Evergreen trees

We have Niwaki (Japanese garden trees) [12] subdivided in Evergreen trees (this chapter), Deciduous trees and Shrubs where the main garden Karikomi and hako-zukuri shrubs have a dedicated chapter.
In this chapter we discuss the trees following more or less the same route as used in the virtual guided tour.

Prior to starting your tree selection please read the statement of caution in Plants and planting.

2317 This is a view from the street.

Although all other instances of Prunus lusitanica in Tsubo-en are (used as) Shrubs, this one is the exception to that rule and is a genuine tree trained as "twins" (sokanshitate) and pruned in hako-zukuri style.

The Prunus lusitanica and the triangular Buxus sempervirens to the left of it have just been pruned and clipped in the so called Hako- zukuri style.
Here viewed from the house with the street in the background.

On the above photo you can just see the deciduous Ulmus parvifolia, also trained as "twins".
2080 On this photo the Pinus mugo mugo has just (2008) undergone "fukinaoshi" 15 [12], a kind of revision (literally: "to re-do").
This resulted in a metamorphoses where it went from a bush to a grouping of (miniature) trees. Now the steps (danzukuri) need to develop (see: Fukinaoshi, "to re-do" overgrown trees).

In Tsubo-en we have three types of Abies (Fir, Dutch: Zilverspar).

This photo taken from the street.

The evergreen (or -gray/blue) tree that stands on the Turtle island is symbolic for the crane.
This is a beautiful Abies procera "Glauca" (Noble Fir).

Substantial part of it hangs over the Ginshanada gravel area. This is a deliberate choice that is well compensated by the visual effects we get in return.

2300 A Noble Fir branch and (deformed ?) cone in close-up.
Here the Abies procera "Glauca" (Noble Fir) as seen from the pathway in the center of the main garden, that is looking back while walking the virtual guided tour.

In 2008 the top was taken out as this is the maximum hight that we want to retain.
2297 This Abies fraseri, Fraser fer, (Dutch: Fraserspar) was a pot-plant and brought in when we moved to this house. In 2008 it must be at least 18 years of age.
A dark blue-purple cone on the Abies fraseri. 1561
The two specimen of Abies Koreana "Tundra" grow extremely slow.
This one in front of Shumisen will eventually get (well be given) open layers where it is now still closed.
The Pinus leucodermis "Satellit" is getting shape.

Next to it on both sides Prunus lusitanica. After the erection of Shumisen we gave this Prunus its first major pruning, as we now know for sure what the proportions have to be. We will try to bring the tree closer to the spectator so that Mt. Sumeru seams to be "floating" at a further distance.
0693 A frequent visitor mushroom that grows in the shade of the Pinus leucodermis is the Boletus edulis, Cep (Dutch: eekhoorntjesbrood). Here growing in the Cutula groundcover.
Cones hanging on a branch of the Pinus leucodermis just under a new bud. 1568
1592 Pollen cones on a Pinus leucodermis branch.

When standing in the opening of the living room sliding-door or on the main veranda this is what we see.
The Pinus densiflora or Japanese Red Pine, "Aka-matsu". In the backdrop "borrowed scenery" (from the golf course).

The photo shows the Pinus densiflora, Japanese Red Pine, just after its first major pruning or actually "fukinaoshi" 15, at an age of about 14 year, 10 of which in our garden [d], [12] (see: Fukinaoshi, "to re-do" overgrown trees).
1775 Part of the Pinus densiflora forms a canopy over a portion of the Ginshanada gravel area.

This again is a well considered decision where we take the disadvantages for granted in return for the beautiful placement.

Also see: Pinus densiflora, Japanese Red Pine, pruning.
This is the second Abies Koreana "Tundra".
On the above photo it can just be seen left of the Pinus densiflora and behind the Buxus droplet.

The left side garden is a long relatively small area where we have a mix of evergreens, deciduous trees and shrubs.

1826 Here the left garden seen from the front.
To the left you just see the Nothofagus antarctica. Under it a Skimmia.

The three evergreen trees that you see from front to back will be discussed below.
Here a close-up of the above left garden part. From left to right the Taxus, Chamaecyparis and Cryptomeria Japonica. 2307

The Cryptomeria Japonica (sugi) "elegans" just after its first major training and pruning for lateral growth [d], [12].

In 2008 this cryptomeria was given a "fukinaoshi" treatment which resulted in a dramatic cutting back and thinning-out, training it as "twins" (sokanshitate) with very bendy trunks (kyokukanshitate) (see: Fukinaoshi, "to re-do" overgrown trees).

Now we can start to develop the shape of the foliage of the Cryptomeria Japonica as "steps" (danzukuri) and/or
"shells" (kaizukuri).
2308 This Chamaecyparis Lawsonia "white spot" has grown straight until 2008.

In the summer of 2008 this also was given a "fukinaoshi" treatment. The purpose of this is to get it shaped into the "hollow" version of the tamazukuri style (see: Fukinaoshi, "to re-do" overgrown trees).
The Taxus media "hillii",Yew, got a "fukinaoshi" treatment in 2007. The style we pursue here is called "lots" (takanshitate), which means lots of "steps" (danzukuri) and/or "balls" (tamazukuri) (see: Fukinaoshi, "to re-do" overgrown trees). 2303

Trees examples

Examples of both ever green and deciduous trees kan be found in Niwaki (plants) examples.
Examples are also available in a number of other "examples" sections. Most relevant: For the complete "visual" examples see the applicable framed-list in: Visual Table of Contents.

Lessons learned and what did not work well

Here we document what went wrong with regard to the evergreen trees that we used or wanted to use.

  1. The most important lesson learned is that in principle all trees in the ("smaller") Japanese garden, with the exception of parks and comparable sizes, are Niwaki and are to be shaped by human intervention by definition.
    This we only discovered after reading the book Niwaki (Japanese garden trees) [12] by Jake Hobson.
    This knowledge would have substantially influenced our choice for trees. What we did is we tried to find the (evergreen) trees that come closest to our perception of the "Japanese ideal" and that are slow growing.
    Now we know that these trees do not exist in nature and by definition need to be created as such. Although most of the evergreens we do have are suited to this purpose it will take many many (extra) years to get to this ideal.
  2. Second most important lesson (from the same book) for us is "fukinaoshi" [12], a kind of revision (literally: "to re-do").
    You and me, we are always too busy, busy, busy. Before you know it is too late to shape a tree as it should have been shaped. The good news is that in many cases it is not too late and the tree can be "saved".
    In Tsubo-en this situation occurred so we decided to give it a go with some trees. If they would not survive then they would be removed. Just after I committed our own form of fukinaoshi, that went remarkably well, we got the book Niwaki and found the prerequisites, conditions and guidelines, under which fukinaoshi style pruning can be performed. The good news is that we where very close and all went okay. Nontheless it would have been better if we had started a year or so earlier with the book at close range.
  3. The Prunus lusitanica (as a tree) in the front garden was a replacement for our Pinus parviflora "Tempelhof", Japanese White Pine, (Dutch: Penceelden) that after a few years of doing well, died suddenly within a week or so.
    We can only assume that this was caused by a fungus. No idea if this is a lesson learned that can be of use.

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