Stratford Trident

This is one of my Tridents. I call it Stratford as I bought it back in 1999 at the EBA Congress in Stratford upon Avon. These were taken yesterday and show nce strong growth after repotting.

I’ll have to keep a close eye on the couple of wired branches.


Visit #1

Today I visited a mates garden to give advice on a Hornbeam that he’d repotted. Never one to miss an opportunity with my camera, I took a few snaps. Stephen is an old bonsai friend and his family are now close personal friends with mine. I have known him from when he joined the club back in 94/95. He is just adding the finishing touches to his back garden were he keeps the trees. I ran around the garden snapping away at whatever I could find.

Here’s a few general shots of the garden.

These are a few of the trees sitting around.

Scots Pine

Nice fine needles

Japanese Larch

Shari on Larch

A few collected Hawthorn and a few others for good measure.

Hosta's potted up as accent plantings. He kindly gave me some of these when he split them.

Root over Rock Common Juniper, just trimmed back

Evidence of trimming. I tried out his new scissors with the round finger holes but they were too small 😦

Kyo-hime Maple opening

Satsuki Azalea. Hoping to give him a hand cutting this one back this year.

Tomorrow I’m dropping some trees back to Josh, another club member with stunning trees. I’ll also be taking a few record snaps for Philip who has been collecting Escallonia stumps all week. Somewhere in between I hope to collect a tree myself and cut another two escallonia back. Busy day with camera in hand 🙂

The one that started it all

After reminiscing yesterday about my sister buying me my first tree, I thought I would share it here with you. I repotted it yesterday into a Walsall Ceramic Pot. It’s a Chinese Elm, which has changed little over the years but is close to my heart as it’s my starting point in my love of bonsai.

This was it in the old pot last Summer.

and this was it back in the Winter of 1993 when I nearly lost it. Crap picture, but both my bonsai and camera skills have improved since then 🙂 I don’t use mudmen now either lol.



Blue Diamond

This is a Rhododendron ‘Blue Diamond’ pulled from a garden about 10 years ago. It developed quickly but in recent years has been temperamental and hard to refine further. I decided that this year I would repot and give myself the chance to check on the roots. This is it in the old pot. I like both sides to this tree. One allows more flowers to be viewed and the other shows off the trunk movement. A nice combination.

I wanted to change the angle of the tree slightly to drop the long branch a bit. The old pot was too small in my view and the tree was raised up considerably in the pot. I needed to work on the surface roots and clear the old crust that had formed over the years from fertiliser pellets. I wasn’t happy with how the water was penetrating into the rootball and thought that this may have been part of the health problem with the tree. When I started the repot I was able to clear a lot of unwanted root away from the trunk base to expose a larger nebari. I also got rid of some old compacted garden soil in there too. As the tree was going into a bigger pot I was able to leave most of the finer root underneath the tree. The new pot isn’t an ideal shape but the size will be better for the tree until something better comes along. Here’s the tree after repotting and a few close ups.

This tree has never been in Kanuma which I personally don’t like. I am aware that if you buy a satsuki in Kanuma you never change it. I checked my kanuma stock after repotting another satusuki in my collection and found I only had a heavy grade of it left. As the new pot was a lot deaper I decided to add this to the bottom layer of the pot along with a heavy grit to help aid drainage. At my next repot I’ll assess the trees health and root growth and make a decision on any future potting mix for this tree. The rest of the mix for this tree was akadama and kyodama.

I am toying with the idea of removing all flower buds this year to promote growth but, as the flowering period for this tree is so short, I might just leave them. I always go over the tree after flowering to remove the seed pods to reduce the stress. I also get a rust type speckle on the leaves every Summer and will be spraying fungicide this year in an attempt to stop this. You can see the speckle on some of the close ups above. If you know what this is or can offer advice, I’d be happy to hear it.