Sunday, March 30, 2008

Spring for Bonsai

Well spring is here and that means that it was time for me to dig up the bonsai from the back yard and see how they faired. It is also time for Megan's ficus tree to light up after a dark winter. So how did they do? 

First the ficus. I was worried that it was ill, but it was just winter. It lost about 50% of its leaves but since the sun has changed, it is covered in buds. 

My oldest bonsai had a hard winter though, and is quite damaged. I made a mistake in my placement outside that left it exposed to wind and more importantly rabbits, who chewed off about 60% of it. The photo on the bottom is of it last fall, the top is what it looks like now. But, I guess that is what happened to it every winter when it was a tree living in the wild, and it is already showing off new growth, so it should be ok. But, this damage does postpone repotting for another year. These bonsai are a long term project!

Last is my newest bonsai that I harvested late last summer. Well it did great over the winter, and I repotted it great this spring, if you can call it re-potting because it is living on a rock! The entire root system is spread out over the rock and then ends by touching down into its base. I am uncertain if the roots that touch down in the base are connected to the tree, but the long term plan is to slowly remove soil from the top of the rock so the roots thicken and can be exposed. Thinner roots should be developed further back and be able to gather water from the base which is always full of water. Again, I am going farther towards my "Witch Tree" look. 

The last bit, is that I did lose one tree that I harvested last summer, bringing last summer's survival rate to 1/3. It was a very nice cedar that was perfectly straight up and down, something that is very unusual for cedar. I should have waited to harvest it until this year. Live and learn. 

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