Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Sometimes I get carried away

Some of the experts at Reddit's bonsai group have accused me of doing too much too soon and I have to admit that I'm often guilty of that. While some of my trees can sit in my bonsai area for months or even years without my doing much work on them, some get more than their fair share of attention.

I'm trying to improve my bonsai skills though so, since becoming aware of the problem, I've been trying to restrain myself where possible. Despite that I sometimes find myself getting carried away once I have a branch cutter in my hands.

In a recent post I wrote about an odd little Ficus Benjamina I've been working on. Although it's not traditional bonsai, I had fun creating it. After its last haircut it was looking quite good, even if a couple of branches didn't feel quite right to me, and I even had thoughts of finding a bonsai pot for it.

That was over two months ago though, and it was starting to look rather overgrown again, so a couple of days ago I decided to bring it inside for a little trim while I watched the South African cricket team in action. I didn't plan anything drastic, just to tidy the top up a bit.

Before pruning

Perhaps part of the blame could go to my team's poor performance, or maybe that's just a lame excuse, but I suddenly decided that those branches had to go. Somewhere along the lines I also concluded that the tree was too tall, so I reduced the height as well. By the time I was done, my poor little tree was reduced to a mere skeleton with a few leaves on each branch.

What's left after excessive pruning

I'm not sure whether to be embarrassed by what I've done. Part of me feels like I've done something awful, but I'm also curious to see what new growth the little guy puts out during the rest of the Southern hemisphere summer. Who knows, in time it may still become a better tree.

One thing is certain though - that bonsai pot will have to wait!

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