Timeline of Corin’s Siberian Elm Bonsai Tree

In this video Corin demonstrates the progression of his Siberian Elm, we wanted to show you what can be achieved with the right source material.

Hello everybody i’m colin tomlinson from greenwood bonsai studio last week we released our first video of mini bonsai exhibition it included eight or ten trees i talked about one of the trees on that video was a siberian elm of mine this tree that i’ve got with me today and we had a lot of requests for more information about that tree from you and so we thought we’d do a little video to show you the timeline and the evolution of this tree from when i started styling it to what it is today i purchased this tree about 18 years ago it was grown from a very small young cutting and the gentleman that grew it had grown in a polythene tunnel in the uk but it planted in the ground because planted in the ground you get much faster rate of growth and with it being in a polythene tall it kept quite warm and humid it was a very good fast growing environment the aim at that early stage wasn’t to make a bonsai was just to get a heavy trunk tree and the gentleman i purchased it from had grown it in the ground for about six or seven years it had grown up to the height of the polythene tunnel you know it started to touch the inside of the polythene tunnel and it potentially was uh eight foot tall maybe twelve foot wide and after those few years it was then cut down initially to a much lower tree about uh nine or ten inch tall it was then grown for a few more years and then cut back again and then done again and again so when i purchased it it was about uh maybe 15 year old or so and it was just a stump and there’s a photograph here of what it was like when i first purchased it this first photograph is in february time or early march and it was just a stump with big heavy wounds and cuts on it from that first initial stage i’ve trimmed back a lot of the heaviness of the thick chutes that have been trimmed in the ground and then i’ve wired and shaped the branches i’ve basically cut it back to a trunk line i’ve carved some sections to make them look more natural and i’ve wired and shaped the branches to get just the basic shape of a bonsai it’s potted into just a brown oval on-site pot training pot and you can see it’s got also got quite a lot of fertilizer on the soil surface and at this stage of development it wasn’t even bonsai fertilizer we were using we’re just using a generic pelleted garden fertilizer to get a lot of growth on the tree so the next few weeks it grew quite well the fertilizer i watered it a lot and this photograph you can see it with its extension growth put on and we started off in february this is about june time and then this next photograph this was 10 minutes later this was after it just had a bit of a haircut i just gave it a trim with some scissors to trim it back again following on later that year it looked like this and this photograph was taken about uh end of september time so from this photograph back to the first one that we showed you we’re still only about six months time so the difference from that first photograph to this um is quite remarkable i think then some photographs for the next few years a couple years further on you can see it in this photograph here and it started to get a bit twiggier and a slightly more rounded apex on it and then in winter you can see the twigs just starting to develop a nice character in the bark then as it progresses the next one is the following summer again a few more twigs plenty a bit more leaf cover starting to develop the canopy of the tree and this was the following year i thinned out of the few of the branches to get a bit more definition so uh it didn’t look set too much like a sort of green mushroom to try and get a bit of space between the few of the major branches of the tree and this was it the following winter a little bit of wire to rectify a few of the branches that it’s putting out but you can see particularly with these winter image photographs it gets twiggier we’re getting better ramification on the tree it’s looking like a more mature tree in nature and then a couple of years after that one of our customers gave me this pot i was very grateful for that it’s a japanese token army pot beautiful grey clay and it suits the tree so well i feel this tree in winter it has a very ghost-like image with the pale bark it’s all about tones of grey and the tones in the pot pick up the tones in the bark really nicely in my view this photograph was a very early spring this next photograph was a couple of years later you know the ramification on the twigs when you developing trees like this it can’t be rushed people often say how to get my tree twiggier there’s not a fast solution to it it’s just time and that’s why when you see a tree is developed at this it’s quite evident to the viewer that somebody spent a lot of time effort and skill to achieve this image that we’re looking at during the summer months i don’t normally display it in the summer months but here is a shot in summer in full leaf in winter again uh when it goes to a show this tree has been displayed at several bonsai shows throughout europe and this is a handmade oak bonsai table that we have designed and made to suit the tree when it is displayed at exhibition this particular photograph was at an exhibition in the uk this was early spring so this was like um mid-april time just put on a spring growth displayed with a nice covering of green moss for the exhibition and finally just take you back to remind you what we started with back to the original photograph of the raw material as i purchased it and these images these photographs span about an eight year period yeah the tree now is about 12 years into this development as it is here in front of me now but it shows what can be achieved with a raw piece of material and a lot of people i show them this tree as it started and they say oh i did stuff up that app like that out my garden i throw it away it’s just a stump how can you see a bonsai within it but with help and guidance from myself or other bonsai professionals any amateur bonsai hobbyist can have if you can find material stumpy material deciduous trees that can be worked on over a course of years to get a much more developed bonsai that you can enjoy for years to come thank you very much

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