Early days with this one and not a species for the faint of heart!


Maintenance – Elm & Birch

Two more, both a ways off being mature trees. First a cork bark elm. I normally only get Summer growth like this if they are kept in the poly tunnel.



and after








Silver Birch Autumn Colour

Yellow kicking in on this Birch. Only in training a few years and has a long way to go but it’s nice to see the splash of colour on the bench.

Defoliation Bounce Back

These two have flushed out again after defoliation.

Rescue Maple

Silver Birch

Eejits On Tour Part 1

Today Phil and I went on a little tour of Northern Ireland. This wasn’t a random thing, we did have a purpose. We were looking for new collecting sites and checking on a few old ones. We planned to get the required permissions needed to collect legally, so we could devote the day of collecting to just digging trees. We also wanted to touch base with the  land owners who previously had allowed us to collect on their land, just to let them know that we’d be back in the Spring.

It was a very successful day and we achieved everything we wanted, and more. I’m not about to broadcast to the world exactly where we collect, that would be rather stupid!! We are eejits [idiots], but not complete eejits!!! 🙂 However, I did take plenty of photographs along the way that won’t compromise our plans. I plan to share these over the next few days. Some are trees for inspiration, some wildlife etc.

It was a long drive with most places not yielding much in the way of decent yamadori, however, many nice trees were on view.

A common sight in Ireland, a hawthorn in a field. Untouched due to superstition that it’s a ‘fairy tree’.

A few Birch.

Some of the views along the coast and up in among the rivers and Glens, are truly beautiful.

The mountain in this image is shrouded with cloud. It kind of looks like a volcano that has spewed forth a cloud of ash!

Sheep grazing in the glens.

A panoramic of the last two shots.

Rathlin Island

Stay tuned, plenty more to come….

Silver Birch

This Silver Birch was field Grown for a few years and has been clipped back for the last year.  I gave it another trim today to remove unwanted adventurous shoots and shorten any extension growth. I’ll be doing this for a year or so to build up a ramified image. I will use wire now and again but I have found them to be wire intolerant as they drop wired branches frequently.

Before Trim

After Trim

Back to Front

I snapped a few pics of these two yesterday. First is a field grown Silver Birch. I popped it into this pot last month. It was lifted from the ground 2 years ago and has only been clip and grow to this stage. I’m reluctant to wire too much as they drop branches for fun after wiring. I plan to build up some ramification this year and then work on the deadwood cuts in the Autumn.

Here’s the front and back, you decide which is which 🙂

This little Yew was also field grown. Out of 15 growing in open ground, this one decided that fattening up wasn’t for him. It remained quite small and I have decided to keep it as a shohin. I styled it last year and I’m hoping for plenty of growth this year to start filling out the image. Again, front and back below.