A Little Carving on a Larch

At our midweek “get together”, Gerry and I decided that we would do a little carving on a larch that was re-styled earlier this year.

This is how it looked before and after the work in March this year. The main trunk was chopped back and only the 2 lowest branches were retained.


The upper branch was wired up to form a new leader and the lower one  wired down and forward to create the main branch.


The wire is off now and both branches are holding their new positions quite well but the tree will need to be fully re-wired in the winter. It’s time to tackle that unsightly chop



We used a mixture of power tools and hand tools to complete the work shown in the next 3 photographs



The deadwood was treated with a blowtorch to burn off the fine fibres and a coat of clear wood preserver was applied, this will weather to a natural colour in time. We will let this dry out at the moment and decide at a later time if it needs further refinement.


I also did some initial carving on a larger larch stump but that will feature in another post later in the year.




Larches in Summer

It’s that time of year again, when larches are pushing out new growth with great vigour and all that wire that was applied in the winter has to be taken off. Not one of my favourite jobs as I have a lot of trees to de-wire and it takes a long time but it has to be done.

Here are a few that I will be working on today.




Homemade Rock for a Bonsai Landscape (Update)

My recently constructed landscape rock has now fully set. The method used for construction can be found in this earlier post.


When it had set sufficiently, I removed the wet paper that I had used to create the drainage channels within the stone.



Holes for drainage were drilled from the planting pockets into the drainage channels or directly to the underside of the stone. Additional holes were added for the securing wires, which were fixed into position with impact adhesive. I found that during the curing process, the stone could be textured quite easily with a pointed steel tool. I used a root hook for this purpose.



I am using a homemade “keto” substitute as a planting medium, which is made from 1 part akadama (ground to a powder) and 1 part finely sieved peat, mixed with water.

Planting is now underway but will take some time to complete as I seek out suitable material.

This is how it looks at the moment.


Midweek Get Together

It was warm and sunny yesterday when Gerry arrived in my garden for our regular midweek “get together”. He brought along a few trees that required some work and we quickly got started on a variety of seasonal tasks.


First up was the Juniper that we worked on last time. The deadwood that was created a few weeks ago has now dried sufficiently to allow a little more work with a power tool. We also applied a coat of lime sulphur and removed a few more unnecessary branches.


This is how it looks at the moment, the initial wiring will be carried out in September when the growth slows down



Here are some other small trees that needed a little seasonal maintenance.

This Chinese Elm was trimmed back and had its first wiring


This Malus needed a trim


Some branch selection and wiring was carried out on this little Cork Barked Elm.


Pyracantha Stump Project Update

I discussed this Pyracantha stump at some length in an earlier post, which can be found here. It’s a longer term project that was started from the most unpromising material. This is a reminder of how it looked after last years work.


and this is how it is looking one year on from the previous picture.


My plan at the moment is to train this tree in the clump style.

Shohin Hawthorn Gets the Chop

I took this first picture of one of my hawthorns at the start of the season. As I studied the tree I could see that due to the distinct lack of taper in the trunk, it was not going to make a satisfying shohin image. I decided to chop it back and start again.


Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture immediately after this work was carried out but the next picture shows the progress 4 months after the cut was made. As you can see it has put on a lot of new growth and there are now enough new branches to carry out an initial wiring.


Here it is earlier today after preliminary branch selection and the application of a little wire.


I think it is looking much better now. The next job will be to take it out of its pot next spring and remove a few thick surface roots.

2 Shohin White Pines

Here are 2 shohin white pines (pinus parviflora) that are looking good at the moment.

The first one, which I have had for a few years has nice movement to the right. That makes it useful in a shohin display on about 50% of the occasions I may wish to use it.


To get greater flexibility in my choice of trees for a display, I needed another white pine with movement to the left. A solution came with my latest purchase, which can be seen in the next picture


Next year, when it is re-potted, it will be turned slightly to the new front shown in the next picture.


Lanarkshire Bonsai Club Meeting 05/07/2015

Today was the monthly meeting of our club at Wattston Bonsai. Robert Porch gave an excellent informative talk and demonstration on the general care and development of pine bonsai. Many members brought along their pines for advice. Here are a few pictures from the day.



While this was going on Dougie Smith was helping new member Chris style 2 of his junipers


Here are some of the trees that members brought along

A lovely white pine belonging to Ian McMaster


I was particularly interested in the next three which are being developed by Robert from seed

Scots Pine






3 Recently Re-Potted Trees

Here are some studio pictures of 3 trees which have been re-potted in the past month, which are all showing good strong signs that they have been  unaffected by the root disturbance .

My new Ilex Serrata is just coming into flower.


My root over rock juniper, still pushing out new extension shoots


Blauws Juniper also pushing out new growth.