Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Cotoneaster bonsai, a new beginning?

My lovely Cotoneaster horizontalis has suffered a significant set back. I collected this tree myself eight years ago, and you can see something of its history here. By 2011 there were already some signs of it loosing vigor on one side and this gradually progressed. My guess is that the carving disrupted sap flow and that the remaining foliage was not sufficient to support the cambium and root mass in that part of the tree, trees are segmented organisms in this way and the remaining branches are very vigorous. I will allow free  growth this year, to ensure maximum health, and then radically restyle in 2017.

From old ends come new beginnings, and it is common to see old oaks, formerly giants, reduced to a single live branch that becomes a new canopy.

Spring has been busy...

My trees have been more or less neglected to focus on my young family, work, weightlifting, and fishing in recent years... this year they will get more attention starting with repotting. Almost all my trees needed root work this spring:

European Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus)

Privet (Ligustrum ovalifolium)

Larch (Larix sp.)

Field Maple (Acer campestre)

Turkey Oak (Quecus cerris)

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Very old privet bonsai in the frost

I collected this tree just five years ago, the old hedge from whence it came was being cleared and the derelict house to which it belonged was being transformed into modernised apartments. It is easily over 100 years old.

You can see something of its history here and here.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Field Maple bonsai in the frost

This Acer campestre is coming on beautifully, every year the branch ramification and nebari improves (despite having remove a large branch that interfered with the design last year).

Hear is the same tree three years earlier.

Monday, 29 December 2014

Larch Bonsai in the frost

Woke up to a beautiful frost this morning, and managed to photograph some of my trees.

This Larch (probably Larix × marschlinsii [Syn. L. × eurolepis]) has been with me for some time now, but this is the first year it has produced cones. 

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Hornbeam Bonsai: 6 years of development

Carpinus betulus, the European Hornbeam, is a beautiful British native tree. This bonsai had been in development for 6 years, bought from relatively cheap nursery stock.

Repotted April 2014...

Looking good, both front and back.

The tree in 2008, a growing season on from
being lifted from the ground.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Field Maple Bonsai: 6 years in development

Acer campestre, Britain's only native maple, has a special place in my heart. 

In 2008 I acquired a field grown tree from a bonsai nursery, it was very cheep for such a bulky trunk (though it remains the most I've spent on a piece of raw material), perhaps because it was thought challenging to style with lots of "faults"?

Here is the tree today, coming on nicely I think. The canopy
must get a bit bigger to balance out the trunk, and the pot is
probably not right, but I am happy that this is becoming a
nice looking tree.

Just a week ago it was only just coming into leaf; 
it is very vigorous and needs re-potting every year. 

Early in 2012, later that year I removed the large branch 
with the guy wire on the right of this image, a move I 
should have made at the start of development, but was too timid.

After the first styling in Autumn 2008, with a virtual pot 
and a proposed canopy shape. Already, I could see that I 
needed to do more carving to make those hollows more believable, 
but I wanted to allow it a years free growth to improve its vigor first.
The tree as it came to me in October 2008, lots of big cuts
and confused roots, my first big bonsai challenge