A Tree Versus a ‘Bonsai?

Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.     

Martin Luther King


Over the years those that know me will no doubt agree I have generally; (not always) gone for a look that could be considered a fully grown tree in miniature. Indeed, I have for as long as I can remember, favoured the miniature world. I built up a miniature model-railway, miniature long-haired Dachshunds, and so on. When I first started out with Bonsai, I was of a mind that one should strive for the wonderful images as seen in many of the early books. After a time I realised that actually I preferred the look that was a full sized tree in miniature without the perfectly manicured pads and shapes. It might have been because I never had the time to spend hour after hour with wire. Highly likely, as there were other pursuits I enjoyed which all took up time.

One little Maple that I once owned, was for me a perfect example. everyone kept telling me I should shape it rather than have it as was. I suppose in the end it looked fine either way? I still like that natural look though.

Mountain Maple After Leaf Removal.

I mentioned in an earlier blog entry that two of my Maples had the most awful leaf burn this year. After much thought and input too from others I have settled on a combination of three areas. I mention this as someone might find it useful if they are either considering leaf pruning or outright removal for a myriad of reasons.

This is the first year I have had each and every single leaf display mild singing to out and out burnt shrivelled leaves. I’ll not include images of the leaves as they are HERE on the earlier post I mentioned above. A detailed explanation of possible causation is to be found in this previous blog entry. HERE.

I know much is bantered around about what an amazing technique it is to grow a second set of leaves, or even a third on a very healthy tree, but truly folks it is little more than what nature could do all on its own. So, without any further babble I include a before image of the small Maple, and one taken yesterday after the new set of leaves turned it into a bush like plant; clearly I attacked it with a pair of scissors though. It will do for now; further trimming will be required over the next few weeks. The first image is after initial leaf hardening but at the burn stage. Eventually it looked awful. In this image I had already taken away 30-40% of the leaves as they had turned completely brown.


Then after leaf removal, with some branch pruning too. SEAL cuts to avoid bleed this time of year and minimise this type of branch pruning.

Mountain Maple strip

In this image it is three weeks after the original removal of leaves. You actually have a job looking at the tree to see any branches at all. This one I have taken looking down at the crown.

New leaves

After a couple of hours of detailed tidying the tree is now without any browning whatsoever. Seen here in a Tony Remington pot. Thanks for looking in.

A quick snap half way through. A typically I forgot to take a front on image.

Prior to tidy

Maple on FB reduced size

An Update.

I showed the rather nice Tony Remington pot which I was fortunate enough to secure a week or so back. I had no idea what to put in it, which reminds me … of course none of us have ever bought a pot because we just liked the pot .. now have we?

Anyway, they had some reasonably nice indoor Roses potted up in Morrisons; reduced to £1.50 each I felt that would look quite OK in my new TR pot. Not an accent per se, actually far from it; it is however positioned among my bonsai and it is nice to have some colour other than green.

Here it is then and now fingers crossed it survives. Healthy so maybe it will be alright.

Rose in TR pot

Tony R At Work

I would say recently of course, but twenty five years ago doesn’t really work. Tony had a BBC video converted recently to digital, and personally I found it quite fascinating to watch his amazing techniques.

Quarter of a century later Tony is still making beautiful pots, so please don’t hesitate to have a look through his current selection. Go directly to his site HERE.

Anyway, the point of my post was to share the digital video. So here it is in all its glory.


Tony Remington Pots

I’ve long been a fan of Tony’s wonderful pots. He has an ability to make some very special Bonsai pots. During the 2013 Swindon show I was delighted to spend not only some time with Tony, I spent some money which no doubt he liked.

I’ll be sharing the purchases just as soon as a couple of maples are re-potted into said pots.

Tony has gigantic hands; how he makes some of those smaller pots is quite beyond me. I mean that with much respect Tony should you happen across this blog entry 🙂

At the end of the show I could not resist just one more pot. It is shown below next to a AA battery. Pure skill. Oh and here is a link directly to his new pot site. HERE

pot 1 pot 2