When Gerry visited me this week with some trees, we decided to re-pot this Chinese elm which had been attached to a rock by Gerry 3 seasons ago. After its first year in a pot, it was re-planted into the pond basket that you can see in the following picture. The purpose of this was to allow roots to develop in the area below the rock.
This is how it looked from the front before todays’ work
And from the back
After 2 seasons in the pond basket, it had grown enough new roots for it to be re-planted in a shallower bonsai pot. This is how it looks at the moment from the front. After it has settled in the new pot, the fine roots that are still visible above the soil will be removed with scissors.
This is how it looks from the back
This is the oldest picture I have of the tree from 3 years ago
Earlier this week, during the regular get together with my good friend Gerry, we looked at this Chinese Elm, which had its’ roots trained over a rock 2 years ago. It was transplanted into the pond basket you can see in the pictures last year to promote rapid root growth beneath the rock and was allowed to grow unchecked this year to help with root development. Now that it’s holding fast to the stone and firm in the pot, it’s time to clean it up, cut it back and see how it looks
This is how it looked before this weeks’ work was carried out.
And this is how it looks at the moment
Looking good I think. It will be transferred into a ceramic pot next spring to take it into the next stage of development.
Here are 2 shohin trees that I have been working on today.
The first is a cork barked elm in an Erin pot. I have had this tree for about 4 years, it grows well in our climate and is relatively trouble free. It lost a lower branch on the left hand side over the winter but there is plenty of new growth in that area to replace it.
The next one is a small trident maple root over rock, which I am looking after for my friend Gerry. This little tree was re-potted in the Spring and was slow to leaf out afterwards. It’s doing well now and will need partial defoliation in the next few weeks.
At our midweek get together, Gerry and I continued with the re-potting and maintenance work that we started last week.
First up, were a few of Gerry’s shohin trees. Some of these were discussed in an earlier post, this is how they look at the moment after a re-pot.
This malus was removed from its’ plastic training pot and placed into a nice blue ceramic one. The white flowers in summer will work well with this pot.
This trident over rock was re-potted into a sky blue ceramic rectangular pot.
This seka hinoki needed a change in the planting angle and a slightly deeper pot. The pot we used is not ideal but it has the correct dimensions and depth.
And to finish today I thought I would share a picture of another recent acquisition. It’s a viewing stone that I found on a local beach last week. I am always on the look out for these when I go to the beach but I rarely find anything that I would want to take home.
I drove through blizzards and flood water yesterday to attend the third Ayr Bonsai Club Winter Image Show in the historic village of Alloway on the Ayrshire coast. The numbers of people attending this year were slightly down on previous years due to the weather but those who braved the elements and made the effort to get there were not disappointed. This show grows from strength to strength with each passing season and the quality of the trees and the way they are displayed just gets better. This year, the organisers set up an area to photograph the trees in an adjacent room, which has made a terrific difference to the picture quality.
I think my favourite tree on the day was this larch over rock created by Ian McMaster and planted on a natural stone that was collected from a beach not very far from the show venue.
There just wasn’t enough time to photograph every tree at the show so here is a gallery of those that made the biggest impact on me.
To see a larger image in gallery mode, click on any image
During my weekly meeting with Gerry, we took a close look at a shohin Chinese elm that he had attached to a rock last year. He simply, bare rooted the tree with a water jet, wrapped it’s roots around the rock and tied them in tightly with some wire. He then placed the tree in a five inch plastic pot and filled it up with akadama.
We started by cutting the pot back to look for fine root development
When we could see that there were lots of fibrous roots, we removed the tree from the pot for a closer look.
The rock, which has a depth of about four inches (10cm) has fine roots growing around and below it. The depth of the roots, below the rock is about half an inch (1 to 2cm).
We decided that for the next stage in the tree’s development, it would be advantageous to plant the tree on a deep layer of akadama in an eight inch pond basket to encourage further root development beneath the rock.
With the tree firmly tied into the basket, more akadama was added to temporarily cover the exposed fibrous roots on the side of the rock. These will be removed the next re-potting if there are sufficient new roots beneath the stone.
For the past few seasons my root over rock juniper has been in this blue glazed Chinese pot. It’s not the traditional type of pot for a juniper but I was informed at the time that it was a perfectly acceptable choice for a root over rock composition, where the blue glaze represents the sea around a rocky outcrop. However it has never been a popular choice with other club members so I have been looking for a more traditional alternative for some time.
Recently, I acquired this nice old Chinese unglazed pot, which works well, I think, with my little juniper
It will need another trim, when it has recovered from the re-pot
The Spring re-potting of my deciduous trees got off to a good start last week but quickly came to a halt as the weather changed for the worse. My trees seem very confused.
Some, like this acer and my 2 flowering cherries have valiantly pushed onward with great vigour.
Others, like my pomegranate and zelkovas seem to have gone into retreat and are stubbornly refusing to push out new growth until the weather warms up.
The worst affected is this kiyohime maple, which was covered in small buds some of which have died back with the recent cold nights. I had hoped to have re-potted this by now but I’ll now have to wait until its looking a bit stronger.
In contrast, my evergreens are getting greener every day with the increasing daylight.