Three years ago I acquired a large olive that had come from the Blue Oak Nursery collection.
Olive, July 2020
Although the tree was in need of styling, I wanted to gauge the health of the tree before proceeding.
After letting it grow for a year, I repotted it into a deeper container.
After pruning the roots
As you can see, the trunk flare is almost two feet across!
The deeper pot helped, but after two years, there was little new growth.
That fall the started growing like crazy. By November it was covered with 24″ shoots from the top to the bottom (I don’t have a photo).
This was the sign I was looking for. I trimmed the tree before winter and repotted it in early spring. By this summer it had put on another flush of growth and was ready for styling. Here’s the tree after pruning and wiring.
August, 2023, styling by Adam Toth.
The tree didn’t miss a beat and continued growing into fall.
Olive, early November, 2023 – 37″ tall, container by Sara Rayner
I feel like the tree responded exactly the way I wanted it too, but I don’t know if it would have responded as well if I’d worked on it earlier. Either way, it reinforces for me the idea that there are benefits to waiting to see strong growth before doing a lot of work on a tree.
News & Updates
- The Golden State Bonsai Federation Rendezvous is this weekend, October 20-22, at the Hotel Mission de Oro in Santa Nella, California.
Same day and weekend registrations are still available. Registration includes seminars from a variety of teachers, demonstrations from Bjorn Bjorholm, and the opportunity to shop in the vendor garden. It’s the only event this year where you can learn from Bjorn, Peter Tea, Laurent Darrieux, Adam Toth, Julian Tsai, Jennifer Price, Mike Pistello, and David Nguy in the same weekend!
I’ll be vending and presenting seminars on evaluating exhibits (sold out) and shopping for pre-bonsai material (11:00am today, Friday 10/20).
Learn more at the GSBF Rendezvous website.
- Submit your trees now to the Bonsai Central exhibit and convention to be held outside St. Louis, Missouri, on May 3-5, 2024.
The event is an awesome undertaking sponsored by the Bonsai Society of Greater St. Louis. Featured guests include Bjorn Bjorholm, Andrew Robson, Mauro Stemberger, Tyler Sherrod, Young Choi, and Marija Hajdic.
I’ll be saying more about the event as the date approaches, but in the meantime, you can get an overview directly from the source on the Bonsai Wire Podcast.
Learn more about the event at the Bonsai Central website.
Subscribe to Bonsai Tonight
New Posts Delivered Every Tuesday and Friday