Cotoneaster Microphyllis

This Cotoneaster has been in my collection since I dug it out of a garden in 1995. It’s nothing special really and I’m not overly happy with the shape of it. I even consider removing all branches and starting again. What I do like about it is the flowers and the deadwood I’ve created.

This was it back in a garden in 1995.

And here in 1996.

and again in 1998. Shortly after this photo a root died causing a narrowing of the live vein and the death of a few lower branches.

As I have already said, I’m not happy with the look of this tree. I have been overlooking it on purpose for a while but in September 2011 I tweaked it a little to try and hide a few faults.

This was it before work started. The extension shoots had already been trimmed and a few pads opened out.

Three faults that I tried to tackle where:

1. This long straight branch showing under the main pad of foliage.

2. This ugly curving branch.

3. These 2 visible branches that catch the eye.

I was able to hide number 1 by adjusting the foliage of the pad with wire dropping it to break the line of the branch. Straight lines in an image catch the eye.

Again, number 2 was concealed by dropping the foliage from another branch down in front of it. Further growth will be needed to complete this.

Fault 3 was solved by a little wiring in the apex to move the foliage to create a nicer apex but also stop the eye being drawn ring through the image to the straight back branch.

I then decided to play about with the position of the primary branch by using a guy line to pull it backwards.This is hard to see in a 2D image. I may decide to change this again.

It is amazing how different a tree looks in a photo. Some new growth will be needed to complete what I started.

As this is one of the first trees I ever carved, I should really pay more attention to how it looks. The longer a tree sits on your bench, the more you take it for granted. It’s hard to always look at a tree with fresh eyes. A lesson I’m trying to learn.

I have done a few quick pot virtuals. Having neglected this tree in terms of styling and design for years, it’s about time I did all I can to improve it. I could just sell it and be done, but, being one of my first trees, I just can’t do it!

Anyway, here are a few virtuals. I have also added a little foliage to fill out the image slightly.

I did these 2 with shallower ovals, Both improve the overall image.

However I think the shape of this pot suits the tree better. I suppose personal taste comes into this. I even added a few extra berries :-)

Having done the one above I decided to shrink the pot a tad. This , I think, is the best of the 4 options I tried.

 In 2012 I will hopefully find that pot or something similar and with a little growth I should quickly achieve the image above. My one main concern about the tree is the shrinking live vein. The vigour of the branches remains strong, so fingers crossed it will continue to thrive. I will be able to inspect the roots during the Spring repot to assess health.

2 comments on “Cotoneaster Microphyllis

  1. I like the direction you have gone with this tree. It’s something a little different to what we’re used to seeing from this species, I think, and you have done a good job so far with distracting the eye from the relatively straight trunk, up to the point that you don’t really notice how straight it is at first glance.
    Despite it being an early attempt, the carving you have done is pretty impressive and imho doesn’t need a lot of tweaking to make it appear totally natural.
    As for the three ‘faulty’ branches, I agree that you needed to do something to disguise them, and I think you’ve done a good job with that. I’m not too keen on the new position of the lowest branch, though. I prefer it in it’s original position, and would consider lowering it slightly if possible. I’d also remove some of the foliage closer to the trunk, as this would give the branch a more aged appearance.
    But that’s just me…….

    I’ll be watching the development of this tree with interest, Eejit. And I must say, it DOES look stunning in flower!!


    • Hi Steve,

      Just remembered you said to me at the BSA show you had commented on the blog. In all the fuss I clean forgot about it!! Thanks for the comments above, one of my more constructive replies 🙂

      Good to meet you at the show.




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