I’ve been waiting two years to work on this magnificent specimen of a tree. The man who collected it had a keen eye that day, indeed.
It’s a 30-40 year old ilex schillings that I collected from a friend’s hedge.
The ilex vomitoria “schillings” or sometimes called “stoke’s dwarf” (I cannot find anywhere why these two names “schillings” and “stokes” are associated with this dwarf cultivar.) is a very popular foundation planting in Florida and the South and is often described as “the meatball” in the landscape trade. It responds very well to pruning and will form a dense hedge.
This tree was six feet tall (about 2 meters) when I collected it. Now it’s about 2 feet tall.
I believe this was a corner of the hedge (my friend called it the granny hedge. He wanted a more tropical look)
I’m going to tilt it forward a little
And, as you can see from above, it needs some thinning.
Now I need to clean that black gunk off. It’s either mold or a type of slime.
It doesn’t hurt the tree but its ugly. IMO
Using my son’s favorite toothbrush (I can no longer use my wife’s. she’s started reading the blog and hiding her toothbrush so I switched to my son. He’s a teenager and a know-it-all and at the Age of Unbelieving. And he doesn’t read his dear-old-dad’s blog) I scrub the black gunk away. If you want you can mix a teaspoon of dish soap or Listerine into a gallon of water. I didn’t.
All clean though
When I say knobs I mean the dead, chunky bits that were cut back.
Recently, on a forum, it was asked whether one needed specialized bonsai tools or if standard garden pruners were sufficient. In order to do the detail work above, the cutting surfaces, the geometry and leverage that a good bonsai tool give makes that kind of work “like buttah!”
In order to adjust the angle from here
I’ll need to do a repotting.
And I might as well put it into a container that at least resemble a bonsai pot (although the round feed bowl it’s in is ideal for training).
First before the first though. I must remove this tree
There are some roots on the back that I don’t want to come off. To protect them I just cover them with sphagnum moss
Now for some wire.
When it comes to wiring, there is nothing more boring to read about than how to place it on the branches. And writing about it is just as boring.
If you want to learn, I suggest you find someone who you think is good at it, buy a bottle of expensive tequila, and ask for a lesson………Patron is a good brand……
Without further distractions-
Except for updates this is the last ilex post this year. Promise. Maybe.
Be sure to share, like, follow and all that. I don’t know if you’re reading otherwise.
If you have a request, please feel free to ask me to write up a post. If I don’t know the answers I’ll be sure to make something up that at least sounds plausible.