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.

 

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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.

Thinning Out a Potential Clump

Lifted this azalea from the ground a few years ago and it was root pruned and potted into this seed tray two years ago.  An overdue thinning was necessary:

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The potential front with majority of trunks leaning to the viewer.

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Getting there. One or two crossing trunks removed.

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A drastic thinning.

A lot of leggy branching/trunks so I’m hoping for more backbudding and a reduction in height further still at some point but I’ll keep it tidy from now and change the soil next year.

Amur Maple Airlayer

This tree (of sorts!) recovered from its problems last year and after letting it leaf out and harden off, I’ve decided to follow a friend’s advice from two years ago and air layer the top.

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Here’s hoping it takes.  I’ll let the bottom grow out and decide what to do with it after the layer is removed, hopefully later this year.

Shohin Scots Pine Repot

I apologise for my absence online but now that I’m back to work, it’s hard keeping up with the bonsai regularly.   Normally I’d be all over the trees at this time of year but this year has been different.  I’ve found that I don’t have the same level of interest in the trees at the minute and I’ve been unable to attend a lot of bonsai related events or occasions, which hasn’t helped.  Anyway I tell myself that I must continue to make records because one day I shall look back and I shall be glad of it.  In the mean time I’m doing my best to keep things ticking over at the very least.

A long overdue rootprune of this wee collected Scots Pine.  It’s been in this cut down plastic flower pot for a long time.

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Good evidence of mychorrizae.  I had no hesitations about reducing the rootball substantially to fit into a plastic training pot.  I never got round to buying a ceramic semi cascade pot.

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