Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Old trees have Horizontal branches????

This Hawthorn came from a customers garden and was the last tree I collected as a thatcher. It was much taller than it is now and was reduced to some buds I found lower down. Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures at the time. I was attracted by the invisaged taper and good bark qualities.
     I have discussed branch formation and style in deciduous trees at club workshops and demos. I try to dispell the myth that old trees should be styled with drooping or horizontal branches. Take a look at very old trees and while there are horizontal branches, by far the majority of movement is still vertical. The key to creating old looking branches is dramatic changes in angle and good taper. I hope with this post and with regular updates to go some way in achieving what I am trying to explain.
                                     This Hawthorn is currently 8 inches (21cm tall.

 The first job was to leaf prune. June 2013. Some horizontal growth but  the branches have no age to them.
 All the branches were wired, a small amount of movement added and then placed in a more upright habit
                                                                       The left side.
                                                                           The back
                                                                        The right side.
 I posted a thread on the European bonsai forum and made this rough virtual to show how I see this tree developing in future years. There will be an element of horizontal growth but as you can see, plenty of movement and vertical growth.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Steve (Harleyrider) Jacksons little Ulmus

Some of you may remember Steve (Harleyrider) Jackson for his imaginative and funny posts on the Internet Bonsai Club. I became good friends with Steve over a number of years and he often commented on trees that I posted on that forum. It became clear to me that Steve was particularly fond of English Elm (Ulmus minor), so I gave him one of mine to start working on. I met with Tony Tickle at the Joy of Bonsai 2010 in Bath and as Tony knew Steve well, I asked him to pass the tree on.
  Unfortunately Steve died last Summer and we never got to work on this tree as intended. We did however discuss orientation and styling ideas together.
Tony passed the tree back to me at Burrs 2012.  This first picture was taken by Steve before he died.

I repotted the tree at the angle me and Steve discussed and into one of Andy Pearsons (Stone Monkey) more unusual slab built pots
Leaf pruned and all four sides shown

 Little bit of carving to do in the near future. I am happy that this tree is true to the consideration we both gave to this tree. It will stay with me as a lasting memory of Steve.
Back in leaf now and growing strongly. I will change the planting angle this Winter.
Allthe wire was removed today and the whole tree pruned back to aid back budding. Feb 2014