One to One with John

Another day with trees in Dublin, this time with John is his beautiful garden.

Some pics.

Steve’s Work

During my time with Mr Warren, Steve Salisian from LA was busy working away beside me. I thought I’d share his work here for you to see.

The first tree is a Sabina Juniper with great deadwood and movement.






Portuguese Oak









Another Portuguese Oak


A raft style Yew










Japanese Maple



Thanks for adding to my experiences for the week Steve, look forward to catching up with you in LA in May. 🙂



Old Joe Yew

This tree is with me until the end of either it or me 🙂 Perhaps not the best material in the world but I have a sentimental attachment to this tree due to it’s provenance. You can catch up with that here along with other links. 

As I’m keeping it, I decided it was time for a better pot. I have recently acquired this Walsall Ceramic pot which I think adds to the negative space required to emphasise the height of the tree. It’s a glazed pot but subtle which I like for this tree. I under planted a few small Japanese Ferns to help hide a few issues and also emphasise the height of the tree.

Shohin Yew

Yes, another Yew, no fancy yamadori this time. I grew this one from a cutting!

This was it earlier in the year in a training pot.

While over at Bonsai Europa I fell in love with some of the great pots on the Sperling Keramic stand. I had never even heard of Sperling before! A very friendly service with some amazing pots. I picked up this little pot for another tree but wasn’t happy with the match so I’ve decided to use it for this little Yew.

This is it just potted up. A thinning out required this year and some extra shari work.

This was the tree back in 2011 after initial styling.

A few other pots from Sperling Keramic in case you want to see what else came back to Northern Ireland.

Chuhin Yew – Time for a Change

I’ve had this little Yew since 2002 when I bought it as raw material. That said, it was in this pot even then. I love the pot, Ian Baillie only makes good ones but after all this time I felt either the tree had outgrown the pot or I just needed a change.

This is it in the old pot.

And this is it’s new home for the next few years. A nice Japanese pot I picked up with a bit of age about it.. It’s perhaps a little big but the tree could do with a few years of freer root growth as I will now spend a little more time on improving the overall image of the tree.

This was it back in 2003 as raw yamadori material. It’s come a long way but probably has as far to go again!

‘Old Joe’ Yew

Lifted this one in for a slight trim. Bit of a history with this one.

Before tidy up



After Tidy up


This was it in 2010

Decision Made

Back in January I posted about trying to make my mind up about whether to keep this Yew Tall or go for a shorter tree. I talked about the sentimental value of this one and the tall character of the tree suited this.

Last night, being on my own while my wife is in America for a few weeks, I decided to drink beer and listen to 80’s music on the radio while playing with trees in my garage. DAB radio has lots of new stations available and this one is right up my street 🙂

So beer in hand, music blasting I sat this tree down in front of me and explored a chop option. No matter what I looked at, I could find a convincing image. I therefore set about thinning and wiring to improve the taller option. This is the result.

and beer bottle for scale 🙂

and sure I have older photos of this tree somewhere but for comparison, this was it 2 years ago.

As Allie is away, it might be an idea to freshen up the lime sulphur work on this one now too 🙂


Field Grown #4 Yew

Another field Grown Yew. This one has quite a bit of character when you see it in the flesh. It’s been on the sales page here for a while and instead of it sitting for another year without any work down, I have went ahead and gave it the initial styling.  It now has a good basic skeleton structure to work from and build a nice little tree. A few too many branches retained but these can be removed as the tree fills.

Field Grown #3

This is a little Shohin Yew grown from a cutting. Out of all the Yew field grown, this one did the least growing, as it turned out, not a back thing. This is it front and back before and after a light trim.

Old Joe Yew Update

Time to rework this Yew called Old Joe after my Uncle. See HERE and HERE for background and older photos.

This is it now. Grown well in the last while. Decisions to be made about the future height of the tree. Initially keep tall for a bit of carving practice on a poor tree. Now as it fills out I might be tempted to create the tree from the bottom few branches. However, tall and straight is part of my memory of my uncle, decisions decisions.