Making Bonsai from Cheap Nursery Stock

Creating bonsai from cheap nursery stock material. This is part 2 of a series following the development of this hornbeam bonsai material, from £5 nursery stock.

Having chopped the trunk in part 1, the tree threw out plenty of branches to work with. So I am shaping the new branches to form the structure of a tall, elegant future bonsai.

This week I’m going to be doing some wiring on a nursery stock hornbeam it cost me five pounds from a tree and shrub nursery I did a trunk chop which I filmed and I’ll link the video somewhere did the trunk trunk chop which took it back to a bear trunk and through the summer buds popped up in various places they elongated into branches and now I’m just gonna try and go a little bit of a movement into those branches before they become too stiff and lignified to bend so as you can see we’ve got a nice bit of taper here in the base but I when I repotted it in the spring I got carried away searching for the true base of the tree and failed to notice that there was some inverse taper whereas planted deep in its nursery container roots had formed halfway up the trunk thick in that area of the trunk I was so carried away looking for the true nebari that I felt spot that cut all those roots off and it wasn’t until I’d got past that stage that I noticed the inverse taper so what I’ve done is I’ve planted it in a deep container again and in the spring I’ll do a ground layer to layer out that université per the trunk here is quite flowy and it’s got some good movement but not a lot of taper so I’m going to style the branches in such a way that they are more youthful and elegant rather than rather than go for a masculine thick ancient looking tree you’ll be quite flurry home beam do bleed in the spring so what I might do is I might prune one of the branches and see what happens and if it doesn’t bleed excessively I’ll do a bit more pruning and take some of these off I won’t seal it with any paste or anything we’ll just prune it off and leave it for a few moments to see what happens so if I just take one of these smaller ones then while we wait to see what’s going to happen with that crooning mark and I cut this wire off and will rewire completely otherwise it’s going to end up getting in the way I don’t know what I was thinking back in the autumn so it’s just kind of easier to get that cleaned up I think I will leave this piece of wire on down here for the time being no because it’s not gonna get in the way of any of the other bits [Music] that pruning marker started to go brown and there’s nothing coming out of it so I know that we’re fairly safe to prune these unwanted branches away without fear of any bleeding slug eggs [Music] [Music] okay so when I clean these cuts up and then paste them I’m just worried about to take multiple bites out of this one with the knob cutter it’s after pretty uneven surface so as well as cleaning up the edges I’m also going to try and flatten out the inside mark the the wound itself and then I want to aim for a slightly concave center area all right so that’s a look at much better already before we do any wiring on the branches let’s talk a little bit about the design of the tree so as you can see it’s quite a slender flowing trunk rather than a stocky thick trunk so I think with the branches will carry that theme through create some flowing branches rather rather than tapering thick strong short branches because I’m going to ground layer this tree to create a new base I can pretty much choose the planting angle so let’s have a look then the ideal front and any potential angle changes that we might go for looking at the movement of the trunk then we’ve got a bit of movement coming out at the base and then it curls then curls off to this side and then comes back round near at the top and there’s there’s a bit of rotation to the movement it’s not only one plane but once we get above the base the plane is very consistent so if we look at there you’ve got the movement being eaten up by the angle we’re looking at it and then obviously 180 from there the same effect so we were try and offset slightly one way or the other if we offset too far we get the movement completely horizontal to the viewer and that takes away any depth foreground to background depth we have this bit and got away from the viewer and then pull the apex back towards us what happens is everything everything visually is directly above the base no matter what we do and it kind of it nullifies the movement that we got in the trunk the main front that we choose is going to be somewhere in this region where this section of the trunk is facing the viewer rather than the back so we’ll probably look to up front somewhere here or somewhere in here I think that’s the best front personally I like the way that the trunk moves one way comes back the tops facing the you the tops facing the viewer and I think all things considered this makes the best primary viewing angle I’d be interested to know in the comments if you agree actually let me know what you think in terms of the planting angle I think you know they bring it we can either bring it somewhat this