There are times in your bonsai life when you just get a bit lucky, and I would like to say that I have been lucky in having an opportunity to dig a couple of great looking plums from the mountains surrounding Goulburn.
In world terms therse are not really mountains, but it is very steep and rugged country where cattle graze and a few deer help to nibble away at the foliage as well. The region once had people living in the area but over the years it has been turned over to grazing, but the plum trees planted many years ago remain, and a few new plants arrive via bird droppings or by root development.
The quality of the small trees is fantastic with the ramification given by constant grazing. Anything that has grown tall is “normal” but parts of the trees that the stock can access is highly ramified.
As can be seen by the example above, any part of the tree that is easily accessable has been grazed extensively and the area that is tall is normal growth.
Those trees that the cattle had access to for the whole life of the tree are no taller that one metre and are very ramified. There are not a huge number available but I selected one particular plant to become part of my collection.
This is the tree as I first saw it and it does look like it had a larger trunk some time ago but that has been broken off (probably by the cattle) and there is younger growth all around it that has been progressively eaten over the years.
A closer look shows the thick trunk with a natural uro.
It looks even better with the grass cleared away.
The natural uro can now be seen.
Once I dug it out of the ground the nabari was good and there were plenty of fine roots. The rich red earth is a good growing medium.
Home to a seasol bath overnight and then to the potting up on the next day. A glazed pot was chosen with a well draining potting mix for the tree to grow in. The uro is clearly visable but needs to dry out a bit so that it will show in the photo better.
I am quite pleased with the result to date and now it will be put away to recover for a year or two before any more work is done on it.
At the next repotting I will raise the tree more to show its nabari, but for now I am satisified with the progress.