2 Shohin Chojubai in Flower

My 2 shohin Chojubai are putting on a good display  at the moment.


This is how they looked in 2014, when I acquired them.



New Spring Growth

With an increase in the daytime temperatures some of my small trees are beginning to wake up from their winter sleep Her are some pictures of the ones that have been re-potted this year.

Acer Palmatum Deshogo shohin


Acer Shishigashira


Chojubai Quince shohin


Old Yamadori Hawthorn in a new Ian Baillie pot


2 more homegrown shohin Hawthorns


2 shohin trident maples. Both these trees suffered a bit last year, each losing a good lower branch due to the long cold winter but they are looking much stronger this year.


My 2 Zelkovas are usually the last of my trees to leaf out. the buds are swelling at the moment but it will be a few weeks before the new leaves return.


And finally today, this isn’t new spring growth but I couldn’t resist showing it anyway. One of my cotoneasters  still looking great with a good crop of last years berries still intact.


Lanarkshire Bonsai Club Meeting 02/04/2017

I stopped off today, at the monthly meeting of the Lanarkshire Bonsai Club, for a coffee and some bonsai chat. When I arrived Robert Porch was just finishing his pre-arranged talk.


Here are some pics of the people and trees that were there today

Dougie Smith conducting a potting class


Club member George working on his Deshojo maple


Ian McMaster’s chuhin Chojubai


Gordon’s shohin Chojubai


Robert Porch’s Prunus Spinosa in flower


2 Shohin Chojubai Quince, seasonal maintenance

I found the time, this week to carry out the seasonal work on my 2 shohin chojubai quince. This species responds better to having the root work done late in the season rather than in the spring. I am doing this work a few weeks later than I did it last year but with the mild weather we have been having and the protection of the greenhouse it should be OK.


This is how the first one looked when in flower in the Spring of last year.


Last Autumn, the roots were reduced a little and it was replanted in this green ceramic pot. It didn’t put on much new growth this season and I suspect that it was because the pot was too small to allow much new root development.


This is how it looks at the moment with the roots reduced a little more, replanted in a slightly larger pot by Eimei at the Yozan kiln


This is how it looked when I acquired it 3 seasons ago

chojubai 2

This is how the second tree looked during the flowering period last year.


Last Autumn, the thick roots were reduced further and it was replanted in the same large pot to allow continued fine root development. It grew exceptionally well this season with lots of new fine roots.


This is how it looks at the moment after another re-pot this week. The pot is about the right size to house this tree for the time being but it is not show quality in my opinion, so the search will continue for the right pot over the winter.


This is a reminder of how the second tree looked, when I acquired it 3 seasons ago.

chojubai 1


Some Shohin Trees in Spring

Here are some recent pictures of the new spring growth in some of my shohin bonsai

2 hawthorns that were re-potted  a few weeks ago


This one was re-potted last year.


My shishigashira maple, always a joy at this time of year


This chojubai was severely root pruned in the 2 previous years yet it has started to flower earlier than ever this year


My buxus sempervirens grown from a cutting taken 14 years ago


Shohin larch in training for 2 years


And finally, a sneak peak at my improvised set up for taking these pictures in natural daylight between heavy showers.


Some Shohin Progressions

As the growing season comes to an end, I like to photograph all of my trees  to compare their progress to how they looked when I first acquired them. Here’s a few that have been getting my attention today.

Cotoneaster September 2015


Cotoneaster May 2012


Pinus Parviflora September 2015


Pinus Parviflora May 2012


Pinus Parviflora 2015


Pinus Parviflora 2011

Japanese White Pine Before (2011)

Chojubai Quince September 2015


Chojubai Quince April 2014

chojubai 2

2 Shohin Chojubai in Development

I have had these trees for almost 2 seasons now and they seem to be happy in the microclimate of my garden. Each year in  April they produce an abundance of beautiful red flowers, which light up my benches but for the rest of the year, when the shoots start to extend, they can look a little untidy. Getting these trees to the stage where they will look good on a show bench, at any time of the year, will take time. My priority, at this time, is to reduce the root mass to a level where it will grow healthily and with vigour in a smaller shohin show pot. This is not as straightforward as it seems as both trees have very long thick roots, which were wound in a tight circle in the training pots during their early development.

This is how the first one looked in April of this year.


and this is how it looked in late August 2015. I have not removed this tree from its pot in the time I’ve had it.


This is how it looks at the moment after a trim, some root reduction and a re-pot into a slightly smaller container.

Side A


Side B


This is how my second Chojubai looked  when it flowered this year. This tree was removed from its pot last year and some of the thick roots were removed. The post that featured this work can be found here.


Because this tree had more room for root development the new shoots are very long.


This is how it looks at the moment after pruning and root reduction. Even after last years work, I still had to remove a significant number of large roots this year with a view to planting it in a small shohin pot either next year or the year after. At the moment for stability and to encourage new fibrous roots, I have re-planted it deep, in the same pot that housed it last year.

Side A


Side B


Lanarkshire Bonsai Club Meeting 5/4/2015

Today I attended the monthly meeting of the Lanarkshire Bonsai Club at Wattston Bonsai near Glasgow. The main activity for this month was a pine workshop led by Robert Porch. Unfortunately I arrived a little late and missed most of this. For late arrivers like me, it was also an early opportunity to check out Dougie Smith’s new stock from Japan.

Here are some pictures from the day

Nice to see the trees in the open air for the first time this year


Plenty of mice shohin material among the new stock

White Pine


Another nice White Pine


Chojubai over rock


Amelanchier or Juneberry


Ilex Serrata