bonsai odds & ends – fall arrives

Sneak Peek

There comes a point in the season where you can feel the change coming, yet it doesn’t quite. Then there comes a point where it just happens. Today fall arrived.

Bonsai Odds & Ends – Fall Arrives

Our heat broke a few days ago, and to be sure we’ve noticed signs of the season changing for a few weeks now (sinus-driven!). But today came a cold, light rain, the sort that taps you on the shoulder and says “Fall’s here.” Yes, it’s here. We can count on at least one warm snap between now and Christmas, but no matter: the growing season is effectively over.

In today’s post are a few trees I felt like commenting on. This Bald cypress was collected back in January and though it came out on schedule it plodded along until July. At that point we got another push of growth, and that told me the tree was going to be all right. The other day I decided to go ahead and start work on it. The plan is for a flat-top, which should proceed quickly in 2021.

But where’s the front? This is one possibility.




I think this may be a better front. It doesn’t matter right now, the styling will go the same. But which do you prefer?

I’m very pleased with this guy. It got defoliated back in July, and the regrowth was picture-perfect. I’m confident I’ll be able to just about complete the crown in 2021. After five years of training, this one is in the home stretch. (I’ve also commissioned a pot for it, so that will happen in 2021 as well.)




This pasture privet – along with all of its brothers – has kept on growing and will continue until it’s just too cold to keep on. The styling has gone quickly and quite well. I just wired that small branch on the right-hand side down near the base, and I think it’s going to add to the design.

I started working on this Spekboom last year. My goal was to directionally prune, and the tree cooperated very nicely; I have four changes of direction now in the upright trunk. It also threw a sub-trunk which I figured was ideal for thickening the base, so I just let it run all season. I’ve been toying with potting this specimen for weeks now, and today I brought it to the workbench determined to make it happen. In the course of studying it, I thought maybe the best thing to do with it was to make a semi-cascade specimen. I had this Chuck Iker square on the shelf, and I think the whole design worked out pretty well.

Obviously there’s plenty of work to do on the cascading branch. I plan to use directional pruning on it in 2021. Stay tuned for updates.

I imagine many of you are already experiencing outright cold weather, and possibly even some snow. I’m not there yet, but it won’t be long before I’m putting some trees to bed for the winter.