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My Front Yard-a-dori

March 12, 2018

Yamadori is a subject in bonsai where one's journey is rarely documented and discussed thoroughly. I plan to try and change that while you watch me slowly learn how not to kill trees.

Meet my tree in the front yard that definitely had to go. We recently moved and the previous owners weren't exactly professional landscapers.

Needless to say this was going to be removed so I figured "Why not practice my digging skills?" 


I tried a few times to ID this tree when it had leaves, but I didn't get much help and I figured at best it was a Black Hawthorne. These will work for bonsai, so hopefully it makes it. 


 I prepped by getting this $1 tub from Wal-Mart drilled and pre-wired. I learned while securing the tree that the typical 1mm wire I use isn't enough to support larger trees, so I upped the diameter a bit to keep this tree in. 

All ready to go for my new hacked tree. 

I found a good amount of roots (both large and small) on the side that had a broken PVC water line. Go figure.

 Here is what it looked like when I finally got it out of the fantastic amount of hardpan and caliche is was planted in. 

The trunk goes down quite a bit before it flares out with roots, and there are several large roots higher up on the trunk than I had hoped for.  

I cleaned her up a bit and got her ready for planting. 

 Got the wires tied down and retied down once I broke a few of them trying to secure the tree down tight. (Pro-tip: grab the wire with the pliers, pull, then twist. Keeps you from breaking the wire)

Here is a shot of the whole tree, followed up by a slideshow of the trunk from different angles.

I have no clue where there front will be, but I do know that a massive amount of carving will have to happen to deal with the lower scars and the upper portion where the tree was previously hacked. 

What I learned? I learned that the digging can take forever. Also that you can't choose the soil that you are digging, sometimes it'll be easier, sometimes you'll hit rocks. I also learned that you need to sift before you dig the tree out. Bigger wire to tie down bigger trees. 


Since then I've been watering and keeping this guy sheltered from the sun. I've remembered that water leaves soil more from transpiration that evaporation. Since this tree is dormant and lacking its established root system it doesn't transpire or use much of the water in the soil at the beginning. 


Hopefully this beauty makes it and leafs out this Spring.











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