Here’s an update on my big Huckleberry bonsai that I potted this spring. As you can see, it has filled out with foliage. It’s normal for Huckleberries to take three years to really get “bushy” with foliage: year one is typically all structure building, making the branch structure and starting the apex; year two continues this process, along with some sub-branching development; and year three is when the tree first fills out. It also takes three years for a good blooming and fruiting. This tree put on a very nice show of flowers, and now it’s got a lot of fruit that’s ripen in a month or so. Now, it’s important to understand what the explosion of foliage this year means, and what it doesn’t mean. What it means is, the sub-branching (aka ramification) begins with this process. If you study this photo, you’ll see that I have a lot of foliage but no real organization at the secondary and tertiary branching level. There’s nothing to be done about that this year, except to prune overlong secondary shoots and watch for branching that’s gotten out of hand (it gets pruned severely or off altogether). Next year, I’ll have hardened off sub-branching that will be ready for grow and clip and editing, which will be the real building of the interior. But for now, I’m enjoying the vibrant health of this specimen. It’s growing exactly as I want it to.
I collected this Chinese elm in February. It’s a nice specimen – not as much taper as I’d like, but left to their own devices Chinese elms do not typically put on taper. This is normal for most deciduous trees, which want to grow straight and tall as fast as they can. But I can work with this one. There’s subtle taper from base to trunk chop, and I can easily build more into the crown. I’ll begin the process this year. The first step will be to get a basic structure going, and today I did that. I’ll post a blog showing the details this coming week.
Here’s the Pocomoke Crape I wrote about last weekend. I ordered in a custom pot (a beautiful Lary Howard piece), and went to town on that huge root mass yesterday. I brought the tree more upright during the potting process, and I think this makes for a more dramatic composition. I’d love to hear what you think about it.