On and about Bonsai

onsdag 29 juli 2015


So far, the little gooseberry seems to be healthy and the fruits are getting ready.

Long time project

Last year we helped at neighboor to get rid of a large branch from an old willow that was obstructing the roofgutter, where the rain flows down from the roof. I noticed that one of the branches had started develop roots and this gave me an idea.

By now all knows that willowbranches are easily rooted. But have never seen if a large trunk could develop roots.

Sadly I didn´t took any pictures of the 5 logs i got from the large branch.
I puted them on water for a time until i saw small white tips of roots comming out from the barch-piece that was submerged in the water. Only 2 grew new branches from the better places. The other I planted back in the ground, to become new trees. I gave one away and the last i saved for myself.

Some carving will be required in the future but for now it will grow freely.

tisdag 21 juli 2015

Repotting an Alnus

This is a tree I got from the forest about 3 years ago. Its an Alnus Glutinosa, Common Alder or Klibbal in  Swedish.
This kind of tree grows very much and likes to shoot out new branches from places you dont want it to grow new branches from. But you can prune it back. Hard.

I choped it back from 2 meterns down to 45 cm of height. I repoted it 2 years ago. The soil became very dry this year. The surface was repeling all of the water. All of the water ran down the sides and it accumulated it on the bottom of the pot. This is why all of the root development was at the bottom, as you can see.

This is because of the chicken pellets manure I use. When it breaks down, it cloggs the good drainage properties of the bonsai soil and prevents the water from reach the inside of the pot.

So I repoted it. I cut 50 persent of the size of the root mass (or what was left of it) But it was time for it to be planted in its bonsai training pot, with better bonsai soil. I didn´t performed any pruning of the leafes and branches this time.

Carmona Retusa

I Recently boughted this Carmona Retusa or Fukien Tee from a local store for 199 swedish krona. Its about 23 cm including pot.

 This is a flowering variety that is excelent for new begginers, provided that you replant them, as I will show now.

It was very expensive for such a poor quality and size but I wanted to try to have a winter indoor tree ( In Sweden its to cold outside during winter for more tropical plants. The temperature can drop down to -23 degree celsius. But you can keep tropical trees indoor.

The soil was of poor quality and drainage. There was hardly any root development and the tree wasn´t attached to the pot.

I washed out all the "soil" it was in but did not pruned back the little amount of roots the tree even then have developed.

I planted it in my bonsai-soil with better drainage and with slow releasing fertilizer, in a bigger pot.

I would have planted it in a bigger and deeper pot, if I wanted to make the tree bigger but a as I said, i want to keep it indoor during autumn and winter. I also changed the angle of it, to better secure it to the pot, to give the rotts a better chance to grow undisturbed.

tisdag 16 juni 2015

About Nursery stock

Here is an advice for you, if you ever consider buy a "mallsai" or bonsai-plant from a flowershop.

Usually they cost from about 15 to 30 euros (160 to 300 swedish krona). Of course there is more expensive material. But very often you hesitate on buying one, because you are afraid of "killing it".

Very often this is true. If you are a beginer, you thend to oerwattering the tree. You have to consider that the soil it comes in, is set to hold water. It´s not a good soil-type, because the roots usually rot away. You can of course keep it alive for a very long period of time, if you dont overwater it. But the tree will not develop as it should be. It will only be a plant. In time it will also die, because it needs to be repoted. It´s the only way to encourage rootgrow. This is important, because if there is no rootdevelopment, the there will be no more space for new roots and the tree will not be able to get more food. The tree will die.

If you want to get better material or a healthier tree, you should consider buying a tree from nursery stock.

Yes, there is plenty of material that you can convert to bonsaimaterial. Bigger than mallsais too!
You can find conifers and deciduous bushes of all kinds.
And the best part is that they allready come planted in a better soil than mallsais, with better rootsystem.
They usually cost around 30 to 50 euros in Sweden, depending of the quality and kind of tree.

But you dont have to only buy conifers. You can buy fruit trees, as apples, pears, cherrytrees and so on.
Often they are very long , with 3 or 5 branches at the top but nothing the first 50 och 100 cm.
Here is the trick. If you prune this bransches back severely and give it a lot of nutrition, then it may start develop new buds and branches down the trunk. This will improve your chances to create better ramification and a better shape for your tree.

After a while, the tree will have good established new branches and you can cut off the top that you dont want and create a new one with a smaller thiner branch.

You can do this with allmost all kind of deciduous trees and larch,  from nursery stock.
And its easier for new beginners.

måndag 15 juni 2015


This are some of the cuttings I have going on for the moment. They are in the growing stage, wich will continue for some years, depending on how fast they grow. There are about 140 Chaenomeles Japonica that are hardy here in Sweden, known as Rosenkvitten. I am also experimenting with 40 Punica granatum (seeds from the store) but this is resulting to be more difficult than I expected. There where 150 from the begining. And my newest ones are 25 cuttings from seed, from a maple variety collected in Hungary this year. I think it´s Acer pseudoplatanus but im not sure.

A Bunjing styled Scott Pine

I got this yamadori about 4 years ago. It was last year that it developed as I wanted and this year it went into a bonsai pot. The wiring will stay on to the next year. I will only cut the candles half-way, to encurage backbudding for the next year. Lenght about 105 cm.

A Juniper from nursery

I got this Himalaya Juniper from a nursery about 2 years ago. I pruned it back to this shape last year.
I will only pinch it back this year and the next, hoppefully to encurage backbudding.

My version of....

A little Shohin. Its a Gooseberry that I created as bonsai last year. The actual trunk is a former topbranch from an older gooseberry bush I planted from a cutting about 9 years ago. It has been in training for 3 years know. In the future I will plant it in abigger pot and maybe create a bigger bonsai, informal uppright. But this is way in the future. Maybe I should remove the berries, because they drain water and nutrition from the tree.

A Scott Pinus that...

...I have had for 3 years now. It is giving me some problems with the design, because the trunk is to straight and allready to hard to just bend. But I tried to make it more curved. I will have to use rubberband or raffia when I´ll try to bend it next time. I had the idea to make a cascade of it.....but maybe I should rethink my plans. The total lenght is about 90 cm

onsdag 10 juni 2015


Of the frontside. June 2015.

torsdag 4 juni 2015


This is some of the stock or material I have going on for the moment.

A common juniper

This one i collected about 4 years ago and i recently repotted it. There is some wiring to do....

Late update

Here it is, after a very long time, the first update.
A blue spruce, boughted on a nursery last year. The before...
The after.
There is a lot of wiring left but I dont want to stress the the tree furter for know. I will let it rest until its budding development is finished.