Last September I wrote about a Japanese wisteria, Wisteria floribunda, I’d rescued after it had been left for dead by a tree service I hired. Well, another spring is upon us and this pre-bonsai has already been through its annual bloom and the new foliar growth is starting to vine.
I had made a mental note to remove this specimen from its tub, wash the root mass thoroughly and get a good read on its integrity. As I mentioned last fall, large collected wisterias tend to turn to rot in just a few years, and this one was going down that path. On a positive note, it seemed to have reached a point where the rot had arrested, leaving me with something that just might turn into a bonsai.
The cleaning was a time-consuming process, owing to the serious root mass along with an immense number of weeds (caused by a little too much benign neglect, eh?). It took me the better part of 15 minutes to get everything washed. In this photo you can see the result. Another of my goals was to reposition the tree with an eye toward its eventual ceramic home. While the original recumbent position wasn’t bad, it also wasn’t that good. A more upright position was called for.
After some judicious root-pruning, I put the tree back in a growing tub (since that was the smallest thing I had available to plant it in). Not only is it in its new position, I’ve turned the tree so that the living side as opposed to the hollow side is exposed. While both are interesting I like this side better, plus it has some very nice surface roots which have developed over the past few years.
Though there’s no predicting for certain, I expect this wisteria to continue flowering each spring. I’ll post a photo of it next season. For now, I plan to feed it and treat it to some more benign neglect *ahem* while being more diligent about plucking weeds.
By the way, I didn’t make mention of this last fall but this wisteria specimen could be over 100 years old. They come up as volunteers around here, and seek out trees to grow up into. This also tends to keep them safe from normal yard cleanup activities, provided you like wisteria of course. I do. And a few of the oaks I had removed were large enough to be in excess of a century old.
The trunk is 6″ across, and the tree is 30″ tall.
Let me know what you think of this wisteria by leaving me a comment below.