An open window into the comings and goings of students and their trees attending our regular weekend and midweek bonsai classes under the ever watchful eyes of John Hanby.
Classroom Corner – March Open Workshop – Two Taxus
Students can bring any number of any variety of tree to open workshops for all types of advice and work. During March the two Taxus featured in this article appeared on separate classes.
This Taxus Cuspidata was originally imported from Korea. It has good taper and trunk movement but is too “busy”……there are too many branches. The answer???……. easy …….remove some!!! It’s always easy when it’s not your tree!
The tree was now ready for wiring and a definite branch structure was beginning to emerge. You can then begin to appreciate where the future development will be and how the final outline of the tree will emerge.
As the tree puts on new growth further branches will need to be removed as the canopy will again become too dense. The tree will also be much healthier now more light and air can penetrate the foliage areas.
This Taxus Baccata was taken from a garden hedge when the house had to be demolished. After a dramatic workshop styling several years ago the tree had initially put on a lot of growth but in recent years had been struggling. A substantial lower right hand branch had died and been removed adding more deadwood to the trunk.
The tree was about to be repotted but when I checked the rootball there was a hole below the trunk area and evidence of dead/decaying roots.
So we decided to repot this tree “inside-out”….we would leave the outside of the rootball intact and untouched. The soil in the centre of the rootball would be completely removed and replaced with a mixture of 50/50 akadama/bims( a river gravel from Germany) using a larger size particle for both ingredients.
The tree would be allowed to recover and generally grow unchecked for this season. Eventually when the tree is next repotted it should be possible to carry out this task in the normal manner.