Successful Maple Airlayer

I airlayered this Amur maple earlier in the year and finally removed it a few weeks back.  I didn’t disturb the new roots or moss, just slipped the whole thing into a larger pot of free draining mix that will hopefully insulate the roots from the cold this winter too.  Looking forward to spring to see what I’ve got.





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.


summer 2015


summer 2017

Japanese larch Minor improvements


This larch was last rootpruned two years ago.  Since then it has risen slightly out of the pot and the chopped nebari isn’t very attractive.

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To remedy this I tilted the tree forward slightly and removed more from underneath the front of the rootball.  I also cut back the long back roots, not by much as it’s the type of work that is best done slowly over time.


One other change I made was to rotate the front of the pot.  I read somewhere that ideally a pot should be displayed with the most stable looking front.  For this pot, it means showing the two pot feet either side of the tree, as opposed to just one foot showing in the first photo above.

Sawara Cypress Initial Styling

Well, I had hoped to wire the Old Gold Juniper last weekend and certainly made a start but then put my back out and haven’t been able to lift it to finish the fine wiring! I’ll hopefully post a photo when it’s completed later this week.

Instead I’ve turned my attention to a tree that’s considerably easier to pick up: this Chamaecyparis Psifera ‘Boulevard’.


Oct 15

After repotting this year, it’s grown strongly and becoming rootbound again.  I noticed that water has been pooling on the surface and when I looked under the pot, found roots climbing out of a drainage hole.



Normally I would be prudent and give a repotted tree a full year to recover but this seems to be thriving and so I decided to go ahead and give it a first wiring.  First a rough sketch of a future bonsai tree:

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I always had a slanting literati image in mind and after removing surplus branching and thinning out I ended up with this:


The pads need to fill out a bit and I may still remove more branches to be more consistent with a sparse literati image but think that’s enough for now.    If any branches are lost over winter then I’ll still have others to work with in spring ( also the reason for leaving the bottom branches – they’ll be removed entirely or jinned at some stage.  For now they can continue to fatten up the base).  I’m not convinced about the apex though.  I think it makes the foliage mass too thin and juvenile looking.  I may remove it entirely down to the next set of branching.  I did a quick virtual that I think may look better:

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I’ll dwell on it for a while and update in a further post.


Shohin Amur Maple summer update

This is the small tree that originated as a hardwood cutting from the parent tree in the post two days ago.  It was dramatically chopped last autumn too in the hope that new buds would set over winter and this tree fared better.  I’m very happy with the new branching and I’ll continue to pinch out emerging buds and build up girth in the bottom branches and leader.


Before. Summer 2015


The back of the tree



Winter Larch

I recently had a look at my chuhin Japanese Larch now that all the needles have dropped.  Any remaining ones on the tree were cleared and I then carried out some very light pruning of this year’s extension growth to maintain the outline of the tree and also to avoid any long straight branches.  While I was at it I then removed surplus buds growing in undesirable places.  The tree had a slow year due to the repot in March but should come back strong next year I hope.  It’s staying in the open greenhouse.  Next year I plan to work on the deadwood, increase foliage density in some areas and also improve branch structure by pruning undesirable secondary branches.


From above


Foliage to be increased on the left and apex.


Three branches at one junction. One shall go next year.


Ramification starting to improve.

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