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.



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.


First styling of a shohin Scots Pine

Finally, a first styling for this pine that was collected as a very young seedling over five years ago.  The gnarly, exposed roots are definitely its most distinctive feature and will be shown off in the final semi cascade image.  I can’t take credit for the styling, it was done before Christmas by a friend who has been helping me catch up with bonsai tasks missed during the year.

Immediate future plans:

  1. Root prune and repot into a smaller ceramic container next year.
  2. Bleach deadwood.
  3. Keep new growth very short to promote back budding.

Bending Pines

Some young pines in the flower beds have been growing strongly all year.  Very straight trunks though and I thought it best to finally wire them (loosely) before I forget.


Scots Pine 5yrs old. Before.




Japanese Black Pine raised from seed four years ago. Before.



I’m looking forward to lifting these in the spring to see what the roots are doing.

A One to One Workshop

Yes, me and this old Scots Pine 🙂 Sadly I couldn’t make the recent Peter Warren workshop in conjunction with the Northern Ireland Bonsai Society as I was at home with the kids all day but I decided to make the best of it and have a go at styling a tree on my own for the first time.  I’ve had this Scots Pine a few years now and after recovering from needle cast two years ago and a much needed repot and root prune last year, I’ve been waiting to have a go at this one.  Peter Warren saw it two years ago and wired the primary branches.  Since then I’ve just been feeding it and waiting for backbudding to appear.  Anyway, a more detailed history/progression will appear on the blog at some point when the tree is much more presentable.

The tree before work:


May 2015

A lot of undesirable features with this tree but good for learning from.  There are only four primary branches, three of which come from the same spot high up the trunk, they are leggy and so are the secondary branches.  It’ll be many’s a year before I chase back the growth closer to the right hand side of the trunk.  A lot of bending and foreshortening of the branches was necessary to bring the foliage tips closer in.  Anyway, with copious amounts of wire, protection tape (didn’t have raffia) and some guy wires, here’s what I’ve come up with:



I actually think that if I remove the downward needles, lime sulphur the deadwood and cover the surface with moss it might make a decent image to the untrained eye.  We’ll see.