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Case Study : Alison’s Privet

July 2018 – Alison had just acquired this tree from my nursery. Is there anything inside this foliage mass?
Ten minutes later and it turns out there is! The washing up bowl is not exactly flattering but you can’t hide the power of the trunk in this small bonsai.
A view from the other side showing more of the existing deadwood. The taper on the trunk is excellent.
November 2018 – The tree has responded well to the last pruning session and continued to grow.
After another pruning and branch selection exercise.
July 2021 – Fast forward three years from when we started and after continuing with the clip and grow approach the tree is really shaping up well, complete with a new and better training pot too.
The tree is again pruned but now he is ready for a first wiring so that we can improve the basic underlying structure.
August 2021 – The tree has been wired and is now ready for the branches to be positioned.
Wow… you begin to see just how good this tree really is! A powerful classic bonsai is finally emerging to complement the excellent trunk.
April 2022 – I carried out a bit of light pruning but now the wire will have to be removed. The tree is growing strongly and you can already see that the wire is tightening its grip.

It just shows what can be achieved in less than four years working with a good piece of material that responds so well to being pruned. This is why so many hedging species make excellent bonsai material.

I just wonder how many people walked past the original bush in the washing up bowl and never bothered to look inside? Well done Alison for seeing what I had seen too and for progressing this humble privet stump to where he is now.