Hawthorn Adjustments

I was pushing my luck today wiring this Hawthorn so late on. Easy to knock off emerging buds. However if left for another season the branches would have stiffened further making it harder to get the right shape into them. Some deadwood also removed to improve trunk line.







A long way to go to create enough ramification on this one to make a convincing mature image, but that’s the fun part 🙂

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And The Rest…

… of the pines, now tucked away in the tunnels. Mixture of Scots and Lodgepole.










A Great Start

I finished work today at 5 and am off now until 13th April. I have lots of bonsai things planned during this time and thought I’d get stuck in by clearing away the mess in the garage left over from the potting up of the collected pines on Sunday. As I was checking the bags before they went in the bin I spotted a missed shohin sized tree in a bag. After a further check I spotted 3 more!! Result 🙂

All were still in good nick as they had been collected with a full rootball still encased in field soil.

This is what we’ve been finding, even small trees with amazing bark and character.







I’m Back!

I think that’s officially the longest I have ever went without posting on the blog! I have been meeting myself coming back in work of late, with every minute taken up doing more important things than blogging 🙂 Yes, I do have a life lol.

I did find time to go collecting on Sunday with Phil and Mark. Not great timing with the clocks going forward for BST. It meant that after a couple of hours sleep we had a 5 hour drive followed by a 5 hour collecting session, followed by another 5 hours back home, followed by 3 hours potting up session, followed by a double shift in work today!! I’m feeling pain in every muscle after humping up and down the side of a mountain, but you know what? I wouldn’t have missed it for the world 🙂 Mark had it easy, he only had a 3 hour drive from Cork to get to the site lol.

A wee cup of tea before heading home.


The sort of ground we had to collect over.



Trees, Scots Pine and Lodgepole Pine, all now potted up and under cover. Not a lot of photos taken either but more to follow soon perhaps.

The Spoils

Some of the Pines collected on a recent trip. A mixture of Scots and Lodgepole.

Sunday’s Collecting Trip

After an evening with Piotr our host on the Saturday night, we made an early start on the Sunday morning to visit two collecting sites. First off we wanted to collect some Larch for the NIBS, our own club, who have plans about a special inter-generational workshop next year. Here we our selecting some suitable trees for this.



We popped back to Piotrs home for a quick cuppa before some serious travelling to the second site. While we were there we had a look around some of Piotr’s trees in his garden. I think we can safely say he’s hooked on bonsai with a garden rapidly filling with trees.

We then headed along the West Coast to get to a site we hadn’t visited before. We had been told that it was a possible Pine collecting site. I’m not going to go into the location for obvious reasons but Piotr had done the ground work for us so we could just go and collect. He came along with us and it was great to have his help.

It was a bit of a drive and then a bit of a hike from the road but what we found was an excellent site for both Scots Pine and Lodgepole Pine. These trees were self seeded and growing in an exposed area which created some great shapes and bark. These are the best Pines that I’ve found in Ireland. Here are a few shots of some of them on site. A nice mix of sizes. Sorry for a few blurry photos  but it was raining for a while.

Up at Allotments

Tony gave us a look at his yamadori collection at his allotment. If only he had the forethought to arrange a dry day. 🙂 Thankfully Sunday saw a blue sky. These are some of the snaps taken over a few visits, some very exciting trees, especially some of the demo trees set aside for Bonsai Europa 2015 .


Collecting in the Hills

This gallery contains 29 photos.

Sunday saw us head to a few places where Pines have self seeded from forestry areas and have never been touched. The Pines are mostly Lodgepole Pine but the bark was really nice and some had pretty decent movement. Phil … Continue reading

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Yamadori Sitka Spruce

This Spruce was collected back in March 2012, full story here.



During the week I decided to give it a clear out of the dead branches and remove a few unnecessary ones. I have chased back the foliage a bit too to encourage some back budding.



After a lot of turning around and a little thought I opted to remove  the branch on the right and do a little shari.




It will now be left alone until next year to allow it to recover and back bud.  I see two options with it and a lot of raffia in it’s future 🙂

Scots Pine Prep

This is one of the pines collected from a bog two years ago. It has recovered well but now’s the time to remove a few branches that won’t be needed in any final design. I also needed to chase back the foliage so that the tree back buds into more suitable areas over the next few years. Once I have this I can then start to think about styling the tree.

This was the tree being collected

and now before cut back.

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A straight bit here needs to be removed.

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And after cutting back

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