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Memory Lane – Demo Day Taxus Cuspidata Part One……..Then….

Looking back….we can tell a tree’s story…..admire an image…..capture a moment…..remember a special event…..be inspired – to create a memory for tomorrow.¬†

I hope you enjoy this regular peep into some of John’s bonsai history.

Memory Lane – Demo Day Taxus Cuspidata Part One………Then….
¬†This Taxus arrived into Europe from Japan in January 2005. With it’s roots wrapped in a New trees 2005 002hessian sack, devoid of any pot, it’s arrival was somewhat undignified for such a fine piece of raw material bonsai.
This somewhat unkempt appearance did not deter me and I was happy to acquire both this tree and one of his travelling companions……..these were serious prices for serious trees!
Despite being better presented in a large ceramic pot the tree did not attract a new buyer but continued to grow well and bushier, and bushier.
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The pictures above were taken in January 2010. Some long branches which I thought were unnecessary had already been pruned away.
This tree needed styling and in February 2010 the perfect opportunity arose. This was the first of our “Demo Day” presentations and so I selected this Taxus and a large Juniper Blaauws as the subjects for a complete transformation in front of an enthusiastic audience.
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The foliage was cleaned out a little beforehand to make explanations easier and more obviously apparent. There were just too many heavy branches in all directions. A plausible trunk line had to be identified and useable branches selected.
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Because of the large number of large branches that had to be removed (not for the feint-hearted) it meant that most of these would have to be made into deadwood……..potentially ugly scars become a really significant feature.
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Assistants Len and Derek did a really excellent job working the deadwood while I entertained the audience working on the Juniper.
I had carefully marked the live veins I needed to keep intact to feed the foliage and to work aesthetically with both the front of the tree and the surrounding deadwood. Once the work on the deadwood was completed Len and Derek wired all the remaining live branches.
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The tree was ready for me to style but first I had to tilt the whole tree over to focus on a Demo Day 1 - taxus and juniper 041new planting angle to coincide with the live trunk that remained. I was pleased with the outcome and how far the tree had progressed as a result of this day’s work.
The tree had been in this pot for 5 years so 1 month later I decided to carry out a repotting into a slightly smaller pot and tried to adjust the planting angle as much as possible.
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The tree has such a good fibrous rootball so this is generally a very safe repotting. The excess rootball still remaining above the proposed soil level will be reduced gradually during the growing season.
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The shari to the front has been extended downwards slightly to separate the veins and more of the long root to the left side has been exposed.
The tree was then fed and watered and allowed time to recover.
Look out for Part Two of this blog which will bring you right up to date with the latest work carried out on this remarkable tree in the last few weeks.