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.
I have wanted to buy a bonsai from a bonsai nursery for a while now to see what kind of quality I would get and to see what the shipping process is like. I started looking for bonsai nurseries in my area to keep shipping costs low, make sure the trees were already adapted to our zone, and to support the local bonsai trade. The closest to me is still about 4 hours away so shipping was my only option. Two really stuck out to me as far as quality and price. Schley’s Bonsai in Florida and Brussell”s Bonsai in North Mississippi.
There are three different trees that I have considered buying. A hornbeam (Korean or American), a Trident Maple, and a Chinese Elm. After looking around, I decided on a chinese elm from Schley’s would be a good compromise between cost and quality. It also helped that out of the people I contacted, they were the most helpful and sent me pictures of individual bonsai when I requested them.
The chinese elm I finally picked was perfect for a style that I don’t have in my bonsai collection, which is a broom. It has a nice start on some nebari (surface roots), a slightly slanting trunk, and some nice twiggy branching. It was sent in a small 6″ pot. I immediately repotted it without touching the roots in a bigger pot so I could encourage a lot of new growth. In the early spring, I’ll prune some of the out of place branches and cut back some of the growth. Here it is:
<img style="max-width: 800px;" src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/subnetrx/SLBgn9ZfMDI/AAAAAAAAC8A/AwgEt1QQ09o/s400/Chinese_Elm%20002.jpg" />
Here it is after repotting.