It’s time for some wild, reckless bonsai styling!!
(Sorry, short digression…..consider the word reckless. Now the word wreck-less….weird, huh?)
This is that second buttonwood from the last post.
I got it from Mary Madison two years ago (she likes to challenge me, she’ll say “Hey Adam, look at this one, it’s really strange” and she knows I’ll be hooked).
And this one is strange.
From the right angle it looks like a deer or a horse head.
And it has a tiny base and a giant body.
When I potted it in this training pot last year it was with the purpose of encouraging some root growth (I had to put a rock under the right side to prop it) and to wire some movement into the branches.
I surely didn’t have any idea of any true shape then.
I’m not sure I have one now.
Maybe if I dramatically change the potting angle?
It has terrible obverse taper. (There’s that word again. Obverse. I will change the lexicon of bonsai yet.)
In order for me to see the trunk (and to reduce excess transpiration through the leaves) I’ll defoliate. And also remove the wire (just so I can put more on later. I feel like Sisyphus sometimes).
Now some more angles.
Ooga booga
I think I have an idea. I have to take it out of the pot first though.
Lookit those roots!
Compared with the tree in post # 1 these are purty.
That’s what we want to see, fine white hairlike roots.
The bonsai soil makes a difference.
That’s why, with my friend Dave’s help, we repotted all my stock buttonwood into training pots using good bonsai soil.
A big thanks Dave.
What’s my plan?
Well, looking at the tree out of the pot gives you a better perspective.
After looking at the live portions and the branches that I need, I’ve chosen to carve the underside of the trunk and the first uh, branch-like mass that makes that angle.
I feel confident that I won’t compromise the health of the tree if I carve out this
And I don’t need my fancy carving tools either; just my fancy bonsai tools
My big spherical knob cutters will do the trick. I might go back next year to refine the deadwood (with those fancy tools) but I don’t need to at the moment.
It’s pretty smooth and you can’t really see the tool marks
Especially with how blurry that photo is. Sorry.
Then, a little reorientation in the pot (rotating it about 60 degrees clockwise)
Soil, wire and…
Left side:
Right side:
Rear, you can really see the animal head here:
Take note of the cream colored bark. A little unusual.
Also, these roots should thicken up in time
Which should increase the thickness of the nebari.
If there is one thing that buttonwood do best is throw down roots.
When you collect a buttonwood and put it into an intermittent mist system to recover, the whole tree will be covered with roots, all up and down the trunk. Like you threw a pot of spaghetti at it. It’s the weirdest thing I’ve seen.
And here we are,
The front:
That’s it for this year. Lots of fertilizer and full sun for this baby….

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