Prunus mahaleb_#10

I have sat with a great local potter and bonsai artist Martin Ašenbrenner in front of this tree last September trying to find a best suitable pot to get this little tree  to another level.   Finally,  we have agreed on the size and possible colour of the ceramic glaze.  +/- to be fair.  Martin has a wood fired kiln so the outcome of the colour is something that you cannot planned 100%.    Unfortunately the pot was  supposed to finished only in May so I have decided to move the tree to some of my pot I have on hands.  Not a good fit in terms of sizes but still better than the plastic one.

Summer 2017
As discussed in one of the previous posts  related to this tree the outline of the crown is missing important part in the right hand top quarter.  So to tackle this flaw was the main plan for 2018...

Summer 2018

Right, so this is how it looks in the middle of the summer.   The empty space has been filled - now we need to get there more quality.   But that applies to the whole tree.  Few more branches here and there, smaller leaves and bit more rounded outline.  Not to forget dead wood and surface roots...   Bonsai is never finished.

Height: 36 cm from the rim

Left hand side - just to bring your attention to the root with a shari.

The core wood of this root stump has been rotten.  A nice opportunity to make a hollow there connected to the shari.   Right now I have a feeling this could be an interesting feature.

The bark is not that deeply cracked as it is on some my other mahalebs - it is more feminine.  I think it makes a good match with the other parts of the tree...


Japanese barberry_A bush styled into a kind of informal traditional pre-bonsai

Some of my trees are styled into something that is at least in my mind close to a classical bonsai shape.   It makes life easier in terms of its design and  it takes less time to maintain its shape.  And what is even more important for me - the inner branches get a fair portion of a daily sunlight without the necessity of leaf pruning.

Winter 2017

Summer 2018
Pruning and wiring.

As a matter of practice,  I have taken a few pics after the initial styling just to make sure that my eyes are not cheating me.  This time I have a feeling that the top section of the tree is too heavy... Well,  apart from a fact that I need to get it more rounded and I would need to pull one of the branches on the right slightly down.. 

After a small correction of the top, cutting of few leaves here and there...


Back (before the correction of the top)



The HUG_Prunus mahaleb with a single live vein and bulky deadwood

No TdF cycling today and  the deeply buried thorn in my right palm prevents me from most of the bonsai activities - so a good time to share  another piece of a dead wood...

Right, so what we have here is "a typical bonsai".   The size of both jins is too big and there is too much dead wood. A single narrow live vein that feeds  an airy crown.  Something you may find on a junipers, but not really on a deciduous tree.  Unless the tree has started a countdown to pack it...

But despite all this there it is.  And  I do like it.  It is not a bunjin but I have tried to style the crown into something that reflects my  vision  how I see the bunjin-gi during  my day dreaming procrastination.  The narrow live vein is the only vital line that connects roots to the leaves.   Cliffs heated by the sun, scarce water supply, biting frosts.  All that is deeply embedded in the face of this little tree.  Would you expect a flourishing crown of foliage on a tree that lives in such biotype?

A side talk: I have grown a sacrifice branch to get a taper to the top.  The length of the branch was close to one meter.  But no taper, just a cylindrical growth with a girth no more than 7 mm.  Strange, I would expect to get such type of whip like growth on a birch not a mahaleb. I have given up and it has been shorted to the outline of the crown.   Will try another one. And another one or two, three, four... until I get what I want. 

Details of naturally weathered dead wood

 And my poor attempt to match that.   Firstly tried to match the cracking with a sharp knife. No chance - the wood is due to its very slow growth extremely hard.  The burr was better,  but the line is too wide.  No chance to get any improvement with my hand now.  I guess I will leave it over the winter to see what we get.



Elm_what about a broom...

I have been planning to start with a broom for some time.  But it was only this year when I have picked nicely growing small elm with reasonable straight trunk.  With a little bit of hesitation, I have cut off the nicely developed leader and removed a bit of outer wood to make space for expected new growth.  All this happened somewhere in the second half of May.  During the first week after the cut - no signs of  the new growth.   OK, no problem. Too early - just a little bit of patience old man.   Second week - no action.  Third week - copy paste.  First signs of a despair in my face.  Have I lost a nicely growing plant just for my desire to have a broom?   Forth week - I have not bothered to check.
Fifth week - a visitor came to my place.  While passing the bench I have picked the container with the stub to share my bad feelings.  While talking I have noticed a greenish dot  on one side of the cut face.  Algae? I have scratched it with a nail. No, it is something different.  A bud?  Yes, it was a bud. And luckily it has survived my nail scraping test.

And this is how it looks now.


New benches in the yard_Monkey poles

Sandstone from old quarry,  foxtail saw with HM plates,  wood from larch, stainless woodscrews & a guy with two hands - both left. And strong minded character ( it is fair to say - the character of my spouse ).

A feature of interest: the light coloured object on the pole?   A fossil found while cutting the slabs 

Now, where to get a nice bonsai to put on there?


Big footed larch_initial styling

I feel very happy that I have decided to collect this little fella in the end.  It certainly doesn't look as a tree with great potential in 2D, but my eyes see something different.  The future will see who is right.

But even now one can appreciate the first sign of maturity of the bark and what is even more important - short internodes.   Not to mention the vigour of the tree.  

As the trunk is slightly S shaped ( from the top ) I have decided to follow this flow also on the canopy - it will be much longer on the right side.

This is my preferred "front"  +/-   Well, at the moment.  

The other side. 

Short internodes.   I hope it is not just result of the heavy bending ... 

Initial signs of maturity of the bark.  Flaky-I guess this is the right word to describe the character of the well aged bark on larches or spruces.    A bark that should force you to hold your breath.  Either because you are so impressed or just affraid you might destroy it...


Prunus spinosa_shohin

Strange.   We are getting closer to the summer solstice, but since the end of May beginning of June I have had a feeling that the days are getting shorter and shorter. 
After the hectic repotting season I thought there will be a reasonable  period of  relative calm ( well, sort of ) but the very dry weather has forced me to spend much more time with the watering can than expected.  
Anyway.  Today, as the sky has been overcast for the whole day - hard to believe - I have revisited this little Prunus with my shears.  Hardy noticeable partical defoliation.  Looking at the pics I guess I should take another round there... And calibrate the white on my camera.

Height 15 cm ca

Prunus mahaleb_#10

I have sat with a great local potter and bonsai artist Martin Ašenbrenner in front of this tree last September trying to find a bes...