I worked on this Monkey Thorn bonsai early this morning. I trimmed back the tree and removed the weeds from the soil mixture. This tree is one of many of our indigenous trees that I am growing in my garden. They do not conform to the normal bonsai rules as they have their own unique way of growing.
I like monkey thorn trees as they grow very quickly. They have a flaky bark structure that adds to the visual power of the tree as the contrast between the bark and the leaves are very pleasing on the eye. The only down side to working on these trees are the thorns. You are unaware of them till you need to wire or trim the branches. As the small thorns bite into your skin you feel a light burn. This is not too painful but it is annoying. A few of these cuts and you can very easily loose you interest in the species.
I have heard people joke about using gloves when working on these trees but honestly I can not see myself working with gloves as I like to feel the branched in my hands when working on a tree. The other option is to remove the thorns but then again you taking away some of the trees inherent beauty. My view is if you want to work with trees species that have thorns you need to suck it up and be a man…
You can see that there is a stone under the one root of this tree. This is something that I will be addressing as soon as I re-pot this tree. This tree use to belong to a student that lived next to us and when he moved he gave me this tree. I like the tree but the stone will have to go. The stone does not add anything to the aesthetics of the tree. It is a distraction to say the least as the smooth texture of the stone is too much of a contrast to the flaky bark and the fine leaves.
If I continue with the tree as it is now there are a few things I have to address. Firstly the stone must go as the tree does not look good with one root over the stone. The tree can not be classified as a root over rock as only one root is over the stone and it looks unnatural (kid of forced). After the stone is removed I will have to flatten out the root that is now going over the stone. I will use a wire and a piece of wood to tie the roots down in place. I will need to bare root the tree to do this so I will wait for spring to start so that it is not too cold but still cool enough so that the work can be done without stressing out the tree. The tree will start to grow and come out of it’s winter sleep in late August. Watch this space as I will be posting the full process on this blog.
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