So, I got an itch this AM while my 2 girls were spending time at their cousin's, to go yamadori collecting (that is, to collect a tree or plant from nature). Not as difficult for me as for some, and I'm not 'too' hard to please at the moment - the free time being the decision maker! So - I took a wander down my backyard hillside into the wilderness. Lots of 'edge' plant material, and one that is hardy that I'm having fun working on that I have alot of - Privet! Here I find a specimen I'd already chopped earlier in the year as part of my 'clear the lot' project at the bottom of the hill. Time to collect my prepped Yamadori!
Here you can see the previous 'low' cut I made earlier in the year, and also that I have completely cleared the root ball of soil. Privet are extremely hardy, not many species would I treat in such a manner, but that is the nature of Privet. Notice the thick growth this plant exhibits after being chopped, due to growing in the ground vs chopping and moving directly to a pot.
Much reduction of the root system and deciding how to layout it's future Nebari development at this point. Also reduction in foilage, to cause the re-growth to focus in places of Taper development. All 'downward' roots have been cut, thick roots reduced. The lead branches are not cut yet - I want them to thicken a bit more close to the trunk before I begin creation of it's crown.
The last pot I have from The Monk Monestary in Conyers, GA. from a run there months ago. Perfect fit for this future Shohin Bonsai. Shohin or 'Mame' Bonsai are the ultimate miniature powerhouses - ultimately they are the best examples of bonsai size reduction in all species in the Bonsai art. I am using a 70/30 Inorganic/organic mix of Sphagnum Moss, Turface, and Lava Rock.
The cuts have been covered in cut sealant, the tree watered, it's held in with wire through the base to allow stability as I wire it's branches in a few weeks. Again, I take my time; I allow the plant to re-establish, allow new branches to develop, see which ones die from the root reduction and cut-back; then I begin light branch shaping. (Mainly with cuts to form taper)