They are both hugely enthusiastic about bonsai and have a real passion for Wales and their native Hawthorns. All the trees they collect are within a small radius of where they live and are some of the finest wild trees I have seen. First off was a visit to Paul's garden and look at his material and his bonsai.
A good raft collected this year
Some qute delicate movement on these very old trees
Chewing gum for scale
This is the Hawthorn I carved at the Welsh show last year
Massive Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa)
Very large Larch (Larix)
Some of Paul's smaller Hawthorns
Couldn't work out what variety of Pine this was but the bark was very good
Close up of the bark
Another fantastic piece of Hawthorn
Then it was a visit to Andrews trees. Here he is with a relatively small Larch (Larix)
A much larger Larch that has just been moved to a smaller box after some root reduction.
This is more like the planned front of the tree
One of Andrws larger Hawthorns collected this year and starting to leaf up.
As you can see they don't mess around with size!
This Hawthorn was originally lying down flat as it was when it was collected. It was potted in a more upright position to show off the amazing deadwood.
We discussed this tree at length and how it could be designed. I didn't like the upright parts of the tree and pointed out the bery good movement from the base to the horizontal branch. Paul and Andrew had seen this line before and with a little bit of persuasion Andrew got the saw out
You can see in this picture how the trunk swirls and moves gracefully to the right and with some careful pruning, the taper will be shown too.
The large piece cut off. We discussed leaving quite a stump for two reasons. To allow an area for carving some interest and to allow the roots beneath to find a sap line around the cut. If the root dies, this will not be a problem for the future thogh as the whole pot is full of root.
The second branch off and again plenty of wood was left for the carving. The lower of the two horizontal branches will also come off but only once there is more growth to pull the sap on the higher branch. Too much, too soon and the tree could die if there isn't enough twigs and buds to support the tree.
When the carving takes place, there is a nice natural opening that may make a nice feature too
A quick play with photoshop to give an idea of what I have in my head for this tree.