Appreciation: Shinjuku gyoen in Toyko

Discussion in 'Maples' started by emery, Jun 10, 2017.

  1. emery

    emery Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Here is my tour, as before taken in order of the visit, of shinjuku gyoen, an enormous park also suggested by the estimable @opusoculi . It is not one but several gardens, nearly 150 acres, and like every garden I visited in Japan closes at 5pm. I got there at around 2, having sheltered from an enormous thunder storm in a pretty good underground soba joint. Could have easily spent double or triple the time.

    The visit started in the wild garden, before a window opens on the Japanese garden. Some fuchsias were still in bloom, tho as everywhere most were past.

    Note the last photo of the 3 A. amoenums planted together the way we often use birches here, minus the moss of course!
     

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  2. emery

    emery Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Continuing through the Japanese garden, beginning with the opposite view of the 3 maples. Pictures 8-10 are of the incredible views from the temple.
     

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  3. emery

    emery Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Now leaving the Japanese garden and walking through various bits. The champion Katsura tree shows the wrapping technique. The very large JMs are from the "hill of maples" and must be spectacular in fall. At the end I have left the Japanese garden to enter the French garden.
     

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  4. emery

    emery Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Roses in the French garden, with Toyko in background, then in the English garden (mostly vast lawns!) a champion Japanese elm and a beautiful example of a solitaire dissectum graft that has been trained for many years. Some last gnarled palmatums, and near the exit a row of large trees labeled Acer palmatum 'Nomura'.

    I really loved this park with its varied gardens, perhaps the best city park I've seen anywhere, which is something for a native Newyawker to say.

    -E
     

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  5. AlainK

    AlainK Active Member Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    The touch of pink of the azalea...
     
  6. wcutler

    wcutler Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    What is that about? I'm having trouble finding info about it. Well, when I give up on Bing and switch to google, I see something about young katsura requiring wraps to protect the bark in winter. This is not a young tree, though, and it's not winter. That's so surprising to me - is it because our Vancouver climate is so mild that I've never seen it? And is it because we don't do it here that I've never seen a katsura as grand as that?
     
  7. emery

    emery Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Indeed. It must have been spectacular with the azaleas in full bloom, but at this stage I found it amazingly balanced.

    @wcutler I suppose the size of the katsura, as with the palmatums/amoenums, is down to the native climate more than anything else. Certainly Vancouver would never see the heat/humidity of Tokyo, for which IMHO you may thank your lucky stars! :)

    Large trees that were not wrapped invariably had gardens of fern, grasses etc growing from the bark. While very beautiful I imagine over time this would really rot these huge trees; the wrap certainly keeps that off the main trunk anyway. The really strong sun and intense rain could cause damage as well to areas where the bark was damaged. Just speculating, but that would be my guess for wrapping in summer. Maybe someone else knows more.
     
  8. JT1

    JT1 Well-Known Member

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    I had links saved long ago (before smart phones and syncing all bookmarks, contacts, ect) on a very old computer that died. Ugh!

    I can't remember the term and all the details, but do recall some of it.

    As mentioned before it's for winter protection and much more...With trees this old you don't take chances on betting it will be a predictable winter that is mild.

    This is usually done as a symbol of winter in November and taken off in March as a sign of Spring. More on that at the end...

    In trees like katsura and maples it is left on in the Spring to prevent back-budding in the trunk and some inner parts of main branches.

    In katsura and other similar varieties that are prone to moss, ferns, ect from taking over the trunk it is left on during the rainy season. Old trees that are not maintained have plenty growing as Emery mentioned.

    In maples grown along the waters edge and cascades over the water you will see wrapped more tightly and with rope (also to prevent back-budding in early Spring and winter damage) to hold branches and trunk in place. The weight of snow or wet leaves in the rain may cause branches to touch the water when tree is a cascading form. (More seriously, it prevents the weight of heavy snow from fracture/ failure; a technique also used in bonsai to prevent splitting branches when bending old wood; raffia is wrapped tightly to prevent break/failure and wire holds bent branch in place) In the photo from the other thread you see a support holding the trunk up too. If you had only this support the trunk may bow and look unattractive and unnatural over time. The tight wrapping is used to hold the trunk and branches in a pleasing form that appears like it was naturally occurring over time.

    In pines...small band wrapped around the trunk is called Komomaki (菰巻き, komomaki) Wich are removed in early March every year.
    Komomaki - Wikipedia
    In short they capture pine moth larvae in fall and burnt in Spring to kill larvae and ashes are spread at base of tree. Link provides more information and pictures. These would have been removed before Emery's visit. Some studies have found the practice kills more beneficial insects than pest. In some gardens it's still done as a symbol of winter. But in other areas and trees it is re-used as an effective pest control:
    In recent years, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has used a komomaki-like band trap to protect keyaki (zelkova) trees from a beetle called nirehamushi (Pyrrhalta maculicollis). The idea was developed in 2003 to combat a severe infestation in the trees lining the wide streets in Nishi-Shinjuku near the Keio Plaza Hotel and the metropolitan government headquarters, and worked so well that the traps have been used in every subsequent year to keep the nirehamushi population under control. In June and July, workers tie a cloth band around the trunk of trees that show signs of infestation in order to trap the caterpillars on their way down the trunk. A week or so later, workers remove the bands and collect the trapped caterpillars. It’s a laborious process, but it’s actually more effective and better for the environment than using pesticides.
    Straw belts | The Japan Times

    Wendy, If you find any more information please share here or via private message as I would like to build my resources again. Thanks!
     
