It’s not uncommon to have a less than stellar base or rootage on your bonsai. This Chinese privet, Ligustrum sinense, is a good example. The tree is nice, for sure, and will be just about fully developed next year after a good start this year, but there’s an issue at the base in front that just doesn’t add to the tree’s appearance. In situations like this you’ve got a couple of choices: carve until it looks better or “work around” the objectionable area.
Privets don’t lend themselves to carving, especially low on the trunk, as the wood has a tendency to get punky and rot out after a few years. If you do utilize carving on a Privet specimen, be sure to have some PC Petrifier wood hardener on hand. You’ll need it sooner rather than later.
So in the case of this tree, I’ll need to “work around” the problem at the base. And what better way than to layer the tree?
You’re probably wondering if this is a good time of year to do this work. For most species the answer would be no. Privet is semi-deciduous down South, so there will be active root growth through much of the winter. If I’m lucky, by the time spring gets kicked off next year it won’t take long to produce enough roots to allow me to separate the layer. I’ll update when that happens.