Like all bonsai enthusiasts in the dead of winter, I’m excited about the potential of the growing season ahead. I’ve a lot catch up on after two years of inactivity in the garden but in some cases this has been a good thing. Some of the field grown material has flourished and thickened considerably and today I decided to check if some projects were progressing as I’d hoped. The following trees were all ground layered two years ago to hopefully produce a better surface root system:
First was a European Hornbeam
It was planted in cat litter in the ground and I found lots of fine root throughout this. Didn’t go down to Nebari level though as I didn’t want to do much damage at this point. I am satisfied though with the new flare at the bottom of the trunk. While I was at it I took care of some top pruning but left the bottom branches. I’ll airlayer the sacrifice branch in spring. Can’t wait to lift this tree when buds fatten up!
A bit of neglect this year has meant some long internodes, unfortunately, for this little tree. These were pruned off, along with a reduction in the taller trunk to compact the image. I think it looks like a better framework now. Just need to build up the fine twigging over the next number of years.
I plan to repot into a container about half the size when the time is right. Hopefully this will slow vigour down and help achieve the necessary short internodes. I’ll also have to be careful about the quantity and quality of fertiliser in future.
Well pleased with this very large European Beech bought at the recent NIBS auction. Field grown from seed over the last 25 years by Josh. It’s just out of the ground. Look at the wooden bench straining!
An apt title given that I thought it would be a good idea to start putting the forest together at 8:30 last night. Chump indeed! Anyway, I was raring to go and one of the saplings was breaking out in leaf so I went ahead, naively thinking that it wouldn’t take that long. Here’s a photo timeline of the composition so far…
I don’t mind admitting that it was a demanding project but I enjoyed it. The biggest headache was doing it in the kitchen (garage is full of baby related items…) I underestimated how long it would take me to secure each tree in the right position and how much concentration was needed to ensure spacing was appropriate, perspective developed and all the other ‘rules’ suggested for creating a bonsai forest. The project is a bit rough and ready at the minute but will hopefully look better when I get a chance tomorrow to prune tree heights and some long branches. Have to keep reminding myself that this is only the start of a project which will take years to mature, develop and improve. Part 3 later in the week.