Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Ending Summer on a Positive Note

When I took my Schotia Brachypetala to my bonsai club for help with its initial trunk chop back in 2012 one of the senior members told me it was a slow grower and that I should plant it in the ground. As I was happy with the thickness of the trunk, I chose not to follow his advice. Based on how it has developed since then, I have no regrets.

I don't think it's so much a case of this tree growing slowly as that it needs a push every now and then to get it going. It certainly responds well every time I prune it. So perhaps it was a mistake to leave it to do its own thing for most of this summer.

At the beginning of March I decided it was time to rewire it as the old wires were starting to bite.

March 2017 - before pruning

While I was at it, I decided to give it a quick haircut. Mostly that just consisted of reducing the groups of compound leaves to pairs, but I think I pruned one branch at the time. Despite the fact that I kept the work to a minimum it ended up looking quite naked.

March 2017 - after pruning

Not for long though. Once more the haircut stimulated a lot of new growth, and a mere 17 days later I was happy to see lots of new buds developing in the large gap between the top branch and the apex.

New buds - March 2017

Two weeks later everything has filled in nicely apart from the lowest branch on the left which has suffered a little die-back.

April 2017

I suspect that branch may not be getting enough light, so perhaps I need to turn that side towards the sun.

With winter approaching I won't be working on this tree any more for a while. When spring comes around however, it will be time for a repot. The only surface root it has at the moment is badly positioned and will probably have to go, so I really hope I can find some better roots hidden below the soil.

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