Tuesday, 28 June 2011


This oak is 60cm tall now from the surface of the soil. It began another strong flush of growth so Ive cut it right back. Some of the ramification deltas are now 3 deep and looking very nice. Ive left some of the Whopper early season giant leaves on to power it. Next year its going to look good if Ive got the node lenghts correctly suited to the foliage.

All the cuts are sealed. Ive got a nice selection of terminal buds which is going to improve the shape and further the ramification. Its been growing from the last 2 buds on each branch as a rule - so its a bit harder to control - but if you trim well its very effective.

The oak certain loves the fine akadama. I'm unsure about the biozorb so i may put this one back in coarse akadama for another 2 years.

The internal branches are all coming off from nice positions on the trunk. not too even. not too perfect. There has been a lot of wiring in there to keep it from becoming to unruly.

I suppose its a mistake to have begun the crown with 45 degree branches. It will do for now.


The Beech's have begun their second flush of growth for the year. I'm hoping for another 5 leaves. In some places i have 3 nodes already. So mid to late June around London seems to be when you get another burst from them.

I'm enjoying the beech's. They seem to put on weight faster than oaks - but retain their smaller leaves. I'm going to have to get at least one of them into a bigger container for next year. I'm also temped to chop one of them off quite low. Going to have to think a bit more about the results i would achieve with a trunk chop.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

ongoing progress

Many of the trees are progressing well - the oaks are all making great progress. Last years seedlings are also making giant leaps.

My larger oak is putting on weight very nicely. This year already more than last. Its the second year in the pots and the roots are well developed - its getting loads of fertiliser.

The primary branch structure is developing nicely now as well. Interesting design decisions on where to place the new buds need to be made. The node length needs to match the leaf size for a balanced image.

As per oaks habit, the tap root is doing laps at the bottom of the pot. Going to have to research root pruning of oaks a bit to be ready for its next pot.

I'm a bit worried about the big scots pine. Its too yellow and its got these funky wrinkly needles.

These pines had 80% of their old soil removed and are in sterile growth medium. My maples live happily in pure akadama - but some of the pines are a little grumpy. I'm still some ways short of the fertiliser concentrations some others advise using - and Ive noticed that the patch of lawn that receives the leftover fertiliser isn't any greener than the rest of the lawn. So i guess more wont harm it - perhaps. It may also be a nutrient problem due to the sterile soil and rainwater so Ive used some iron/mag/manganese tonic to hopefully fill in any nutrient holes. I have a maple that's showing classic iron shortage ( green veins on yellow leaves ) so maybe this will get them greened up and vigorous. Otherwise the big one is back budding very nicely after a good spring flush.

This can also be a copper shortage or over watering.

The beeches are putting on weight now on the branches and setting buds - quite a lot based on the way the wire is biting in. These may grow a little again this year but more than likely its next years buds getting into place. So its important to feed like crazy and water generously to ensure next years growth is massive. Ive rewired where needed and removed the rest. I'm thinking of chopping some of the beeches as the trunks are already nice enough for small bonsai.

The hawthorns are unstoppable. Well other than the wind which blows them over all the time. They are also putting on wood and massive growth. They seem like such a perfect tree for bonsai - i wonder why they aren't more popular. small leaves - rapid growth - easy to maintain - attractive. i guess the wild specimens aren't much to look at down south. Although i did see many good ones out of the train heading up to Newcastle - the sheep nibbling did them good.

Sunday, 5 June 2011


Its that time of the year in London when the wind is howling through the yard and knocking over many of my pots. I had repotted this quince from a nursery container into a nice pot I had scavenged from Tokonoma bonsai a few years ago. The nursery soil was removed - to bare root - and the roots cut right back to fit its new home.

I had placed it on a nice sunny table outside the kitchen window for my morning edification. The wind picked it up off the table and smashed it. This ruined my whole day.

I suppose i have learned that the roots were in excellent condition after the repot and it seemed to like the media it was planted in.