This small Zelcova serrata looked wild before its late spring/early summer trim and tidy up. I think it now looks respectable for the coming festive season.

More work is required on the leaf size and the ramification but those two things go hand in hand so a few leaf size reduction strategies over the coming months should improve its overall look.

Small tree in a small pot, yep I think its coming along.

The ‘Ugly Pig’ Hawthorn

Some time ago I sought some advice, suggestions or maybe that was a way forward for a hawthorn that I had fallen out of love with. A well respected and talented international bonsai artist that I was having a workshop with (another tree as the subject) was asked for his opinion and he described the tree as an ugly pig. Unfortunately he was correct, very correct in fact. While the tree looked OK while in leaf it looked terrible without leaves.

So this is how it looked in 2016 not long before the advice was given. The crown looked OK but the long bare trunks looked a little weird.

Consultation over a refreshing ale led to a radical shortening of the trunks, some additional carving work and a very severe cut. After it was left to grow on and out to regain strength.

This year it was time to continue the transformation by giving some direction to the growth that had occurred on the three trunks and to reduce the growth so that I could see the direction.

The foliage was wild and woolly and the thorns were sharp but a few cuts got some order in proceedings. I can now see a bright future for this tree and hopefully I will be able to display it in a few years, and if I’m lucky while it is in flower.

It is still a little bit tall but some additional work after it looses its leaves will put it on the right path. The next update is probably a couple of years away, stay tuned.

Atlantic Cedar – Spring Cleanup

I bought this cedar quite a few years ago and to be honest I haven’t been doing a good job with it. This season I decided I would clean out all the old needles and leave just the new shoots to see if that improves the tree overall. I also started a different fertilizing program with the same thought in mind – overall tree improvement. I am moving away from liquid fertilizer and started using organic fertilizer which I place into teabags and attach that to the surface of the bonsai. This should give a slow release of goodies to the plant over a period of about three months, however it will take a year or two before the results are known.

I didn’t take enough photos of the process but here is a photo after the old needles were stripped off.

You can see one fertilizer bag in that photo and after the process it now has about six bags.

This is the after shot following a trim and wiring.

It does have the look of a larch from a distance now I think but I hope it will fill out and all those new buds will develop. More news on this on in a year or two.