I have had this boxwood for about a year. Last spring, I repotted it into a slightly larger pot and basically cut the top out of it to let the lower branches get light. I’ve heard that boxwood branches need some foliage left on them to continue growing, so I left it for a year and waited for some sprouts lower where the sun was now reaching. I actually had several new sprouts on many branches and it allowed me to cut further this spring. I also put it into a large bonsai pot for some growing room and to get the roots growing out and not down. I hope to style this in a live oak style. Here it is today:
Buxus microphylla var. japonica ‘Morris Midget’ is one of my latest acquisitions. I actually have several of these planted in my yard because a local nursery has 30 or so at a great price. They have had them for several years and have been unable to sell them because they are really small for a southern garden. Very small, compact, and a slow-grower at a little over an inch per year. I’ve seen decent growth out of the ones in my yard in well-drained fertile soil, so I decided to pick one up to try to immediately put in a pot for bonsai. It has turned out to be one of my favorites. After pruning and repotting, it immediately sprung back with new growth. I think it will be one of the first in my collection to actually look like a little tree. I’m thinking about training into a oak-tree broom style. Here’s some pictures.
Brent Walston’s site has been very helpful to me over the past few months of learning about bonsai from any source that I could get to. He is an experienced grower with a variety of trees in his bonsai nursery. He has lots of articles that describe in detail the information he has gathered and learned over the years. I highly recommend checking it out. I really wanted to buy some bonsai trees from his nursery for a couple of reasons. One, he has a good variety and I could get trees that aren’t available in my area. 2. With his contributions to bonsai, I wanted to support his business. Here’s what I purchased.
Cedrus atlantica (Atlas Cedar) -10° Pale blue green foliage in tufts, much used for formal upright bonsai. Native to the Atlas mountains of North Africa.
Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca Pendula’ (Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar) Similar to above in needle length and color, but this cultivar is perfectly prostrate and must be staked or trained. It can be worked into any shape but continues to grow and develop a large caliper just like its tree counterpart.
Juniperus chinensis ‘Shimpaku’ (Shimpaku Juniper) The classic Japanese bonsai species. Deep green soft scaly foliage to about 3 feet x 6 feet makes a very dense flat mound. Pinching the tips keeps it very compact. Excellent rock garden plant.
I’m really excited about the trees that he sent and are hoping they have a good future. It’ll take a few years before I even think about pruning them, but I’ll have species that aren’t very common in this area as bonsai.
I decided to try my hand at junipers with the addition of these 3 Chinese junipers to my bonsai collection. I’ve pruned all three to a point where I left enough branching to make decisions later about the final design. Depending on the way each of them back-buds, I’m hoping that at least one starts showing promise as a viable bonsai sometime next year. Junipers are really tough and can be repotted in the fall because they experience some renewed root growth right before going into dormancy.
It was also an experience into the bonsai world of shari and jin which was very interesting. At first, you are certain you are killing the tree by peeling off that much bark, but all of them have showed no signs of slowed growth, and the branching around the scars have not shown signs of being wounded or stressed. My plan is to let the scars dry out till next summer when I will treat them with a lime-sulphur solution.
Juniper Bonsai #1
Juniper Bonsai #2
Juniper Bonsai #3