pasture privet progress

Sneak Peek

I got over 90% success with the pasture privets I collected last month (actually they all lived; a couple probably won’t be usable). They’ve grown out very well, and today I tackled what I consider the best specimen among them.

Pasture Privet Progress

Making great bonsai is all about starting with the best material you can find or buy, then making good decisions as you style, pot, refine, and maintain your tree. This is one of the “pasture privets” I collected last month, almost two months ago now. This photo of the bare tree shows you the beginning of the decisionmaking process (in an easier to see way – the photo below explains why).


This is good strong growth, just what we’d expect from a Chinese privet. Trees that put on a lot of growth in a hurry are always good to work with – you make progress much faster.

Some decisions are very easy. You always eliminate branches that have absolutely no future. Like the one the arrow’s pointing toward in this shot.

In this shot I’ve already removed some superfluous shoots, those with either no future or that are redundant. Time for the first important decision – which trunk stays, and which goes?

This was an easy one. I’ve got trunk movement and taper on the smaller trunk. It’s just what you’re always looking for in your trees, whether they’re single-trunk or multiple.

And now the trunk is pointed into the leader, with an angle cut behind it.

Things seem to get a bit trickier on the main trunk, but if you look closely you’ll realize that it’s going to be very hard to make that fork moving off to the side look right. It’s lacking taper all along its length. So the solution is pretty easy, in the end.

The angle of the photo makes this trunk look less tapering than it really is. It’s also not totally pole-straight, which would be less than desirable.

With the trunk lines established and the excess foliage gone, it’s time to wire out this tree and see what we end up with.

Not too shabby, eh? I knew I really liked this specimen when I first spotted it. It’s got so much going for it, it’s just a matter of working the plan. The tough decisions are already behind me.

Look what I discovered – a better front! This view of the tree is so much better than the one above, and I didn’t notice it until today. I love it when things work out!

Let me know what you think of this Pasture Privet.