Thursday, March 2, 2017

Crabapple Bonsai with a New Pot

This crabapple bonsai has come a long way. Today it's planted in a rectangular pot by Chuck Iker. You can see his pottery here. He really is good.



I realize that this tree still has a long way to go. The taper would be better had I trunk chopped sooner. Looking back, I should have made the cut the day it was collected. A few years later and this is where we are, which I am ok with because over the years I have noticed that my taste in bonsai has evolved since I brought home my first tree (which is now dead).

In the beginning, I was initially attracted to bonsai because of my love for real, natural trees. My first tree was a dumb looking Chinese Elm and I loved the "sumo" trunks I kept seeing people post online. Over time I began to prefer taller trees, partly why I was so resistant to the trunk-chop that I somehow knew I would eventually do. It did give me a few years to really get to know this tree and that journey has been a pleasure. I covered the surface of the substrate with moss but I didn't like the photo as much.

The upper portion of the tree was rooted and is also doing well. I will post an update of that tree when it puts out a few more leaves as it seems to be a bit slower than its parent.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Floating Bonsai!!! and Crabapple Bonsai, winter update


First off the more I think about it, the more appealing a floating bonsai display becomes. The art of bonsai can still take steps forward. I personally find it visually striking. Check it out HERE

2015 was a big year for this crabapple tree that I collected in Kentucky about seven years ago. I reduced it's height by about half as well as a large portion of roots. The idea here is to give the trunk taper and emphasis as well as improve nebari (surface roots).


I knew the plant would respond well to this and, when I look back, I wish I had reduced it's height much earlier. Instead of it being a total waste of time, the past seven years I have both gotten to know this particular tree and learned a great deal about bonsai principals. whatever the case may be, I think this one is on a good path now. I am confident that in another seven years it will develop into a lovely bonsai display. Maybe even a floating one. Who knows.

Here is an image of the tree when it was taller.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Crabapple Bonsai: trunk-chop update

This is the tree that was chopped in half to improve taper and proportions (I also removed the majority of its roots but we are going to ignore that completely). It is some type of wild North American Crabapple.

The first picture is the tree in April and the second is in June. This tree is planted in coarse pumice that I purchased on Ebay.



Sunday, June 7, 2015

Large Crabapple Cutting: Part 2

Three months ago I trunk-chopped my tall crabapple bonsai. I decided I would try to root the removed top of the tree by planting it in coarse pumice. I wanted to put it into a slightly larger container. I was delighted to see that there were a healthy amount of roots.


Saturday, April 4, 2015

Large Crabapple Cutting

I recently trunk-chopped a crabapple tree and decided it wouldn't be a bad idea to attempt to root it. The cutting is about two inches wide, give or take. It has been about a month since I potted it into a shallow container of mostly coarse pumice. I have kept it watered and protected from strong wind and frost (although I believe neither would have hurt). 

Here is the cutting as of today. It actually looks healthy, pushing growth and covered with leaves. I can envision its survival but I've been told that just because it looks good does NOT necessarily mean that things below the soil things actually are good. For now all I can do is baby it and hope that it can manage to put on some root growth.


Friday, March 6, 2015

Crabapple Bonsai Trunk Chop, Bonsai Senses, and 3D Bonsai Printers

I have always wanted to do this but today I finally did. I trunk chopped my tallest tree.

I think it will begin now to look much better. It has taken me years to decide to chop because I needed to develop my bonsai senses. I'm still developing and refining my bonsai senses and I hope that never ends. It has been a pleasant journey so far and for me is more than a hobby. It has become a therapy.



Bonsai might be the only sculpture that cannot be 3D-printed yet. I wonder what that will do to the bonsai scene. Everyone would have a famous masterpiece if they wanted. I have to admit that would be pretty nice. If I could I would. It sure would save a lot of time and bonsai has to be one of the slowest artistic pursuits ever conceived. So, as soon as a bonsai 3D printer is available, I will be getting one. Probably around this time next year I think... ;D

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Yew Bonsai Urban Yamadori Styling Demo

I have always wanted a nice yew bonsai. I have known several people that say they just hate them and I can see why. For at least a couple years I have kept an eye out for a good one and resisted the impulse to buy anything small.

I don't normally post other peoples content but I am making an exception today.  Here is a great demonstration by Merlin on a large Taxus that appears to have come from a garden landscape. I have no idea what he is saying but this is one of my favorite styling demos I have ever seen. I can't believe I didn't already know about this guy! Check out his site merlin-bonsai.de, particularly the before and after section. This is what inspires me.

The yew in this video ends looking very natural. It looks like a real tree that shrunk. I am going to do whatever it takes to find and create a large yew as close as I can get it to this level of naturalness.

On a side note, I planted all of my ficus in pure Perlite except for a layer of rocks and sand on the top to hold it all in (and it looks nicer than the bright white Perlite). So far they all seem to like it.