Cotoneaster Club Chop

NIBS club resumed last Friday night after a summer break and it was great to be back in the thick of things.  I brought with me a large cotoneaster that I dug up from the garden a few years ago.  I had repotted it earlier this year and waited until now to think about styling.


Before. With another Ben hiding amongst foliage.

Originally I’d always thought about keeping the long trunk as it previously had multiple trunks and I thought it best to keep one but recently I’ve not been convinced.  I went to club thinking that it could be chopped right down but wanted to get a few other opinions in case I’d missed something.

So, with Ben modelling and Phil doing the cutting, it truly was a club effort.  Here’s what I came away with at the end of the night.



It’ll be short and chunky with a deadwood trunk.  The foliage will grow into two main pads in future.  Some wiring at the next meeting needed but before then I’ll carve down the extra trunk stubs when I get a chance. Cheers Phil!

Playing around with accessories

Two days to go until The Bonsai Experience here in Northern Ireland and I finally received some online purchases for my trees being exhibited.  It’s always going to be difficult getting the right sizes online but I’m reasonably happy with these boards.  Spent a while tonight mixing and matching trees, boards and possible accents.


Satsuki Azalea and Japanese Maple cutting


Different board for the accent. Possibly not as good a match for the rectangular pot.



Sedum accent


Chinese Elm on bamboo mat with unknown flowering accent on ji ta


Shohin/mame Cotoneaster


Chuhin Japanese Larch on bamboo mat with flowering Satsuki Azalea cutting on ji ta

It’s a lot of work trying to put display ideas together and get trees presentable for a show but definitely worth it as I have learned a few things in the process.  For example, looking at the photos above, I’m just not convinced about the direction of the azalea.  Seems to be the tree is actually leaning right instead of left and I may have to correct the position of the tree in the pot at the next repot.  As for the show at the weekend? I’m not sure what’s going to happen, I’ll just turn up and figure it out with the help of others on the day!

Show prep


Well the trees coped fine over the weekend while I was away 🙂 no immediate casualties.
The Northern Ireland Bonsai Society is involved with several exhibitions over the next few months. I’m thinking about tree preparation now. Part of that is mossing up soil surfaces so I’m encouraging this by keeping some tree surfaces damp a lot with frequent watering and also putting them in more shade. Its working for the tree in the photo. Some moss added manually too.