I did a little seasonal pruning and weeding on my homemade cotoneaster landscape yesterday. Its been a year since I completed the planting and Its beginning to fill out nicely. It will probably take another 2 seasons growth to get the ramification where I would like it to be.
This is how it looked before todays work
And this is how it looks at the moment
I did some work on 2 of my shohin cotoneasters today. Regular readers will remember that both these trees are being developed from the single piece of material shown in the next picture, which was collected from my garden in 2011.
The first tree, which was created from the left half of the raw material in the picture above has grown strong in the intervening years but I’ve never been entirely happy with it.
It has too many branches, reverse taper in the trunk and a poor transition through to the apex. Today I have decided to change that.. In the next picture, I have removed the lower left branch, thinned the others and done a little carving to remove some of the problem areas and improve the movement through to the apex.
In the next picture the primary branches have been wired and bent into postion and the tree is tilted to the new planting angle.
This how it looks at the moment after working the roots and repositioning it in its pot.
The trunk line is visible now and the movement through to the apex is improved. The reverse taper is still visible but better than it was.. The problem I have with this tree is that both sides of the trunk have significant areas of deadwood and I have to exercise extreme care not to severe the live veins. I will return to this at a later time when the tree has had time to recover.
The second tree is being developed from the right hand side of the raw material in the first picture. This is how it looked in 2014. It had taken 3 years to get it to this stage as it didn’t have many roots at the start.
By 2015 it was looking much stronger.
This is how it looks today after a trim and a re-wire
Today I separated an air layer on cotoneaster, which I started last year.
I decided to air layer this tree because the lower trunk was quite straight and lacked taper and movement
Some of the new roots had grown down into the soil.
This how it looked after separation
In the next picture, the moss has been removed from the air layer and its ready for replanting. Hopefully the stump will sprout new shoots and I will have two trees to work on in the future.
Replanted in a bonsai pot and ready for the growing season. I will start feeding it in a few weeks time to promote new growth and I’ll probably remove the remaining thicker branches at the end of the season.
Unfortunately the larch which was started at the same time did not come through the winter, so I will have to try again with this species when I get some more suitable raw material.
As the days get longer and a little warmer, the buds continue to swell and the window of opportunity for the re-potting of deciduous trees is coming to an end. I still have quite a few to do and they will all have to be completed before the weekend
Here are 2 that I did this morning. The first is a shohin cotoneaster microphyla. I have been developing this tree from garden centre stock for about 5 years now and its really beginning to look good. The last of the thicker roots were removed today and it has been re-planted in its yellow Shibakatsu pot with a slight change of front.
This is a reminder how it looked when I acquired it
I also re-potted my latest acquisition, this shohin trident maple. It’s now housed in a nice old blue glazed rectangle by the second generation Tosui potter, Mizuno Masao
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
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
The homemade rock in the bonsai landscape that I started last year is beginning to take on a more natural appearance as the stone weathers and the moss takes hold. It will take another few years of refinement to get the trees shaped the way I would like them and to introduce more variety into the under planting but it’s getting there.
This is how it looked in July 2015, when the rock had set and I began to plant the trees
and this was it during the construction process in June 2015. The full construction method can be found by following the links to my 2 earlier posts. Post 1 and Post 2