Spring Is In The Air

Spring brings a freshness to the yard and the flowers are an added bonus.

This crab apple is only new to bonsai life but the flowers are looking good this year. There is still lots to do until this is a “real” bonsai but this year I am just enjoying the beauty of the blooms.

This is a very large bonsai so the photo was taken in situ however the results were still OK.

Close up of the flowers
A photo with the standard measuring implement.

Shohin Plum in Pat Kennedy Pot

This post is in recognition of a great potter, Pat Kennedy, who is one of the best bonsai pot creators in Australia. This particular pot is a “difficult” colour to match a tree with but because it is a small pot, used for shohin bonsai, brighter colours are not only allowed but encouraged. The quality and finish of this pot is beautiful and I feel privileged to be the owner.

The tree is maturing quite well and I think this combination will look good together in the coming years. At this time of year the leaf colour match the pot in my opinion and it is a joy for me to look at. I hope you also enjoy this tree and pot combination.


Atlantic Cedar Repot

This cedar has been in its current pot for too long and it was time to give it a more appropriate pot. The pot it was in is a beautiful pot but just not suitable any more for this tree.

The foliage on this tree has turned a yellow colour over the winter (and it is worrying) but I hope the repot will reinvigorate it. The yellowing foliage could also be due to the alkalinity of the local water which is a bit high for optimal plant growth but I am hoping new “soil” and plenty of fertiliser will arrest the foliage colour issue. It will also have a greater root run which may also assist.

With its new shoes.

Trident Maple Root Grafts

A few years ago I tried to graft a root from this tree back onto this tree. Alas it was unsuccessful. 

This is round two of root grafting and this time I tried thread grafting of three roots just to see if I can be successful with this “new” method. Mid August is a good time to repot trident maples in my area and so it stands to reason that it would also be a good time to apply a thread graft? That was my theory anyway and so I selected the three graft seedlings and away we went.

The pre work look. This is the current front.
This is the area where the grafts will go.
Close up of the failed root graft and where the new grafts will be located.

Two of the new thread grafts in place.

Repotted into an oversize pot to allow for extended root growth.

Now only time will tell if this has been successful. It should not be a long wait until the buds open and that will be the first sign that it is doing well.

Chinese Elm Dig

I had the opportunity to dig a Chinese elm from a garden and I was delighted to find that it was a corky bark variety and quite large.

Like all plants in gardens the tap root was large, about 75mm across and I needed the reciprocating saw to help. Once out the nabari was terrific so that was a real bonus.

I needed a large plastic pot to cater for the nabari and then a couple of bags of potting media to finish the job. If I have one complaint it is that the owner didn’t trim it hard enough while it was in the ground, you know it wasn’t grown for bonsai purposes. I’m kidding really as this is great stock!

This is one of the best garden “yamadori” I have ever dug so there is a large smile on my face.

And finally a look at the trunk bark, beautiful!

Japanese Maple in New Pot

This maple has beautiful colour in the leaves in spring and most notably in autumn and it lived in an unglazed pot. At this years repot I decided a new set of shoes was in order and this old Japanese pot fitted the bill nicely. These old pots are difficult to find and I would have preferred one with a blueish glaze so if anyone has one they are not wanting I could be interested.

Shohin English Elm

This tree got a new pot (the other one was cracked) and I think it suits the tree, the finish of the pot emphasises the cracking bark of this elm. I also used 100% acadama this year so I will be watching this with interest to see if there is an improvement in the tree this time next year.

Now I’ve had a good look at the photo it looks like there is no separation between the pads of what will be the foliage masses, but that isn’t the case so I will need to do some work to provide some visual separation.

Chinese Elm – Corky Bark

I grew this from a cutting when I didn’t even know what a cutting was, well that’s my story anyway. It has had quite a journey over that period and it still isn’t that good, but it has sentimental value to me.

Of course it was time for a repot and this year I have planted it into acadama for the first time and I am hoping that it will reward me with better growth and generally improved health.

This how it looks after the repot. I am trying to improve the ramification on the left side. In this photo there appears to be some inverse taper but it is only a photo illusion.

Close up of the roots. I did some additional work after the photo was taken but you can see that the root base is fairly solid and flat, all good signs.

A few more years work required but I hold out hope for it.

A New Trident Maple

I dug this maple from my yard last year and it grew quite well. This year I decided to give it a repot and a trim with the idea of getting it on the correct path and hopefully in a bonsai pot in 3 to 5 years. I enjoy a short large trunk trident so it was time to see if I can grow one.


This is how the little guy looked prior to this years intervention.

This is the after look. Of course there is a lot of work to be done over the coming years but it may have a future.