New Yamadori acquisitions

Having seen me working on one of my trees one day when I was on duty at the gallery on the Somerset Levels where I exhibit some of my paintings, one of the visitors told me that he had some trees collected from the wild gallery-wpYamadori ) and would I like some.

Well obviously I leapt at his kind offer, at my age as much as I would like to my rheumatic  knees and dodgy ankle ache at just the very thought of traipsing through the nearby woods and marshes.

I then waited for his phone call to say that he would bring the first couple in for me to pick up, which he did within a few days only to find one was so large that I did indeed have difficultly in picking it up. 

simon-pine2The larger tree was a Scots Pine over five foot high with flourishing healthy growth at the top and which should prove to be an interesting project for the next few years. My dear Sue wanted to keep it as a container tree but I could see that it would just go up and up and was not really suited to the confines of our small garden.

I am toying now with various plans, one of which I played with on my lap top with the aid of a photo package (paint net), It would involve reducing the height to just above the second set of branches


Computer rough

and breaking it with a Jin (a bare stripped part of branch or trunk) giving the appearance of a tree broken by the elements, tilting it to one side and encouraging the growth perhaps to one side to give a wind battered image.

My second thought was to ‘phone a friend’ and consult someone with a far wiser bonsai head than mine, so as he is coming round later in the spring to help watch this blog to see what happens.

simon-oak-1The second tree was obviously an Oak but what sort of oak? It is about four foot high and has retained leaves  with deeply cut lobes. Thinking it might be one of two possibles I put it on the British Bonsai Club  Facebook Page and was rapidly informed that my initial thought of Hungarian Oak was wrong and that in fact it was a Turkey Oak.  img2The first one of which was introduced this country in 1664 at Upnor Castle in Kent and is definitely identifiable by the curious hairy terminal buds.

I felt that I could start on this tree without waiting for an expert to hold my hand so I cut it off just above the first few branches,wired one of them up as a new leader and repotted it in a good sized training pot with a good draining mixture. I  used  this opportunity to spread the roots out evenly from the trunk,  not a hard task they were already well placed and should form a good Nebari ( the Root Flare around a tree) in time.

Oaks I am told can sometimes be awkward  as bonsais so I am looking forward to seeing how it progresses with fingers crossed and to a challenging project with the pine, My thanks to Simon for the trees and members of British Bonsai Club Facebook page for putting me right regarding the oak. I just wonder what else might be turning up- watch this space.


About Michael Cooper

Bonsai enthusiast and artist. After recording the rural scene in watercolours for over thirty years and having my own studio gallery I am now semi retired. I still sell my prints though to customers worldwide via my website and through the Somerset Crafts Gallery, Avalon Marshes Centre,Westhay nr Glastonbury BA6 9TT. The rest of the time is spent looking after my bonsai trees, I like the exercise.
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