This year the tree took its time to start growing – it only started a few days ago, at the beginning of May. I was already worrying again since this is the only specimen that I have and if it dies, it is unlikely I would ever be able to replace it – it took about ten years to find one seed, dammit. But it started to grow, finally. and it looks promising.
Last year it grew three branches on the main stem in the end. I cut them all down this year and they all are sprouting 2-3 buds so it is branching out, which is good.
We shall see what form the tree chooses. Preliminarily it appears to be suitable for formal broom style. I am reluctant to use wire on this wood at all, it grows relatively fast in thickness and length so there is a great risk of ingrowth, plus it is a very hard and strong wood so it would probably be prone to breaking when stressed incorrectly. And broom style often does not require the use of wire, just judicious pruning. And spreading the soft twigs apart early in the spring, which can be done by simply inserting a piece of cardboard between them as a temporary spacer. Which I did last year and I probably will have to do this year again since the tree still has a very strong tendency to grow straight upwards. That is normal for seedlings and it should slow down as it matures.
I have also worked on my other bonsai, repotting them. When they are picture-worthy again, I hope to write a few more articles about species suitable for beginners. Right now, I am very tired. A bit more than usual because in addition to re-planting the trees, I have also built a shade over them. It was necessary because my trees suffered greatly these last few years when it rained very sparsely and the summer heat was abnormally intense. I had to, on occasion, put some trees manually into the shade near the house, so I have decided this year to bring shade to all of them right from the start. I hope it will also mean I will need less water for the trees during the summer.
I have re-purposed welded U-poles for a clothesline that we used to have in our garden before we got an electric clothes dryer. I put the poles over the bonsai bench and instead of clotheslines, I spanned between them thick 4 mm wires. And instead of hanging up clothes, I spanned a shading net between those wires, using our old clothespins. Should the clothespins not hold up to windy weather, I will sew the net to the wires with a rope. Although I do hope the clothespins will suffice because I will need to take the nets off again before winter.
Good work on the shade, they will get the full sun when it has more atmosphere to get through in the morning and evening, but not at it’s most intense mid-day. Rather like most tree seedlings natural environment near trees in leaf.
I’m finding a little more energy as the seasons changes, but am still very tired. I’m not sure if it’s due to change in my drugs or what. Whatever being tired when there is so much to do is deeply frustrating.