Bonsai Trees

This is where stuff about trees will go....

English Yew
This tree is probably the pride of my collection. Not because it's perfect, not because it has a huge price tag and not because it has won prizes. This tree sums up for me what Bonsai should be all about and here's why.....

I was going to place a picture of the tree as it appears today but to get what I'm talking about let's go back to the beginning.

This is the stump that I collected with my good mate Stu back in 1998. It was growing in a wooded area and usually that means a production ground for telegraph poles but this one had somehow developed with a subtle bend at the base of the trunk probably due to intervention from wildlife. There is a patch of deadwood on the trunk that suggests some damage by passing deer or maybe a falling neighbour and this shape provided enough character to make me want this tree. It had a trunk girth of about 4 to 5  inches depending on where you measure it, a decent amount of surface roots and new growth popping out all over the base of the trunk. It also had a conveniently placed branch shooting skywards at just the right angle that it would form a good foundation for the new top. It was about 15 to 20 foot tall and determined to keep it alive we took a huge root ball just to be on the safe side. It took two of us to carry it back to the car. Once home it was planted in a wooden box where it stayed for two years to recover. During this time some preliminary work was carried out. There was so much new growth that the replacement branches could be selected loosely wired to get the angles right. The pictured height is about 27 inches from the root base.
I wish I could show you more pictures of the tree along the way but technology has hidden them in old pcs and backup drives along the way. I may find them one day. Suffice to say much training, pulling, pushing, wiring and carving has gone into it and many hours of pinching during the growing season has resulted in the tree today. The following picture is the studio shot from when it was exhibited at Bonsai Europa in October 2015.
So why is it my favourite tree....because it has a story, it is part of my life and a major chunk of my bonsai journey has been invested in it. You see it here on a wooden table that I made myself. If I could I would want to make the pot that it will ultimately go in. It is part of me and I love it because of that. If I had paid thousands of pounds for this tree, if some headlining artist had carried out the styling, if it was planted in a pot  made by a major potter that cost a small fortune and was the thing that people looked at before the tree rather than with it then it would mean so much less to me  
It has it's faults - I know. The pot is too big and the tree is a touch too high in the pot but I wait for the perfect one to be made rather than change to something else that isn't quite right. The gap at top right though much improved needs more work and the pads will now need splitting into smaller sub pads. I don't care what anyone else thinks because to make changes that someone else wants would make it something other than "my favourite Bonsai".

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