Mayhaw 2012I collected this Mayhaw in January of 2011. It threw lots of shoots, allowing me to wire a good set of branches right away. I also got a good new leader started, that thickened enough to be cut back in year one. By January of 2012, I felt the tree was ready to go into a nice pot and selected this custom Byron Myrick piece.

It’s important to bear in mind that when you pot up your newly designed bonsai, growth is going to slow down due to the limited space in the root zone. This is why it’s important to have one developmental task as near completion as possible, namely, the tapering transition in the apex. Otherwise, you will have to spend the requisite time on this chore. Quite often you’ll see bonsai that have obviously bypassed this part of their development, and the transition looks awkward. On deciduous trees, it’s a flaw that really stands out during dormancy.

Mayhaw 2014


Fast-forward three years. Now the tree is not only ramifying well, the apex is one to two years from completion and the tapering transition is looking very smooth. I’ll cut back the apex hard just before budburst in April, and should have a good set of branchlets in the apex by year-end.

This tree is also due for repotting in spring, so I’ll have a good opportunity to see how well the root zone has developed. Hawthorns sometimes root very vigorously, sometimes not. Regardless, if you look closely you can see the phenomenal surface rootage on this specimen.

I’d love to hear what you think of this tree. You can submit a comment below.