I had a request from Kevin in Illinois to give an update on this neea-
From this post.
It, in these short months, looks nothing like my sketch yet.
Unless you stand on your head, squint really hard and use your imagination.
I wouldn’t do an update on this tree so early but I’ll also use this post to promote an event I’m participating in on October 5th.
The official press release is this:


Sept. 23, 2013

Contact: Cliff Norris
(727) 793-2976

Moccasin Lake Nature Park to Host Bonsai Festival

CLEARWATER, Fla. Learn the art and techniques of bonsai on Saturday, Oct. 5,
Moccasin Lake Nature Park, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Bonsai is the skill of
growing a potted plant such as a small tree into an artistic shape using special
methods of culture. The program is co-sponsored by the Clearwater Bonsai Club,
also called the Sundamizu Bonsai Kai. Displays and programs will be available
throughout the day. Bonsai trees and supplies will be on sale. Other highlights
of the festival include organic food vendors, environmental exhibits, live
music, a raffle, and Healthy Choice food.

Moccasin Lake Nature Center is located at 2750 Park Trail Lane, Clearwater, FL.
Call (727)793-2976

I posted the event on my Facebook page as well (the link https://www.facebook.com/events/559385757463042/).

The event will be a fun-filled day of bonsai as well as a stroll through one of the West Coast’s nicest nature parks.
There are a few openings left for the workshops (Which feature shimpaku, azalea, and the aforementioned neeas)
There will be a demo presented by Owen Reich (check his blog out- Bonsai Unearthed ) and the workshops will be run by Owen, Cliff Pottberg, Marian Borchers and myself.
The workshop also includes soil, a pot, and a sketch showing what, perhaps, the tree will look like in the future.
I hope to see you there, now….. back to the tree-
Here are some close-up views to give you an idea of the kind of out-of-control growth a neea exhibits
A bit excessive, right?
But easy to tackle.
Here’s a sketch of a branch:
Now I’ll add some variously colored lines representing unwanted growth.
The reds are the up and down shoots, the blues are the crotch growth, the yellows are the opposite or bar growth, and the greens are the tridents (the three shoots that should be simplified to two).
Just remove those unwanted shoots. Of course it’s not that simple sometimes-
I’d like to see this:
But on a neea (and ilex, ficus, bald cypress et all) this is usually the norm:
Which isn’t a problem, it can be wired down, but not until the growth hardens off a bit.
How much trimming will I do?
Well, a lot, but it won’t seem like I did any.
Looking closer you’ll see I left a few shoots where I need them.
The pic above was the left view.
Right view:
Baby-got-back view:
And the, to continue the theme, full frontal:
It doesn’t look like much now but it has buds where I need them.
Another reason I’m showing this is to demonstrate, a bit, the step after the first styling is done and the tree has grown all over and now your thinking, “uh….what the hell….!”
Training a bonsai is just, after the initial styling, a repetition of certain steps of pruning, wiring, and watering.
That’s all folks.
See you at Bonsai Fest!

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