Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tropical Bonsai of 6+ years still doesn't have a species!

This is literally the 2nd pre-bonsai material I ever bought back in 08, back when the passion was flying and the knowledge was....  Yah..    :)

I didn't even realize quite at the time that I'd picked out a tropical species.  It almost didn't make it's first winter as I debated bringing it inside or not..  Finally I did and it happily survived, now getting routine escapes inside from October to March.

The species..  Well I have looked around and I think I've identified it once or twice, but never actually put a pic of it and the species in a blog post to help me remember..  Maybe now with Google+ someone can help me out in the community..  :)

I wired the branches this spring, and will be taking them off in Fall when it comes inside.  will continue to wind the ranches down to give it this current 'drooping' effect.  Normally, the branches all grow 'up' so this in itself is a bit of a test and possibly a strain on the tree.  Will see how things go, my wife likes it at least..  :)

Smaller informal style Privet Bonsai - a bit dainty

This little tree has nice movement to my eye, and will heal quickly the sore from the cut I made to give it that 'curve' motion.  Another of my test subject privet bonsai that actually has some small potential.

These pics being almost 2 weeks old;  I've had endless rain here the past 2 weeks, the growth showing now is about double what this pic shows.  The tree is doing well in it's first pot after moving from a small 1/2 gal planter.

Another Privet Bonsai gets it's first pot

I have used privet to test my bonsai knowledge over the years, and although not the best tree/bush for presentation, it has many attributes that make it a good species for learners;  it grows like nuts (it's classified as a weed), roots like mad and puts out alot of growth for you to play with.  Hardy, and springs bad furiously in springtime, usually holding a significant number of leaves through the winter.  Best of all if you live in more humid areas, or namely the southeast US - it's likely in your back yard or along your fence line...  :)

I'm working on alot of other species too, but my larger and more interesting privet are all up for pot moves right now, so they get some air time..  :)

Even though this is currently a 'side' I think this will become it's front next re-potting or pot change it has.

This is a pot that I made from one of my pot creation sessions a few years ago.  I dig the crackle pops in the glaze that was used.  (I have it around here somewhere)

Rose of Sharon Bonsai getting used to new pot

This rhododendron 'Rose of Sharon' is pretty interesting..  They exhibit large lovely purple flowers in the late summer into fall.  This one last season started to show flowers which I promptly clipped so as not to direct any energy into them.  Recently moved into this as it's first bonsai pot from a 2 gallon planter pot, I've let it grow out a bit as it gets itself rooted and happy.

Next spring..   Time for a haircut, and I think next Summer/Fall a flower show if I do things right.

Looking a bit wild - but getting well rooted and stable for it's haircut next Spring.

Example of the leaves dwarfing due to living in a pot;  the leaf I am holding is from another tree of the same species that grows outside my house as a decorative flowering bush (this tree started as a sapling that survived a mowing, and then caught my attention....)   :D

This pot is another of my friend Aaron's creations.  3 legs that appear as tree trunks that wind around it with thick branches into the darker green of the rim as it's leaves. 

Privet Bonsai loses a trunk, seems happier

Finally back with a few things to share, I'll start with this Privet Bonsai that I've featured a few times over recent years as it's been a 'test' tree for many learning bonsai activities for me (learning how to transfer into a bonsai pot, pot fertilizing, carving and natural aging, wiring )  Now into the final stages of refining branches, and a final pot selection on the horizon (something a little more shallow to show off the nice trunk the tree has).

As you'll see if you just go back a few posts in my blog, this used to be a dual trunk tree.  I literally came home one day to find the entire 2nd trunk with all withered leave in a days time.  No suffering from lack of water or from too much - it just decided to go on it's way..  Well I cleaned it out and trimmed out the roots that had fed it.  I could find nothing outstandingly wrong (no bugs, no dry roots and no old clays as I'd bare-rooted this tree long ago..).   Sometimes..  Nature happens and that is ok and part of what we celebrate with Bonsai.  :)

So here are a few pictures of it now.  The trunk hollow is a bit bright as I did just apply lime to help protect the wood some and help give it that aged look.  2-3 weeks in the elements and it will look much more naturally blended.

Bit more trimming of the upper branches, and will pull things down a bit more next season.  A few guy wires are already in place.

The back where the other trunk was - carved away and left for now.  I plan to drill into it and connect this end with the main trunk opening to allow for a view through, and to help with water drainage out of the hollow.

View up the hollow.

Trimming aggressive growth to fill out the back side, and laying the foundation for future ramification.

This neat brick pot was made one evening a few years ago (08 or 09) during a pot creation evening with my best friend Aaron.  It's thick, and was made to resemble a aged brick wall where many bricks had fallen out of the cement holding them in.  I call it my 'aggressive starter pot'.  It will receive a new renter soon as this tree moves into something a little more shallow next springtime.

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