Japanese larch, pruned from 36" tree just over a year ago and ready for working
Two hours later a shohin bonsai is born.
See the transformation of this tree
A skanky looking spruce in dire need of some help.
Two hours later the same tree facing a brighter future.
Mugo pine arrives
18 months later!
Hemlock (tsuga) 3 years since collecting. Nobody wanted it so I decided to do some work.
A few days later wearing it's new look.
A Very Large Old Buxus
A very large old buxus arrives for it's first work.
End of the day and a bonsai tree appears.
Juniper from Japan
Juniper from Japan. Definitely in need of some help.
3 hours later!
Yamadori juniper established for many years in the pot.
Much foliage removed. We begin to see the tree.
Two days later the tree begins life as bonsai.
Large oleaster arrives for a days work.
End of the day and the tree is much improved.
Jumiperus squamata Meyeri
This tree was collected from a local garden in 1997, several air layers removed from its upper part. Two years later this apparently useless stump remained with just one tiny live vein feeding its one branch.
Initial styling work was by Kevin Willson in 1999. I subsequently carved the trunk, visually lightening it to the limit of its structural integrity. This picture shows the tree three years ater the initial work, following restyling and potting into an Ian Ballie pot.
After 2 hours work a bonsai begins to appear.
Mugo pumillio before work begins
Demonstration for the R.H.S
"After the demonstration we begin to see the trees future."
This Japanese juniper has had mixed fortunes since it's arrival in the U.K. Now it's ready for some work...
By the end of the day the tree is much improved. Great care was taken to remove as little foliage as possible. This helps maintain the vigour of the tree.
Olive (olea oleaster)
Arrived from Sicily & re-potted in February 07.
Showing strong growth over the summer. (October 07)
4 hours later we begin to see the tree emerge.
An Interesting Little Juniper
An interesting little juniper arrives for a days work.
The work completed.
Detail of the deadwood.
San Jose Juniper
A San Jose juniper with great potential
End of the day and a new start for this promising tree.
I waited patiently for this yamadori pine to grow strongly before beginning styling work.
Two seasons later and patience is rewarded. First styling completed.
Cascade Mugo Pine
A very healthy happy yamadori mugo pine arrives at the workshop for first styling.
3 hours later...Next year the foliage mass will be reduced and the tree will be moved to a bonsai pot.
A Classic Bonsai
This Japanese white pine arrived in Spring 06. Very quickly it became apparent that the long lower branch had a problem. A bit of a mystery because the rest of the tree was extremely healthy. The new owner of the tree decided we should go to work.....
Here you can see areas of the branch dying off.
After we cut the branch away the problem became more clear.
Here you can see just two small areas of live tissue.
Too late to turn back now.
As the carving work began the root of the problem emerged. The indentation on the bottom of the branch was caused by a very, very tight tourniquet that had been applied to help pull down the branch above, without protection, sometime in the past. The effect was to cut off the sap flow completely apart from two small live veins.
A couple of hours later we see a much improved Bonsai emerge in a very classical style.
MUGO PINE – Beauty in a beast!
Despite many folk looking at this brute of a pine, no body wanted to take it home despite a very low asking price so..... My Italian friend and I set about doing some initial work on the tree.
How can you NOT love this!
Today the plan is to start the deadwood. Styling of branches will come later in the year. Everything superfluous is removed and carving begins.
After a couple of hours we begin to see the tree. Excuse the face but it was raining!
A Taiwanese shimpaku juniper
A Taiwanese shimpaku juniper
Cleaned, wired and ready for shaping
We begin to see the trees future as bonsai
Close-up of the trunk
This tree needs much refinement and a good pot.
That nebari is 2" across!
“An eventful day in the life of a scabby juniper”
I had my eye on these two yews for several years. Last August I drove by only to discover that their retaining wall had been removed. A quick knock at the door secured the trees as well as the raised bed full of junipers. An hour a piece saw the trees liberated from the bone dry rock hard ground. The gentleman concerned seemed to think that my offering of a couple of bottles of wine was generous in the extreme!
The first tree arrives home. That's my dad wondering how the hell he got roped into working so hard on a blistering August day. I cut each tree back hard and dropped them into wooden boxes without disturbing the roots. A year later and both trees are thriving. Planted as whips in 1955 the trees were cut back very hard a few years ago. The 14 and 17" trunks display wonderful fluting with flaky bark. So….. keep your eyes open
One of the trees in it's first pot. The old drag racing axiom springs to mind....'Too much is nearly enough!'
Big Thorn Pot
Don't try this at home!
This ancient larch was imported from Italy . Initial carving has revealed growth rings so close as to be imperceptible to the naked eye, this is a VERY old tree. However it is not without it's problems. Whilst the growth is very close in to the main trunk it is going to require some very sensitive carving work, this will be carried out over the winter of 2003/4.
Carving work in progress
Carving work in progress
‘Old Gold’ Juniper
This 'Old Gold' juniper was recently acquired from a local nursery where, I suspect, the proprietor was glad to see the back of it. I immediately repotted it and removed several useless trunks leaving just one as seen here.
Only a complete fruit loop would think he could make a bonsai out of this one! Fortunately we found this deranged nutter wandering around the yard and put him to work.
Carving in progress. The work of a very disturbed person!
Two days later..
Stuart’s Little Stump
"My good friend Stuart bought this tiny juniper to the workshop recently. For penance I had him help to repot a huge yew before we got to grips with the tree. What kind of animal does that deadwood look like?"
"Whilst I like working on big trees I find very small trees to be a real challenge, the attention to detail required is very demanding.
Obviously the job for the day was to sort that awful 'block' carving. We will look at the foliage later."
"Two hours later and the job is done! Stuart will deal with lime sulphur etc' at a later date. I could get to like these small trees."
‘Tree-beard bites the dust’
This ancient war torn English yew was collected 3 seasons ago. Here in it's first pot. I am grafting foliage of causpidata 'nana' onto the live vein in six positions.
I'm not very good at seeing faces in trees but this one seemed obvious.....
I recently stumbled across these three olive trees in a nursery. We needed a fork lift to load them into the van!