Golden Escallonia Dig today

Today’s task is to collect this Escallonia from my dad’s garden.

This is a previous post about the tree. Golden Escallonia

The best thing about this dig today, my Dad has already dug it up. 🙂 He only recently decided to remove it and wanted to get a willow planted in it’s place. My Dad being my Dad, couldn’t wait until I lifted it so he went ahead and done it himself! Not bad for an 85 year old!! Hope I’m that fit if I make it to that age, in fact, he’s fitter than me now!!! 🙂 I’ll post photos of the tree tomorrow.

…Mike and Stephen

Following on from my last post, here is what Mike and Stephen got up to.

Stephen brought along a Yew to dewire. It was getting rather tight even though it was only wired back in May. See my previous post HERE. Stephen got to work. It was rather cold in the garage and Stephen found that marching on the spot really helped warm him up 🙂

I also had to explain to Stephen from a Health & Safety point of view that we had several tables on offer, all at different heights to suit the size of the tree.

The tree after dewiring. It has back budded very nicely since it’s haircut in May. Next year should see some strong growth for this tree.

 Michael brought along a Japanese White Pine. This tree had lost a few branches in the last few years and it made the original front hard to work with. This was the original front.

The first part of the trunk line was interesting but the straight top section was a problem. Also, the first branch to the left was heavy and straight and had also suffered die back. We discussed a few options and Phil even took some time out from bark striping to have a look too.

We had a few options. One was to make a shohin tree by taking it back to a low branch. If it had been a Scots Pine, I might have considered this, but not with a Japanese White here in NI. You rarely see a happy vigorous tree of that species here. People allow them to receive far too much water. This new option would require strong growth and the tree would bleed sap profusely from the major wound.

There was a semi cascade option as well with deadwood involved but, we opted for another option that suited Mike’s tastes. This was to be the new front.

This front had a few benefits. The movement in the upper trunk was better and the straight lower branch was now a back branch that couldn’t be seen. The nebari isn’t just as good but there was marginal. The branch layout created a better and more convincing image. I thought that the tree was too tall and that a new lower apex was going to be needed. The biggest problem, and one that can’t really be seen in the photo, was going to be the fact that the apex leaned back slightly. We discussed this and decided to add a guy wire to pull it forward.

We got to work and very quickly got the rest of the tree wired so we could place branches. We ensured that all buds were facing up, important on a JWP. We added another guy line to bring the apex more over the base of the tree. As it sat, the flow of the trunk line was annoying me. By applying these two guys the height of the tree was reduced sufficiently for us not to bother with reducing the height of the apex by removing branches. This was it after wiring.

Mike had to shoot off at the end and there was a few other tweaks that I wanted to do. That branch near the top on the left needs to be lowered to match the rest. However I think we made a better tree out of it in the end. Here are the before front and the after front side by side.

This is a virtual showing a little extra growth and a different pot.

This is how we attached the guy line. Mike hadn’t seen the eye loops used like this before, however he was first to suggest using a wood screw. Sometimes this is the only option as there isn’t anything suitable there to guy too.

This is one of the pads. Where foliage would allow, we rounded out the pad to make a fuller image.

Hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed the company in the garage 🙂

Bonsai in the Afternoon

Over the last few months I have started having impromptu bonsai sessions on mid week afternoons with a few friends. This was normally the preserve of a Friday evening but there isn’t enough Friday evenings in a month 😀

My usual freinds attending these afternoon sessions are Stephen and Michael. However yesterday, Phil also joined us. He said he hadn’t had a day off work since April and wanted to play with trees.

Phil worked on the deadwood of this Juniper. It had been carved with power tools a while back but Phil wanted to change this to a more natural looking image by doing some work by hand. It had some basic shaping a few years ago but is now ready for a more structured wiring.



Before [well nearly before. We forgot to take a photo at the start]

After [ well, not quite as he’s still to finish it!]

This is what he left behind for me to clean up 🙂

I brought this yew in to work on. I bought it many years ago as a big garden centre tree in a tub. It got a little bit of styling but it’s health went down hill rapidly! Turns out it was full of vine weevil!! I killed them off but the tree was very weak. I put iy in the ground for about 8 years and it got a few clippings in that time. It still remained weak for much for this period. About a year ago it was dug up and put in this beautiful red tray [not] and has grown well this year. I’m trying to cut back on the number of trees sitting about the place and decided that if I do a little work on this, I might be able to sell it some time next year. Here is the before and after pics after todays work. Major pruning and setting of a basic branch structure.

It’s got 5 trunks if you count the dead one. For some reason I haven’t taken a photo of the actual new front. The tree needs to spin slightly more clockwise to bring all the trunks into view.With some filling out, and some added shari put on the boring straight sections on the trunk, it might actually sell 🙂

I’ll add Michael and Stephen’s work on another post.