Kaho Azalea

During my regular get together with Gerry we carried out some seasonal pruning on his large azalea bonsai. This is how it looks at the moment.

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The ramification has developed well in just 3 years. Here are some photographs which illustrate that. The next one was taken in 2015, when we decided to air layer the top to bring the apex in line with the trunk base.

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The next one shows how it looked in 2014, when Gerry acquired it.

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Satsuki Azalea in Flower

My satsuki azalea, which I plan to train in the exposed root style has come into flower and is looking great at the moment. I put it into this deep blue pot just over a year ago to allow the roots to develop downward. When the pot has filled with roots (hopefully next year) I will take it out of the pot and begin the process of exposing the roots.

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This is how it looked in 2015

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Summer Pruning an Azalea Bonsai

We did a little work this week on a large Kaho Azalea, which belongs to my friend Gerry. Gerry acquired this tree 2 years ago. It has a fantastic nebari but the apex was moving in the opposite direction to the lower trunk. We decided at an early stage that this had to be corrected.

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The apex was air layered last year and removed from the tree at the start of this season

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This is how it looks at the moment after some shaping and pruning of the foliage. I think it is looking a lot better now. It still needs more extension on lowest right hand branch and the branches on the left could be shortened a little more but that will come in time.

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This is how it looked at flowering time last year.

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Some Recently Acquired Raw Material

Here are some examples of raw material that I have acquired in the past year to create bonsai from in the future.

Pinus Sylvestris, collected last year with mature bark, a thick trunk and good movement and taper at the base. Height above the pot is about 55cm at the moment

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Great future potential here I think but it will need a few years more growth before it will be ready for a first styling.

Another thin trunk Pinus Sylvestris, acquired recently from a friend, which should make a nice literati in the not too distant future. About 50cm tall.

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2 purple flowering examples of Rhododendron Indicum, collected by division from a large shrub in my garden, this year. I may air layer parts from these trees to increase my stock further

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The journey never ends.

Some Seasonal Colour

Here are some pictures of small trees in development that have come into flower this week. The first is a satsuki azalea, which was started from a ground layer in 2012. The first picture, taken last year, shows the tree in flower, planted in a shallow training pot.

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My plan for this tree is to train it as an exposed root bonsai. To help this process along, it was planted in a deep cascade pot, to train the roots downward. It will stay in this pot for a few years until the roots fill the container. At that point the soil will gradually be removed to expose the roots. Very colourful at the moment.

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The second is a cotoneaster that I acquired from a local garden centre, some years ago, for a few pounds . It’s very slow growing and it’s always the first of my cotoneaster to flower. Until this year, I have always removed the flower buds as soon as they appear to try and stimulate growth in the branches; but it doesn’t seem to make much difference. So this year I’m letting it do its own thing.

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This was how it looked in 2012

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Cotoneaster Before (2012)