Mugo Pine Observations

Another tree relocated from the front garden to the back.  One of my least promising trees at the minute, its suffered from my past indecisiveness and lack of attention while in the growing bed.  I’m learning from it though that with conifers the process of field growing is still hands on.  You can’t just plant and forget about them and expect to have decent bonsai material 5 years later.


I’ve pruned this in the past to try and encourage back budding but to little avail so far.


A pretty straight lower trunk and not much taper unfortunately.


Some inverse taper too as the base does not exhibit the necessary root flare or width to suggest stability.  So what to do?


Well I thought a 90 degree turn would produce a better front for a start.  I think I’ll keep the two longest trunk lines as sacrifice branches and keep the shortest trunk line facing forward.  Perhaps a literati style is the only viable option but I know Mugo Pines have a propensity for quite long needles.  Time will tell.


Maybe I can get more buds like these popping.


Japanese Cedar Relocation

The 6ft sacrifice branch on this Japanese Cedar has been impeding the view of my monkey poles from the kitchen window so I recently decided to move it to a better location where it will get more sunlight too.  An overdue thinning out of the tree was performed too. Existing branches are lignifying well on this but its still not ready to put into a training pot.

Black Pine Root Inspection


I’m in the process of moving bonsai material from my front garden to the back garden where I have more space.  I can then plant some shrubs in the front to fill out naturally and these will look more attractive than small half formed trees with leggy escape branches.This item has been growing in the ground the past few years and I thought it was time to look at the roots and have a direction in mind for the tree anyway.


I’m very happy with the root base which flares out well.  Not much root pruning was done as the tree was planted on a tile in the ground.  Just one or two thick roots trimmed.


I’ll start the high nitro feed next month and let the tree establish in the new location before wiring the trunk again.  The sacrifice branch will hopefully continue to do its job and I’ll keep the rest of the shoots short after the first flush of growth in May.


Field Growing Oak

Now that leaves have mostly dropped and trees are almost dormant, time to do an annual prune of material growing in the beds.  This oak was a seedling planted this year.  It fairly thrived but had too many branches coming from a single point on the trunk, and these had to be thinned out to avoid inverse taper.


Lower branches left on to allow thickening.  I’d like this to be quite a chunky tree so I’ll keep new growth short next year.

Blaaw’s Juniper Potting Up


Just bought from an online bonsai nursery in 2012


Close up of trunk in a 2L pot.


Four years in the ground and then dug up.


It was on a tile in the ground, so not much root to remove from underneath.


Straight into a big ceramic pot for training next year.


Close up after thinning out of unwanted branching/shoots.


After pruning extended trunks.  Bottom right sacrifice branches left on for later jinning.  Could be a nice multitrunk tree in future.

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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