I brought this tree from Kaizen Bonsai at Noelanders this year after seeing it in the “Bargain Basement” section. As many of you know I have a bit of a fetish for Cotoneasters and this one was far larger than any I had seen. My original vision for this tree took a bit of a setback for 2 reasons. The first was that my initial front was rotated about 120 degrees to the right and the second, and most importantly, there was a scruffy nebari. It was advised by the “great & good” that I graft some new roots, far too complex for my basic Bonsai skills, but it was worth bearing in mind. Any-ho, the tree grew strongly(ish) and the foliage turned a nice shade of British Racing Green so I was happy with its overall health.
Recently, whilst babysitting whilst my good lady was at a Pole Class, I thought that I would take a poke around at the surface roots to see how the land lied for the following years re-pot. Some of the bark was a bit wet so I had a little rub and the bark came off. I carried on with the scratch, (brown), scratch (brown) until I couldn’t take it anymore. Out came the mini drill and “soft” wire brush – let’s explore!! Before long, and suffering from a bad case of bark dandruff, I realised that there was only one area of live vein and a shed load of additional deadwood to play with (yes I can already hear Will Baddeley’s Makita revving up in the background!) As I’m by no means a Carving God I thought I’d have a go at blending the new with the old existing deadwood to at least give me a better picture of where the tree is going.