Prunus mahleb

I haven't been collecting trees for quite some time up until this spring. A major reason was space since I had no empty places on shelves with about fifty trees already. 
But the bug this spring was too strong, I felt I had to go out and bring home a few trees I have stumbled upon my trips during the last few years. So I went to the wilderness and brought ten new yamadoris during March. Summer is slowly over in my place and two of the collected trees are already gone which means the success rate is 80% so far. Some could die during the winter, respectively they will not wake up which is mostly the case. I will see and report on interesting trees next year.
Most of the trees are as big as usual in my case. Firstly, you can rarely find an interesting small tree and secondly, it doesn't make a lot of sense to collect pencil thick whatever plant.
During one rainy Saturday I collected three specimens and when dealing with them for hours I started to have strange ideas. Something like nirvana, or visions may be. Most probably due to dehydration and low blood sugar levels. Anyway, in one particular moment, I had an idea about having a small vehicle for transporting collected trees. I thought about small wheeled EV robot with big enough tires, a range of 10-20 km in terrain and ability to carry 40-50kg tree on a dirt road. As for steering, I thought about Bluetooth connectivity to my smartphone. Once connected, a vehicle with the tree would follow me like a dog. What do you think?

Now, seriously. There are proved well-known tools you can use when collecting. My basic rule is fewer tools in the bag is better. But what I found particularly useful this season was chainsaw from the picture with mahleb. I knew about it but never had one. I read an article about the tool on Harry Harrington page some time ago. When collecting different Prunus cerasifera, I failed to take it out due to thick roots, did not find the way to cut them off. I left the tree on spot for the night, next morning went to army shop in the city and bought the saw for 8 euros I guess. The tree went out easily the same day. Saw proved to be very useful in cutting anything around 10-15 cm thick. 
During one of the next trip, I was collecting this prunus mahleb. At first, it looked like it has a nice flare of below surface roots which were cut easily. But after cutting the last tree was still holding its ground firmly. After inspecting beneath flare of roots I found out the tree has one massive taproot with the same diameter as above ground trunk. Hand chainsaw solved it in 5 minutes. I can honestly recommend it. Cost peanuts and helps tons. 

The tree? Doing well, those pictures are a few weeks old, now the tree is over 2 m high. I will cut back in late October and chose good branches. I post the update, I promise.

Picea abies No.6 repotted

The tree collected from wild in August 2011. Sitting in the same pot since then. Foliage brought back suitable for styling next year. Few jins carved last year. Massive base of the trunk. Hope to have a lot of fun with it. Was just about the time for the ceramic pot to get rid of few kilos of a substrate and better manoeuvrability. A substrate is pure Terramoll and rough peat, the wight is the priority with larger trees.

This is how it looked like in 2013, two years after collecting. Bringing foliage back takes some time.

Picea abies No.3 repotted

Today was repotting day after many years in a plastic pot, since being collected. It is cold and rainy. Best time for repotting spruces according to my Master. Pot is cheaper china, substrate mixture of Terramol and peat. 

Cornus mas "Attila"

Dogwood bonsai tree is doing well in its new pot so few wires were added to direct the branches into better positions, few guy wires ass well. Now branches are gaining girth so some of the wires were removed already. This season I'm trying not to let the growth untamed, I keep cutting back everything to one nod. Tree will need full wiring, possibly next spring.

Carpinus betulus No.3 "Gemini"

Let me tell you a few words about this hornbeam and its fate since my last post about it. The tree was sitting in its plastic bowl since 2011 (and I do not remember if the roots were worked since then). 

This spring when I got a few new pots I dedicated one to the Gemini. It was about the right time. As you can see the "before" pictures buds were huge already. The tree was poted into a lighter mix with prevailing Terramol and pumice, as always with rough peat and Osmocote fertiliser directly added to the mix. Roots were edited during the occasion. 

Then it was left untouched to regain strength. It sprouted vigorously right away and was cut back in spring already. Now the tree was edited, mainly the top of the crown of the taller tree, more light should enter inner sections of the crown to enhance back budding. 

The second crown is developing slowly, and as I was writing several times about it, the plan is to have the second tree (which is lower for now) to be a bit higher than the high tree now. Development of the structure takes time but I hope I will get there in about 5 years from now. We will see. 

Larix decidua

The second flush of growth this season, time to cut back.  No burned needles yet so its good, but we are approaching tropical temperatures again, so if the tree is not supplied enough water part of the foliage will burn and eventually fall off. 


This elm was reported in spring, severely root worked. Due to lack of suitable big ceramic pot, it went back to plastic bowl again. Straighten up to have a better position. An improved soil mix with more pumice, Terramoll and lava since it is lighter than my standard mix with prevailing zeolite. Since march growing nicely, several times cutback of the top and peripheral branches. 
Now only one long sacrifice branch left to thicken lowest branch base. As you can see from the pictures it is quite long now. It is consisting of three shots. As always in bonsai, there is a controversy if the sacrifice branch with one shot only thickens faster or one which has side branches as well. I'm in the camp of " more branches, more foliage, faster thickening". But who knows. 
Anyway, for fun, I took a meter and made measurement if the base of sacrifice branch. It has some 17-18 mm as of today. Let's play the game. Try to guess how thick it will be at the end of October this year when I will cut it off. Write your best guess in the comment section below. Who will be closest to the reality is the winner. The winner can send me pictures of his tree and I will asses it and try to propose how I would design it and why, and I can sketch the virtual eventually. To be fair I will not do any reduction to branch and foliage until last day of October 2018. 

Tilia cordata No.2 "Josephine"

This small leaved lime was repotted in March this year into the pot which proved to be too small. I knew that at that time but tree needed repotting desperately, I needed more space on benches and tried to get rid of them as much of the plastic bowls as possible. So I went for it. I had no other more suitable pot back then. Fortunately, a couple of weeks later bunch of pots found its way to my garden. I didn't want to disturb the tree too soon after the repotting, so I gave it time to reestablish its forces. Now, I had the time and weather was good, temperatures dropped down to 20 something degrees. I did not disturb the roots at all so an operation was rather safe. 

Hey, after the work I went for a run and had an idea with the name for the tree, from now on I will call her Josephine.

in the new pot

Birch "The White Lady"

This spring more guy wires were applied and then later in the season I added a couple of metal screws and washers to weight down the branches. Today I cut off some of the foliage to let the light reach the inner parts of the crown. 

Juraj Homola pot

Mushroom season 
Robbed the hardware store

Picea abies No.2 after editing

This Norway spruce collected from wild back in April 2010. Now the tree was considerably overgrown so it was time to trim it back to induce back budding during the summer. It was repotted into current pod last August so I was a bit afraid how it will handle it this season that you can see for yourself on "before" picture it produced a decent amount of vigorous growth this season despite being cramped into the much smaller pot than its predecessor. Honestly, this is most vigorous spruce this season in my garden. Wires stying for now. A lot of editing and removing of the unnecessary parts was done this week. Still, some 2-3 main branches will go next year. I did not want to disturb it too much.