Although I was still pretty new to the art of bonsai back then and saw no bonsai potential in it, I hated the idea of killing it, so just in the nick of time I persuaded her to have them relocate it to a more suitable position in our garden.
In its new spot the little privet thrived and, despite the fact that I never allowed it to grow much above five feet tall, in time it developed into a sturdy triple trunk tree. After a few years I began to see its bonsai potential and (fearing another move would kill it) I began to wish I'd had them plant it in a pot instead.
Finally in November 2014 (early summer) I decided to risk the move and have them dig it up once more.
|The dig - November 2014|
Once it was safely out of the ground I was presented with an excessively tall tree with the remains of a heavy tap root.
It took all my strength to reduce it to a more suitable height and remove enough of that root to allow me to squeeze it into the biggest pot I had.
|After pruning and potting - November 2014|
By the time the job was done I really feared for its survival.
Fortunately it was soon pushing out lots of new growth and by January 2015 it was covered in new branches and foliage.
I was longing to take it to a workshop, but I knew I had to be patient so I left it to do its own thing for the rest of the summer and most of the winter. Finally in July 2015 I took it to a club meeting looking for advice on how to proceed.
I was a bit disappointed when everyone I spoke to recommended that I split it into three separate trees. However I had to be honest with myself and I realised that from a practical point of view the separation would be the best option for ME because I would never be able to cope with the weight of that group once it made it into a bonsai pot.
The next day I took the group to a workshop, where some strong men did the muscle work for me. Although their styling choices may not all be to my taste, They made a start which will make life easier for me in the future.
I came home with two nice trees, each with a trunk thicker than my wrist, and a thinner stump which was much less interesting.
|Three trees - July 2015|
Hopefully in time they will all become decent bonsai but developing them will definitely be a long term project.