Each winter there are certain specimens of certain species that decide to wake early from dormancy. It just takes a little warmth and sunshine, and they start popping buds. We just finished up Bald cypress collecting season last week. This one was collected two weeks ago and it, along with some others we harvested, is already pushing buds. It looks like we’re heading into a slight warming trend over the next couple of weeks, so this tree should have obvious foliage on it by the end of February.

Here’s a Red mulberry, Morus rubra, that I’ve had on the bench for over a year. It was in an oversized pot, and had thrown branches that were six feet in length. Starting this year it gets to be a shohin bonsai. Last week I did a number of it, top and bottom, and it fit nicely with all that coaxing into this Chuck Iker round. I think it’s going to make a great composition. You probably can’t see in this photo, but it’s got lots of green buds that are swelling and should be open in a week. Styling it is going to be a lot of fun.

This Parsley hawthorn was lifted from our field growing area on December 14th of last year. Parsley haw is one of the first species to leaf out each year, and this tendency is enhanced if you do root work on them. I cut back all of the roots hard on this specimen, and it’s doing just what I expected. Judging by the buds I see, I’ll be able to create a nice branch structure in about six weeks.
This Huckleberry was also lifted on December 14th. It’s another species that comes out very early, whether you do root work on them or not. I have some on the bench in bloom, and most are just starting to leaf out. I don’t know about you, but I’m really getting excited about the 2020 growing season. I still have some collecting to do, which will probably extend into early March, but it looks like an early spring is headed our way.