Category Archives: Trees

My 2 escalonia’s – Need some advice

Now that we finally have some heat in the ground and plenty of sunshine. Things are really starting to grow. My 2 escalonia that have been cut down from 1m high hedging plants are budding like crazy so I have a few questions.



I am not wanting to turn them into large trees. I think with the size of their trunks they would suit a more shohin size. The smaller of the two around 6inches and the larger between 8-10inches.

So here’s my question.

Should I be removing buds now to allow the tree to concentrate on developing branches I want to keep or do I let it grow out for another year and cut it back hard again next year?

Any other style advice will be welcomed with open arms.


New buds emerging on my oak seedling


Was just out doing a little watering and noticed some new buds coming on my oak seedling.

I collected this little guy from a bit of waste ground at work. I wasn’t sure if it was going to do anything as it didn’t have many roots and the main tap root was damaged when I lifted it.

I know it will never be a bonsai in my life time but I have another plan for it. I won’t divulge now but if it works I’ll keep you all posted. I don’t want anyone laughing if its a daft idea lol. For now we’ll refer to it as ‘Mission O’

Look what I found at the top of the garden centre!

I was wondering around the old nursery and came across this betula. The top of the tree has died but its pushing on plenty of growth at the bottom of the trunk.


Growth at the base of the trunk.


Hard to see but the top of the tree has had it.


The trunk


Branching up the stem

There is only one problem, trying to sneak it out past my boss!

More pics of my Pre-Bonsai Acer Palmatum ‘Orange Dream’

I’ve been talking a bit about my Acer Pal. Orange Dream on /r/bonsai so I thought I would post a few more pics.

Anyone with any ideas about design or a plan for the future feel free to comment and let me know. Any advice will be welcome.


Trees for the Future


I potted up a few bits of nursery and landscape stock today into growing pots to let them grow on for 2 or 3 years so hopefully they will make some nice little trees in the future.

Going from left to right they are:

Fagus sylvatica purpurea
Carpinus Betula
Horse chestnut
Taxus Baccata
Acer Palmatum orange dream – this one has a really nice nebari so should be an interesting tree when it grows.

I haven’t pruned the Taxus or Acer at all. I will trim back the Taxus a little to promote new growth but I think I will leave the Acer and have a look at it in the spring. The Chestnut has been chopped so I will let it grow out for a season and then look at the branching again. The beech and the hornbeam have been lightly trimmed and cut to approx height so I will let them grow out and look at proper branch selection in spring.

Getting my nursery Choisya into a training pot

It was a nice sunny day so I decided to get my Choisya Aztec Pearl into a training pot. So here is a walkthrough of the process I went through.

This is the plant before I started. It already has some nice shape to become a short broom style tree but it will need a little bit of work to get it there.


The first step was to do a little pruning. As its the first pruning and I’m intending to prune the roots down I didn’t want to go too mad, so I just thinned out some of the branches and shortened some of them. As there is not a lot of growth towards the main trunk, I couldn’t shorten them as much as I would like so it’s still a little tall for my liking.


Next I removed the nursery pot and loosened the roots. I didn’t have to trim that many roots off as they were mostly fine roots so I could easily spread them out in the pot.


Finally I prepared my bonsai mix and put some mesh in the bottom of the training pot. I secured the plant to the pot and filled it with bonsai mix.


There’s still a bit of growing to do with this one and eventually I want to take a little bit of the height down but I need some more growth at the base of the branches before I can do that.

So that’s it finished for now, I will post an update as soon as there are any developments.

Jump onto the comments and let me know if there are any other styles you see or if you can recommend any other steps in the process.

My Trees – So far

I thought I’d better post a few photos of some of my trees so far, what stage they are at and where I want to get with them. None of my trees are finished but some of them are going to take a little more work than others.


This is my twin trunk azalea. It’s still in it’s training pot but it’s general shape is there. As with most bonsai’s I would have liked the trunks to be a little bigger but as a short tree, I don’t think they look too bad. The plan is to grow out the foliage a little then prune it into pads so it will be a loose broom style.


This is a clip and grow attempt at a slanted style tree. It is a cedrus deodara that was suffering a little in the nursery so I took it home, pruned it back a little and planted it into a training pot in a bonsai mix. The branch at the top right is intended to be a sacrifice branch so it will eventually be taken off. I didn’t want to take off too much foliage initially as the plant was not in great health. so I’ll let the foliage grow out a little and then remove it.


This is a Portuguese Laurel. This tree has a LONG way to go but I think it will make an interesting little tree when it’s finished. I’ve cut it back to a rough size but I need to grow out the branch structure a bit before I can really shape it.


This is a little buxus. Again it is in the very early stages but I have managed to get it planted into a small bonsai pot. I’ll let it grow out a little and then trim it into shape. Buxus grows slowly so it might take a while.

I have a few other trees planted into bonsai mix in nursery pots but they ain’t really that interesting at this stage

Quick Update – Three new trees??

One of the advantages to working in a garden centre is the opportunity to find new trees that I otherwise wouldn’t have found.


I found these 3 Sorbus at the back of our pollytunnel. They were around 12ft tall however they had seen better days. I thought they would make a good candidate for bonsai as there is still life in the trunks.

So I’ve cut them back and fed them so I will leave them for a couple of years to push on a bit of new growth before repotting into a bonsai mix. I haven’t had a look at the rootball yet so I’m not sure what lurks below the surface but I will leave them for a year before I carry out any kind of root reduction.

I will keep you posted on any progress.

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