Bonsai Progress July 2017


My Bonsai Progress over the last six months or so.


Juniper Project JUly black 1

This is coming on a treat now, looking a bit better than it did not so long ago at the beginning of May, the High Nitrogen feed seems to have done it good.

Good one.jpg2

Just looking forward to getting it into a better pot, my Sue is getting a bit fed up with this big black pot out there but it will have to wait until the spring for a repot and root prune. Got Bonsai do a 50cm  plastic which is about a big as I can get or afford for the next stage.

Penny Pinching Pensioner’s Bonsai Purchases

Some of my earlier cheapies are beginning to look a bit more like bonsai now or at least potentials these Larch for instance cost about £1.33 each in Jan 2016


At my age group plantings give you a chance to get some satisfaction in quite a short time for a modest outlay when I certainly don’t have the budget and an actuary might say that I may not have the years to invest in a long term project.

Their winter wiring removed the branches are lifting again and will be rewired in the winter. The twins are guyed to protect them from the strong winds we have had recently

For only 60p I also bought this Blackthorn at the same time . The hedgerows around here make such a show of these when they are in blossom.

Blackthorn training

 And for absolutely  nothing I dug this Hawthorn out of the back of a border at my daughter & partner’s house in Wiltshire as a 4ft high whip in 2015 which I cut down to about 9 inches and trained up new leader. It has always had very small leaves.

Hawthorn TT


Pyracantha semi cascadeOther garden or garden centre starts include  this pyracantha which I have just decided to bring the right hand branch down on, lowering Berried smallit below the level of the pot rim.A bit different from it’s early days when I first started work on it in 2013





My  Rowan has not been defoliated this year and flowered a little while ago and the trunk is thickening up quite well now compared with 2014.


The Turkey Oak is putting out a lot of leaves but they are very large and I have heard that they are hard to reduce very much


                     Jan this year                                                                         July

And this is the Turkey Oak that was felled in our village recently as it was diseased.Some of the great cross section slabs of wood were  given to locals, one gentleman is making a headstone for his parents who used to sit on the bench beneath it in their younger courting days, what a nice thought. It is to be replaced this autumn with a Spire Lime which has a narrow width of canopy in order not to overhang the main road.

Ashcott Oak FB


For a few Pounds more

These two young Blue Atlas Cedar were purchased Jan this year with Kaizen coupons from my son Ben and seem to be making headway particularly these last few weeks 


compared with January when they arrivedCedar PairFB


The good thing about taking photos regularly is that not only can you compare the tree’s progress but very often once one sees the photos it becomes blatantly obvious that you have neglected to do the obvious, So once having seen the last two photos I couldn’t wait to get back out there and smarten these two nice little trees up a bit and this is the result.


And my Mulberry that Sue gave me is looking pretty healthy as well.

Better Mulberry

Air Layering my first Attempt

We have a very healthy Contoneaster Franchettii growing against our garden fence and last year I tried an air layering but failed, it created a bridge  across the gap where one cleans the bark off. This year I tried again in March and a few weeks ago when I could see quite a good amount of roots I cut it off and planted it in a training pot .



 All three branches are in the same plane, as a fan, at the moment.So I am going to cut off the two right hand branches and lower the remaining thinner upright and hope it bushes out, it’s parent plant grows like the clappers, let’s hope this will.

Less is More

A tree I have had for some years and never been very happy about is this Juniper which was from Garden Centre stock. The first photo shows it in July 2014 when I was trying to style it the first time,the foliage on the left was typical of what had been  all round the tree, on the left, right  and to the front. The following photo shows it in Oct 2015 when the first branch was removed and the tree was rewired . Finally the latest photo this week July 2017 when the the remaining branch on the right  branch went for the chop. And before Ade from the club sees it ,yes I know, the pot is too big.


Old juniper


Some Observations for beginners and newcomers to Bonsai.

Most of us try and rush trees into little bonsai pots far too soon.

Don’t take every comment of advice, on Facebook or websites’ as sound advice they may just be beginners too, look for the old established names and for what they say.

Get some more trees, it is so much easier then to do something drastic that is recommended    “Why don’t you take off that branch there and cut that back there.” all seems pretty frightening when it is the only tree you have, even though it is the correct course of action. 

Finally do join a Bonsai Club it is the best thing I ever did in my Bonsai trip.

wisteria 3

OK I know I have put this on my site before but I just so love it.


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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2 Responses to Bonsai Progress July 2017

  1. Pingback: Bonsai Progress July 2017 | Michael Coopers Studio – Wolf's Birding and Bonsai Blog

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