As the year draws to a close, it’s nice to spend some time reflecting on this year’s growing season and how it impacted our bonsai. Was it a good year? What new things did you learn? What surprises (good or bad) popped up? It’s for sure that you never stop learning in the wonderful art and hobby of bonsai.
Bonsai South has had a great year, and thanks to all of you who helped make it that way. I’m really excited about 2018, which should be even better. Watch for new collected trees early next year.
So we don’t get too much fall color here in the very Deep South, so it’s always super nice to see something among my bonsai. Here are a few trees that have over-performed (even if only a bit).
This Chinese elm, Ulmus parvifolia, has been in development a few years now. I’m working on building out the crown, and making good progress. I’m a couple of years away from getting it to look right.
This tree has had a somewhat tough year in 2017, coping with a bout of black spot. It’s a fairly common problem with Chinese elm, but not too hard to manage. Most of the leaves are off the tree now, but I have some attractive yellow ones still left. They’ll be gone within a week.
Bald cypress, Taxodium distichum, produces a really lovely “glowing” rust color in the fall. There’s not a lot of foliage on this one, but you can’t argue with how attractive it is. As with the Chinese elm above, this one will be bare within a week.
Finally, here’s Rip Van Winkle, my late-budding Willow oak (Quercus phellos). I left it alone this year to grow out, as it appeared to be sluggish. Hopefully it will have regained all of its strength by the 2018 growing season. I got some unexpected color from it, so thought I would share.
I hope you’ve had a great bonsai year, and that your trees are thriving. Remember we’re always here to help out however we can.