A Little Evening Fun – Cool Future Bonsai To Be

The weekend is almost upon us, and that means more bonsai action is on the way. I got a little restless this evening, so I decided to photograph a few bonsai-to-be and post them just for fun.

water-elm9-29-16-1I’m probably the only person on the planet who propagates water-elm, Planera aquatica. I’ve always been fascinated by the species. Though it’s kin to the elms, it’s not quite an elm due apparently to the seed which is a prickly nut rather than a winged seed. I’ve got thousands of winged seeds on my landscape Chinese elms right now, but I’ve never seen a water-elm nut. I hope to someday.

This specimen was grown from a cutting, which was then grown in a pot for a while, which was then put in the ground for a couple of years. The trunk’s reached 1″ in diameter, so I thought it would be a good time to lift it and see what I could make out of it. This Chuck Iker round was a good start. I work on a lot of big water-elms, so this one should be a nice change of pace. I plan on making it into a broom-form bonsai. New buds are just starting to show, so that means I ought to have a nice final flush of growth for the end of this growing season.

chineseelm9-29-16-1This Chinese elm, Ulmus parvifolia, is taking a more traditional path. Also grown from a cutting, it spent a good few years in a pot getting tall and lanky. I cut it back hard this year and am presently building a shohin informal upright out of it. Next spring it gets a bonsai pot, a lot of crown development and a more rounded crown.









I’m about to introduce a new species to the Bonsai South family, Loropetalum chinense or Chinese fringe flower. Loropetalum, as it’s most commonly known, is a broadleaf evergreen with great dusky scarlet foliage which is naturally small. The species backbuds extremely well and twigs up easily. Look for some specimens for sale in three or four weeks. I potted this one a couple of weeks ago, and it’s throwing new buds. Great tree structure, eh?