Callicarpa Japonica Summer Pruning

This tree has to be pruned regularly throughout the summer to maintain its shape. The leaves on the secondary branches are formed in pairs and each pair of leaves produces a new extension shoot at their union. To keep the tree in shape I prune all extension shoots back to the first pair of leaves. Flowering shoots are also produced at the point where the leaves connect with the secondary branches. I re-potted the tree in the spring but unfortunately it fell off the bench and the original pot was smashed. I’ve re-housed it in this green glazed drum pot as a temporary measure until I can have a more suitable pot made.


This is how it looked before work commenced this morning


And this is how it looks at the moment


For over a year now, I have been feeding this tree with tomato fertiliser to try and encourage more flowering and fruiting shoots. It seems to be working. Slowly but surely, as each year passes it is producing more flowers and berries.


Some New Material for the New Season

I paid a visit to my local bonsai supplier ( Wattston Bonsai) yesterday, to get an early look at the newly arrived stock from Japan. The new stock this year consists mainly of small and medium sized specimens of partly developed material,reflecting the current popularity of shohin and chuhin sized trees. The species represented are all ones that do well in our challenging climate and include seigen, deshojo and trident maple: prunus, callicarpa, pyracantha and rhododendron indicum; as well as the usual junipers and pines.



Lots of new tools and pots


An impressive selection of new Japanese pots by makers including Eimei, Bunzan, Shuho, Yamaaki, Bigei and many others


Here are a few trees that grabbed my attention

Shohin Trident Maple with nice movement and ramification


Deshojo maple shohin


Shohin Trident with an impressive nebari


Shohin white pine with a good nebari


Exposed root Callicarpa Japonica


Chuhin Rhododendron Indicum with a great trunk and great taper


2 nice glazed pots by Eimei


Green glazed Yamaaki oval with a floral motif




Callicarpa Japonica 2016 Update

I have had this old Beautyberry for about 3 years now, it has been slow in producing the beautiful purple fruits that it is famous for but each year the show gets a little better. This is how it looks at the moment.


It required a little help this year to drop its leaves. This is how it looked earlier this morning. It will be pruned and re-wired in early Spring.



Callicarpa Japonica in Flower

Here are a few pictures of my Callicarpa Japonica chuhin bonsai, which is approaching it’s peak flowering period at the moment. This species is best known for the beautiful purple berries it produces in autumn. I have had this tree for 3 years and each season the number of flowers and resulting berry density continues to increase. It still has some way to go until it reaches the fruiting density of some of the specimens I’ve seen but I’m pleased that it continues to move in the right direction.


Callicarpa Japonica Winter Update

I have had this impressive old Callicarpa for 2 years now. I acquired it because I really love the berry colour on this species. When you look through the Japanese books that cover this species, you see some amazing examples, which are just covered in tightly packed fruits. So far, the 2 crops that I have had on my tree have been underwhelming to say the least. It was heavily root pruned at the beginning of last year and that along with the cold Spring and Summer we experienced may explain the low numbers of flowers and fruits. However few they are, they are still a welcome sight at this time of year. I plan to prune and wire this tree in the next few weeks to prepare it for the coming season and I’m still looking for the right pot to complement and complete the image



Lanarkshire Bonsai Club Meeting 6/9/2015

Yesterday in glorious late season sunshine, I attended the monthly meeting of the Lanarkshire Bonsai CLub at Wattston Bonsai. It was very well attended  as always, and the members were taking care of seasonal work on a variety of species or catching up on the latest news in the bonsai world. Here are some pictures from the day.


Our host, Dougie, advising the ladies on the future possibilities for their tree.


Gerry selecting a new pot for his sekka hinoki.


Stuart brought along these excellent display stands that he fabricated from steel. Excellent work Stuart, I am sure there will be a lot of interest in these.



Here are a few small trees that Maurice was working on.

Cork barked elm started this year from an air layer.


Clump style cork barked elm.


Mame cotoneaster.


Callicarpa Japonica.


Trident maple.


Mame elm.



Callicarpa Japonica Update

I have allowed this chuhin sized Japanese Beautyberry to grow rather wild this year, in an attempt to build the strength required to see it through our cold long winter months. It suffered the loss of a few key branches last winter but the strong new growth that it has put on since the much needed re-pot in the spring, should more than compensate for the winter losses. The flowers are forming and if the weather is kind over the next few months there is the promise of a larger crop of purple berries than it produced last year.


This is how it is looking at the moment after pruning and thinning the unnecessary branches. It will be fully re-wired after leaf drop. I had hoped to have it in a new pot by this time but as yet I have been unable to find anything suitable.

Colourful good quality show pots in larger sizes are rare items at the moment.