I lifted a couple of Chinese privets, Ligustrum sinense, today. I made the decision to collect them because of what I saw in the trunk of each – nice tapering potential and good trunk character. As with most deciduous species, you can cut back Chinese privet to a bare trunk and it’ll sprout plenty of adventitious buds for your use in creating a branch structure. That’s just what I did today.

Here’s the first one, in the ground. See the nice stout base and the trunk that tapers as it moves upward? Even better, notice that the trunk forks at just under a foot in height. You can’t ask for anything better when you’re selecting specimens to collect.










It’s easier to see in this photo just what I saw in this specimen. Privets often grow just as straight as a pole. This one actually has nice taper from the root base all the way up. I chopped off the original, mainline trunk in order to enhance taper.











This pot is one of the ovals I got from Byron Myrick a couple of weeks ago. I think it complements the tree well. I’ve sealed the chops, and now it’s just a waiting game. Sometime in March buds will begin to appear up and down the trunk. At that point I’ll be able to start thinking of a design. Privets grow super fast, so I expect to have a lot of this bonsai built by the end of the 2017 growing season.

The trunk base of this specimen is 2″ at the soil surface. The trunk is chopped at 12″. I would expect the finished height to be about 16-18″. I should end up with a graceful Privet bonsai.



Here’s the second privet I lifted today. The first thing to realize about this one is it’s chopped at 14″ – just slightly taller than the first one. But the trunk base is over 3.5″ at the soil surface – quite a difference. This specimen is also much more masculine. That means I don’t envision nor do I plan to produce a “graceful” bonsai with this one. It’s going to be a stout tree, finishing at around 18″. Same height as the first one, but a very different outcome.

This guy is available at our Chinese Privet Bonsai sale page. It will ship in spring.