Atlas Blue Cedars, Starter’s Progress


             Two Atlas Blue Cedars Purchased Jan 2017 from Kaizen

Last Christmas my two sons Ben and Julian gave me gift vouchers for Kaizen Bonsai, many thanks fellas.

I spent the following week studying their website and wondering what to buy myself and eventually settled on a small Trident Maple, which whilst not looking much now had some potential. I went to buy it and just as my cursor made it’s way to the Add to Cart button- it disappeared from sight – some rotten swine had bought it in front of me.  XXY!! 

The next  few days I kept careful watch on  the site watching for new additions to the selection and after a while five little Atlas Blue Cedars appeared. Not having come across before in the bonsai world myself I nipped over to Google had a  quick search and soon found that they were considered very desirable and quite hard to find.

So I rushed back to the Kaizen site and purchased two of them which are shown above. It was just as well I did for within an hour or so the remaining three had gone as well.

The Atlas Blue Cedar Cedrus Atlantica Glauca is a true cedar that grows in the humid zones of the Moroccan Atlas Mountains’

The first thing I did was to re pot them into slightly larger training pots in some of Kaizens No 2 Compost mix. I normally use Tesco’s  finest dust free cat litter with some added pine bark but I thought as I was getting something from Kaizen that I would add this to the order and try it and I must admit it looks pretty good  and the trees seem to like it.

In my research I had discovered George Omi’s website in California where he specialises in these trees and went of to find his You Tube videos on wiring Blue A.C. this video is one of a number of his which were very useful as there is little else on this speciesAtlas blue 3
He demonstrates wiring a very young one by placing  a sturdy wire alongside the trunk and then binding the tree to it with twine prior to bending to the desired shape. Evidently this is better than coiled wire for these trees as it is less likely to mark the bark.

By June both trees were were beginning to look a lot better, their structure having  been thinned out quite a bit by now.

But the faults were glaringly obvious the top of  one was in dire need of control and as an artist the branch half way up the trunk of the upright really annoyed me and needed to Atlas Blue 10be raised above that exact halfway mark . That  has since been done and the  straightness of that branch has also been  dealt with as the photo looking down from above shows.


Atlas Blue 11


The top looks a little heavy
due to the thick wire bound onto the tree.

On the other tree the original bound wire had served it’s purpose and has been replaced for a shorter time with a coiled wire which I must keep an eye on.Blue atlas wired 1

A long way to go yet but within this short time I can see why anyone who has an Atlas Blue Cedar can get pretty enthusiastic about them and  want more of them. 

Useful Reference sites
George Omi       Evergreengardenworks                     Kuromatsu Bonsai 

As I have said before this blog is very much intended as my own record of my bonsai activities but should you find it interesting you can always let me know any thoughts or suggestions you may have. And if you are new to bonsai the best advice I can give is to join a Club where you can get some hands on assistance from the more experienced members, I know  it made an enormous difference to my knowledge, technique, confidence and to my trees. 


Now should I remove the cones to conserve strength or not?


Club Shoe Box Competition August 2017

Our President’s idea which has been done in other clubs this was my entry .


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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