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Re-Potting some Shohin Hawthorns

With the recent warmer weather, the buds on some of my hawthorns are beginning to swell which is a sure indicator that it’s time to re-pot those that were missed last year.

The first is an air layer that was severed from the parent tree 2 seasons ago. At the time, it didn’t have many roots so it was planted deep in a clay training pot to strengthen it up. The first picture is a reminder of how the roots looked before planting in the clay pot.

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With the tree out of the pot, you can see that there are a lot more roots now and the tree is ready to be placed in its’ first bonsai pot.

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I have chosen a nice cream oval by Walsall Ceramics for this one. I love the quality of this range of pots; plenty of holes for drainage and the securing wires.

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I’ve used a 50/50 mix of pumice and akadama to pot these trees. The nebari on this one is buried in the soil  for now to make the tree more stable on the pot. It will be raised above the soil when the roots have developed further. This is how it looks at the moment.

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This is how it looked in 2012

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I am developing this second tree from a contorted root. It hasn’t put on much new growth in the past 12 month and I suspect it is because the tree has become pot bound.

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With the tree out of the pot and the roots trimmed ready for re-planting.

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This new pot by Eimei is a little larger than the previous one so I should see a lot more growth on this tree in the coming year

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This is how the second tree looked in 2012

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Cotoneasters in Late Winter

2 of my shohin cotoneasters have managed to keep hold of their berries throughout the winter despite the best efforts of a huge flock of fieldfares and redwings that invaded my property for 2 days just before Christmas and devoured every other fruit in the garden

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As the days begin to get warmer, it will soon be time to remove them and prepare the trees for the coming season but for now, they are a joy to see on a dull winters day

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Some Shohin Maples in Winter Image

Here are a few recent pictures of some of my shohin maples in winter image. The first one is a trident maple in a Japanese pot by Eimei

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Number 2 is an Acer Palmatum Deshojo in a yellow pot by Shibakatsu

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The third is an Acer Shishigashira in a pot by Walsall Ceramics. The buds on this one are starting to swell, so it will soon be time to re-pot it.

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Some New Pot Options for an Airlayered Hawthorn

I have a small hawthorn, which was airlayered from the old roots 2 seasons ago. It has been in a training pot since it was separated and is now ready to be planted into its’ first ceramic shohin pot.

This is the tree,

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And here are the pots I am considering at the moment. The first is by Eimei at the Yozan kiln. It has an unusual greenish glaze colour that could work well with a hawthorn.

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the next one is a painted pot by Mizuno Shikao at the Tosui kiln. Both pots are about 7 inches (17cm) wide and will be suitable for further root development.

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The tree will be transplanted in a few weeks time, when the weather warms up. I may even have a few more options after my trip to the Noelander’s Trophy next weekend

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Another Larch and a Potentilla Re-wired Today

This Larch, collected in 2012,  was styled and put into its current pot in March 2014. Unfortunately I never took a before picture of this one when I acquired it but the collected material needed very little effort to get it to look like it does now. It will be re-potted this year as soon as the weather will allow.

This is how it looked without wire at the start of the day

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And this is how it looks at the moment

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It has quite a nice nebari that is hidden by the soil at the moment. That will be sorted when it is re-potted into this Walsall Ceramics oval, in the next few weeks

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This next one, a potentilla fruticosa, was dug from a friends garden about 2-3 years ago

This is how it looked shortly after I acquired it.

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And this is how it looks at the moment with the new growth wired in

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This is how it looked last September with a few late flowers on it.

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Five years work on a Japanese Larch

I just completed the winter wiring of this Japanese Larch today. Its’ progress in just five years, from the most unpromising raw material, is a constant source of pleasure and satisfaction for me. It may not win any prizes on the show bench but it has taught me a lot about bonsai design and development and it hasn’t cost me a penny. It will take another few years to acquire the fine ramification that I would like. Here is the progress so far in pictures.

January 2017

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This is the pot it will be transplanted into in Spring, a nice grey glazed oval by Walsall Ceramics

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Summer 2016

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Spring 2014, after pruning and wiring and re-potting

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Early 2014 before re-potting

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Summer 2013 after carving the stump

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Early 2013

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2012 after re-pot and first styling

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2012 before first styling

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Original material in 2011

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The New Season Begins

I have been a little slow in starting the midwinter maintenance of my trees  due to a cold and wet December. This is a view of my garden on Friday after a day of snow on Thursday.

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Snow isn’t that common in the lowlands of Scotland, so when it comes you have to make the most of it. I took all of my shohin hawthorns out of the cold greenhouse and placed them outside on the bench to fully expose them to the freezing conditions. Why did I do this you might ask ? I normally overwinter them inside so that I can control the moisture levels in the pots but so far they have never flowered and the trees are at least 20 years old. I have read and observed on the hillsides near my home that hawthorns flower better following a harsh winter, so this year I am trying to expose them  to as much cold as possible without freezing them to death. It will be interesting to see if this makes a difference in the flowering period this year.

Anyway, the snow has gone now and the temperatures have risen to a degree where I can begin the winter work on my larch trees in development, in some degree of comfort.

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The first job is to remove the moss from the soil and clean the algae from the trunks and branches using warm water and a toothbrush. Then last years growth can be pruned back and the trees will be rewired later in the week. Here are some of the trees I am working on at the moment.

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I will post more pictures, in a few days, when the wiring has been completed. All of these trees will have to be re-potted this year but it will be another month before its warm enough to do this.