As you know, Chinese privet, Ligustrum sinense, is one of my favorite species to create bonsai out of. They grow fast, the leaves are naturally small, and they bloom readily in a pot. Because they’re naturalized where I live, I have ready access to material – even on my own property from volunteer seedlings.

When I cleared off some property a couple of years ago to expand my nursery (and my backyard), there were a few specimens of privet “hanging around” a few of the stumps that we left. If you’ve ever tried to recover a piece of material that’s snuggled into an oak root, I suspect you gave up after some frustrating poking, sawing and levering. The piece below was one of those cases: I first tried to coax it out from its protective oak stump last year. It didn’t budge. But I knew that time was on my side, because the stump was going to rot.

Today, for some reason, in the waning light two days before Christmas, I decided to have another whack at the monster – this one has a root base is 9″ across from trunk to trunk and 6″ deep. The tallest trunk is 14″ to the chop.

Privet12-23-15-2I snapped this photo before the darkness overtook me. Everything you see is connected. The trunks have some nice taper and interplay. And I know exactly how I’m going to grow the crown. This will be about a three-year project.

The nebari is awesome from the front side. As you might expect, the back was curved to fit its previous home and as a result there’s no rootage there yet. It should grow on its own in the pot, however.