While we were out collecting Bald cypress yesterday, I happened across this Swamp maple, Acer rubrum ‘Drummondii.’ I don’t often collected Swamp maples, because they don’t seem to last in good health longer than a couple of years, but when I saw the fluting of this trunk I figured it was worth the risk. Swamp maples generally don’t have tap roots in the wild, so they’re super easy to lift. I just sawed around the tree 6-8″ from the trunk and pulled.

As I did with the last one of these I collected, I did not remove the native soil from the root zone. All I did was put it into a nursery container and surround it with coarse mix. I sealed the trunk chop, of course. And now I wait.

Last week I had a reader express an interest in Chinese privet, Ligustrum sinense. I had a specimen I’d lifted a few years ago but had been relegated to a lonely corner. As I studied it, I decided there was a really nice trunk line I could cut to. So here it is, chopped and ready for a pot. Notice the fibrous roots! This is the way privet always grows. They are super rooters.

There’s never any issue with going straight to a bonsai pot with a privet. I had this lovely Chuck Iker piece all empty and waiting, so in the tree went. I sealed the chops, of course.

I’ll be able to grow the entire structure of this bonsai to be in 2019. Stay tuned for updates when I get some shoots.

FYI, the trunk base on this specimen is 1.5″, and it’s 8″ to the top. It won’t be a Bonsai South Collection tree, but I’m confident it’ll find a good home sooner rather than later.

I collected this Water-elm, Planera aquatica, back in July. Also not destined for the collection, it’s nonetheless a very nice specimen with great trunk character. I love the interplay between the trunks. Come spring, I’ll slip-pot it into a nice bonsai container and post it for sale.

The base is 4″ across, with each trunk 1.5″ at the base. Height is 16″.