After one of the longest Winters in recent memory and a very poor start to the Spring some of my small trees have had difficulty in getting started this year. A few deciduous trees like maples and elms have suffered some dieback, while others have been very slow to leaf out.
Here are some recent pictures of some of my shohin trees that are looking good at the moment.
2 shohin white pines
5 shohin hawthorns
Potentilla in flower
Here are some that haven’t done so well. Incidentally, all the pictures in todays’ post were taken this morning 27/5/18.
This is a cork barked elm that was severely cut back and had its roots reduced in April. There is no dieback on this tree but its taking an awfully long time to leaf out.
This Chinese elm, also re-potted in April isn’t looking good, most of the new growth is coming off the main trunk.
This trident appears to have lost a lower branch.
This one belonging to my friend Gerry is in a very poor state at the moment.
Its not all bad. At least all of these trees are still alive and with care and attention they will look good again.
My chuhin potentilla has come into its’ peak flowering period and is looking good at the moment
Its amazing how quickly this tree has developed in the last 12 months. This is a reminder of how it looked in 2016
and this is how it looked in 2015
Here are some recent pictures of some shohin trees that I have been working on this week
Cork bark elm pushing out new seasons leaves
Small larch in a new cream pot
Potentilla Fruticosa re-potted this week
2 white pines responding to the Sring sunshine
My new trident coming into leaf
Here are a few more trees that I re-potted today
Potentilla Fruticosa in a new Chinese pot. This shohin tree has been developed from garden centre material.
Chinese Elm, acquired a few years ago from Homebase, planted up today into a cream rectangle from Walsall Ceramics.
Kiyohime Maple re-planted in its green pot by Heian Kosen
And finally my favourite Larch had its roots trimmed too and was re-planted in its Walsall pot.
This Larch, collected in 2012, was styled and put into its current pot in March 2014. Unfortunately I never took a before picture of this one when I acquired it but the collected material needed very little effort to get it to look like it does now. It will be re-potted this year as soon as the weather will allow.
This is how it looked without wire at the start of the day
And this is how it looks at the moment
It has quite a nice nebari that is hidden by the soil at the moment. That will be sorted when it is re-potted into this Walsall Ceramics oval, in the next few weeks
This next one, a potentilla fruticosa, was dug from a friends garden about 2-3 years ago
This is how it looked shortly after I acquired it.
And this is how it looks at the moment with the new growth wired in
This is how it looked last September with a few late flowers on it.
This Potentilla, which started life as a bonsai last year has decided to push out some late flowers. This is the first time I have seen the flowers on this particular tree, which was collected from a friends garden 2 years ago. I’m delighted to note that they are a pale lemon in colour rather than the more common buttercup yellow varieties. It’s shaping up well at the moment and should make an interesting tree in a few seasons time.
This Potentilla Fruticosa was planted in the pond basket just over a year ago as an experiment to stimulate quicker root development. At this stage I wasn’t sure what it was doing for the roots but it certainly was attracting a lot of weeds.
When the tree was removed from the basket I could see that the roots were growing quite well but some of the deadwood in the bottom of the trunk had rotted leaving a very obvious cavernous hole.
I have re-potted it into the ceramic pot you can see in the next picture and filled the hole with a stone which is the same colour as the trunk.
This cotoneaster has been in that small green pot for a year now and it hasn’t put on much new growth.
Today it has been re-potted into this larger blue oval to speed up the ramification of the foliage pads. It can be returned to a smaller pot once this has been completed.
I had my friend Gerry in the garden today for our regular bonsai get together. It was the hottest day of the year so far and with the trees growing like wildfire there was plenty of maintenance needed.
This is Gerry’s shohin juniper rigida, a very vigorous little tree, which was needing to be trimmed back into shape.
This is how it looked before todays’ work.
And this is how it looked after the work. We will probably re-plant this into a small round pot in the next week or 2.
This Chinese juniper also needed a trim
Thinned out to allow light into the interior. We are only at the start of the growing season here and this tree will put on a lot more growth before its over. It will need to be thinned again and fully re-wired towards the end of the season.
I even manage to wire a few of my own trees in the late afternoon.
This white pine was wired to open up the foliage a little.
This potentilla stump, collected from a friends garden and started as a bonsai last year, was wired for the first time today. Still a long way to go with this one but terrific potential in there.
All in all, a great day in great company with great weather too.
Now that the winter maintenance on my larches has been completed for another year it’s time to start work on my deciduous trees. Here is a group picture of some of the better ones I will be working on this week, weather permitting of course.
The daytime temperatures in my greenhouse are beginning to rise and the buds are starting to swell but with night time temperatures likely to fall below zero, extra vigilance is required to ensure that no damage is done. This is the riskiest time of year for small trees in small pots.
I collected this potentilla fruticosa from a friends garden last year. I was attracted by the movement and character in the old trunk. I think it has the potential to make a nice semi cascade bonsai in the coming years. Earlier today, I did a little carving on the chopped ends of the old branches. This is how it looks at the moment.