certain species of trees do not like having concave cuts into their bark. Crepe Myrtle being one of them. The tree will respond by forming a huge callous ridge around the wound. Tak suggested to make a flush cut using a knife making sure the cut is just below the cambium layer.

*Gold Nugget* Tak also said, "If you want a tight flowering pattern of a Crepe Myrtle for a show, you need to cut back in late July or early August, if not the flowers clusters will be a good 2-3feet away."

Well, that's it folks. I tried to keep it as short as I could. Thank you Tak Shimazu for being our Workshop Leader!

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