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  9. opusoculi

    opusoculi Active Member

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    Hello emery ! Good trip . You enjoyed, I am very happy for you. I was sure ... Sure you will start to Japan again , ending march for instance or for momiji-gari mid november.
    About those wraps ... I don't know exactly what you mean by wraps (my dictionary = enveloppe).
    I see 3 hight supports, they are certainly in cryptomeria japonica wood , as they do when trees had been transplanted and naturaly supports stays there for some years , trees are chained or attached indeed (ex photo 1).
    Those long supports are very ofen also used for pine trees and many many other trees to support the long branches in case of vind. Remember, thyphon are terrible in Japan , specially in august september , when trees have all their leaves; that is the mean reason why all gardeners take care.
    Also, "It prevents the weight of heavy snow from fracture", i agree.
    In Tokyo, the lower hivernal temperature is around 0° C, not too bad for maples.
    I have been in Japan 6 time, in all seasons , even in january. I never saw those supports wrapped (recouverts ou enveloppés).
    Photo 1 example of plantation . And for fun 4 , a japanese wrapping technique for exotic trunc plant in "Katsura" Imperial villa in Kyoto (november 2009). This technique of wrapping is also used for Acer trees trunc to prevent sun damages during summer, the material is Myscanthus giganteus , (as for a home roof ).

    @AlainK . Japan is azalea paradise.
    Quand aux azalea, au Japon ça pousse comme du chiendent , même entre les voies des autoroutes, ils les taillent en coussin trois fois par an et ils se reproduisent tout seul de graine.
     

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  10. JT1

    JT1 Well-Known Member

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    My memory is shot...So I forgot about these illustrations in one of my most treasured books that I only look at maybe yearly to preserve the condition.

    Well today I happen to be looking through it again and found these beautiful illustrations of winter support.

    Author and illustrations by: Yoshimura, Iwao. 1930's-1935??(no record of being published) 187pgs.
     

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    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
  11. JT1

    JT1 Well-Known Member

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    Continued...maple leaves that are possibly from 1930's too!
     

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  12. opusoculi

    opusoculi Active Member

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    Very beautiful document, thank jou to have shown it to us.
    One sees in Japan all the ways of supporting the trees witch are drawn in your book. The last, with cords in beam, is less common than the others. I never saw it.
     
  13. JT1

    JT1 Well-Known Member

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    In this video you can see the process, (Yukizuri 雪つり) in more detail and how it is done starting at 3:15.

    Title: Book of Seasons - A year in Kanazawa
    People may find themselves wanting to watch the whole video (beautiful maples in fall color too)!

    more information and pictures on Yukizuri-
    :: Kanazawa Tourist Information Guide ::
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
  14. opusoculi

    opusoculi Active Member

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    Excellent ! Thanks.
     
  15. AlainK

    AlainK Active Member Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    What's the word in English? Awesome?... Yeah, awesome!

    I've just watched the beginning, I'll watch the rest later.

    Thanks for sharing JT1
     
  16. emery

    emery Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Yes, really great. I only watched the beginning, up to the umbrellas, but it reminds me of all the terrific ladders I saw, and also parasols! Thanks John, really looking forward to watching the rest!
     
  17. JT1

    JT1 Well-Known Member

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    Do you or @emery have a favorite Japanese garden element (lantern, stepping stones or pathway, water basin, fencing, screens, stone arrangements, entrance gates)? The book has several illustrations of each that I can share the one you choose. I really appreciate the photos you both are sharing in this thread and the many others that cover your trips to Japan!
     
  18. JT1

    JT1 Well-Known Member

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    They sell those in the UK and maybe other places outside of Japan. Here is a link to the UK supplier:
    Niwaki Tripod Ladders
     
  19. opusoculi

    opusoculi Active Member

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    Very sensitive to your offer of document,
    I thank you for your very pleasant proposal. Perhaps rocks.
    In fact, I do not make a garden inspired by Japanese art.

    My first discovered Japanese art goes back to 1967, it was in an exposure of Japanese prints to the museum of decorative arts in Paris.
    I was young. I quickly started to make woodcuttings with the Japanese manner. But I realized that what I did was very heavy and not at all Japanese, at most inspired by Japanese art. It was only the reflection of a fascination and no matter what I do, I was not Hokusai nor Utamaro. I promised not to make more “in the manner of…” neither in my art, nor in my garden.
    On the other hand, to become acquainted with the culture of another country, another way of thinking and to make , always interests me.

    For example, I made a three days course of instruction in a No theater.
    It is of a great interest to feel how to move slowly without the feet leaving the ground and without the body stiffening, but to in no case I cannot be caught for an actor of theatre of No.
    Moreover it is in such a theatre that one explained me the quality of the wood of cryptoméria japonica; the best boards are booked for the floor, no splinter is raised and cannot wound you the feet. The thick boards are not fixed, their weight suffices so that they hold in place without moving. Never a floor of Japanese theatre should not emit a cracking or to make the least rustles.
    One touches there with the extreme control in a delicacy which is unknown for us and which it is good to approach.

    Excuse me to have overflowed of our subject.

    -Workshop of a professional in Kyoto.
    -80 years old monk pruning the top of a pine tree.
     

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  20. emery

    emery Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Thanks for the link John! Actually less money than I would have expected, good ladders always costing hugely. I'll try and see what I can dig up in France, as time permits.

    I also appreciate your kind offer. I have an enormous appreciation and respect for Japanese art and culture. Like Pierre (opusoculi) I don't actually make my garden in a Japanese way, nor honestly is it inspired by such themes. I suppose it's really a personal expression of my love for maples, including of course the various Japanese varieties! But I do very much appreciate others gardens that are Japanese-inspired.

    cheers, -E
     

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