Shohin Hornbeam Airlayer

A few shots of this promising bit of material airlayered from a parent tree two years ago.  It’s been recovering from its first rootprune and repot earlier in the year.  No new shoots this year so I’m leaving it to bounce back and next year I’ll consider pruning and styling.

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The front showing a possible reverse twin trunk image

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From the back showing good trunk movement and taper

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Future nebari needs covered and thickened

Summer Deshojo

I’m enjoying this Deshojo maple a lot more since heavy pruning and wiring in the winter.  I’d always been unsure about the twin trunks in the first photo and was getting no backbudding down the trunk to fill out the image.  It just kept growing upwards! The trunk was too thin so I decided to make a more compact image. More of a broom style now that its in leaf and I can live with this recent image a lot better.  Nice to see a positive difference in two years.  Hopefully a winter image later this year will be just as pleasing and will show better ramification too.  It’ll go into a smaller pot next year.

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summer 2015

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summer 2017

Checking up on a Beech Forest

Created this last year and haven’t touched it until now as it needed a long recovery period.  Some of the thinner/sparser trunks at the back are still weak and unfortunately I have lost one trunk in the middle.

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Before work.

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Evidence of neglect

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Side view

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After pruning the tallest trunks and shortening their height.  Weeds cleared.  Dead trunk cut down.

I’m relying on a lot of backbudding on the thinner trunks at the back and in future I need to wire or reposition a lot of the individual trees.  The past year has been about letting them establish.  It’s no coincidence that the two healthiest trees are the ones I grew in my garden whereas all the others were bought last year as a hedging bundle from the garden centre.

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Moved to a new position in full sun on the bench.  It’s crowded, I may need to build another one!

Partial Defoliation of a European Beech

I bought this early last year from an auction at the local club.  It’s the biggest bonsai I have and it was grown from scratch by someone else over a long period! I can only hope my efforts at field growing turn out as well in 20+ years.  Anyway, it spent last year recovering from being lifted from the ground and this year flushed out pretty strongly.  I read up a bit on defoliating beech and am informed that they don’t like entire removal of foliage but only partial and a leaf must be left on the end of each branch as a sap drawer.  There’s a lot of ramification to develop and I wanted the inner branches to receive more light so I was selective.

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I think that the tree would benefit from a tilt at repotting time  so that the trunk is more vertical.  We’ll see.  I’ll branch prune and wire in the autumn.

Rescuing a Contorted Hazel (Corylus avellana ‘contorta’)

From my Dad’s garden.  He no longer wants it because it’s in poor health and hasn’t produced any new top growth the past couple of years.  It’s been sending out suckers of straight growth from the base instead and now resembles a bit of a clump.  I have a bit of experience in rescuing unwanted shrubs so we’ll see what happens once it’s rootpruned in the spring.  I’ve only seen one hazel bonsai and it’s a magnificent garden grown specimen owned by someone affiliated with the NIBS here.

 

Pruning a Beech to Shape

About six weeks ago I performed some drastic pruning of this European Beech material that I’ve been growing over the last six years.  Since ground layering a new root system three years ago, it’s been slow to recover.  Finally off to a vigorous start this year so I knew it was ready for shaping by pruning.

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Before work: May 

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Spreading newly established nebari

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Before: leggy growth and few primary branches

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Step 1: Establish a final height of the tree and future apex.

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Step 2: Prune back leggy primary branches.

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Step 3: Go one further and eliminate undesirable primary branches.

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Step 4: Feed heavily and wait for possible backbudding along the trunk.

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After: Late June.  New growth on branch tips.

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New buds from above

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An abundance of adventitious budding.  Happy days!

All being well, I’ll wire growth in the autumn and then put it into a bonsai training pot next year.