Two collected hackberries.
If’n you follow me on Instagram or the Facebooks, you’ll remember that I was lamenting the loss of a stand of native celtis nearby. Now, granted, it’s been heavily collected from by fellow bonsai practitioners but, as some have suggested, that’s not the reason for the decline. It’s two fold, one, see that dirt road? It goes to a lake with a boat ramp. The road is heavily traveled, for being a dirt road, with those hunting the elusive bass we call largemouth (It’s funny, I had a girlfriend I could describe as a large mouthed. Or big mouthed. I originally hunted her but ended up running as fast as I could away from her. Ahhh, to youth and my sweet roison dubh). The road is bulldozed and leveled quite often, fishing being a little more popular than native trees. This constant “improvement” keeps making the road wider and messes with the drainage. The first tree I’ll be working on is a root from a big tree that was felled to widen said road. I’ll get back to that in a bit.
The second reason the stand is declining is it’s being choked out by the dreaded Brazilian Pepper tree. Truly a scourge for native trees, it (SCHINUS TEREBINTHIFOLIUS) loves Florida and, considering that it’s seeds keep getting eaten by wildlife and sown everywhere, Florida loves it. I don’t know a solution and I’m not sure one could be found. It is true that it was man that brought the pepper tree into Florida but it is speculated that it was the ocean that brought in the buttonwood from Africa, one of the most beloved “native” trees now. There’s a treatise in there somewhere. But I’m not going to write it. Yet. Back to the other…hack…job. Ha!
Obviously I need to chop this back. I might remove it totally in the future but maybe not. You can’t glue it back on so I’ll leave it here for the time being.
Lots to work with still.
Next, into the training pot.
It’s looking good. Now for a touch, just a touch, of wire. Ok, a lot. You know me, I wire. I’m of the opinion that if you’re not using wire, it’s not modern bonsai. Here’s an analogy for you: traditionally, man painted with his fingers. Then Ug, the Picasso of the cavemen, picked up a feather, the first paintbrush, and revolutionized the art of painting. It’s the same principle with wire on bonsai. The practice is less than a hundred years old, so most definitely not traditional, but that’s how modern bonsai practitioners make trees. That doesn’t mean not to use clip and grow, I use both techniques, even on the same tree, but if you’re not wiring, it’s like only using your fingers whilst painting a picture, you can only get to a certain level of refinement because of the limitations of your tools.
Two collected celtis lævigata.
And an initial styling for the other. This one will be sweet, like sugar (see what I did there?) I’ll revisit them both in a years time. Both will be sweet, you’ll see. Stay tuned, mi amigos, they develop fast.
Anyone wanna go fishing? I know this one spot…….