bonsai tree care

The development of Yaupon holly bonsai – a story of when not cutting

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Yaupon holly has been on my mind this week. I’m doing a show in a night at a club meeting of the American Bonsai Association, Sacramento, and I’ve been collecting notes about your care.

Since I started working on Yaupon holly – formally known as Ilex vomitoria – I’ve come to really appreciate the variety. It is well suited for bonsai because it has small leaves, grows fast and quickly branches -. If you know the trick

I started working in the Yaupon holly makes under 12 years. This is what it looked like before I made the first cut.

Yaupon holly, 2004

And this is after making the first cut -. A large

After reducing the apex

The tree was not much to do at this point. As the tree grew in poor soil, repotted in Boon mixture was allowed to grow for several years, and in 2007, was full again.

Yaupon holly, 2007

Serious work began that year when Michael Hagedorn came to visit. Michael radically cut the tree back leaving thin shoots that could be used to create new primary branch.

After trimming

I let the tree grow over the next two years and then further reduced branches, keeping only the branches that could used in the final design.

Two years later – after trimming 2009

As you can see, there is no significant progress here. This was the idea that there was a better way to approach development Yaupon holly branch.

Boon Manakitivipart and I had found that reducing dramatically branches caused a lot of new shoots that emerge. What we need at this stage of development, was a smaller number of elongated enough to start the thickening of the branches buds.

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The following year, Boon suggested thinning tree instead of shortening all branches. I gave it a try. Here is the tree before thinning.

Yaupon holly – March 2010

And here is the tree after thinning.

Yaupon holly after thinning

Actually the tree does not look like much at this point either. Leaving the branches and gave the tree a shaggy appearance. These long branches continued, however, to lengthen which increased its size that emerged from the trunk. This, it turns out that was the trick :. A fine new growth rather than reduce it

In December, the branches had swelled considerably -. To the extent that I was able to reduce them, as shown below to improve Taper branch and branch

Yaupon holly – December 2010

After trimming

Now that was a repeatable process – let the branches are extended for one or two years before reducing them – the tree developed rapidly. Here is the tree two years later.

whole again – June 2012

And this is after trimming.

After trimming – July 2012

This was the first time I had a sense of what the final design will look like. Just two years later, I was able to show the tree in the annual exhibition Bay Island Bonsai -. 10 years after making the first cut

As shown in the exhibition 2014 Bay Island Bonsai – 11 “

Now that the tree is fairly well developed, maintenance is simple. I leave the tree alone during the growing season, thin and shorten the branches once or twice a year.

Now my biggest concern is the time cut for the best foliage exhibits last summer the tree was full but needed to thin the foliage at least once. – and possibly twice -. Before an exhibition scheduled for the following winter

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July 2015

I knew I could asphaltic 1-2 times before 2016 exhibition bay island Bonsai, depending on the speed with which the tree grew summer . I thinned the tree in July and reduced new outbreaks of 2-3 leaves.

After thinning and reduction

After smaller cut in autumn, the tree was ready to go last winter.

Yaupon holly as set forth in 2016 the exhibition Bay Island Bonsai

As I head to Sacramento for the show tonight, I to be considering branching out long and want that to fade – the main trick for the development of Yaupon holly bonsai


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The development of Yaupon holly bonsai – a story of when not cutting

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