This Hawthorn was collected in 1990 from the side of a disused railway line. It was planted in a deep tub because most of the  root I was able to get out with it was about 4 inches higher up the trunk than the soil level I eventually wanted

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This tree was grown from a cutting taken in 1980 and planted to grow up the side of a house. In 1995 it had grown too large and it was decided to take it out. There was no care  taken in digging it out as it was only afterwards that it was realized that it might make a good Bonsai. It had hardly any roots but this didn’t prove to be a problem, it budded up straight away and grew strongly all summer. Over the next five years, as the tree was being trained, any flower that appeared was cut off so that all the energy went into branch development.

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The seed for this Alder was collected in the autumn of 1987, from a local tree, planted in standard seed compost and left outside to germinate. For the first three years growth was very slow. I decided to do some research into Alders and found out that they grew close to water. From then on I stood it in water during the summer and it immediately started to grow very fast. In the spring of 1992 it was planted in a washing up bowel, stood in a tray of water and fed every two weeks with Chem pack No 8. By the end of the year I was standing it in half strength Chem Pack solution and the growth was strong and fast. In the winter it was pruned back hard to create a good trunk taper. The hard pruning also had the effect of creating a lot of back budding which was also allowed to grow, the effect of this was to fatten the trunk up very quickly. This method of growing and pruning hard continued until the winter of 1997 when the first of the branches were selected and wired into place.

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Here are some pictures of the September 2010 workshop with John Armitage at Swindon & District bonsai club which was great fun and very informative. For more information about John visit his blog at: http://johnarmitagebonsai.wordpress.com/.

Hinoki cypress bonsai

Japanese cypress or Hinoki Cypress or false cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa ) is a species of cypress that is native to central Japan. It is an important timber tree and is considered sacred by Shintos. It comes from the family of Cupressaceae which is part of the False cypresses. The genus is Chamaecyparis and the species is Obtusa meaning blunt leaves. In June, a club night was devoted to working on Hinoki cypress and a brief video showing work in progress is posted below.

Hinoki cypress workshop video

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