A New Pot for a Tall Juniper

Today, I re-potted this tall Blaauws Juniper into a nice Ian Baillie drum pot.

33

When I acquired this tree in 2016, it was in poor condition as the previous owner had died and the tree had been neglected for a few years. This is how it looked at that time.

59

By September of 2018 it had recovered sufficiently to begin some work on it. This is how it looked after the fist styling

56

The new look required a change of planting angle and a new pot. The re-pot was carried out today. This is how it looks at the moment. A few more seasons to develop the foliage and the deadwood and this will be a really nice tree.

32

Scots Pine re-potted Today

Today I spent some time re-potting the Scots Pine that was rewired over the winter. It also required a slight change of angle. This is a reminder of how it looked before todays’ work.

5e

And this is how it looks at the moment in a new Chinese drum pot, which is more in proportion with the tree.

5g

Here it is again, almost complete and back out on its’ plinth.

5f

First Steps for a Forsythia Shohin

Forsythia is one of my favourite garden shrubs, the yellow glow of their flowers on bare stems in Spring is magnificent. Although they are still quite rare as bonsai, when you do see one in flower you can’t fail to be impressed by them. I have been looking for some suitable material to start one for some time now and last year I was able to remove the specimen you see in the following pictures from a friend’s garden.

The next 2 pictures show the tree at the end of its’ first season in a pot. In a single season it had filled this 9 inch pot with strong healthy roots.

20a20b

In late Winter, I pruned it back and carried out some basic carving on the trunk. This is how it looked at that time.

20c

In early Spring of this year, I took it out of the plastic pot, cut back the roots and re-potted it in an clay oval training pot. I removed as much of the roots as I felt I could without killing the tree but it will probably need further root reduction in the future to fit it into its’ final pot. This is how it looked after the re-pot.

20d

With the recent increase in temperature, it burst into life about 1 week ago and not surprisingly, considering the work I’ve done on it recently, it went straight to leaf without producing any flowers. Hopefully next year I will begin to see it flower again.

20f

Shohin Yew Progression

This little yew was imported into the UK in 2013 and I acquired it a year later in 2014. Growth in that year was very poor and I was concerned that there was a problem with the roots or the soil

12b

In 2015 I took it out of the pot shown in the previous picture to discover that much of the original root system had died. I immediately re-potted it into a good soil mix and slowly introduced the fertiliser to bring it back to health. The next picture shows the tree at the time of the re-pot.

29

A year later in April 2016, when the next picture was taken, it still hadn’t put on much new growth but there were new buds forming. For the first 2 years that I owned this tree, I thought the side shown in the first 2 pictures would be the front of the tree, but after 2 years of studying it, I eventually opted for the other side as shown in the next picture.

26

3 months later in July of 2016 it had an explosion of new strong growth It was now ready for a first styling.

27

The tree was pruned and wired and a jin and shari were created

28

Over the 3 years that have elapsed since the first styling, I have continued to develop the ramification. I have also done additional work of the shari, jin and live veins. I wasn’t entirely happy with the planting angle in the pot. The top of the tree was leaning away from the viewing position at the front and the dramatic jin was not showing its’ best side. At re-potting time this year I was able to correct these faults. This is how the tree looks at the moment.

26

Scots Pine 2nd Wiring

I acquired this medium sized Pinus Sylvestris in 2016 from a friend. I was attracted by the taper and movement in the trunk and I felt that given time I could make a nice bonsai from this material. The first picture shows the tree soon after I brought it home, having re-potted it into a good free draining soil mix and removed a few leggy lower branches that didn’t form part of my plan for the trees’ future.

5c

The second picture shows the tree in 2017 immediately after the first styling.

5d

The next picture was taken in 2018 and you can see that it has filled out well in that time.

5b

At the end of 2018, I thinned the needles to allow more light into the middle of the tree and to facilitate re-wiring in the new year.

5a

A few weeks ago I re-wired the tree for the second time. I think it is shaping up well. At the next re-pot, which should take place in the next few weeks, the front will be moved by a few degrees to show more of the movement in the trunk. the next picture shows how it looks at the moment.

5e

Starting a Shohin Common Juniper from Scratch

In April 2013, an old friend in my village who heard I had a passion for small trees gave me this tiny common juniper seedling, which he had collected while walking in the hills. It was bare rooted, when he gave it to me and I wasn’t sure that it would survive but I potted it into a 4 inch pot in a mixture of akadama and moler clay and watered it every day

6f

To my surprise, not only did it survive but it thrived and by 2016 it was beginning to look like a solid little tree. The next picture shows how it looked at that time in a 6 inch clay pot.

6e

In the spring of 2016, the root system had filled the pot in the previous picture, so it was potted up again into a larger one.

6d

It continued to grow strongly and by 2018 it was ready for some work. With a plan begining to form in my head I cut back the lower branches and wired some movement into the main trunk. The next picture shows how it looked after this work.

6c

A few weeks ago, I decided it was time to put the plan into action and start this little tree off on the road to becoming a future shohin bonsai. The foliage and bark was striped from the upper part of the trunk and the newly formed deadwood was wired to hold it in its final position until the wood dries out.

6

The remaining foliage was thined and wired and a few weeks later the roots were cut back to fit it into a suitable shohin sized pot. This is how the tree looks at the moment. It will need a lot of care and attention in the coming weeks to ensure the remaining roots don’t dry out.

6a6b