Monday, May 17, 2010

Cotoneaster #1 Informal Shohin

Oddly enough, it's taken some time for a cotoneaster to join my collection.   I think I always had a perversion to the herringbone effect it's branches can do as the tree 'bushes' out.  Well, I found a species (or at least a specimen) that finally called to me.  I've always wanted a few, as I adore the little berries that cause the tree to resemble an apple tree in miniature.  They also put out great little flowers, and grow madly - a very busy tree (Something a beginner like me should have picked up some time ago to keep me 'busy').

So this little nursery stock tree came home with me, for $6+.  For species interests, it is cotoneaster adpressus or 'Little Gem'.   Alot less of the herringbone effect on this one, just alot of long branches, with a great deal of good growth close to the tree as well.   The trunk is what caught my attention; Usually I don't pay attention to certain species in Nurseries, as they grow them multiple plants to a pot (or raft them out) which may then sometimes 'fuse' with age into 1 trunk - or more often than not the young trunks are at the far reaches from each other 'in' the pot, making it almost uselesss for bonsai (outside of a forest setting)   This was one large trunk (Well, compared to it's mates!), all by itself, with a nice lean to it.  Wasn't as busy as the other multiple trunk ones - it was calling for some work!

Cotoneaster before any work

View from the top

Fun plant to work on, think I will have to find a few more cotoneasters with good trunk movement to add to the collection.   Pretty easy to wire, alot of branch options to work with.  This took about 2 1/2 hours from start to finish.

Trimmed and wired

Slightly higher view from the Front

I can see myself that I'm catching on to the old bonsai saying 'Less is More'.  I have a few pre-bonsai trees from last year that are aching for a little 'less' so that they have 'more' of a future - I'll have to cycle around to a few of these soon as well.

So this little guy will stay in it's pot until next spring, when I will repot possibly into a large 3 gal pot.  Looking to increase the girth here for another 2-3 years, and then it will begin working it's way into a pot.  (I'm going to be persistent and patient with that decision!).   This was a bit of early styling to get things where I want them and to direct the tree's energy where it would be best for branch building - then let it go wild for a while!


  1. I envy you for being a bonsai artist. I also went to a bonsai and suiseki exhibit in a country that I just recently visited. I don't have the green thumb but I really admire bonsai to be in a garden. I like the Zen presence of it. garden offices

  2. Thanks Rox for the high praise, you're very right the Zen that bonsai generates and peace of mind I feel when I work on these little trees is what really pulled me into this hobby/lifetime addiction. I didn't really have a green thumb at first and admit, I lost a few precious trees at first. Time, and dedication to doing 'whats right' for them led me to finding the clues to good bonsai care. :)


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