Saturday, 26 April 2014

Field Maple Bonsai: 6 years in development

Acer campestre, Britain's only native maple, has a special place in my heart. 

In 2008 I acquired a field grown tree from a bonsai nursery, it was very cheep for such a bulky trunk (though it remains the most I've spent on a piece of raw material), perhaps because it was thought challenging to style with lots of "faults"?

Here is the tree today, coming on nicely I think. The canopy
must get a bit bigger to balance out the trunk, and the pot is
probably not right, but I am happy that this is becoming a
nice looking tree.

Just a week ago it was only just coming into leaf; 
it is very vigorous and needs re-potting every year. 

Early in 2012, later that year I removed the large branch 
with the guy wire on the right of this image, a move I 
should have made at the start of development, but was too timid.

After the first styling in Autumn 2008, with a virtual pot 
and a proposed canopy shape. Already, I could see that I 
needed to do more carving to make those hollows more believable, 
but I wanted to allow it a years free growth to improve its vigor first.
The tree as it came to me in October 2008, lots of big cuts
and confused roots, my first big bonsai challenge

4 comments:

  1. what a powerful and muscular tree. Sometimes the trees with 'faults' prove to be the most impressive bonsai. Love it, and share your love for a.campestre as well.

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  2. Thanks, it is probably my favorite bonsai within my modest collection... probably I will rewire it overwinter if it's mild enough. The nebari is coming on beautifully too.

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  3. When you repot this field maple do you root prune quite hard? Does the tree take a hard root pruning easily?

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  4. I repot every other year and remove between 1/2 and 2/3 of the root mass. Initially I concentrated on removing thicker roots selectively, but now there are only fine roots I remove most of the mass fro bellow the nebari and leave a fringe of roots around the margin.

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