way or we can push off or we can push off somewhat in that direction so let’s get a piece of wood and have a look in let’s get a piece of wood and have a look at either option okay so pushing it that way means that we’ll have a crown somewhere up here let’s try pushing the movement in the other direction I just think that leaning the tree in this direction enhances the movement of the trunk bringing the main weight of the crown over here but let me know in the comments down below if you agree or disagree I’d be really interested to hear your thoughts so I’ll go ahead and why the branches working to this planet angle but let me know in the comments if you agree or disagree because there’s going to be plenty of grace I mean to change my mind and make adjustments even after we’ve done the layer we’ll still be able to play around so run yeah let me know alright so it’s the next thing now I had some kids to get into bed and then this morning there was a party so a bit of rain so things nice and fresh and wet so I’m a pickup game from where I left off get some more wire on those branches and then we’ll get them positioned nicely and get a bit of movement into them all right let’s have a look at this but a really thick piece here so this piece here it’s heading off vertically it’s really gaining some momentum and it’s getting quite nice and thick so what I might do is I might prune this one back as well yeah let’s cut this one back this is the piece that I’m cutting back I can either cut back to this or this maybe that one for the time being I’m going to cut back to this piece here okay there we go so I wasn’t going to put some wire on this but I don’t like the way it’s pretty vertical at the moment so I’m just wondering if I might try a bit of wire on it and just to see if just repositioning it slightly will improve its look I also put some on this one as well just to see I can always take it off wiring is a bit like a puzzle making sure you hit all the right spots it’s actually quite an enjoyable puzzle as well figuring out how to go from one branch to the next all the while not damaging branches and buds [Music] you [Music] and if you heard a pop then that was actually my wrist it wasn’t the branch yeah so this piece is to be few for the wire that I’ve got I think we’ve moved it a little that’s our look yep so we’ve got a bit of movement in there I think they’ll be okay actually I’ll leave it on that’s fine I can always use a guy wire to move that a bit more if needs be [Music] [Applause] [Music] two more pieces to wire [Music] all right plus the wire we don’t let’s add some movement to these branches then I want to emphasize this up and out movement okay next let’s look at this branch so with this one so this one I actually want to come down like so get that one down like so so with this piece we’re going to come right around here for the first move and then back down much better on this branch I’ll put that one down there for the time being until we know what’s gonna happen with this one I’m not sure that this particular branch is going to move and stay where we want it but let’s give it a go so that’s all the primary structures put in place what I’ll do now is I’ll prune some of these primary pieces back to a more appropriate length so hopefully you’ll be able to see what I’ve got in mind with this tree and I’ll also probably put a little bit of fine a wire on some of these smaller pieces get them into position I’ll leave this branch a bit longer but let’s get this wire out the way first let’s just come in and prune away couple of these interior bits that we don’t need back to this one can come back to that make some small adjustments to this branch towards the back here see if I can get in without damaging the butt tall the bar can go at the end of that branch so popped a bit of castmate just to keep it nice and happy with this thick piece I left this piece on the end lift it a bit long but looking at it I’ll only left it there just in case I needed it but I don’t actually need it so I’m gonna come in that piece of wire off I’ll cut back to this side shoot here a little bit of wire onto these two [Music] finer branches [Music] you can go myself [Music] looking at the structure of this branch I think we’ve got an opportunity to place these side pieces something like that and this long thick piece is no longer necessary so let’s just go ahead and [Music] [Music] then we have it then pruned and the majority of the wire put on why not keep all of the branches and I might change the angle well probably tweak a little bit here and there so let me know what you think of the planting angle and also I’d like to hear any suggestions on pots actually next time in the nursery stock series that I’ve been making we’ll have a look at the field maple that I chopped at the same time as this one last year see how that one’s getting you on it’s got a big sacrifice branch growing and you might also need to come in and do a bit of a bit of carving cuz there’s a couple of wounds I’ll also show you the progress that the healing has been making alright so thanks for watching

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