Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Got yew in my kitchen

Continuing the "bonsai therapy" session two nights ago with a mini juniper, I still needed more blood sap to get over the bonsai funk. So then, this poor yew was attacked mercilessly. I'll label this post Not Safe For Shrubs.

Picked this taxus up for about 1/3 price due to a sale stacked with an email coupon and good timing. I had it cut in half at the nursery and made the obligatory and terrible joke: "So now it's about half off right?"

It came in a burlap sack that when opened, revealed a mass of fine feeder roots in a sort of sandy clay. It was easily removed with a jet spray and I placed the yew in an Anderson Flat that my buddy Jonas picked up for me. I'm glad I found a use for one of these ten I have sitting out back... It was potted in my usual mix and top dressed with turface. Sometimes I work inside since I'm the boss now. No one gets to fuss at me for foliage on the floor. 

I didn't have to reduce the rootball at all as yew tend to throw a spongy mass of roots very close to the base.  At this point Jess joined me and we started to work our way in by clipping out branches we were sure wouldn't be useful in the final design. About an hour later we were about here before we actually chose a line for the future tree.

It's been raining which was fortunate because we intended to strip much bark in favor of future dead wood design. If we cut the bark with a razor it would peel away easily in big sheets with bare hands. The only chance to do this is when it's still living so peel we did!

This is my favorite shot of any reduction. The carnage. I think 99% of the foliage was removed last night. This treatment is HIGHLY unusual but I've actually done this with a yew before and it did just fine. While they are coniferous trees, they perform like deciduous in some aspects. My last one once budded back on a branch with no foliage like only deciduous trees do. Anyways, here's the damage:

We left it here for right now and will not touch it for the remainder of the year except to provide it ample sunlight and fertilizer (after a 2 week resting period).

I'm still working on the virtual but it may have foliage only on the left side of the composition to balance the heavy jin on the right. as the small branchlets extend, we'll have an easier time selecting a final image.Most likely it will be shorter than it is currently.

 Bonsai trees, in their early phase are much less majestic and beautiful. In fact most of the times they are downright ugly and uninspiring.  Anyone who practices, though, can start to imagine possible solutions from a trunk line. 

Thank you for your time and attention.

Post Script:

So what became of my last yew? I got pressured into doing some work out of season, I think in September of last year and because it stayed so mild, the dern thing back budded and start to push again. Because none of the foliage had ample time to harden off, the tree suffered during the first frost and perished. In hind sight I could have given it more protection but really I should have not done the work out of season. Cheers.

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