Saturday, September 5, 2009

Five years of a scots pine

I have bought this scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) in the winter of 2004 in a garden center. This variety, 'Saxatilis' is in my opinion great for bonsai because it has small leaves, a compact growth habit and buds a lot. (I also have a larger one of this variety.)

This is how it looked like originally, and after a very little pruning.

At about 15cm high the trunk has split into two major branches and two about equal sized "crowns" so I have removed the right-side one and carved it into a jin. I have also pruned away a lot of the branches of the remaining crown as Saxatilis is a very dense growing variety. This picture shows the tree in the winter of 2007 when it was badly in need of a wiring.

In 2008 I did a leaf-pruning on the tree (removed all of last years needles) and started to wire it. The wiring was about half done when Tony Tickle came to the Bonsai Show 2008 in Budapest and visited my garden. Tony saw the potential in the tree and he has kindly offered to style it. He has pruned much of the remaining half of the tree to open up the dense structure and also wired the major branches. Some pictures of this work:

This way a major leap forward as the crown was reduced to the essential branches. Tony with the finished tree.

This year the pine has sprouted back vigorously and produced more ramification. This picture was made a few days ago.

Then I have leaf-pruned it again, removing all of last years needles which has opened up the "bushy" character that it has produced again. I have also placed some stones around the tree to create an explanation for the strange root bulge on the right. With time I plan to carve it away but I would like to see its roots at the next repotting before I do it. This is how the current front looks like today.

However the tree looks a lot better when viewed a little from the right side. Next spring I will pot it up in this orientation: about 45 degrees to the right of the current front and also tilting up the current far left corner.

Literati hawthorn with fruits

The hawthorn that I have posted about in this post has ripened its fruits now. I have removed two lower branches and it looks much better now.
I like the contrast of the fruits and the leaves.


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