Though the holidays are not yet upon us, it’s not too soon to start thinking of 2020. A lot of the work we do now will have an impact on how our trees develop next year. Today I looked at a few flowering and/or fruiting specimens that will make great progress in 2020. This Crape myrtle was grown from a cutting made a few years ago. It’s a small specimen, but nonetheless it’s developing a nice classic Crape myrtle shape. I’ve been helping it along with some wiring, and added a little today. This one should make a nice starter bonsai this coming year.
Here’s a starter size Muscadine I lifted earlier in the season. The base is very nice, and it has a low leader than I’ll continue to let run to thicken. This is about a two- to three-year project to a bonsai pot. For now, there’s no real benefit to wiring or trunk-chopping. For vines, it’s generally best to trunk-chop in the spring when you can expect strong growth and healing.
I have grown to love Huckleberries. Not only do they flower in a pot, they fruit as well; I even ate some berries off a specimen earlier this year. This one was collected in Winter 2019. I think the tight twin-trunk configuration is pretty cool. I’ve let it grow all year with little interference; today I want to take the next development step.
So I carved down to the respective leaders on the two trunks, then put a little wire on the tree to establish a basic shape. This one is a larger specimen, having a 2″ trunk base. I anticipate a finished height of about 16″ when all is said and done.
And finally, one more Huckleberry I wired and shaped earlier in the season. This one doesn’t need any more work today, but I wanted to show you what can be done at this stage of the process. Huckleberries (blueberries) are good bonsai subjects. They do root slowly, however, so you have to take this into account. The branches also can be brittle, so some extra care is needed when you wire and shape them (you’ll inevitably crack a branch here and there). By the third year in a pot, they get really lush with growth and that’s when you can expect fruiting to begin. Blueberries also like acid soil, so remember to keep some soil acidifier handy. Let me know what you think of these specimens.