Two more trees for your perusal (and, of course, my self edification).
A pigeon plum…and a dwarf yaupon….The yaupon is currently in a style I’ll call the “Bozo the Clown style”. You’ll have to Google that one. It’s a style that many azaleas end up in. Nothing on top but big wings on the side.
It’s what happens when you chop the top off of a plant that isn’t apically dominant but side dominant, and the top dies. This is why you might see healthy azaleas that tend to be taller, but skinnier than the “rules” suggest. Well…that’s one reason. Another is that a taller, skinnier tree is a better structure to hang all those flowers on.
I think I’ll start with the yaupon (it’s an ilex vomitoria “shillings” btw) since I’m in that photo set already.
The tree was originally a big trunked medium sized tree that had a fully carved front (my best carving work really, in fact, the best carving in the history of bonsai. I can say that since it’s rotted away and the evidence is gone. Actually, I think that I did a blog post or an instagram pic on this tree. First person to find it, send the link to firstname.lastname@example.org and you’ll win a t-shirt) anyway, the carved portion was about an apple sized chunk of wood…It’s rotted pretty well, looks old.
And there’s even a new shoot from the roots below. I’ll be able to use that in the final design. Otherwise it’ll be a tad bit flat.
The first step, a partial defoliation of the old, damaged, and interior leaves.
This will let me wire more easily, but it also does a few more things. It lets air and light into the interior. Which helps with fungus, like the black spot there. The defoliation also activates hormones and will cause back budding, accelerated growth, and increased branching. That’s all I can do tonight. My wife is calling….…..and it’s late anyway. Say good night Gracie.
Good morning! David is here from Miami and you saw two of the trees (in the last post) that we worked on. Here’s the third (already in progress) A pigeon plum (coccoloba diversifolia). And yes, David is wearing a regular watch and what looks like one of those fancy iPhone compatible thingies too. Not judging.
When I said in progress, I really meant it. I’m a chopping fool. David chose the worst day to wear white. We defoliate the tree and then it’s time to repot it into some good bonsai soil.
A little history on the tree. I’ve had it for about nine years and I can say that definitively because I won it in an auction (for a not-small sum) and I got a phone call just after, from my wife, saying that she was pregnant with our fourth child. The timing wasn’t the best. But my son is precious and that makes the tree precious as well. The tree was originally styled by a dear friend, Mike Cartrett, giving it more meaning.
The pot, well, not really a pot but just as good. It’s a feed dish, non-toxic, UV stable, thick and strong. Better than those crappy cement mixing tubs. You just need to drill some holes.
The roots are pretty good considering I haven’t touched them for 9 years. Wow. I shoulda done this years ago, this could have been a Disney tree….it will be, pretty quickly. Makes me wish I hadn’t used that green glazed round in the last post. Oh well, it needs about two years development anyway. Let’s look at the trunk, it’s purrrrty. If I remember correctly, the damage to the trunk was the result of fire damage. I like to joke about it raining everyday in Sunny Florida but we do have a dry season in the winter, which means it’s wild fire season too.
Ooooo, a hole!I like holes. They’re perfect for putting fingers into.
Well, that’s about as far as we got before David left. I’m on my own now. Maybe the little tree is more my size anyway. I am getting old.
A little wire………..a little bending….
You know what? I think I have just enough in me to finish the pigeon plum. That looks good. Fine, mighty fine. Finer than frogs hair.
My gratitude to David for the help he gave me while he was in town, you are a true brother. And now, I think it’s time for a beer.