Yew are one of the best species for creating bonsai, they have beautiful hard deadwood, lush evergreen foliage and beautiful red live veins. In these three videos I explains how he builds branch structure and creates dense foliage clouds.
Here are some of the images from the videos, Click on the video links below to watch the movies.
I have been using this technique now for over ten years and I have finally decided to share what I have learned. The technique is known as ‘sweating’ and is used extensively in arboretorial circles. I use for the following species: Cratageus, Prunus, and most of the Rosaceae family, do not use on evergreen species.
I collect trees with as much root as possible, but I have put roots on trees that have not had any.
Follow this procedure and your success rate in establishing your freshly collected yamadori will improve immeasurably.
- Collect as much root as possible
- Clear as much mountain soil but do not wash the roots
- Use the soil mix as shown below
- Clean cut the major roots as close to the trunk without spoiling the nebari
- Place the tree in the smallest container possible
- Ensure that the tree is well packed in the container
- Wire the tree securely in the pot
- Make sure that the cut branches are clean and NOT SEALED
- Saturate the soil
- Pile fresh sphagnum moss on the surface of the container
- Wrap the whole tree in a VERY large black plastic bag
- Place in a sunny position as the tree MUST GET HOT
- Humidity in the bag must be high at all times, mist spray daily
- After two or three weeks new buds will appear particularly around the cuts
- Ensure that they do not touch the sides of the bag.
- When the new shoots reach 5cm or 2” remove from the bag and protect from cold and wind, mist spray daily and keep out of direct sunlight.
- Keep watch for the new shoots hardening off, then you can feed with a very diluted solution; do not work the tree for the first 12 months.
Good luck, please do not copy these photos or the text, and share the link freely.
This is the first styling of the BIG Yew Bonsai, I have waited three years since the tree was potted into this pot, it was VERY healthy so now perfect for the work involved. There are no short cuts when it comes to creating a Yew Bonsai from raw yamadori stock, its a long process of structure, branch creation fine branches and foliage. I guess from mountain to Exhibition this will take 20 years, its already been 8 years since this tree came from the mountain, you can read earlier blog posts where I cut the tree in half, and Potting the tree for the first time
Good aftercare, considered channeling of energy to the areas that I wanted rapid growth and my Tibolar-RS feeding regime has produced this amazing growth on an ancient Yamadori yew that I call George… because he is an English Yew and was collected on St. Georges Day 4 years ago.
George Yew August 15
George Yew March 14
I am happy with this tall yews development, the foliage is filling out well, the lower right hand branch needs a few years to fill out but its worth the wait. I have purchased a lovely Japanese exhibition quality pot that the tree will be finally placed.