mayhaw work and lantana flowers (surprise)

Sneak Peek

I have this Mayhaw I collected a couple of years ago. It’s grown well enough that some development work is called for. Plus I have a Lantana that is producing flowers that are – reduced in size?

Mayhaw Work and Lantana Flowers (Surprise)

I collected this Mayhaw a couple of years ago, and left it alone except for watering and fertilizing. I did wire up a new leader for the tree, as this is a must with all trunk-chopped specimens you don’t plan to make into trunk-damaged survivor-type bonsai.

Lots of branches here – too many, in fact.

Editing out branches is the first step. With the vast majority of collected deciduous and broadleaf evergreen specimens, you’ll have more branches to choose from than you need (not a bad problem to have, of course). So at some point early on you have to focus the tree’s energy by removing many if not most of those branches.

We’re about as close to bare bones on this one as I care to get for today. I may end up using everything you see – for sure two-thirds of it. I’ll know as the design progresses.

Notice I also dove into the trunk chop; time to do some carving. This is typically a year two task, but with slow-rooting specimens such as Mayhaw I usually end up doing it in year three.

This is the way I need the chop to look – angled downward into the original trunk line. As the leader grows out and the base thickens, I’ll end up with a smoothly tapering transition from the original trunk into the new leader. That leader, incidentally, is going to get pruned back a few times before this tree is fully trained. Hawthorns will grow out branches with little taper, and this new leader is no exception. So to build taper, I’ll use the ever-reliable grow and chop technique. I expect it’ll take about five years to do it right.

This tree is available at our Shop, by the way, if you’d like to take over the training.


I couldn’t resist posting a photo of this Lantana (Lantana camara). Why? Notice the flowers. It’s a truism in bonsai that flower size does not reduce. While these flowers seem to be normal size, their stems are at least one-half if not one-third normal length. Does this qualify as flower-size reduction? Considering that it makes the whole blooming thing much more compact, I’m calling it a win.

I had no idea this would happen. If any of you have had experience with Lantana to this effect, please let me know. There’s nothing new under the sun, so I figure it can’t be a secret. I’ve just never run across any information on it before, and I’m new to the Lantana bonsai game.