Yew Grown from (nearly) Scratch

Some pictures showing the five year development of an English Yew (Taxus Baccata) in the ground.

After five years in the ground being fed strongly and pruning upper branches, I’m very happy with what I revealed when I dug it up yesterday.  This was the first time I’ve had a proper look at the roots.

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The rootball was compact due to being planted on a tile and the first thing was to find out what the nebari was like so I scraped away soil from the surface first.  Heavy and awkward roots were pruned.  The base of the trunk does flare and isn’t the prettiest but I believe that’s not so important for a conifer.


Side 1 – narrow


Side 2 – wider after a 90 degree turn. Better.


Side 3. Narrow.

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Side 4. Wider again. The chosen front.

None of the views were great but the last one chosen as the best.  Then I pruned branches accordingly to influence future development as bonsai. It was pretty congested in places and relatively easy to decide what should go.  Evidence of backbudding was good.

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I’m happy with the potential this has as a future formal upright bonsai tree.  I gave it quite a harsh rootpruning as there were a lot of vertical and crossing thick roots.  Better to sort out those faults now than later.  Because of this I decided to put it back in the ground to recover better for a year.  If all is well I’ll be able to lift in 2017 with minimal root disturbance and start training in a box/pot.

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Deshojo First Wiring


Time to perform a first wiring of this Acer Palmatum ‘Deshojo’.  The above picture was taken in the summer when I was allowing it some free growth.  Being the middle of winter, it’s without leaf and I finally decided to make decisions about styling.IMG_20160116_150451785

Last year I repotted it into this shallow pot and tried to pinch buds to promote ramification although I’ve never been convinced by size of the tree.  I had to decide whether to keep it tall and use the thick right hand branch as a low branch, or cut it down a bit and go for an informal broom with a double trunk apex.  Some virtual editing helped me decide:



So before and after (from above, facing viewer):




I’m going to ease up on the fertiliser and try to keep new shoots short.  Looking forward to getting into a smaller pot sometime in the future.



Lonicera bonsai skeleton

This dwarf honeysuckle was a garden shrub that I posted about last year here.  I haven’t touched it in the year since it was repotted and took it along to club night on Friday to decide what to do with it.


It’s done well over the past year and before I started any pruning I thought I’d check the roots for an indication of health.


I wasn’t surprised to see it rootbound as I’ve noticed that water has been pooling on the surface for quite some time.  I’ll repot on another occasion but for now I decided to concentrate on the style of the future tree.  The apex of each trunk leaned backwards so I pruned each of those first.


The three trunks have always reminded me of a fork and the thinnest (on the right) also curves dramatically backwards compared to the very straight other two trunks.  I removed it and then on the remaining trunks I pruned away surplus branches so that there was only one at each node in a good location.


I’m now left with a formal twin trunk image that is more pleasing to my eye.  Future training for this year:

  1.  Repot into a shallower container and change front.
  2. Encourage sacrifice branches to grow on the lower main trunk to increase girth and improve taper.
  3. Keep upper branching short.
  4. Perhaps wire main branches later in the year.